Five Grinnell Speech and Drama groups receive All-State honors at the State Large Group Speech Contest
Submitted by Kevin Hosbond
Grinnell High School brought 14 groups to the State Large Group Speech Contest held at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School on Saturday, Feb. 5. This was one of four contests held across the state as part of the Iowa High School Speech Association contest series. Of the 14 entries, three received a Division II rating, and 11 were awarded Division I ratings.
Five groups were selected for All-State honors at the All-State Festival to be held at Iowa State University on Saturday, Feb. 19. All five were designated as “performing.” All groups also received overall Division I ratings at the State contest. Of significant note is that 20 out of the 59 student participants on the team this year were bestowed All-State honors, amounting to more than one third of the team.
For the fifth year in a row, Choral Reading received an All-State nomination. The cast of “Them,” includes Chloe Alger, Sarah Ashing, Emily Cooper, Kailyn Corey, Maddie Davis, Joel Dressler, Kiran Elfenbein, Mary Jacobson, Kiran Jones, Brittany Kifer, Thea Larsson, Judith Perez-Valentin, Kayla Sieck, and Peter Simpson. The piece was written and directed by Kevin Hosbond, head speech coach.
Representing GHS at All-State in the area of Group Mime is the cast of “The Leviathan,” which features Bridget Blanchard, Kiran Elfenbein, Kalli Hart, Thea Larsson, Cora Miller, and Kaeden Peterson. Ninth grader Cora Miller will also represent GHS at All-State in the area of Solo Mime with her piece titled “The Mousetrap.” Each mime selection was written by Hosbond and the students.
Also receiving All-State Performing honors was the Ensemble Acting “Whatever / Two Hanged Women,” featuring Iris Mackenzie and Olivia Mick and directed by Hosbond with assistance from GHS English teacher Jennie Flinspach.
Finally, in the area of Musical Theatre, Bridget Blanchard and Kaeden Peterson will perform “Once,” at the All-State Festival. This piece was directed by Hosbond with assistance from volunteer coach and GHS Choir teacher Michael Gookin and Flinspach.
Other results from the State Contest are as follows:
Both Radio Broadcasts “Triple S Radio,” featuring Nicolle Donnelly, Avery Otto, Della Pease, and Nolan West, and “BDC Podcast” featuring Beaux Blanchard, Billy Lopatto, and Owen Shepardson, earned a Division II rating.
Continuing in the digital categories, the film “Together,” based on a poem by Claire Baechtel, and featuring Baechtel, Kaia Chang Roper, Kailyn Corey, Mia Greenwell-Sherman, and Ellie Mintle earned a Division I rating. Flinspach assisted this group.
Two Group Improvisation teams directed by Flinspach were performed at State. The team “Holy Trinity,” with Jack Dahlby Albright, Roman Mackenzie, and Reece Madren received a Division I rating. “Angelic Wind” with Will Dahlby Albright, Justine Raney, and Nathan VanderLeest earned a Division II rating.
The Ensemble Acting scene “The Crucible,” directed by Flinspach, and featuring Roman Mackenzie and Jeslyn Voogd, earned a Division I rating.
The Readers Theatre “A Little Scare,” written and directed by Flinspach received a Division I rating. It features Mia Greenwell-Sherman, ValiJo Hauersperger, Ketsia Kiphanzu, Natalie Nieuwsma, Amelia Skouson, Ella Stephens, Rhianna Raney, Nathan VanderLeeset, and Jeslyn Voogd.
The Musical Theatre “How to Succeed…,” featuring Joel Dressler, Maggie Kaup, Olivia Mick, Natalie Nieuwsma, Brody Petig, Catherine Schubert, Peter Simpson, and Isaac Zaret also received a Division I rating. The team was directed by Hosbond with musical direction by Gookin.
GHS’ One-Act Play “Emotional Baggage,” which was directed by Flinspach, also received a Division I rating. The cast includes Tiernan Boggs, Justin Durr, ValiJo Hauersperger, Iris Mackenzie, Reece Madren, Erin Nicklas, and Ella Stephens. The tech crew includes Claire Behrens, Beaux Blanchard, Damien Jones Ramirez, Liz Sieck, Molly Turley.