All the world's a stage in the Shakespeare competition

Sacred+Heart+freshman+Isabel+Davenport%2C+Middle+School+Drama+teacher+Miss+Michaela+Gorman%2C+and+junior+Elizabeth+Bachmann+meet+outside+the+Greenwich+Library+at+the+end+of+the+competition.%0AIzzy+Sio+%2716

Sacred Heart freshman Isabel Davenport, Middle School Drama teacher Miss Michaela Gorman, and junior Elizabeth Bachmann meet outside the Greenwich Library at the end of the competition. Izzy Sio ’16

Nineteen students from ten high schools in Connecticut competed in the thirty-second annual English-Speaking Union (ESU) Shakespeare Competition March 9. The event took place in the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library from 3 pm to 5 pm.
Six Convent of the Sacred Heart students competed in the school’s preliminary competition February 8, where each student had to memorize and recite a 20-line monologue from one of William Shakespeare’s plays. Judges, Upper School English Teacher Dr. Cristina Baptista, Middle and Upper School Drama Teacher and Director of Upper School Theater Productions Miss Michaela Gorman, and Upper School English Teacher and Chair of the English Department Dr. William Mottolese picked a winner and a runner-up from the six contestants.
The judges chose junior Elizabeth Bachmann as the winner of Sacred Heart’s competition last month. Elizabeth was also the winner of Sacred Heart’s preliminary competition last year.  
“I’ve participated in Shakespeare plays since fourth grade, so I’ve grown up with Shakespeare,” Elizabeth said.  “This is an opportunity to extend my love of Shakespeare to a different avenue. I’ve been looking forward to this all year and performing again for the school.”
The judges also chose freshman Isabel Davenport as the runner-up this year. This was Isabel’s first Shakespeare competition. Both girls had the opportunity to participate in the state competition at Greenwich Library.

“Miss Gorman initially told me about the competition and I thought it was a good idea to compete,” Isabel said.  “It was fun. I was nervous to begin with, and the other people were really good.  I was not expecting to make it.”

For both the school and regional competitions, Elizabeth recited a monologue from Measure for Measure and Isabel performed a monologue from Richard II.

Sacred Heart freshman Isabel Davenport performs one of Richard II's monologues from Shakespeare's Richard II at the ESU Shakespeare competition. Izzy Sio '16
Sacred Heart freshman Isabel Davenport performs one of Richard II’s monologues from Shakespeare’s Richard II at the ESU Shakespeare competition.
Izzy Sio ’16

“I liked my monologue because of the way it is very emotional and dramatic,” Isabel said.  “I thought I would be able to perform it with a lot of expression.

During the competition, each student also performed one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. In addition to their respective monologues, Elizabeth performed Sonnet 11 and Isabel recited Sonnet 53.
Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Mr. Mark Lamos, Tony-winning actress Mrs. Joanna Gleason, and Academy Award-nominated Broadway and film actor Chris Sarandon judged the 19 performers and announced the three winners and one honorable mention.
ACES Area Cooperative Educational Services Educational Center for the Arts students D’Mahdnes Failey and Zoe Oliver placed second and first, respectively.  D’Mahdnes performed a monologue from Measure for Measure and Sonnet 53.  Zoe performed Sonnet 71 and a monologue from King Henry VI, Part III.  Zoe will advance to the ESU National Shakespeare Competition at the Lincoln Center in New York, New York May 1 through May 3.

Sacred Heart freshman Isabel Davenport, Middle School Drama teacher Miss Michaela Gorman, and junior Elizabeth Bachmann meet outside the Greenwich Library at the end of the competition. Izzy Sio '16
Sacred Heart freshman Isabel Davenport, Middle School Drama teacher Miss Michaela Gorman, and junior Elizabeth Bachmann meet outside the Greenwich Library at the end of the competition.
Izzy Sio ’16

The judges awarded Greenwich Academy student Kate Connors, who performed a monologue from King John and Sonnet 130, with an honorable mention.  Greenwich Academy student Sarah Gold ranked third in the competition for her performance of Sonnet 71 and a monologue from Two Noble Kinsmen.  
Miss Gorman is proud of the various performances in the competition, particularly Elizabeth’s and Isabel’s.
“This competition is entirely voluntary, so to see the work that students have willingly put into their performances is incredible,” Miss Gorman said.  “They have nothing but passion for what they are doing, and that is so apparent in their acting. It takes real courage to get up and perform at a competition, let alone perform as well as Elizabeth and Isabel did. I have so much admiration and respect for them; I could not be more proud.”
– Izzy Sio, Co-Arts and Entertainment Editor and Co-Photo Editor