By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Breanna Bloom is heading to New York City to compete as a semi-finalist in the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.
The Goshen High School senior will perform a memorized monologue and a sonnet of Shakespeare that she selected for the competition, she said.
Her performance of Helena from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and her recitation of Sonnet 80 impressed the judges during the Indianapolis regional event of the ESU Branch competition in March and she’d already won the local school Shakespeare competition at Goshen High School.
Breanna was awarded an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the final stage of the competition to be held onstage at the Lincoln Center.
“I’m so honored to be going as a state representative of Indiana and going up against other people,” she said. “I’ve been to New York once before on a choir trip. I love New York. I’ll tour the town and maybe see a Broadway show...That would be awesome.”
As Breanna advanced to the state level of competition, she said it became more challenging for her.
“I think it’s gotten particularly harder. I knew the people at the local level and their acting ability and what to expect,” she said. “I know less and less people now and their acting.”
After she had performed in Indianapolis, there was a waiting period while the judges made their decisions before announcing the winners.
“I was content with the thought of not winning after they called the third and second place winners,” Breanna said. “I was happy I had participated and I had got to compete. I was at ease with myself. It was so thrilling and so unexpected when they called my name for the first place. I was suddenly overjoyed when they called my name.”
The students were told their performances were so enhanced, the scoring by the judges “came down to the wording and the precision of words” to make their decisions.
There were no costumes or props to “standout and detract” as they performed.
“It’s based more on the character to come forth and not the actor,” she said. “Our own personality has to be blank and let the character come through.”
Goshen students have been the first-place winners four of the five years at the Indianapolis regional event of the ESU Branch competition, said Scott Garvin, English teacher at Goshen High School.
“This makes three years in a row for a Goshen winner,” Garvin said. “It’s a wonderful tradition. It speaks highly of the students and their level of competition.”
When Breanna steps on a stage to perform in a musical or play, she becomes the character like her recent portrayal of Golde, one of the lead roles in “Fiddler on the Roof.” The musical was performed by students at Goshen High School in March.
“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “I try to inherit the character. It was me on the stage as Golde. It’s hard for me not to pick up little bits of each character that become a part of me.”
Likewise, Breanna said when it’s time for her to perform as Helena, “she becomes me and I become her.”
She started acting and being in musical theater as a sixth-grader at Goshen Middle School for three years and took part in four musicals and two fall plays in high school as well as four years of One-Act plays.
“I was in advanced choir and Crimsonaires for three years,” she said. “I hope to go to Ball State University or Goshen College to study musical performance.”