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Sem Senior Earns Top Honor at Shakespeare Competition | Arts & Culture

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Sem Senior Earns Top Honor at Shakespeare Competition
Sem Senior Earns Top Honor at Shakespeare Competition

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, talented theatre students representing their area high schools competed in the 10th Annual High School Shakespeare Competition sponsored by the Niagara Frontier/Buffalo Branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States (ESU). The judges were local actors David Autovino, David Lundy and Lisa Vitrano.

Eliza Hopkins, a senior at Buffalo Seminary, won first place with her delivery of Sonnet 129 and Edmund's monologue from King Lear. In April she will compete against students from schools across the United States at the National Shakespeare Competition, held in the world-famous Lincoln Center in New York City.

Eliza remarked, "I love the feeling I get of connecting to all the other performers before me who have performed the same monologue, scene or sonnet. His work is old, and it's exciting to realize you're carrying the torch of his work forward into the next generation.”

The Sem senior is a two-time winner of the regional ESU Shakespeare competition. After last year's event, she advanced to the national competition, where she was named a semifinalist.

The first runner-up for this year's regional competition was Ben Langer of Williamsville East High School, who performed Sonnet 29 and Marc Antony's monologue from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The second runner-up was Elizabeth Koplas of Starpoint High School, who performed Sonnet 147 and Helena's monologue from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

About ESU

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is an American non-profit, non-political educational organization supported entirely by the dues and contributions of its members and friends. The Niagara Frontier/Buffalo Branch was founded in 1976 and is one of 72 American branches. There are more than 100 international ESU branches, most of which are in non-English-speaking countries. To learn more, click here or call (212) 818-1200.

About the Shakespeare Competition

The Niagara Frontier/Buffalo Branch sponsors an annual competition for high school students throughout the area. Students perform their selected renditions of Shakespeare and the winner is sent, all expenses paid, to New York City to compete in the National Shakespeare Competition. From there, the winners receive a grant to attend a summer course at the Globe Theatre in London.

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