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Shakespeare event

winners announced

The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank was host to the English Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition Feb. 5. More than 30 high school students from throughout the area battled for the honor to compete in the nationals at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Each student was asked to prepare and perform a Shakespearean monologue and a sonnet of 14 lines of their choice. Participants were judged on understanding of the monologue, communication to the audience, and overall presentation.

The judges included Dr. John Burke, director of theatre arts, Monmouth University; David J.V. Meenan, director of the Count Basie Theatre; Mimi Hughes, chairperson of the English Speaking Union; and Joe Barrone, Brookdale Community College.

The three-hour competition culminated in five finalists who are: in fifth place, Jeremy King, a sophomore at Central Regional High School, Bayville; fourth-place winner, Kevin Pertusiello of Hazlet, a senior at Raritan High School; third-place winner Bonnie Stryker of Middletown, a senior at Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver; second-place winner Kirstin Snyder of Millstone Township, a senior at Red Bank Regional High School; and grand-prize winner, Tiffini Davis of Englishtown, a junior at Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls.

The English Speaking Union also sponsors lectures by award-winning speakers on such subjects as King Arthur, Shakespeare, the new Euro currency, and sponsors scholarships for English teachers to study at the University of London and Oxford University.