From Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, Southern Utah University’s campus was overrun by high school students competing in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 46th annual Shakespeare Competition.
The competition allows Utah high schoolers to perform in SUU’s theatre spaces and be judged by SUU faculty and others with industry experience. SUU theatre department students work at the competition to keep it running smoothly.
“It’s kind of scary at first because you’re performing a piece that hopefully they’ll like, but it’s really fun because they have really good feedback and can teach you things before you even go to college,” said Landon Bulloch, a senior from Wasatch High School.
In addition to competing, high schoolers got the opportunity to watch both their peers and SUU students perform. On Thursday, Sept. 29, a performance of “Macbeth” was performed for the high schoolers, giving them the chance to see the quality of theatre offered at SUU.
“Everybody puts in so much work, and it’s a place where people tell you your scene or costume was really good,” said Wasatch High School senior Shelby Magnusson.
The competition doubles as a chance for SUU to recruit, as many current students in the theatre department competed in the Shakespeare Competition when they were in high school.
“It was nice to get to know a little bit about the area and get to know the campus a bit better, so that if I do choose to come here, I know the format better,” said Cedar Valley High School junior Brett Beatty.
Some students even attend the competition without the intention of attending SUU only to end up considering it. Contrastingly, the competition allows students who have always taken interest in SUU to experience the campus and theatre community.
“This is a school that I’ve always wanted to go to ever since I was little and I’d come to the Shakespeare Festival during the summer. When I got the opportunity to come and compete, it felt like the right college for me,” said Bulloch. “I kind of consider it the Juilliard of Utah.”
Article by: Tessa Cheshire
Photos by Bria Hansen