Manti students see competing in the Shakespeare Competition as an opportunity to gain more experience and have a good time doing what they enjoy. Back row From left to right Kory Howard, Justin Bawden, Dallin Brereton, Carson Lawrence, Marcus Bahlmann, Denali Baker; Front row: Matt Bigelow, Zack Brown, Malorie Hansen, Emily Frischknecht; Far Right: Kirah Pratt; Lower: Abby Huff, Katelyn Allred

 

Sanpete thespians shine at Shakespeare competition, NSHS takes second place

 

By Linda Petersen

Staff writer

Oct. 12, 2017

 

North Sanpete High School Drama students comprised one of the best teams competing at the 41st Annual Utah High School Shakespeare Competition in Cedar City, Sept. 28-30.

The team of 13 students won second-place sweepstakes in the competions Westminster Division (for schools with 800 or fewer students), which both North Sanpete and another team from Manti High School, with 12 students, participated in.

At the event, students perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, competing in categories such as monologue (one actor, 2-4 minutes), duo/trio scenes (two or three actors, 3-5 minutes), and ensemble (more than three actors, 6-10 minutes).

Scores from all competitors on a team are tallied and added to determine overall sweepstakes-winning teams.

North Sanpete’s second-place sweepstakes finish was a tie with Karl G. Maeser Prep, out of Lindon.

Students Brynne Lamb, Emily Hill, Katelyn Hill, Maren Bench, Rebekah Knudsen, Nettie Knudsen, Isa Wright, Serena Smith, Mariah Ashworth, Brooklyn Larson, Lilli Rowan, Ariel Valko and Ellie Anderson performed in North Sanpete’s ensemble scene from “Measure for Measure” and received straight superiors.

Lamb and Hill performed a scene from “King Henry VI, Part 3” and received straight superiors. Ashworth and Grant Morris performed a scene from “Much Ado About Nothing” and received two superiors and an excellent.

Nicholas Honey received straight superiors for his monologue from “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” With monologues from “King John” and “Richard III” respectively, Anderson and Larson each received two superiors and an excellent

“The kids had a life changing experience.  They grew as performers and people,” theater teacher Alex Barlowe said. “Many of the students told me that they didn’t think they would like Shakespeare or be able to do it, but now they are confident in their abilities to act Shakespeare, and they have a love and appreciation for Shakespeare’s work. It was a fantastic weekend.”

From Manti High School, Justin Bawden, Carson Lawrence, Matt Bigelow, Malorie Hansen, Abby Huff, Marcus Bahlmann and Kirah Pratt performed an ensemble scene from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.

Denali Baker, Zack Brown and Carson Lawrence all brought monologues from various Shakespeare plays to perform, each with its own style. Manti also brought two pairs of students, Dallin Brereton with Emily Frischknecht and Katelyn Allred with Beth Hughes, to perform smaller scenes. (Individual Manti student scores were not available at press time.)         Theater teacher Kory Howard saw the competition as an opportunity to give his students more practice in performing at competitions, and to expand their acting horizons.

“I not only love being able to spend time with the other theater kids at Manti, but it’s also a really great experience to perform Shakespeare and see a lot of really talented people do the same,” North Sanpete participant Abby Huff said.

Competitors are judged by theater professionals from across the country including Los Angeles and New York City and can earn scholarships to Southern Utah University or Utah Shakespeare Festival summer workshops.

Along with competing, the students got to attend several of more than 30 workshops on various theatre-related subjects, along with the festival plays.

Close to 3,400 students from 109 schools in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California and Wisconsin participated in the competition, which is jointly sponsored by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University.

 

Brynne Lamb (left) and Emily Hill (right) in their second round prepare to perform their scene from “Henry VI, Part 3.”