The WV Youth Shakespeare Competition







Solo Acting (monologue)

Duet Acting (2 person scene)

Ensemble Acting (3 person scene)



All students in the West Virginia Youth Shakespeare Competition should meet the following eligibility requirements. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that the students participating in the competition are eligible.

Contestants must be enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades or the equivalent for home school students.

Students are eligible to participate in one (1) Solo Acting entry, up to two (2) Duet Acting entries, and one (1) Ensemble Acting entry.



The participation fee for students is $10 for the first entry and $5 for each additional entry.

For example, if a student enters a monologue and participates in an ensemble scene, then his/her entry fee would be $15.



All selections must be from the plays of William Shakespeare. Click HERE for a list of possible selections. 

Solo Acting entries must be 1 to 2 minutes in length.

Duet & Ensemble Acting entries must be 3 to 5 minutes in length.

Timing begins after the introduction.

For Solo Acting, feel free to combine two or more short speeches from the same scene or make an internal cut, as long as connections are smooth and logical. Internal cuts are permitted in Duet & Ensemble Acting scenes as well. Students are not required to pick material specific to his/her gender.



Students should choose roles that they can connect with and feel comfortable with.

Students must familiarize themselves with the entire play and understand how each monologue and/or scene fits into the overall plot, themes, and mood of the script.

Students should be completely and comfortably memorized. Prompting or restarting will not be permitted.

Simple staging is best. A chair will be provided for use.

Students should hesitate to use props unless they are essential to the action and can be worn or carried on his/her person, such as a handkerchief, a watch, a letter in a pocket, a scarf, a jacket, etc.

Students should speak clearly and naturally; accents are permitted but not necessary. Judges will appreciate hearing the student’s voice.



Each entry will be performed twice at the competition.

Each entry will be assigned a number, such as “S1”, which should be used in the introduction in place of the students’ names.

A Solo Acting entry introduction should be “Hello, I am S1. My piece is from (title of play), Act (act number), Scene (scene number), and I will be playing (name of character).”

A Duet Acting or Ensemble Acting introduction should be, “Hello, we are D1. Our scene is from (title of play), Act (act number), Scene (scene number), and I will be playing (name of character), and I will be playing (name of character), etc. etc.”

Coaches, parents, classmates, and friends are permitted to watch each round of the competition as long as they maintain a quiet respect for each of the participants. Talking, clapping, cheering, and the taking of photos and/or video will not be permitted.



Each entry will receive written feedback.

Judges will be observing voice, movement, character, and text.

Each element will contribute to the overall effectiveness rating of Superior (4), Excellent (3), Good (2), or Fair (1).

The total score of each performance will be added together to determine the entry’s final score.

The top five scores in each category will receive recognition.

In addition to the individual awards, the school that amasses the most total points will be crowned the winner of The Battle of the Bard 2016!



Dress should be neat, comfortable, presentable, and relatively conservative.

Students should not try to costume themselves but should be mindful of what his/her character would or would not wear.

For boys, dress shirts, polo shirts, sweaters, and slacks work well. For girls, blouses, skirts, solid-color dresses, slacks, and flat shoes work well.



Students should bring cash to enjoy the concession stand and also to purchase Battle of the Bard and Rustic Mechanical merchandise.

Students may also want to bring a change of clothes so they can be as comfortable as possible throughout the entire day.




Comments are closed.