Speech club offers variety of opportunities

Upon hearing the words “speech club,” an image of nerds reciting speeches may readily come to mind. But in reality, speech club is much more. With Ames High students participating in events such as One-Act Play, TV News, Short Film, Group Improvisation, Ensemble Acting, Group Mime, and Reader’s Theater, the club clearly appeals to a variety of interests. “The One-Act this year is Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew . Petruchio, a frequently drunk gentleman, decides that the beautiful, hot-headed Kate will make a wonderful wife once she is tamed,” senior Emma Hoefer said. “But Kate wants nothing to do with any suitor.” Hoefer, who has been in speech club for two years, performed in this play at the district competition Jan. 19. Just over fifty individuals representing Ames High participated in a range of events at districts. Eleven groups from Ames High, including the One-Act Play, received a high enough rating to advance to the state competition. This year, the state contest will be held February 2nd at Waukee High School. From Ames High, the contest will feature two Group Improvisations, one TV News, one Reader’s Theater, one Ensemble Acting, three Group Mimes, one One-Act Play, one ninth-grade Group Improvisation, and one ninth-grade Short Film. “While my favorite event to do is probably the One-Act, my favorite event to watch is improv,” Hoefer said. “When you see a really good improv group, it just makes you smile.” Following the state competition, groups will be chosen by judges to participate in all-state. Iowa State University hosts the all-state competition each year. This year, all-state will be Feb. 16. “I have advanced to state in the One-Act last year and the year before,” Hoefer said. “Hoping to get to all-state this year, but we will see.” While it is too late to join the portion of speech club featuring group events, there is still time to try the individual events. Individual events range from Interpretive Reading of Poetry to Solo Musical Theater. Interested students should talk to speech club coaches Mrs. Miller or Mr. Ripley about joining as soon as possible. “Speech club is a great opportunity for students to gain lifelong skills: not just speaking, but writing, confidence, and even technical skills with events like TV News and Short Film,” coach Miller said. “Students can choose to work with a group or alone, whatever works best with their schedules. There are such a wide variety of categories to enter that anyone can find something they enjoy.”