Lahainaluna High School held its annual English Speaking Union Shakespeare Monologue Competition on Feb. 17 with the assistance of Theatre Theatre Maui and Shakespeare coach Katherine Cloutier. Coach Cloutier was accompanied and assisted by actor Rick Schneideman. The students were also encouraged by their drama teacher Shan Stewart and the entire Lahainaluna drama class.
The seven student team was comprised of Emily Lorenz-Bradley, Zoe Hirschon, Kesha Pierson, Kuuipoikaheepueone Gouveia, Shawn Rabino, Erin Nishimura, and Valeria Arnaez. Ninth grader Pierson placed 1st with her portrayal of Cleopatra. Arnaez (who portrayed Desdemona) placed 3rd, and Hirschon (who portrayed Imogen) placed 2nd.
The students performed their chosen monologues before an audience of theatrical peers and judges. Three well-known Maui drama actors–Bunt Burkhalter, Ute Finch and Michael Pulliam–were this year’s judges. Pulliam and Finch have judged the competition at Lahainaluna several times. This year marks Burkhalter’s first time on the judging panel.
“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,” Burkhalter said. “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.”
Photo courtesy Theatre Theatre Maui