LAHAINA - Lahainaluna High School recently held the annual school English Speaking Union Shakespeare Monologue Competition with the assistance of Theatre Theatre Maui and Shakespeare Coach Katherine Cloutier, who was accompanied and assisted by actor Rick Schneideman.
The judges were three well-known Maui theatre actors: Bunt Burkhalter, Ute Finch and Michael Pulliam. Pulliam and Finch have judged the competition at Lahainaluna several times, and this year marks Burkhalter's first time judging the contest.
The talented seven-student team - comprised of Emily Lorenz-Bradley, Zoe Hirschon, Kesha Pierson, Kuuipoikaheepueone Gouveia, Shawn Rabino, Erin Nishimura and Valeria Arnaez - was cheered on by Shan Stewart, their advisor and drama teacher, and the entire Lahainaluna Drama Class.
Seven Lahainaluna High School students participated in the monologue competition.
With an impressive bundle of student talent and the expert leadership and training provided by Stewart, Cloutier and Schneideman, the students brilliantly performed their chosen monologues before their audience of theatrical peers and judges.
Arnaez (who portrayed Desdemona) placed third, Hirschon (who portrayed Imogen) placed second, and ninth-grader Pierson placed first with her portrayal of Cleopatra.
Judge Burkhalter said, "It truly warms my heart to see these students spend the time and energy to meet, and better yet, to become masters of at least small segments of such a great body of English literature and drama. In my ever-humble opinion, Shakespeare was the most significant and important person of his century, and it is so gratifying to see these students dig in and appreciate his art."
Theatre Theatre Maui is proud of each and every student who performed, stating: "With the level of talent we saw this year, we can't wait to see what the students bring us next year! We are sure the bard would be proud."