Sicily Hawley-Hayes wins ESU Shakespeare Monologue Competition


MSA sophomore Sicily Hawley-Hayes wins ESU Shakespeare Monologue Competition. She will represent MSA at the regional competition at the American Shakespeare Center Blackfriars Playhouse on February 10. Sicily performed Romeo's "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" monologue from Act 2 of Romeo & Juliet. 

Sicily was one of ten students to compete in the school competition. The runner-up was Brenden Miller (10th grade) and third place went to Maria Nimmo (12th grade). 


The Charlottesville Branch of the English Speaking Union supports an annual Shakespeare Monologue competition for students in the area. MSA students have been participating in the competition since 2007. 

About ESU Shakespeare Competition

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition provides teachers across the country with a performance-based program for the study of English Language Arts and Shakespeare. It is a school-based program serving Grades 9-12. Through the Competition, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. The Competition has engaged more than 300,000 young people since its inception in 1983.

Through the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, students:

  • develop essential skills: critical thinking, close reading and public speaking
  • increase self-confidence through reading, analysis and performance of Shakespeare
  • explore the beauty of Shakespeare's language and classic themes
  • bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity
  • meet local, state and national standards in English Language Arts and Drama.

Students read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: at the school, community and national levels. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been recognized by the Globe Center (USA), the Children's Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement. Many distinguished judges have served on the Competition panels.

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