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Poetry Out Loud Competition March 13

Poetry Out Loud Competition March 13

The Poetry Out Loud State Final Competition Welcomes
Acclaimed Poet, Kwame Alexander
Students Vie for the National Final Competition and
Top Prize of $20,000
Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Poetry Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts and Virginia Repertory Theatre will host the Poetry Out Loud State Final Competition on Thursday, March 13,2014, at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, 114 West Broad Street, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Kwame Alexander, poet, author, and playwright will recite a poem at the competition and serve as one of the judges. Alexander is the author of fourteen books including Crush: Love Poems for Teenagers, and is the current Poet Laureate of LitWorld, a literacy organization dedicated to supporting the development of literacy in the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The Poetry Out Loud event is free and open to the public.

Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest promotes the art of poetry in the classroom and the community and encourages students, grades 9-12, to learn great works through memorization and recitation. The Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) in partnership with the national organizations appointed Virginia Repertory Theatre to administer Poetry Out Loud throughout the Commonwealth because of the statewide reach Virginia Rep enjoys through in-school touring programs.

Poetry Out Loud serves as an entry point for students to learn and love poetry. Much like a spelling bee, the process begins at the classroom level with students progressing to the school, regional and then state
competition. Over 7,000 students from 46 Virginia high schools from 30 school districts participated in 2014.

The VCA invites other professional theatres in Virginia to host the regional contest such as the Wolf Trap in Vienna, American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Signature Theatre in Arlington, the Virginia Stage Company at the Wells Theatre in Norfolk and The Children’s Theatre of Virginia in Richmond. The State Final competition will feature fourteen regional winners (see names below) who will each recite three poems. The judges will score contestants in seven areas; physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy of memorization. The winner on March 13 will proceed to the National Competition in Washington DC in April to compete
for the top prize of $20,000. For more information on Poetry Out Loud contact Ronnie Brown at 800-
235-8687 or visit

Regional Poetry Out Loud Winners

Region 2
The Prizery, South Boston, VA (CXLD)
Ade Tate from Halifax County HS
John Conner from Halifax County HS

Region 3
American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, VA
Ben Elliot from Grace Christian School
Annika Darcus from Broadway HS

Region 4a
Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Vienna, VA
Grace Burgess from Washington-Lee HS
Hailey Scherer from Flint Hill school

Region 4b
Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA
James Smith from Tuscarora HS
Jase Davis from Fredericksburg Academy

Region 5a
The Children’s Theatre of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Marta Regn from The Miller School of Albermarle
Isabelle Andrews from St. Catherine’s School

Region 5b
The Children’s Theatre of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Sheniah Williams from Varina HS
Saunders Ruffin from St. Christopher’s School

Region 6
Virginia Stage Company, Norfolk, VA
Maggie Pecsok from Norfolk Academy
Hosanna High from High Homeschool

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