Since 1983, approximately 250,000 students from public, independent and parochial high schools have explored the beauty and scope of Shakespeare's language through the National Shakespeare Competition.
Annually, 16,000 students and 2,000 teachers from 60 ESU Branches participate in a curriculum-based program designed to help high school students develop their communications skills and appreciation of language and literature, through the study, interpretation and performance of Shakespeare’s monologues and sonnets. Students participate in three qualifying stages at the school, Branch and national levels. The National Competition winner is awarded a full tuition scholarship to the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer Conservatory Program in Oxford, England.
Over the years, the program has been recognized by The Shakespeare Globe Centre (USA), the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, and the American Academy of Achievement, and has had many distinguished judges.
Additional information about the 2009 competition can be found here.