Brush up your Shakespeare at Utah contest

Sunday , October 08, 2017 - 12:00 AM

TX. Correspondent

**Editor’s note: The original version of this story included an incorrect name of the founder of the Utah Shakespeare Festival and an incorrect founding date. The Standard-Examiner regrets the errors.

To be or not to be, that is the question.

And if all the world’s a stage, then Cedar City is the place to be for the annual Utah Shakespeare Festival and the 41st Shakespeare Competition.

Students at schools from all over Utah flock to Cedar City to compete in acting, singing, dancing, instrumental, improvised theater and technical competition. In recent years, this competition has grown so large that even schools from outside Utah are sending students.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival was started by Fred C. Adams in 1961 as a small, localized event in Cedar City celebrating the life and works of William Shakespeare.

The festival soon began growing in popularity and later the Utah Shakespeare Competition for young people was created and added. This contest is open to junior high and high school students and gives kids the chance to have their work judged by professionals.

This year’s 41st annual competition was held Sept. 28-30 on the campus of Southern Utah University. Over the course of the event, students competed to win in their respective events and bring glory to their school.

Students were also able to take part in various workshops including everything from how to “fight” in stage combat to how to rock an audition.

There was much talent in the competition this year and the scores were so close that it was a matter of a few points that made the difference between winning and losing. Many judges said that it was hard to choose which schools ranked higher. They were all on the same level.

One of the best things about the competition is the sense of camaraderie that the schools show toward each other. Most schools are very supportive of the other schools and the students even socialize with students from other schools.

The Utah Shakespeare Competition is one of the biggest competitions in theater in the Western United States. This year, there were more schools from out-of-state than ever before. This event celebrating the works of The Bard is well attended and includes a lot of talent.

Kade Combe is a junior at DaVinci Academy. He loves the theater, arts and technology; his favorite subject is history. Contact him at

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