Students Speak at Showcase

Connor Ji, Staff Writer

West High’s Speech and Debate team has had great success this year, and is going on to the State Championship. To raise money for this event, the team’s showcase took place on both Thursday and Friday, March 28th and 29th in the Scarlata Theatre.

The showcase kicked off with hosts Daniel Barrett (11) and Kaleb Davies (10), who made the audience applaud with classic knee-slappers. Chuck Driesler (11) and Maya Yanez (11) then performed a duo interpretation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which illustrated the severe impact the 9/11 terrorist attacks had on a small family. Aseel Ali (9) went next with her interpretation of “Terror, Torture, and Resistance,” which addressed key issues revolving around women’s rights in America. Clara Chin (10) showed her knowledge of origami and its interesting history with her expository presentation. Beau Filipic (12) and Grace Machado (12) showed their eloquence with a debate on the legitimacy of Santa Claus and the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a role Grace Hwang (11), the team captain, re-demonstrated the inspiring “A Whisper of AIDS” speech, which was delivered during the Republican National Convention in 1992. Alanna Bledman (9) performed “I Love You Mommy,” a dramatic interpretation of a piece about a young girl whose mother struggles with drug addiction. Kiana Schmitt (12) and Barrett also dramatically interpreted the book The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Finally, novices Noah Choi (9) and Namgyu Yim (9), debated with Anisa Azad (12) the superiority of One Direction and Justin Bieber, the two popular teenage singing groups that make girls squeal. On Friday, the three debated Twilight vs. Harry Potter.

When asked about his first experience performing in the showcase as a novice, Driesler said, “It was great to perform to an audience of supportive peers, instead of judges who could ruin your day.”

Many found the showcase both entertaining and educative, like Joseph Lee (10) who stated,” I enjoyed the [debates] the most, but all performances were good.”

The Speech and Debate Team’s knee-slapping, awe-inspiring, and breathtaking speeches and debates could be noted as one of the most memorable events for the organization this year.