Dani Goffstein, Senior at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, Takes First Place at Shakespeare Competition
Dani Goffstein, a senior at Yeshiva University High School for Boys/Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (YUHSB), won the English-Speaking Union New York regional competition held on Thursday, March 3, at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. Dani impressed the judges with his performance of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice and his recitation of Sonnet 138. He will go on to represent the New York City area as a semi-finalist at the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, which will be held on May 2 at Lincoln Center in New York City.
“It was an incredible opportunity,” said Goffsetin, a resident of Teaneck, NJ. “I worked really hard and it was great to see that all that work really paid off in the end.”
In the national competition, Dani will be competing for amazing opportunities this summer in both the United States and aboard. The first place winner will receive a full tuition scholarship to study acting in Shakespeare’s homeland, England. The second place winner will receive a full tuition scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Centre’s Theater Camp in Staunton, VA. Third place winner will receive $500 from the Shakespeare Society.
The program is part of the English-Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition in which the students interpret Shakespeare without props, scenery or costumes. Ten school winners from the New York City area, who had already advanced through a semi-final round of competition, participated.
The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a curriculum-based program designed to help high school students develop their speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the beautiful language and timeless themes in Shakespeare’s works.
“Dani’s win reflects his hard work, intense dedication and his individual interpretation of Shylock,” said Harriet Levitt, who teaches English and public speaking to senior and sophomore students at YUHSB. “As teachers, we hope to recognize the special quality of our students. G-d willing, he will continue to represent the best in himself and us.”
Goffstein has written several plays and screenplays and aspires to be a filmmaker. He spent the past summer at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts studying writing, and credits Shakespeare with being a tremendous influence on his work. “I honestly don’t think anyone can appreciate the beauty of words without Shakespeare,” said Goffstein. “Some of the descriptions and words Shakespeare uses are just the most beautiful thing that man can create.”