Tri-County prepares for State Large Group Speech

The Tri-County Readers Theatre had one last "Grand Romantic Gesture" as they sang the Righteous Brothers.

            Tri-County speech warmed up for their upcoming weekend at State Large Group Speech with a special home presentation in front of family and friends on Sunday, Jan. 28.

            “This is a great performance for our students to have with this open practice,” Speech Director Vince Hrasky said. “They practice at an incredibly high level and if they can remember this over the week, we can get better and better.”

            All three groups-Freshman Choral Reading, Choral Reading and Readers Theatre-moved on from Districts last week in Ottumwa after each receiving a Division I rating from the judges. This serves as a relief for Hrasky, who admits Districts are a tough time for himself and the students.

            “Everyone was clearly nervous at the beginning, but once we warmed in they had fun and the audience got to have fun with them. With our style of Choral Reading, we are different than everybody else. When we walk into a district contest, we could walk into a judge that says ‘I don’t like that style’ and be blasted. It’s always a bit nerve wracking.”

            With their home presentation, the Freshman Choral Reading, “First Day” kicked off the afternoon with a hilarious, yet oddly relevant take on 3rd grade. Belle Elwood is a brand-new student in class, and she learns more from her fellow students than her inattentive teacher. In the course of one school day, Belle gets caught passing notes, trying to fit in with her classmates  and gets married (sorta).

            “With the freshman Choral Reading, I wanted them to talk about things they have done in third grade,” Hrasky said. “Belle is fairly new here, so I thought we could do our presentation on a new kid coming in, being shown the ropes. It’s a good way to talk about their experiences.”

Please view the January 31 edition of The News-Review for the full story.