Speech and debate participants who qualified to compete at Nationals after the Show-Me NSDA tournament on Saturday March 3, have been invited to Ft. Lauderdale where the National Speech and Debate tournament will be held. Wildcat debaters and actors have been elbow deep in rehearsals preparing pieces and arguments to take to the big stage.
Public Forum Debate is a team event that requires students to prepare a stance either advocating for or rejecting a resolution topic on current issues. Qualifiers for public forum debate included seniors Pascasie Redhage and Nafi Seife. Their topic for their the Show-ME NSDA tournament focused on the current use of military force and presidential authority.
“These type of topics are very different from forensics where you can really connect with your piece most of the time. I didn’t connect with this topic but I found that it does affect me a lot more than I thought it would, but not in my everyday life,” Redhage said.
An in depth topic of government/presidential power required Redhage and Seife to do extensive research. The duo believe the best way to be prepared for a debate is to be fully educated, and it’s clearly working to their favor.
“Cassie and I really did our homework on this topic and focused on what congress’s role in the government is and what the president should have power over. We mainly focus the last week before our tournament adding on more evidence to what we already have,” Seife said.
Since public forum debate topics change monthly, Redhage and Seife will receive a new topic in the month of May and start preparation for June.
Another duo competing in June at Nationals is senior Jamie Berger and senior Kaity Johnson. They will be performing an interpretation piece. This event involves a team of two performers acting out a literary piece or program but with a twist: the two partners will not be able to make eye contact or touch each other. These pieces usually come from published books, movies, short stories, plays or poems and can be either humorous or dramatic.
Performing a piece called “Rabbit Cake” at their last/most recent tournament, Berger and Johnson acted as two sisters who have just lost their mother and illustrating how both girls deal with their grief differently. Both students have also taken a lot of preparation time into their piece, and made time to practice after school, and outside of school to be prepared.
“I say we spent way to much time on our piece. Most days we would stay after school until six, and that was being generous some of the time, but I’d rather spend to much time and be over prepared than not enough and not be ready,” Berger said.
Unlike PFD, duo interp gives performers more space to build a relationship with their character and really connect with the piece.
“After working on a piece for so long I feel like there’s no way not to connect with your character just learning and understand their life you basically grow into a relationship with your character,” Johnson said.
Berger and Johnson will be performing the same “Rabbit Cake” piece for Ft Lauderdale. Until then they will be preparing their piece to increase for a even better outcome in June. The four will set off for Nationals in June for high hopes of bringing home top ten rankings.