William Shakespeare’s works are a critical component of any student’s English education. Thanks to a gracious gift from Dr. Alan Jeffrey, Blair students have the opportunity to experience the full impact of Shakespeare beyond his written words. Dr. Jeffrey, father of Blair alumnus Aron Jeffrey ’94, dedicated the Edyth Jeffrey Shakespeare Prize in memory of his mother, a life-long lover of Shakespeare.
“At Blair, Shakespeare is studied in all grade levels, and the prize recognizes students with the best analytical or expository essays on his work,” said English department chair Robert Branwood. “This competition gives us the ability to think outside the box in how we approach Shakespeare, which pays dividends in the classroom and subsequent writing.”
This year’s winners, which were announced in May, are listed below. Click on the students’ names to read their award-winning essays.
Annelies Browse ’13—Othello
Adam Berkman ’13—Prospero in The Tempest
Olivia Jones ’13—Prospero in The Tempest
Hayden Gill ’13—The Tempest
Over the years, Dr. Jeffrey’s gift has allowed students to explore Shakespeare outside of the classroom as well. This fall, the entire sophomore class went to Drew University to see a professional production of Othello prior to studying the text, which further enhanced the learning experience.
Looking forward, the English department would like to find ways to bring professional performers to campus to attend classes and discuss Shakespeare with Blair students.