The Dubuque Senior High School Speech Team upheld its reputation as a speech powerhouse on February 20 during the Iowa High School Speech Association Large Group All-State Festival held at Iowa State University.

The Senior team claimed three Critic’s Choice Banners for outstanding performances of the festival in Ensemble Acting, One Act Play and Solo Mime. The team also received the E. Wayne Cooley Sweepstakes Trophy, awarded to the school that qualifies the most performing entries for the All-State Festival.

The varsity team accomplished this by qualifying an IHSSA state record of 17 performing events (plus two non-performing). In addition, the Senior ninth grade team qualified 5 events (2 performing, 3 non-performing).

The following were the Critic’s Choice selections:

Ensemble Acting: Complete History of America (Abridged)

This hilarious rollercoaster ride through American History by the Reduced Shakespeare Company featured juniors Andrew Baur Schoer, Seamus Foley and sophomore Mike Grant. The piece was directed by Aaron Dean. Critic was Mike Peitz, former executive director of the Educational Theatre Association.

One Act Play: Two Rooms

Written by Lee Blessing, it featured senior Ethan Vander Broek and juniors Grace Maddux and Connor Ripperger. The One Act Play also included original music by junior Justin Blum and accompaniment by Frances Inzenhofer. It is a powerfully raw, emotional look at how terrorism affects us at home and abroad. It was directed by Aaron Dean. Critic was Kari Wahlgren of the Donna Reed Foundation.

Solo Mime: I(shoes)

Featuring the mime work of senior Francis Mihm, the clever piece follows the hilarious pitfalls of a customer through a magical shoe store. It was directed by Megan Schumacher. Critic was Jeff Hanson of the Lampost Theatre Company.