Much Ado About Monologues

Ani Mosinyan , Staff Writer

“I always felt like I had some interest or affinity for acting and performing,” said sophomore Zachary Blue, as the judges prepared to watch the first contestants perform a 20-line monologue from one of William Shakespeare’s plays.

The Shakespeare Monologue Competition was held Feb. 7 in the auditeria, and judged by numerous Clark staff, including English teachers Stephanie Sajjadieh and Maral Guarino, Spanish teachers Lauren Hilmar-Braga and Victoria Marcucci, and Chemistry teacher Alex Day-Blattner. Blue recited a monologue performed in King Richard III, playing the king himself. Fellow competitors recited speeches from Julius Caesar, Othello and King Henry V.

Contestants were judged on their understanding of the monologue and their use of expression and communication. Many factors were taken into consideration, such as how well they understood Shakespeare’s language, the meaning of the speech, and also how well they executed the monologue vocally and physically.

“We had practices and run-throughs at lunch and enrichment, but they mostly had to work on this themselves,” said Humanities teacher Jennifer Davis, who coordinated the contest. Davis says she felt the event went very well and looks forward to starting earlier next year and improving further.

Of the seven participants, senior Issa Al Hadeed placed first and will go on to compete in the Los Angeles Competition, with Blue placing second, and sophomore Hayk Martirosyan finishing third. “I felt very relieved after it was all over; it was a gratifying experience,” said Hadeed, moments after he recited the monologue in King Richard. The next competition will be held at Marlborough High School in Los Angeles, on Feb. 22.

Other contestants included Irene Baghdarsaryan, John Bandek, Zachary Blue, Dianna Khudoyan, Hayk Martirosyan and Nairi Simonyan. Sophomore Mika Stanghill was absent at the time the contest took place.