Wingate University holds national Shakespeare competition
Every year, Wingate University and the English-Speaking Union of the United States encourage middle and high school students to show off their acting talents by sponsoring the National Shakespeare Competition.
The competition was held Tuesday, Feb. 15, in Wingate University’s Fine Arts Center. More than 270 high school and middle school students from Union and Mecklenburg counties entered with pieces from plays such as “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar” and “Henry IV.” Students were asked to prepare two selections to recite: a sonnet written by Shakespeare and a 15-to-20-line portion of a Shakespearean play.
The day began at 11 a.m. when contestants were separated into groups of seven or eight and began the preliminary round of the competition, with performing in front of Wingate student and faculty judges. After the first round, judges awarded plaques to the top six finishers in the high-school division and the top eight finishers in the middle-school division. Each finalist then performed in front of judges and their peers.
Michael Heath, from Albemarle Road Middle School, in Charlotte, took home first place in his division, followed by Colter Corish, of Charlotte Christian, in second place.
The other middle-school winners were: Kiara Cox, also of Albemarle Road, third; Jonathon Walls, J.M. Robinson, Charlotte, fourth; and Leah Mill, Crestdale Middle, Matthews, fifth. Maddie Coggin of Community House in Charlotte and Faith Hanegraaff of Charlotte Christian received honorable mentions.
Claire Hilton, a senior at Charlotte Christian, took first place in the high school division of the competition. She won a Wingate University scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to New York City, where she will participate in the National Shakespeare Recitation Contest in April. This is not Hilton’s first year competing, but it is the first time she’s taken first place for her scene from “Henry VI.”
Zachary White, a junior at Charlotte Christian, placed second for his scene from “Romeo and Juliet.”
The other high-school divisions winners were: Colin Thomas Moore, Damara Garcia and Alexander Gagne, all students from Charlotte’s Northwest School of the Arts.
Because of their hard work and talent, Wingate officials awarded performing-arts scholarships to the five high-school winners.