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The 2018 Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest is generously supported by


From 75 contestants the first year to over 1,000 participants this past season, the Shakespeare contest has become a much anticipated annual event. This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to experience the excitement of live performance while learning the works of William Shakespeare. The contest is open to students in grades 4-12. Students may enter the monologue, scene or both portions of the contest in either the upper division (grades 8-12) or the lower division (grades 4-7).

Coaching sessions are conducted in January and February in the schools and at the O'Reilly Theater. Contestants present their pieces on the Public's main stage in front of a panel of judges, and those who advance to the final round of the contest have the opportunity to perform at the Showcase of Finalists.

All participants receive a contest t-shirt and a voucher for two complimentary tickets to a Public Theater production. The Public also offers free orientation sessions for first-time participating teachers and their students.


Coaching: January 8 - February 2, 2018

Preliminary Round: February 5-15, 2018

Showcase of Finalists: February 19, 2018


Registration for the 2018 Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest is now open to schools. Teachers, please sign up HERE.

Registration for the 2018 Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest is now open for Individuals. Parents, please sign your child up HERE.


Students sometimes view Shakespeare as remarkably dull and inaccessible.  But Shakespeare Competition participants know better.  They search out the perfect scene:  the drunken sandbag duel, the washed ashore coffin containing an undead beauty, bad actors putting on a play to impress royalty.  Then they bring that scene to life, filling the characters with quirks and peccadilloes, defining action (swordfights, swoons, stumbles, the arched eyebrow, the pregnant pause), then action with words, well-enunciated words that can actually be heard by the judges.  It's creative.  It requires teamwork.  It's a whole lot of fun, and not for the faint of heart.

The staff's commitment to introducing Shakespeare to a younger generation is enormously inspiring. The individual attention paid to each and every performance [during the contest] is remarkable. Kids develop an appreciation for classical theater, and they enjoy it. I've gained wonderful memories, friendships, and performance opportunities that I will never forget.

The Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest has been, without doubt, the highlight of my entire theater experience in junior high and high school. I have learned more about the performing arts from my participation in the program than from any other source. Pittsburgh Public Theater dedicates a lot of time and effort to the education of young people.

To be able to get up and perform on the amazing O'Reilly stage is a cool thing all by itself. But then you add Shakespeare to that! Although the language is old, Shakespeare could never get old--not when the stories are still relevant and there are kids like me participating in the Shakespeare competition. This competition is a wonderful opportunity for students to truly try something new.

Additional underwriting by:


5_-_BNY 8_-_Grable