Shakespeare contestants show their dramatic skills

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Photo taken by Tina Keshishian

Competitor Mika Stanghill keeps the judges engaged.

Alec Badalian, Film/Staff Writer

As the auditeria began to fill with the sounds of performers warming up their voices, channeling different octaves, the judges prepared themselves for their stage pieces. Though there were just four competitors this year, Clark’s second Shakespearean monologue competition, sponsored by the English Speaking Union, held on Feb. 3, was exciting nonetheless, allowing students to express their artistic capabilities. It was won by junior Zachary Blue, who will advance to a district-wide competition where he will compete against students from other schools on Feb. 21 at Marlborough High School.

Supervised by Jennifer Davis, the contest’s four competitors consisted of junior Zachary Blue, senior Ainsley Dye, junior Mika Stanghill and senior Iren Baghdasaryan. Judging the performers were Clark faculty Lauren Hilmar-Braga, Conrad Pruitt, Stephanie Sajjadieh, Nyrie Gharibian, Fred Blattner, Eric Kursinski and Victoria Marcucci.

Beginning the competition was second-year competitor Zachary Blue, as he performed a scene from Othello. “The process of becoming another character, another person, is a valuable learning experience,” he said after his performance. “There aren’t as many people doing it this year, which made it quite different. But I’d like to see more people do it next year because it really is fun.”

Winner Zachary Blue performs a scene from Othello.
Photo taken by Tina Keshishian
Winner Zachary Blue performs a scene from Othello.

Following him was Ainsley Dye and her scene from Hamlet, which included various physical gestures and tonal shifts. Then came Mika Stanghill and her excerpt from Coriolanus, which involved walking expressively towards the audience. Finally, Iren Baghdasaryan performed a scene from Taming of a Shrew, which was perhaps the most physical performance of all, using hand gestures and kneeling.