South Mountain Performing Arts Magnet Students Attend Shakespeare Competition in Cedar City, Utah

Posted by Community Relations on 10/22/2014

The South Mountain Performing Arts magnet continued a fall tradition attending the Shakespeare Competition in Cedar City, Utah.  This year, 31 South students were among the 3,000 high school students from throughout the western United States converging on the Southern Utah University campus, October 9-11. 


“We love the festival. I think it’s a fabulous learning opportunity, and a lot of my students have never been out of Phoenix before,” said Drama teacher Susan St. John, who has made the 9-hour bus ride for 19 consecutive years. 


This year’s contingent from South was the largest ever. Students Trevon Powell and Brianna Shaw were pictured rehearsing a scene from “A Comedy of Errors” on front page of the Cedar City Spectrum Newspaper. 


“It is a really good opportunity to go out there and be able to express your talent with other students from other states and other schools,” Powell said on her first visit. 


Shaw, a junior, has been coming to the competition since she was a freshman. “I feel like I am maturing more. This is my first time actually doing a scene. I’ve always sung or did a dance,” she told the paper. 


The students compete as actors, dancers, musicians and theatre technicians before panels of theatre, dance and music professionals from the Utah Shakespeare Festival. It is the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country. Each participating school is invited to prepare up to three monologues, two duo/trio scenes and an ensemble scene, as well as interpretive dance, minstrel and madrigal music set to Shakespeare’s text, sonnets or poems,  and several presentations in technical theatre. 


South finished 4th in Dance, and 5th in Improvisation out of 19 schools, and received five “Superior” ratings and 15 “Excellent” ratings.