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Libby High hosts speech, drama invitational

by Brandon RobertsWestern News
| January 12, 2009 11:00 PM

Be it theatrical performances or linguistical onslaughts, the Libby High School speech and drama team has expressed diverse talents and rare forte.

Senior Stormy Miller, now in her fourth year on the team, brought home top three finishes her first three years. She’s hoping to cap her tenure with a first-place finish at state.

Performing in the Serious Solo drama category, Miller tells “The Serpent’s Tale,” becoming the venomous snake herself to speak of the “treacherous side of the snake.”

Early on she performed Classical Duo, though with four meets left in her junior year she took up Serious Solo and went on to place third at state with her rendition of Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Tell-Tale Heart.”

She said it was a very difficult performance to place with because it is a better-known act. However, she was complimented by a judge who described her acting as one of the best Poe performances seen in competition.

Miller said the team has “mellowed out” since her freshman year but there is a wide variety of people on the team. She hopes there will be more participation in the future. 

“We are fun loving, truly a family team,” she said. “We support each other very much.”

One of her fellow teammates, sophomore Jason Schikora, performs “Dave Berry’s Colonoscopy” which has so far this season delighted judges and given him top finishes.

Schikora said the top eight performances at divisionals go on to state, which will be held in Butte on Jan. 30-31.

“At state you compete against the best and are judged by some of the best,” he said. “They let you know what was good and what you need to work on.”

Schikora said he still gets a little nervous performing before larger audiences, but is passionate about it and would one day like to take the stage on Broadway.

All good talent has strong coaching and the LHS team has two of the best. Head coach Shelley Fisher was the Northwestern A Drama Coach of the Year for 2007-08, and Coach of the Year for all of Class A in 2008.

“I don’t care if you place, but do your very best,” said Fisher, who has been coaching nine seasons.

One of her biggest joys is to watch younger competitors blossoming not only on the team, but also in the classroom.

“We have a great group of dedicated little actors and actresses,” Fisher said.

Assistant coach Cynthia Curtiss has also received top awards during her nine years coaching speech and drama. She is the current vice president of the Kootenai Karacters and said many on the LHS team also do community theater.

“We have a very strong team heading into divisionals,” Curtiss said. “If they want it, they must come out of the box a little, that’s what theater is all about.”

Libby’s drama team placed second at its annual invite on Saturday, and the LHS coaches extended their gratitude to the 150-plus volunteer judges it takes to host a speech and drama meet, as well as the participants’ parents for preparing food, and Rosauers for donating bakery goods and water. 

The team will head to the University of Montana this weekend for one of the larger western Montana meets which will prime the actors for divisionals in Ronan beginning Jan. 24. 

Team Sweeps

Speech   

Class AA – 1, Flathead JV

Class A – 1, Columbia Falls; 2, Whitefish; 3, Polson

Drama

Class A – 1, Polson; 2, Libby; 3, Bigfork

Class B – 1, Eureka

Speech

Individual Events

Winners

Team Debate – Joe Mazur and Caitlin Caltabiano, Whitefish

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Tanner Conrad, Whitefish

Extemporaneous – Severn Crabtree, Flathead

Expository – Christina Nadine Mark, Columbia Falls

Humorous Oral Interpretation of Literature – Hannah Brinton, Columbia Falls

Impromptu – Taylor Hopkins, Columbia Falls

Memorized Public Address – Kayla Carlson, Bigfork

Oratory – Jessie Mazur, Whitefish

Serious Oral Interpretation of Literature – Charden Wood, Flathead

Drama

Individual Events

Winners

Classical Theatre – Misty Futrell and Becca Grant, Polson

Humorous Duo – Jerry Gaiser and Jacob Sefcak, Bigfork

Humorous Solo – Danielle Smith, Eureka

Pantomime – Austin Butler, Ronan

Serious Duo – John Bishop and Logan Garcia, Polson

Serious Solo – Molly Ricketts, Polson

Libby Results

Classical Theatre – 3, Kammi McClain and Andi Moog

Humorous Duo – 4, Cassi Moog and Stephanie Parsons

Humorous Solo – 2, Jason Schikora; 3, Jolee Holder; 6, Justin Lauer

Serious Duo – 3, Elizabeth Rogers and Mike Wise; 5, Stormy Naylor and John Vinion; 6, Amber Bowers and Melinda Elgin

Serious Solo – 2, Miranda Raab; 3, Stormy Miller