Shakespeare performances conclude year-long house competition

NORTH SHELBY – Westminster School at Oak Mountain’s year-long competition among the school’s four “houses” culminated with Shakespeare performances—and a win for House Tolkien.

All students in Westminster’s “Upper School,” which includes middle school and high school grade levels, are plugged into one of the four houses named for classic writers and theologians: Augustine, Calvin, Dante and Tolkien.

Each house has about 60 students from seventh through 12th grades.

Competitions among the houses are held throughout the year, including everything from Ultimate Frisbee to poetry, said Ben Burgess, middle school dean and head of the house system.

“It kind of ends in our 10-minute Shakespeare play competition,” Burgess said.

Weeks if not months in advance, representatives of each house choose a Shakespeare work and select the house members that will be involved in the production.

Students memorize the lines, design the costumes and build the sets.

“The cool part is, just about half of our Upper School is involved in this,” Burgess said. “The students here are really well-rounded. Some of our stars from our soccer team are involved with that—it’s not just drama students.”

The plays were performed on Tuesday, April 25, with faculty members serving as judges.

The results of the Shakespeare competition and the overall competition were decided on Friday, April 29, with House Tolkien taking honors in both thanks to its performance of “Macbeth.”

“Winning is a pride thing,” Burgess said. “At the end of the school year, we’ll present the House Cup as part of Awards Day. Everybody is really into it.”

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