The Skagway School Drama, Debate and Forensics team tied for second place at the state competition in Anchorage last weekend, bringing the most acclaim to the school team in its history.
Skagway senior Al Weber tied for first place in oration for her speech titled “Put A Cap On It,” arguing the ban of the public use of plastic water bottles. An Anchorage student won the tiebreaker, putting Weber in second place. But the win will still bring her to one of two national championships this summer.
Kota Shindo and Steaven McKnight placed second for their mime “Stuck in An Elevator with Isis,” playing on the stereotypes surrounding westerners and the Middle East.
Weber, Dominic Rotier and Zach Breen placed third for their reader’s theater “No Place to Hide,” centering on the NSA and privacy.
Senior Rotier also made finals and placed fourth in oration for his speech “Extra to the Ordinary” explaining how to live an ordinary life by adapting and persevering.
Breen placed sixth, just outside of finals, for his solo acting piece “The Cure,” in which he portrays an elderly woman talking about the destructive relation between humans and the environment.
Kara Whitehead and Danny Brady placed sixth in duet acting for performing “Julie and the Warlord,” a piece about the first date between a woman and an African warlord. They also just missed finals.
Weber and Rotier placed eighth in duo interpretation of literature for their take on “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” which focuses on themes of eco terrorism.
Dainean Teeluk placed eighth for her dramatic interpretation of literature “The Egg,” about a man dying in a car wreck who discovers the meaning of life.
Teeluk, Whitehead and Brady placed ninth for their reader’s theater “Lysistrata,” a classical Greek play.
Shindo, Brady and Whitehead also performed expository speeches
Skagway tied with Sitka in the overall DDF scoring, but was second alone in the drama sweepstakes division and tied in the forensics division. Whitestone won all three divisions, including debate, and the overall DDF title for small schools.
“Even with Shelby [Surdyk] years ago, we had never finished second in state. It’s pretty hard to do with such a small school,” Coach Kent Fielding said.
Fielding said the three-day tournament was a success, but exhausting. For Whitehead, Brady, McKnight and Shindo, the trip was especially tiring, as they traveled to Anchorage directly after a basketball trip in Prince of Wales.
The first night of the competition was filled with energy, but Fielding recommended the students reserve it for the days ahead. By Friday, everyone had passed out.
But the hard work paid off, and Weber will compete in the national competition this summer, either in the NFL competition in Sacramento, CA, or in the CFL in Salt Lake City, UT. She will perform in 12 rounds against more than 230 students from all over the country.
Rotier is a first alternate to compete in the CFL national competition.
“We are like the only 1A school in DDF. We only had eight students and we didn’t have a debate team,” Fielding said. “It was good – a non-stop three day tournament.”