Speech and drama’s record numbers place at state

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This year’s Speech and Drama club had the largest number of students participating than in any other previous year, and they hope to have even more members next year. Out of the 13 members of Speech and Drama, nine qualified for state which was held on Jan. 26 in Belgrade.

Speech and Drama is a competitive program offered at Park High where the students prepare pieces to perform in front of audiences. They prepare for their competitions by meeting with their coach twice a week to practice. The coaches this year were Addie Pittman and Keaton Ramm. Pittman coaches 11 of the students while Ramm coaches two.

Speech and Drama teaches students how to engage audiences through several events. Clara Jones, Brianna Pittman, and Megan Sarrazin perform dramatic solos. Dramatic duos are executed by Sidney and Mikayla Denniston. Humorous solos are performed by Izzi Perty, Illana Pattberg, and Henry Sullivan, and humorous duo is done by Herbert Hoy and James Duncan. Erin Peterson and Sofia Ross participate in the pantomime event where the performers express meaning through gestures, and Summer Melin does a dramatic oral interpretation.

At competitions, participants compete in three preliminary rounds. Each round is made up of eight competitors. From here, they are judged on their performance and the top two participants compete in the final round. At state, all the Park High participants made it to the semi-finals. After competing at the semi-final level, five students made it to the final round. Jones received second place, Pittman placed sixth, and Sarrazin placed seventh for their dramatic solo performances. Peterson placed second and Ross received seventh for their pantomime performances.

While preforming for audiences, the participants develop important communication skills. The Speech and Drama program at Park High School is designed with the hope of helping students become comfortable speaking with an audience. Speech and Drama member Izzi Petry states that her involvement in the program has benefited her in many ways. Petry said “Being part of speech and drama has definitely benefited me. It has helped me with my communication to large audiences, helped me with my confidence, and helped me be patient and respectful towards others.”