ESU Shakespeare competition widens student’s view

Megan Stoerman , Reporter

Shakespeare has touched the hearts of many throughout the ages.

Every year The English-Speaking Union, or ESU, at the Kansas City branch puts on a Shakespeare competition highlighting and encouraging students to “develop their communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature,” according to their website.

Olathe South student Aliyah Pullin, freshman, participated in the competition on Feb. 25 at the Plaza Library and qualified for this contest because she won the school’s contest. Pullin became interested and passionate in Shakespeare when she “started watching Shakespeare in the Park” and her love grew from there.

She said that the atmosphere was “pretty accepting” and that she felt very welcomed because “theatre people are very accepting.”

She found her fellow competitors very accepting even though she was a freshman amongst upperclassmen. The competition is meant to challenge students’ Shakespeare skills and to develop more acting skills. Pullin had “a lot of fun” and enjoyed “meeting other people.”

After the competition was over, the judges critiqued and praised the students’ performances. Pullin “learned how to form sonnets, more on-stage presence, and projection.”

These are skills that will come in very handy in the future as she progresses to other competitions in high school. She looks forward to “getting better throughout” high school.

ESU was founded by Sir Evelyn Wrench and his friends in order to keep personal friendships and national ties from World War I and pursue an educational mission.