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Holliston - Local Town Pages

Montrose School Senior Places Second In Nation

Holliston resident one of four winners of National Shakespeare Competition
Anna Sheehan, Montrose School class of 2021, won a top prize in the annual English Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition, held virtually on Monday, April 26. Representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the ESU’s Boston branch, Sheehan placed second among the 10 national finalists with her dramatic interpretations of Robin from 
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sonnet 2. Due to Covid, her prize will be finalized at a later time.
After competing in the annual contest since her freshman year at Montrose, Sheehan enjoyed her first appearance at the national level.
“The moment when I was most excited during the whole competition was when they announced that I made it to the finals. That meant I got to perform again,” she said.
Sheehan credits her Montrose education in helping her achieve her goal: “I thank every teacher who ever urged me to dig deeper in a text, to clarify my thinking, and, beyond the classroom, to empathize with and reach out to other people. It’s the others-centered attitude that Montrose fosters that allows me to understand people a little bit better, and when your environment leads you to understand people, there’s no limit to what you can uncover in a monologue, in a scene, or in the richest verse of Shakespeare.”
Montrose nominates a student annually to represent the school at the local competition, part of the school’s signature “7 Years of Shakespeare” program in which students study at least one of the Bard’s works each academic year.
“Honoring and experiencing Shakespeare fosters a wider working vocabulary, a greater sense of communicating with verbal imagery and enhanced reading comprehension,” noted Natalie Locke, Montrose drama director and English teacher.
These abilities worked in Anna’s favor in this year’s contest, Locke said. “Anna’s success stems in part from exceptional reading comprehension skills, necessary to understand where a character is coming from and the goal of a scene.”
Of Sheehan’s win, Montrose Head of School Dr. Karen Bohlin said, “We are so proud of Anna’s tenacity, persistence and preparation as she worked toward this monumental achievement. After watching her on the Montrose stage for seven years, we are excited to see the great things she will do in college and beyond.”