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Captivating audiences with a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Andy Shook from Aledo, a student of Don Carlson at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, placed as a semi-finalist at the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The competition was held on May 2 at Lincoln Center in New York City for 57 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Andy had won the ESU Ft. Worth Branch regional competition.

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a school-based program to help students develop their speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the beauty of the language and timeless themes in Shakespeare’s works. In three progressive competition levels, students memorize, interpret, and perform monologues and sonnets in their own schools, at ESU Branch sponsored community competitions and at the National Shakespeare Competition. Inaugurated in 1983, the program has engaged more than 250,000 young people.

As the winner of a local English-Speaking Union Branch Competition, Andy was awarded the trip to New York City for the final stage of the Competition. The ESU National Headquarters provided the Branch finalists with two full days of activities, including a visit to the Morgan Library & Museum’s exhibition The Changing Face of William Shakespeare, an acting workshop at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and tours of New York City. Perhaps best of all for these teenagers was the opportunity to spend a weekend in New York City with other students from across the country who share their love of theater, language and, particularly, Shakespeare.

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political educational organization whose mission is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members. The ESU carries out its work through a network of 70 U.S. Branches, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs. For information on joining the ESU, visit www.esuus.org and click on Join Us or call 212-818-1200.