Three Lahainaluna students performed Shakespeare monologues during a Feb. 4 national competition that helps students develop communication skills and appreciate the power of language and literature. Maui’s 2015 first place winner, Stephanie Haro, will now vie for a win in the community-level competition on Oahu; if Haro succeeds, she will go on to the national competition in New York.
“The annual Shakespeare monologue competition is one of the ESU’s several programs that provides the aforementioned educational and cultural opportunities for the student,” stated a Feb. 18 news release from the West Maui nonprofit Theatre Theatre Maui. “Lahainaluna English Teacher, Ryan Granillo, and Shakespeare Coach, Katherine Cloutier, who is contracted with Theatre Theatre Maui, have worked hard since last Winter to prepare the students for their school competition, and that work definitely shined in the performances of all three talented performers.”
Each year, approximately 15,000 students and 2,000 teachers participate in the competition. The ESU competition was designed to provide teachers with a performance-based program for the study of English Language Arts and Shakespeare. It’s a school-based program serving grades 9-12. The competition has engaged more than 250,000 students since its inception in 1983.
The competition was judged by three active members of Maui’s drama community: Michael Pulliam, Gary Shin-Leavitt and Ute Finch. The judges evaluated each student’s performance based on criteria set forth by the ESU. Shin-Nelson said all three judges were very impressed with the students’ performances. He said Haro–and her Lahainaluna competitors, Kainoa Reponte and Konala Frohib Bagoyo–would be a welcome addition to Maui’s theater community.
Photo of Stephanie Haro with Lahainaluna teacher Ryan Granillo: Angie Thompson/Theatre Theatre Maui