• Feb. 22, 2018

    USC eighth grader wins Shakespeare monologue contest

    Anoushka Sinha  Fort Couch Middle School eighth grader Anoushka Sinha was named the monologue winner in the upper division of the 24th Annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. The Showcase of Finalists was held on Monday, Feb. 19, at the O’Reilly Theater in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

    Anoushka gave her winning performance as Helena in “All’s Well That Ends Well.” The youngest competitor in her division, she competed against seven other students in grades 10, 11 and 12. Anoushka received a leather-bound volume of Shakespeare's complete works as well as a flex subscription to Pittsburgh Public Theater’s next season.

    In addition, a team of Boyce Middle School students was one of five finalists in the Lower Division Scene category. Sixth graders Katie Kucherawy and Janelle Knierim performed a scene from “Romeo & Juliet.”

    In total, 50 Upper St. Clair School District students participated in the Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest – 27 were from Boyce, 17 from Fort Couch and six from the high school. Serving as sponsors were gifted education teachers Connie Gibson, Fort Couch Middle School and Upper St. Clair High School; Pat Palazzolo, Upper St. Clair High School; Jason O'Roark, Fort Couch Middle School; Sue Fleckenstein, Boyce Middle School; and Diane Ecker, Boyce Middle School.

    More than 1,200 students in grades 4-12 from nearly 100 area schools competed in the preliminary rounds in early February. Students could enter the monologue, scene or both portions of the contest in either the upper division (grades 8-12) or the lower division (grades 4-7).

    Coaching sessions are conducted in January and February in the schools and at the O'Reilly Theater. Contestants present their pieces in front of a panel of judges, and those who advance to the final round of the contest have the opportunity to perform at the Showcase of Finalists.

    According to the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s website, “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience the excitement of live performance while learning the works of William Shakespeare.”

    All participants receive a contest t-shirt and a voucher for two complimentary tickets to a Public Theater production.