From left: Danny Brady, Micah Cook, Steaven McKnight and Kara Whitehead perform their Readers Theatre, which took first in the meet. PHOTO BY JEFF BRADY

Skagway DDF team performs well in hometown meet


For the first time since 2009, Skagway recently hosted a Drama, Debate and Forensics meet.

“It went really well,” DDF co-coach Kent Fielding said. “Pretty smooth, there were a couple of places where we were running around, but for the most part it went pretty smooth.”

Co-coach Jon Baldwin said the community’s help with running the tournament was great. There were about 80 judges needed for the event, with even more people needed to help keep time for the performers. Fielding said that to have so many people from Skagway volunteer their time to help judge the different events “proves again and again how great of a community we have.”

Students from Skagway’s school, including some from the DDF team, were running around helping out, giving judges their packets, directing people to their rooms and helping to set up before performances.

“Once we showed them the process, they kind of jumped on it themselves,” Baldwin said. “So they knew that Readers Theatre was coming up, we needed five music stands in this room and four in this room – so they were running around and working the front desk as the judges came in, passing out packets.”
The visiting students were housed in a number of places around Skagway, from AB Hall to the Traditional Council. This helped utilize as much space as possible at the school for the performances. Baldwin said that the school’s teachers were great in preparing and sharing their classrooms to make space for the DDF meet.

“I think some of the comments from the other coaches were that, ‘wow, it’s amazing how smooth the whole event went, being in such a small school,’” Baldwin said.

Having Skagway’s DDF team stay so active during the meet was somewhat of a double-edged sword. Baldwin said being busy kept the students from having too much downtime and overthinking their individual pieces, however the coaches also like to have some spare time to practice in between the rounds. Even so, both Baldwin and Fielding said they were pleased with the team’s performance.

Eliza Myers took first in Expository Speaking, a category that had over 20 competitors, according to Fielding.

“Eliza has gone perfect so far, 5-0 in all of her rooms,” Fielding said.

The Readers Theatre performed by Danny Brady, Micah Cook, Kara Whitehead and Steaven McKnight also did well, placing first in every room and in the competition. Even with its good performance at the meet, the Readers Theatre piece still has some work that needs to be done on it before the next competition, according to Fielding.

McKnight’s and CJ Dormido’s Mime piece, which portrays a character in a video game slowly taking over the person playing, also took first in the competition.

The team’s next stop is in Sitka on Dec. 8-9, and the coaches and students are looking to add oration pieces to the team’s repertoire. To perform a piece at state, it needs to be performed in at least two meets, and, including the upcoming Sitka competition, there are only two left in the season.

Full results from the Skagway Nov. 10-11 meet are below:

Eliza Myers • Expository Speaking • 1st place

Danny Brady • Expository Speaking • 2nd place

Steaven McKnight and CJ Dormido • Mime • 1st place

Steaven McKnight, Danny Brady, Kara Whitehead, Micah Cook • Readers Theatre • 1st place

Steaven McKnight • Extemporaneous Commentary • 2nd place

Micah Cook • Extemporaneous Commentary • 3rd place

Kara Whitehead • Extemporaneous Commentary • 4th place

Micah Cook • Dramatic Interpretation of Literature • 4th place

Jessica Whitehead, CJ Dormido, Eliza Myers, Sadie Murphy • Readers Theatre • 6th place

Sadie Murphy • Extemporaneous Commentary • 10th

Jessica Whitehead • Extemporaneous Commentary • 10th