You might say it has been another banner year for the Dubuque Senior High School speech team.
On Saturday, February 18th the Dubuque Senior Speech Team performed at the Iowa High School Speech Association Large Group All-State Festival at Iowa State University. The team of over 75 Dubuque Senior students proudly represented and entertained audiences in performances ranging from One Act Play to Musical Theatre. The Dubuque Senior Speech Team closed the ceremony by earning three Critic’s Choice Awards for outstanding performance of the day in the categories of Ensemble Acting, Radio Broadcasting and Solo Mime.
In the category of Ensemble Acting, Over the River and Through the Woods claimed the Critic’s Choice Award. The play, written by Joe DiPietro, is a warm-hearted, boisterously funny, and touching story about intergenerational relationships and deep familial love. The performance featured students Lucia Kuehn, Scout Kuehn, Soren Obermueller, Aidan Seville, and Emma Ward. It was directed by Aaron Dean. The critic was Tiffany Johnson, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Iowa State University and Artistic Director of the Pyramid Theatre Company of Des Moines.
In the category of Radio Broadcasting, KWOZ was awarded the Critic’s Choice Award. The performance imagines a witty, whimsical news broadcast from the Land of Oz featuring beloved characters from the classic film. The newscast featured Aidan Dolan, Maddie Fast, Joplin Halstoos, Maura Lawler, Makayla Makovec, Brice Shaw, Hannah Tracy, and Nate Williams. It was directed by Greg Ernzen. The critic was Calyn Thompson, an anchor at WHO-TV 13, Des Moines.
In the category of Solo Mime, The Price of Perfection received the Critic’s Choice Award. This moving performance examined the pressures of body image and the toll it takes both physically and mentally. The performer was Elise Norman. It was directed by Megan Schumacher. The critic was Paul Kalina, Associate Professor of Movement Studies at the University of Iowa.
Dubuque Senior was also awarded the E. Wayne Cooley Large Group Sweepstakes Trophy. The trophy is awarded to the school receiving the most All-State honors at the IHSSA Large Group Festival, making Dubuque Senior the 2023 Large Group State Champions.
Iowa High School Speech Association Information:
- The Critic’s Choice Award is given by a theatre professional to the top performance of the day in each category.
- This is the tenth Ensemble Acting Award for Dubuque Senior, a category dating back to 1984.
- This is the fourth Radio Broadcasting Critic’s Choice Award for Dubuque Senior, a category dating back to 2005.
- This is the fifth Critic’s Choice Award in Solo Mime for Dubuque Senior, one of the original IHSSA categories from the first festival back in 1981.
- The three Critic’s Choice Awards tie the school record for these honors awarded at a single festival. Dubuque Senior has achieved this feat four times. (1984, 1987, 2015, 2023)
- The award includes a traveling banner which Dubuque Senior will return to the All-State Festival next year.
- This marks the 34th, 35th, and 36th Critic’s Choice Award win for Dubuque Senior High School and the 17th in the last 11 years.
- This is Dubuque Senior’s seventh Large Groups Sweepstakes State Championship. (1984, 2001, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2023)