FHS, Maharishi School to perform at speech festival
It was a Fairfield sweep in the one-act plays at the recent Iowa High School Speech Association competition in Cedar Falls, when both Fairfield and Maharishi high schools were selected to perform at the annual All-State Festival Saturday in Ames.
Fairfield High School speech team coach Fred Hucke explained, “Only two one-act plays can be selected from each district, and the Southeast District was a Fairfield sweep with Maharishi’s ‘The Elephant Man’ and our own ‘Cyrano de Bergerac.’”
FHS’s other performing group is a group mime: “The Reaping of Persephone.”
Its nonperforming group is the musical theatre “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
Maharishi School’s other performing group is a choral reading performance entitled “Dream Song.”
In addition one of Maharishi School’s group improvisational teams was honored by judges as an “Outstanding Performance.”
Being selected to perform at the festival “is a huge honor, and I am very happy for them,” said Maharishi School speech coach Ben Estey. “All of our students, both performing and non-performing should be very proud of the work they’ve done and I know, are very excited for the upcoming festival.”
Maharishi School will present Theater Cavalcade Performances at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 and 2 p.m. Feb. 24 at Spayde Theater on the Maharishi University of Management campus.
The Theater Cavalcade Performances will include “The Elephant Man,” a 1977 play by Bernard Pomerance. The story is based on the true life story of Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man who lived during the Victorian era, as told through the accounts of Sir Frederick Treves, a prominent surgeon in the late 19th and early 20th century.
As a one-act play, it is cut to 35 minutes and performed with full costuming props, sets and lighting. The cast includes: Laser Nite, Hifza Akber, Girindra Selleck, Brecon Anastasio, Vinit Suganur, Dia Huggins, Alina Knight and Huijin Zhou.
“Dream Song” is a 15-minute compilation of poetry, music and movement with costumes. The piece follows the theme of dreams through poems by Neruda and Kipling, rockabilly pop from the 1950s, and modern folk rock. It’s a high-energy piece about what it means to “dream with your eyes open.” School officials said the Choral Reading category has long been the flagship of the Maharishi School speech program.
The cast includes: Brecon Anastasio, Kishan Thijm, Luis Giron, Bryan Prather-Huff, Nathaniel Zhu, Girindra Selleck, Raffi Gelfand, Katya Sheridan, Alina Knight, Sophia Medvedeva, Chosie Titus, Isabel Reed, Chen Xi, Samantha Bell and Gabriella Sleiman.
The Maharishi School performers receiving special accolades for their improvisational performance are: Avery Travis, Mickey DeAngelis, Niko Thiel and Surya Sawhney.
“I’m very happy with all of our entries this year,” said Estey, “every piece has something special. and I have enjoyed watching these young performers come into their own throughout this demanding process.”