Delilah Delgado ’21 loves Shakespeare, and it shows. After winning the Bishop’s annual competition in February, she competed in the San Diego county competition on March 22, taking first place honors and earning a slot in the national competition in April.
“Delilah performed at the regional competition against other school winners from around San Diego county and she took first place! In a normal year, Delilah would advance to the national competition with a trip to New York. This year, she will still compete nationally in a virtual competition at the end of April,” says performing arts teacher Samantha Howard.
For the first round, the student actors could watch all the contestants’ performances. Delilah says that “was really incredible as they were all so talented!” She performed a monologue as Phoebe from the play “As You Like It” as well as Sonnet #62. Judges narrowed the field of competitors down to three; Delilah and two others “were given 10 minutes to prepare to ‘cold-read’ another monologue that was screen-shared with us, which turned out to be a speech by Ariel from “The Tempest.”
Delilah explains, “I have been raised in a family that loves Shakespeare and has taught me to really value his work. I grew up reading Lamb’s “Shakespeare for Children,” and for the past eight years or so, my family has gone to the Old Globe each summer and watched all their Shakespeare performances. I think from this experience (and from performing as a part of “Twelfth Night” at Bishop’s last year), I've gained a deeper understanding of just how brilliant and nuanced Shakespeare was with words—that shifting the stress of a word or breaking the rhythmic pattern he’s created can change the meaning of an entire phrase. It’s been really incredible to explore that!”
She adds, “I have always loved participating in the Shakespeare competition at Bishop’s. Although it’s technically a competition, I've never felt anything but supported and encouraged by my classmates—and it’s always so wonderful to see everyone's incredible performances! It was definitely quite a shift from “Chicago,” but a welcome one; I have equally loved being a part of both those experiences.”
Typically, the national competition is held in New York City, but it will be virtual again this year. Delilah has submitted her final video to the English-Speaking Union (ESU) for evaluation. Links to contestants’ videos will be posted to the ESU website
this week, (the public will have the opportunity to vote for a “People’s Choice”) and 10 finalists will be announced by Monday, April 19. “The remote competition finals are tentatively scheduled for Monday, April 26,” according to the ESU website. Prizes (COVID-permitting) for the top three places are a spot in the British American Drama Academy Mid-Summer Conservatory Program (first place), a spot at the American Shakespeare Center Theater Camp (second place), and the third-place winner takes home $1,000.00.
Good luck, Delilah!