Jack Morrill, Class of 2019, has qualified to compete at the national level of The English Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Jack performed his Shakespearean monologue for judges at the North Coast Repertory Theatre along with other high school theater students from across the San Diego County. Jack placed first, which moves him on to the national stage in New York City. Pictured above, Jack receives his first place certificate alongside fellow theater student from La Jolla Country Day who took second place that evening.

The ESU’s National Shakespeare Competition brings together theater students in Grade 9 to 12 from across the nation to celebrate English Language Arts and Shakespeare. Through the competition, the union hopes students gain valuable communications skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature.

To qualify for the national competition, students must advance through two qualifying stages held at their school and at their community. In January, Parker’s advanced theater students performed their Shakespearean monologues for a panel of ESU judges. Jack Morrill took first place, which advanced him to the county competition; Zoë Wallace, Class of 2021, received second place; and Maria Burritt, Class of 2020, received third place.

As the winner of the San Diego County competition, Jack Morrill receives an all-expenses-paid trip to New Your City to compete against more than 20,000 other Shakespearean enthusiasts this April. The winner of the national competition will receive a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Young Actors’ Summer School in London, England.