Students participate in Shakespeare competition

William Shakespeare lives on at Lahainaluna High School, where students participated recently in the school’s annual Shakespeare Monologue Competition.

Competitors presented fully memorized monologues of 20 lines from the works of the prolific playwright.

Bailey Pendergast, a member of the LHS senior class, provided a winner’s rendition as Hamlet, garnering top honors in this year’s event held on campus.

Second place went to Esther Arvizu performing Leonato from “Much Ado About Nothing.” Third place was awarded to Carly Bierman, who also portrayed Hamlet.

Pendergast’s placement gives her an opportunity to participate in the state competition sponsored by the Hawaii branch of the English Speaking Union. Held on Oahu, contestants are required to present both a monologue and a selected sonnet from memory, and a first-place finish there earns an all-expenses-paid weekend to compete at the national level in New York City.

Pendergast said, “This was my second, and last, year participating in the monologue contest, so I chose Hamlet because I wanted to do a character I’d always loved. It’s always been such an amazing experience; it’s all about self-confidence and understanding where a character is coming from to portray them correctly.”

Fellow senior Arvizu added that “our English teachers have been right all along: Shakespeare is universal and most definitely timeless. I never realized how much I’d enjoy his work! This Shakespeare Competition was a great experience that I’d recommend to anyone.”

LHS teachers Aviva Bender-Tualemoso and Terri Simms made the event possible through after-school meetings, with added coaching assistance from Katherine Cloutier, whose services were provided through Theatre Theatre Maui.

This year the panel of three judges consisted of ‘Ute Finch, Kristi Scott and AnnMarie Wilder, whose job was to observe the students’ performances, rate their stage presence and delivery of Shakespeare’s words and provide constructive feedback.

All participants received certificates of achievement for their efforts. As a gift from Theatre Theatre Maui, Arvizu and Bierman each received copies of Shakespeare’s complete works; Pendergast, having received the book last year for her third-place award, received a Barnes & Noble gift card of equal value.

Theatre Theatre Maui is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the performing arts to the youth and adults of the West Maui community, and annually it provides a summer youth dramatic arts program. For more information regarding Theatre Theatre Maui, call 661-1168 or e-mail