The Tournament of Drama


Jimena Feregrino and Mariah Ortegon

First it was with theater students at Lanier High School. Then, students from all over the Austin Independent School District.

On Oct  11 2016, Valeria Gonzalez, A Lanier student, took part in the Shakespeare Showcase at the Austin Women’s Club in downtown Austin. As part of the event, Gonzalez had to memorize a monologue and a sonnet by William Shakespeare, then perform these works in front of  three judges.  For it, she choose Phoebe’s monologue from the play “As You Like It” and Sonnet 46. Despite the fact that she looked forward to the event, Gonzalez procrastinated and lost two months worth of practice. That meant Gonzalez had to use the first monologue she found. “I spent the whole summer in Mexico and I didn’t do anything,” said Gonzalez. When she got back, Gonzalez had three weeks to prepare. Gonzalez told the Viking Voice that she “was very interested because I got to see my freshman year theater teacher and many other people I did not know.” She added that she was glad “to hear other students perform.” This is not the first time Gonzalez performed as part of the event. In 2014, she performed Joan of Arc’s monologue from Shakespeare Henry VI. Gonzalez added that Lanier theater teacher, Kathleen Cobb, encouraged–“well,” says Gonzalez, “she kind of forced me”– her to perform at this year’s Shakespeare Showcase after Cobb saw Gonzalez audition for Lanier’s “Annie” performance. “It is important for our theatre program to continue to branch out into new areas in an effort to keep growing our talents,” Cobb said via email. She added that she “decided to enter Lanier into the city competition this year after hearing of the opportunity last spring.”   Gonzalez received compliments for both her poise and performance from members of the Texas Women’s Club. According to Cobb, “Valeria was very close to placing” in one of the top three slots in the competition. That would have sent Gonzalez to the national competition. For her part, Gonzalez was philosophical. “I think it’s just not about the place you get, it’s about the places you go,” she said.