Abigail Venskus, a sophomore at John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix, recently competed in the 26th annual Shakespeare Competition held at Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage.
The public-speaking contest, which is conducted by the Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, commemorated William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.
Venskus, a winner of her local school competition, attended a workshop for Syracuse’s competitors on Feb. 25 at Syracuse University’s Storch Theatre. There she was critiqued on her chosen monologue and sonnet.
At the regional competition, Venskus was asked to recite her monologue and sonnet in front of a panel of judges. She competed against 19 other contestants, other high school students from around Central New York.
The purpose of the competition is to develop student’s understanding of Shakespeare and his universality.
Although Venskus did not place in the regional competition, she is thankful for the opportunity.
Venskus’ journey with Shakespeare does not end there. She participates in the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival theater camp every summer at Thornden Park.
Children learn old English dances, join in acting games, paint sets and are given parts in two-scene plays. Past productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which shee played the character Bottom.
Venskus is also a member of the Birdlebough Drama Club and marching band.