Speech and drama

In the second week of competition, the Choteau High School speech and drama team took first place in speech sweeps and second place in drama sweeps and eight students brought home hardware.

Jackson Quillan and Hailey Alzheimer took first place in their respective events, dramatic oral interpretation and informative speaking.

Finishing in second place were Ella Birkeland in spontaneous oral interpretation, Tori Newmiller and Savannah Stanek in dramatic theater and Jhulliet Maltby in dramatic solo.

Rounding out the individual placers were Kenny Quillan with third in informative speaking, Dawson Wright fifth place in humorous solo and Anna Heimbuck eighth in spontaneous oral interpretation.

“CJI proved to be just as competitive as we had planned,” said Coach Cody Marney. “The kids didn’t let new competition scare them and they went in each round and really performed to the best of their abilities.”

This week the team heads to East Helena for the first-ever tournament in their new school. “It will be our first large meet of the season with schools from every class represented,” Marney said. “All categories are going to be full and the kids are going to have to fight hard to make it to the final round.”

Commenting about the individual placers at the CJI meet, Marney said:

•Jackson Quillan came out on top in the most competitive category with a piece centering on a husband coming out to his wife as non-binary. Jackson’s biggest goal in speech and drama is to force the judge to look at life through a different perspective.

•Alzheimer also came out on top speaking about cryonics. Freezing one’s body for future reanimation is becoming increasingly popular and scientists feel they are getting close to success.

•Wright is continuing to make people laugh with his adaptation of “The Cat in the Hat.” He has been so willing to work on the rhymes and take the judges back to a very nostalgic time. This is his first season and he is really trying to enjoy every aspect of the sport, even the not-so-fun parts.

•Newmiller and Stanek placed in the top three and made judges cry with their portrayal of a husband who saved the life of his wife instead of their baby when their house went up in flames. Marney said he feels as though this piece really makes people think about what they might do in the event of an emergency.

•Birkeland competed in SPOI this weekend as she waits for her partner to rejoin the team. While this category doesn’t have much prep work, it is a very challenging event. SPOI is essentially the literary equivalent of impromptu. When the students enter the room, they are given five minutes to read over the chosen selection and then given five minutes to perform the piece. The pieces include poetry, classic literature, obituaries, song lyrics and occasionally an equipment owners manual. Her love of reading really helped her in the category. Anna also competed in this category after rejoining the program after a year off. This was also her first meet back. Now that she knows how the category works, we will spend the week really mastering how to interpret the selections.

•Maltby has also rejoined the team after a year off, this time in a dramatic solo. She did very well in another difficult category with her portrayal of a girl locked up in a mental institution suffering from multiple personalities who may have murdered a person or two.

•Kenny Quillan really stepped up in his very first tournament. He held his own in the informative category, placing in the top three. His talk is on the Mars exploration and NASA’s future missions to the red planet.