Five Johnston teams qualify for state speech competition

Speech One Act photoJOHNSTON, Ia. (Jan. 26, 2022) — Five groups of Johnston speech students have qualified to perform at the Iowa High School Speech Association’s state large group contest next Saturday, Feb. 5 at Valley High School in West Des Moines.

Contest speech gives students the opportunity to pursue their interest in public speaking or stage performance. In Large Group Speech, participants work in small or large groups to rehearse a piece, then perform it at a contest in front of judges and an audience.

“The students have been working on these performances since early October,” said Tyler Stough, the large group coach at Johnston. “With IHSSA, you perform one time and if a student gets a rating of a 1, they move on to the state contest. These students then perform again for three judges and the goal is to get all 1’s from them. The ultimate goal is to get nominated by two judges to go perform at all-state at Iowa State University.”

The Johnston students qualified by performing last weekend in groups of two, three or eight at the district large group contest, held at Ankeny Centennial High School. The goal was to get a rating of a “1” to move on to the state competition. Five out of seven Johnston groups qualified for the state contest. They include:

One Act – If Only

This is a play performed by students. It has a full set and costumes. The performance can be no longer than 35 minutes. At districts, the students perform on stage for three judges. Students are judged on their acting and the staging of the set.

Johnston students in the One Act group (pictured above) include: Trevor Fitzpatrick, Maraya Wilfgang, Edie Musgrave, Estefany Figueroa, Viktoria Cabanova, Ayla Hansen, Mikayla Jensen and Hailey DeBruin (not pictured).

Ensemble Acting – Birthday Candles, Silent Dancer and Little SpacesJHS speech students

This is a lot like one act but it is much shorter (15 minutes) and no costumes can be used. Students act out a part of a play for a judge. Students are judged on characterization, vocal delivery, physical delivery and ensemble effect. Johnston had three groups compete in this category.

Kathryn Fitzpatrick and Audrey Allen performed Birthday Candles. Those performing Silent Dancer were Sophie Etnier and Riesa Kongshaug. And students in the Little Spaces group (pictured on the right) are Gabriella Michalski, Esha Bolar and Alistair Entz.

Short Film – Loophole

In this category, students write, edit and direct their own short film that’s no longer than 5 minutes. Students are judged on the storyline of the short film, acting in the film, and technical part of the short film. Johnston students in this group are Mikayla Jensen and Kaylyn Jensen.

Johnston also had two groups perform Musical Theatre, where students take parts of songs from the same musical and put them together for a 10-minute performance. The contest was open to a total of 53 schools, although not every school performed. This year, the all-state festival for large group events will be held Feb. 19 at Iowa State Center in Ames.