In late February, Patrick Monaghan of Little Silver, a VPA drama major at Red Bank Regional High School, won the New Jersey Regional Poetry Out Loud Region 3 Semi-finals held at Two River Theater. The Little Silver junior is the first student to advance this far in the competition in the six years that RBR has been participating in the event, in which competitors were represented from numerous towns in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Mercer Counties.
For his first place regional performance, Patrick performed “Self Inquiry Before the Job Interview” by Gary Soto, “Sonnet 55” by William Shakespeare, and “So This is Nebraska” by Ted Kooser. He shared the top honor with a student from Piscataway High School, and the two winners went on to compete in the State Championship in Princeton on March 13.
Patrick also recently placed second in the English Speaking Union of Monmouth County’s annual Shakespeare Competition. He is a metro scholar at the Two River Theater, and has had lead roles in both RBR And community theatre productions, including Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing. He also starred in Little Mermaid and Tartuffe.
“Patrick is an extremely talented student,” commented RBR English teacher (and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator for RBR) Andrew Forrest. “He chose three poems with three distinctive voices. What makes Patrick’s performance so special is that he embodies each speaker uniquely and presents three distinct performances, displaying his range as a dramatist and poetry enthusiast.”
“The beauty of the Poetry Out Loud program is that it requires students to embody someone else’s shoes, and Patrick does this three different times exceptionally well.”