Foundation Christian College students TJ Ruwodo, Rheanna Leaver win 2021 Canning Shakespeare Competition

TJ Ruwodo performs a monologue as Touchstone from As You Like It to take win the 2021 Canning Shakespeare Competition finals.
TJ Ruwodo performs a monologue as Touchstone from As You Like It to take win the 2021 Canning Shakespeare Competition finals.

Two Foundation Christian College students have taken out the top prizes in a regional acting competition.

TJ Ruwodo performed a monologue as Touchstone from As You Like It to win the 2021 Canning Shakespeare Competition finals held on Saturday, September 18.

Rheanna Leaver, also at Foundation Christian College, was awarded second place with her performance of a monologue from Coriolanus.

A record 39 students from across the Canning electorate entered the competition this year, and 24 were selected to perform on stage at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre in the final before a panel of expert judges, family and friends.

Luca Daniel, from Mandurah Catholic College, took third place with his rendition of Julius Ceasar.

24 students were selected to perform on stage.

24 students were selected to perform on stage.

The competition was judged by Glenda Linscott, Senior Lecturer in Acting at the Western Australia Performing Arts Academy (WAAPA); Deb Mitchell, who has a distinguished career in speech and drama education; and Tom Crocker, a previous Canning Shakespeare Competition Prize winner.

Canning MP Andrew Hastie said he started the Canning Shakespeare Competition in 2016 as a way for to encourage young Australians to "connect with our heritage and find their voice through Shakespeare".

"I'm proud of every one of these students who had the courage to stand on a stage in front of a crowd, perform tricky pieces of literature, and be judged on their work. This is the sixth year we've run the competition and the performances put on by our region's young people keeps getting better.

"I'm particularly grateful to Glenda Linscott and Deb Mitchell who attended again this year as judges. Their presence is a wonderful opportunity for these young people-some of whom are considering a career in performing arts-to get feedback from industry professionals.

"Thank you as well to the principals and teachers who encouraged their students to apply. Your support adds to the competition's success."

Judge Glenda Linscott with contestants.

Judge Glenda Linscott with contestants.

The Canning Shakespeare Competition provides senior high school students interested in literature, drama and public speaking an opportunity to gain performance experience, meet industry experts and engage with the works of Shakespeare.