Student wins regional Shakespeare competition


Courtesy of the ESSUS

Carlo Zenner, senior, is the winner of the Midwest Regional Shakespeare Competition.

While most students dread the day that marks the beginning of the Shakespeare unit in English class, Carlo Zenner, senior, found a passion through it. After months of practice, Zenner competed in the Regional Shakespeare Competition where he was named the Chicago Branch Shakespeare Winner.

The competition, held on Feb. 22, was the next step after winning the in-school contest in November. With the help from English teachers Mr. Palmquist and Ms. Lundin, Zenner selected a monologue from Julius Caesar and Sonnet 55.

“The competition itself made me nervous because theater usually isn’t competitive. I wasn’t expecting to win, I just wanted to do my best and have fun,” Zenner said.

Six finalists were chosen and from there the final three were announced. In the audience sat an ambassador from Pakistan and a director from the Goodman Theater as well as some other notable guests. Contestants were dressed nicely and refreshments were served creating a welcoming atmosphere.

Winners of each branch, such as Zenner, are eligible to participate in a national competition in New York City where prizes are scholarships and trips to Shakespeare’s hometown.

“[This experience] has affected me positively because it made my passion for theater more legitimate. It’s definitely something I want to continue with in the future,” Zenner said.

As for the national competition held in May, Zenner is busy rehearsing the same monologue and sonnet, as well as preparing for a cold read.

“I would encourage others next year to get involved because it’s a great way to meet other people who enjoy theater. I would also urge other actors who think Shakespeare is scary to try it out because it really isn’t,” Zenner said.