Anna Sheehan '21 Wins State Shakespeare Competition
"I first fell in love with Shakespeare in sixth grade at Montrose, when we performed scenes of A Midsummer Night's Dream in groups. We got to both take charge of our learning and receive thoughtful guidance from our teacher," commented Anna after she won the State competition.
In the annual English Speaking Union State Shakespeare Competition, held virtually on Saturday, February 13, Anna represented the organization’s Boston Branch. She earned top honors among the seven statewide finalists with her dramatic interpretations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet monologues and Sonnet 2. She now heads to the national round, also to be held remotely this year, scheduled for April 26.
“My English classes and the performing arts at Montrose prepared me to dig deep into a text and to discover the meaning of Shakespeare’s words,” Anna said. “I’ve learned basically every acting skill I have from performing in the shows at Montrose and from Mrs. [Natalie] Locke’s acting class.”
Representing Montrose in the annual contest since her freshman year, this is Anna's first state-level win, having advanced to the Branch level in 2020. Yet this is not the first time Montrose will have been represented at the competition’s national level.
“We help encourage students to take risks and to showcase their talents. It’s about Anna — and other students’ — initiative and effort that is the difference maker,” said Humanities Coordinator Barbara Whitlock. “Our rich liberal arts program inspires young women to keep reaching beyond the classroom. They take the leaps and put in the hard work to turn these leaps into golden parachutes!”
Acting teacher Natalie Locke echoed those comments. "I'm so proud of Anna for preparing well and relying on what we've been working on in our Upper School Acting elective. Knowing how hard she works, I'm not surprised that she's moving on to nationals ... I have all the confidence in the world that she can hold her own in the competition."
Of Anna's win, Montrose Head of School, Dr. Karen Bohlin, said, “Anna is a dedicated thespian. She has lit up our stage in many a role here at Montrose performing minor as well as lead parts with equal passion. We love seeing the way she brings Shakespeare to life and are very proud of her enormous accomplishment in the ESU Competition."