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West Point Cadets: Shakespearean Monologue Competition

This past February, the HVSF team visited the United States Military Academy at West Point for our annual workshop with the cadets. Each year, the department of English and Philosophy hosts a Shakespeare monologue performance as the culminating competition for their introductory literature course (EN102).

Typically, the competition is held on campus near the end of the semester with 10 cadets performing in-person monologues in front of judges from HVSF. Each instructor of EN102, nominates one cadet to compete in the contest based on how they perform when reciting memorized monologues in class during the semester. The department then holds quarterfinals and semifinals to choose the top 10 who compete on Projects Day for a chance to be named Academy Idol.

With the students spread throughout the country, the department hosted a virtual contest and had competitors submit videos. The competition was opened up to the entire class and 67 cadets made monologue videos. They were encouraged to be as creative as possible in the confines of their homes!

We are loving the inventiveness of these students — their staging, costumes, and enlistment family members to present these monologues in new ways! See the selected top 12 performances, including Cadet Hannah Lamb, who secured 1st place in the competition for her rousing Iago performance:


Take a look back at our workshop with the cadets earlier this year

Group photo of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Teaching Artists.

The HVSF teaching artists gathering for a quick (and chilly!) group photo as they arrive on the West Point Campus. Photo by Marie D’Apice.

Cadets jump off the ground during a physical Shakespeare workshop with the HVSF team. Photo by Marie D’Apice.