Random eruptions of hysterical laughter filled the theatre at Southeastern Illinois College on the evening of March 31 as nearly 250 spectators packed the George T. Dennis Visual and Performing Arts Center to catch the annual public performance of the acclaimed Forensic Falcons speech team.
The team’s Night Before Nationals event is a chance to showcase the talent of one of the most successful programs in the school’s history each year. As the name of the event suggests, the team will compete in the national Phi Rho Pi tournament April 4-8 in Costa Mesa, California.
Teamers Kelsey Bartok of Eldorado and Cassandra Watkins of Harrisburg were the emcees for the evening, playfully introducing a sampling of six of the 49 events the team plans to perform at nationals.
Talented Carmi native, Alli Haley, then gave a somewhat frightening prose performance on the “human possession obsession,” better known as stalking.
Cassidy Maynard led the lineup with an informative speech about the Drinkable Book. Maynard tells of the ability of the pages of each book to not only give tips on safe drinking water practices, but to act as a filter to clean water for up to four years for families in third-world countries. Her personal experience on a mission trip to Nicaragua inspired her to speak on this topic.
Britta Suits of Broughton, with audience assistance, demonstrated impromptu speaking. The audience was asked to provide three quotes, and Suits had a total of seven minutes to prepare and deliver a speech. Of the three, she chose, “Not all who wander are lost,” from The Lord of the Rings.
Carrie McDaniel of Harrisburg, who won most valuable speaker of the regional tournament, performed her award-winning speech to entertain about sibling rivalry, including humorous points such as “why they won’t leave you alone” and “how to make peace with your pesky sibling.”
Haley Rushing of Marion gave her communication analysis speech on The HIV Positive Poster, each of which holds an actual drop of HIV positive blood, and its effectiveness on informing a Brazilian city about how people should not fear those with the disease.
Preston Boone of Harrisburg and Gabe Motsinger of Carrier Mills. The pair gave a duo interpretation about cancer based on Will Reiser’s autobiographical feature 50/50.