Four Johnston speech groups advance to state this weekend 

Johnston teams advance to state large group speechJOHNSTON, Ia (Jan. 30, 2023) — Four groups of Johnston speech students are advancing to the state large group competition this Saturday, Feb. 4, hosted by the Iowa High School Speech Association at Waukee High School.

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 four groups advancing to state were among six from Johnston who recently participated at the District Large Group Speech contest at Johnston Middle School. Those advancing include:

Ensemble Acting group Little Women (Riesa Kongshaug and Sophie Etnier). This theatrical performance by two to six students is limited to 15 minutes. No costumes, makeup or props 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.

TV News, KBFQ news (Alan Qi, Advik Bajapi, Aravind Balaji and James Foo). Television Newscasting involves a team of any number of people who do not all haveto be in front of the camera. Teams gather their own copy of materials for the news stories within the school year prior to contest. The report will consist of national, international, and state news; weather; sports; and a 30-60 second commercial. Each presentation will also include a news feature. The presentation is limited to 10 minutes and have some elements taped and edited in various locations. All parts of the presentation may be edited. Audio/visual aids may be used. At least one member of the team will present the tape to the judge and view it with the judge at district contest.

Group Improvisation (Samantha Jensen, Jacob Grauerholz and Emille (Oliver) VanWinkle). Group Improvisation involvescreating and presenting a story which is based on drawn criteria within a limited preparation time. This event encourages students to cooperatively work as an ensemble to create characters and to develop and spontaneously act out an interesting and logical story.

Musical Theatre – Mamma Mia (Isabelle (Ali) Vuijk, Estefany Figueroa, Grace Tutaj, and Edie Musgrave.Musical Theatre consists of a group of two to six students who perform a cutting from a musical limited to 10 minutes. The contestants use acting, singing, and dancing, if appropriate. All lines and songs are memorized. Contestants perform without costumes, scenery, props, or make-up. Students will use taped accompaniment.

Each group will perform in front of three judges and work to get an excellent rating of a “1” from all three judges. If two of their three judges nominate the group for all-state, they will perform their piece again Feb. 18 at the Large Group All State Festival, in front of a critic at Iowa State University in Ames.