By DAN FOX
Skagway School’s Drama, Debate and Forensics season is underway, with the team putting in a strong showing at the first meet of the year.
DDF co-coach Jonathan Baldwin said that every student on the team made it to finals in one way or another at the recent Juneau DDF meet.
Eliza Myers took first in Expository Speaking. In Extemporaneous Commentary, Steaven McKnight took first, Kara Whitehead took second and Micah Cook took third.
Danny Brady placed fifth with his Humorous Interpretation, and Jessica Whitehead took sixth.
McKnight and C.J. Dormido placed second with their Pantomime. Myer, Dormido, Sadie Murphy and Jessica Whitehead’s Reader’s Theatre piece took third.
Several of the performances still need some tweaking, Baldwin said, to get them where they really need to be. Skagway is known for its edgier DDF pieces, and this year one of the performances is focused on climate change, which features impersonations of presidents and politicians.
However, Baldwin said there is still more that needs to be added to it.
“All the other teams are in the same boat as we are, they are still in the beginning stages of their pieces,” Baldwin said. “I think we had some advantage because we had some veteran competitors, so they kind of knew what to [bring] as far as energy.”
Co-coach Kent Fielding said the team hasn’t practiced in Extemporaneous Commentary this year, but the returning DDF veterans retained the skills needed to perform well in that category.
McKnight and Dormido’s Pantomime piece is called “Virtual Takeover,” and follows the thread of how people get so consumed by technology, and end up losing reality.
It starts with Dormido “playing” arcade video games, with McKnight taking the role of the game’s virtual character. Dormido then progresses through the generations of game consoles until eventually he reaches virtual reality. All the while, McKnight’s virtual character is gradually growing sentient.
“I slowly start to fight back progressively, more and more, through each one until finally [in] like our last VR session…” McKnight said.
“He takes over me,” finished Dormido. “So then I become the character, he’s controlling.
The team is still looking for volunteers for the upcoming Skagway DDF meet, which will be at the school on Nov. 10-11.
Currently, Baldwin said they have 18 people lined up to help; the meet requires about 40. Those interested in volunteering can contact Fielding at firstname.lastname@example.org.