It seems that as soon as the musical at the high school was over, preparation for large group speech began. Mrs. Ellen Johanns is the director of both drama and speech, and she did not want to waste any time preparing her talented group of speech kids. Speech practice takes place before and after school everyday. Along with the help of Mrs. Amanda Bridges, Mrs. Johanns attends and directs all of these practices to prepare her students for district contest on Saturday, January 25, at Union High School.
There are currently forty-two students involved in large group speech. Even after losing ten seniors last year, the program gained a total of seventeen new participants. GR is taking thirteen events to districts this year. These events include the one act play When Shakespeare's Ladies Meet, a choral reading inspired by Dysart native Trent Reedy's book Words in the Dust, a Sherlock Holmes inspired choral reading written by GR's own Kelly Brocket entitled The Case of the Norwood Builder. There will also be a short film created by a group of nine boys and two ensemble groups performing The Staggering Heartbreak of Jasmine Merriweather and Anna and August.
Mime is a category that is quickly growing in popularity. Two mime groups will act out Cleaning Grandma's Attic and Practicing Spells at the Witch Academy.
There are two musical theatre groups performing numbers from the musicals
Company! and A Chorus Line. Three improvisations groups will be performing at districts. In preparation for contest, a group of speech students will attended the NICL speech festival Friday, December 13, at Dike New Hartford. Students spent the majority of the school day attending different workshops. These workshops include musical theater, improv, blocking, acting mime, public and spontaneous speaking, poetry and lit program. The goal is to take what we learn at NICL and apply it during practice to make this the most successful large group speech season yet!