Speech night of showcase

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Speech night of showcase


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The UNI Speech Team, ranked 10th in the American Forensic Association Nationals for the past three years, had their fall showcase on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Hearst Center for the Arts.

“We wanted to show the community what we [UNI Speech Team] do,” said Anthony Peavy, senior communications major and Speech team president. “We usually only share our events with other people in speech.”

Peavy explained that rather than only holding one Speech Showcase, there will be three this year. The Speech Team has already produced 10 hours of performances and performed for 1000-plus hours this year, according to their show program.

The showcase featured: After Dinner Speaking, Program Oral Interpretations, Dramatic Interpretations, Prose Interpretations, Poetry Interpretations, Persuasive Speaking, Informative Speaking, and Impromptu Speaking. Humor is a must in After Dinner Speaking performances.

“My parents didn’t know if I’d make it to 18,” opened Keegan Bosch, senior English major and first performer of the night.

Bosch’s speech, “Using Cure Rhetoric on People with Autism,” was an After Dinner Speech, a speech category using casual conversational techniques to give a comical, yet informative speech according to Sade Barfield, the Co-Director of Individual Events. Bosch’s speech featured lines such as “Like when you grocery shop in the morgue” to entertain and inform the audience on the public image of autism in America.

Some performances featured “little black books” that were used as a unique, transitional prop, as well as a story book, briefly explained by Barfield. The performers would occasionally act and read from their black books and sometimes used them as props when doing various actions such as texting.

“They make it sound so beautiful that you almost believe them,” said team freshman, Marissa Beniscek who was the first of the night to use a black book in her Oral Interpretation speech, “Singles Discrimination.” With her black book, she dramatically recited comical text message conversations and more serious book excerpts, with only the flip of a page in transition. The shutting of the book signified the return to the “present,” as Benischek straightened up her posture and went on to discuss the legal and social disadvantages placed on single persons in America. Benischek talked about why she enjoys Speech.

“Speech is such a fun, rewarding experience with top-notch people,” said Benischek. “I’m glad I’m able to be a part of it.”

Jake Westpfahl, senior, and Jessica Wayson, junior all science teaching major, did a duo interpretation with their black books.

“The performance was an interpretation of David Saar’s play, ‘The Yellow Boat’ about his own son’s battle with AIDS,” Wayson said. “It is such a sad, but sweet and heartwarming piece of literature.”

The event was nearly sold out, according to Josh Hamzehee, Co-Director of Individual Events.

Anna Ryder, senior, discussed the pieces.

  “I thought it was really powerful and impactful,” said Ryder. “They obviously picked things that are really meaningful to them.”

In 2015, the UNI Speech Team ranked 9th in the AFA Nationals Competition, according to their showcase program. The next showcase will be held at the Hearst Center on Dec. 3.