by Ben Vos
After practicing for the last three months, students involved in speech forensics got the chance to show off all their hard work on Saturday, January 21. A record breaking number of PC students competed in a wide variety of events that took the stage at District Large Group Speech at Grinnell High School.
Speech forensics has its ups and downs, but for the most part, it is a great opportunity for high school actors. ¨The most rewarding aspect of speech forensics is having the ability to strengthen the talents given to me by God,” said senior James Beyer.
Of all the events that performed, seven out of ten will advance to State Large Group at Cedar Rapids Washington High School on February 4. Events are based on a 1-4 division rating scale with 1 being the top score and 4 being the bottom score.
This rating system allows students to strive for their best. “Basically you will get a 1 and a 2. Rarely have I seen a 3. For districts you needed to get a 1 to get to state. 1 is superior and 2 is excellent,” said speech forensics coach Marlo Van Peursem.
The one-act play The Other Room received a division 1 rating along with the reader’s theater Fire Exit, the choral reading The Lottery, the musical theater The Scarlet Pimpernel, the short films We the Wizards and Supermarket Sweethearts, and the mime Mission 217: Restoring the Nuclear Code. The musical theaters Cinderella and Annie received a division 2 rating, along with the improv team.
Only the events that received division 1 ratings will advance to state competition, but all of the events will perform at the All-City Speech Festival on January 31. This event starts at 7:00 at PCHS and the public is invited to attend. Van Peursem is happy with the way the event brings Pella and PC together. “It started 10 years ago when both speech programs were fairly small. Both programs have grown so there are 3 centers. It is a great chance for the community to interact at both schools,” he said.