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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

PV students successfully host and compete at state speech competition

Cast+of+the+9th+grade+one+act+play%2C+Commercials%2C+received+division+1+ratings+at+district+speech+competition%2C+progressing+to+the+state+level%0APhoto+Credit%3A+Ryan+Pottratz
Cast of the 9th grade one act play, Commercials, received division 1 ratings at district speech competition, progressing to the state level Photo Credit: Ryan Pottratz

Large Group Speech is a vital part of Pleasant Valley’s theater program. Every year students rehearse various events in theatrical categories including acting, improv, and musical theater. Performers then travel to a local high school to perform and be adjudicated in their events. Beginning at a district level, students can progress to state and even all-state depending on received scores. 

This year, PV hosted the Large Group State Speech Competition on Feb 3. Over 75 schools arrived with students and spectators to perform with the hope of progressing to the all-state level. 

Dozens of PV students participated as well, both in performance and volunteering. 

Volunteers spent the day managing performance centers and directing visiting schools to where they needed to be. Student volunteer Pratima Khatri commented, “I enjoyed being helpful and giving other people directions on where to go.”

Many events have very specific time or material constraints that need to be monitored by volunteers. Having a student to keep an eye on possible disqualifications allows judges to focus on the student performances without worrying about technicalities.

Outside of center management, students kept organization by directing visitors. While signs were posted around the building, locations weren’t always clear to first time visitors. “When signage makes sense to us, it doesn’t always make sense to someone coming into the building who has never been here before,” said Christina Myatt, PV’s director of theater and speech.

PV’s own state speech team included events such as choral reading, improv, ensemble acting, musical theater, and one act plays. All events had amazing performances and great feedback from their judges. 

PV will be represented at all-state speech by seniors Elly Huhn and Zack Guest in the musical theater category. Huhn and Guest performed a selection from the musical “Ordinary Days,” and received high scores from all three judges.

Hosting state speech provided a fundraising opportunity for PV’s theater and speech department. “I always try to do fundraisers that use the skills that we have, Myatt explained, “And so by having our volunteers, and having our drama officers and our speech team help out with things, we were able to have a very successful contest.”

Students and volunteers alike had a positive experience hosting this year. Khatri performed in both an improv and one act play this year at state speech, and said, “I already knew the facilities. This caused me to feel comfortable and not nervous throughout the day, especially while performing.” 

The community students find through speech makes all of the time and effort worth it. “I enjoy performing with my friends and meeting other schools. Khatri concludes, “It’s fun to see other people perform because there are lots of talented people around us!” 

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About the Contributor
Selah DeVore, Copy Editor
Selah DeVore is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the copy editor for the Spartan Shield. At PV, Selah is very involved with the theater department both on and offstage, most recently serving as the co-director for the 2024 childrens show. Outside of journalism, Selah passionately loves reading, overthinking, and gossiping with friends, but often finds herself cramming for a last minute anatomy test or chauffeuring her friends and siblings all over creation. Selah works as the props program aid for Davenport Junior Theater where she enjoys burning her fingers with hot glue and listening to audiobooks. After graduation, Selah plans to pursue a career in the medical field and hopes to become a physical therapist.

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