On March 17, Red Bank Regional High School senior Patrick Monaghan of Little Silver came in second in the very competitive New Jersey Regional Poetry Out Loud State Championship. This was the second visit to the competition’s stage for the celebrated RBR thespian, who has won the Regional competition for the past two years.
For his performance at the College of New Jersey, Patrick performed William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes as well as two other selections: Or by Thomas Sayers Ellis and Ode to the Midwest by Kevin Young.
Patrick, who recently appeared on the professional stage of Two River Theater in the world premiere production of Lives of Reason, returned to the Two River stage on February 22 for his win in the Region 3 semi-finals. For his second win, he shared the honor once again with Nicole Jenkins of Piscataway High School.
“Patrick has a unique talent in that he gets to the heart and soul of each poem,” observes Andrew Forrest, English teacher and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator for RBR. “He’s not just reciting words, he’s conveying a message that the audience receives.”
In addition to this latest honor, Patrick has amassed many other accolades for his amazing performance talent. Last year, he won the Basie Award for Outstanding Actor in a drama for his portrayal of Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. He also placed second in the English Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition. He was a metro scholar at Two River Theater, and has had lead roles in both RBR and community theatre productions including Amadeus, Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing. Patrick intends to major in drama in college next year.
Over 27,000 New Jersey students participate in this competition nationwide, a total second only to California. The first place finisher, Celeste Pena of McNair Academic High in Jersey City, now competes in the national competition in Washington, DC.
For a real treat, watch Patrick’s performance at last year’s state competition here.