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Avery ’17 advances in Shakespeare competition

Avery '17 competes for Shakespeare competition
Avery ’17 competes for Shakespeare competition

Avery ’17 was chosen to represent Marlborough at the Shakespeare Competition after she performed her Ophelia monologue at the Shakespeare ASM on Monday, Feb. 13. Miranda ’17 and Hannah ’18 also performed monologues during the ASM, and the judges—performing arts instructor Gleason Bauer, English instructor Brett Quimby and performing arts instructor Doug Lowry— nominated Lauren ’19 as runner-up in second place. Avery, who has participated in the competition every year since 9th Grade, attended Regionals on Saturday, Feb. 15, representing Marlborough for the second time.

Avery’s experience with Shakespeare is extensive; she has participated in two Shakespeare plays at Marlborough, studied Shakespeare in Theater IV and interned at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival last summer. Avery said that her motivation for participating comes from her love of Shakespeare and enjoyment of performing.

“Everybody has something they really like and for me that’s Shakespeare; it’s always fun,” Avery said. “It’s vulnerable to go in front of 600 judgmental teenagers, people who don’t usually like Shakespeare, and try to connect with them, but what I find fun about it is taking…this very complicated, archaic text, and trying your best to make it simple…by the way you’re conveying it.”

Bauer said that she and the other judges nominated Avery and Lauren because of their confidence and understanding of their characters.

“Both Avery and Lauren had a firm grasp on the the language and its meaning, were well-acquainted with the characters and the context within which these characters were speaking, showed confidence on stage, and were highly invested on an emotional level,” Bauer said.

In the qualifying round of the competition, Avery performed Sonnet 138, as well as a reading she was given on the spot. Avery said she looksed forward to performing her sonnet and experiencing the diversity and camaraderie she enjoyed when she went to finals in 10th Grade [if] she goes to finals this year. 

“I really value the conversations I’ve had with students from all over the country or the state who have diverse points of view but come together over…Shakespeare. I’m looking forward to the free tee-shirt and the sonnet, which should be fun!” Avery said.