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As Hamlet, Gui Sequiera '24 Wins Our 2024 Shakespeare Competition!

After hours of rehearsal and research, our Lions showcased their Shakespearian sparks of genius in the semi-final round of the 2024 National Shakespeare Competition.

A Victor Emerges
This year, senior Gui Sequeira ’24 won the competition with a masterful rendition of one of the most well-known Shakespearean moments, Hamlet’s “To be or not to be,” placing his own interpretation on the Bard’s heartbreaking scene. In this soliloquy — found in Act II, Scene I of Hamlet — our titular protagonist has discovered a terrible truth: his father has been killed by his own brother, and Hamlet’s uncle. During this spiral of emotion, shock, and grief, Hamlet contemplates the meaning of life—and if it's worth living.

Gui and his 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 came together with Dwight in 1993. Dr. Beresford-Hill 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, this prestigious competition is celebrating its 40th anniversary year.

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 was especially excited this year, as we were able to return the competition to an in-person event, hosted by Michael Wiesenfeld, Head of the English Department; and judged by Brittany Dynan, Shellee Hendricks, Sarah Sculnick, and Terry Christgau.

We extend congratulations to all of our finalists listed below. The winner of each grade level is indicated with an asterisk (*). Congratulations to all!

Grade 9
Lillian Beal | Viola, Twelfth Night
Elizabeth Bogod | Shylock, The Merchant of Venice
*Willem Kraaijeveld | Lysander, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Grade 10
*Ella Knox | Mark Antony, Julius Caesar
Michelle Zayons | Helena, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Oliver Wyatt | Mark Antony, Julius Caesar

Grade 11
MacPhee Gleason | Mark Antony, Julius Caesar
*Olivia Beal | Goneril, King Lear
Grade 12
Zachary Gindi-Chiafullo | Bottom, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Frances Gindi-Chiafullo | Helena, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Allegra Masterson | Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra
*Guilherme Sequeira | Hamlet, Hamlet