April 23 may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Joilynn Green from McCallum Fine Arts Academy it will be a day to remember forever. Joilynn, student of Joshua Denning, placed as a semifinalist at the 35th Annual National Shakespeare Competition on William Shakespeare’s birthday while competing against 55 students from around the US on stage at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater in Lincoln Center as the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

Prior to arriving in New York City for the competition, Joilynn wrote:
I’m just excited to be in New York in general, but the part I’m going to be looking forward to the most is just getting the chance to perform in the Lincoln Center! My favorite Shakespeare quotes are his insults! The most iconic to me is probably “If her breath were as bad as her words there’d be non living near her, she’d infect all to the North Star” – Much Ado About Nothing

To qualify for the National Shakespeare Competition finals, Joilynn won the regional ESU Austin Branch Shakespeare Competition on January 9, 2018.

Each year, more than 20,000 high school students participate in the English in Action National Shakespeare Competition at the school, regional and national levels through the help of more than 2,500 teachers and 55 ESU branches nationwide. As part of the competition, students perform a monologue and recite a sonnet from Shakespeare and are judged on their understanding of their selected texts and on their ability to communicate their interpretation to the audience. Through this school-based program, students in grades 9-12 develop critical thinking and speaking skills and increase their self-confidence through the performance of Shakespeare’s work.