As Lady Macbeth, Mia Rasmussen ’25 Wins Our 2023 Shakespeare Competition!

When a dozen talented Dwight high school students faced off in the finals of this year’s Shakespeare Competition, sparks were flying! After grade-wide and semi-final rounds, they had impressed their English teachers, landing them in the culminating round and making it difficult for the judges to select a school-wide winner.

Our 2023 panel of judges included a former two-time Dwight Shakespeare champion himself, Bernardo Sequeira ’22, who won the New York City round of the national competition in 2020

It was sophomore Mia Rasmussen who clinched the title with her perfect rendition of Lady Macbeth. She, along with two other finalists, chose to interpret the same famously revealing monologue the Bard wrote for the brilliant and brutal Lady Macbeth from Act 5, Scene 1 of Macbeth. While sleepwalking, Lady Macbeth tries to wash the imaginary blood from her hands, implicating herself in the murder of Duncan, as she pleads in vain, “Out, damned spot; out, I say.”

Mia and her fellow Dwight competitors are just a few among 25,000 students across the country who participate in this event annually, which is not only a highlight of the academic calendar for our English Department, but also a very special tradition for our School. The event was launched by Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill MBE, former Head of the Anglo-American International School, which joined forces with Dwight in 1993. He also served as Head of the English Speaking Union, which has sponsored the nationwide competition since 1983, and introduced the oratory match-up at Anglo in 1975. Today, the ESU is celebrating the 40th anniversary year of this prestigious competition.

The rules require that students deliver passionate, compelling monologues without relying on accents, costumes, or props. Their performances are stripped down to showcase their mastery of the material and skills; they are judged on their voice, body movements, expression, and emotions. A number of contestants hone their acting sparks of genius in Dwight’s IB and after-school theater programs and productions. As they prepare for the finals, all are offered expert coaching from MYP and DP Theater Teacher Kim Guzowski, whose own passion for reading, performing, and directing Shakespeare is quite impressive.

Our community tuned into a YouTube premiere of the competition hosted by Michael Wiesenfeld, Head of the English Department; and judged by Laurel Aquadro, Dawn Kangas, Karen Ginman, and Terry Christgau, along with Bernardo, who is studying theater at Harvard.

We extend congratulations to all of our finalists listed below. The winner of each grade level is indicated with an asterisk (*). To watch their performances, click here.


Grade 9

Naila Broening-Chai*

Ella Knox

Oliver Wyatt


Grade 10

Olivia Beal

MacPhee Gleason

Mia Rasmussen*


Grade 11

Hayden Lucas

Allegra Masterson*

Brooke Radosevich


Grades 12

Ava Kimmel*

Julian Vasquez

Lily Ventura


Mia will now work with Mr. Christgau in preparation for the city-wide finals of the national competition and we wish her lion-size luck as she represents Dwight proudly next month!