School News

Annual Speech Performances This February 27, 28,  March 1 at Spayde Theater

The Fairfield community is in for its annual speech performance treat this weekend, February 27th, 28th, and March 1st at MUM’s Spayde Theater. New Indian School’s performances for the Iowa High School Speech Association will be presented so the community can enjoy them, too. All nine teams advanced to the IHSSA State level competition, where 8 of them received a rating of ‘1,’ the best available. Tickets are available at Thymely Solutions, at the door, or by talking to any of the performers.

  • Friday, February 27, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, February 28, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 1, 2:00 pm
  • Tickets, $12 General/ $10 Students

The performances include the one-act play “Proof” by David Auburn. This Pulitzer and Tony winning script follows a young woman dealing with her father’s legacy of mathematical genius and mental illness. Dia Huggins, Sam Stickels, Jacqueline Leete and Niko Thiel star. "Proof" received Special Recognition at the All-State Festival.

The freshman Readers’ Theater is "The Cave," by Tim Kelly. This short play explores themes of fear and exploration, theater and reality, survival and betrayal through the device of the young performers creating the space of a cave and a survival situation. The entire freshman class at MSAE stars: Abdullah Akbar, Bridgit Bianco, Karan Chodankar, Bridgit Emmanuel, Jason Fang, Hermela Gebremariam, Jeremy Marks, Ethan O’Neil, Drew Schoenfeld, Johnny Solano, Shawn Spurrier, Narayani Thijm, Bella Unger, Karthik Vempati, Kai Vessey, Bea Bousquet, Cecilia Faircrest, Frank Wang, and Daniel Zhu.

Alista Wilkes, Madeleine Stood, Anna Unger, Samantha Bell, Jivani Rodriguez, Melat Tessema, Lorena Hansen, Amanda Valentine, Tomas Bousquet, Caleb Mulleneaux, Keene Lashway, Kishan Thijm, Lalith Pullapantula and Nathaniel Zhu are the Choral Reading team members. The choral reading, entitled “Dreamscape,” is created by Madeleine and Brendan Thomas, who have worked hard to incorporate music and written material to create a lovely, drifting performance that reminds the audience of the variety and power of dreaming. Costuming is by Jan Thatcher.

In the Improv category, there are one boys’ team and one girls’ team. The boys’ improv group has had several years working in this category, but the girls' improv is a new, young group with plenty of enthusiasm and raw talent. Boys performing in the improvisation category are Caleb Mulleneaux, Niko Thiel, and Tomas Bousquet. The girls' team members are Melat Tessema, Amanda Valentine, and Madeleine Stood. Both of these groups are supervised by Colin Miller.

The musical theater piece “Mulan” stars Samantha Bell in the title role, with Loreena Hansen, Kishan Thijm, Keefe Lashway, Lalith Pullapantula, and Nathaniel Zhu also starring. It is a fun, physical piece drawn from the Disney movie of the same name, featuring songs like “Reflection,” “Honor to Us All,” and “I’ll Make a Man out of You.”

This year, MSAE is also proud to present a musical theater cutting of Steven Sondheim’s Company, starring Sam Stickels in the role of Bobby, with Dia Huggins, Anna Unger, and Jivani Rodriguez as Bobby’s harried girlfriends. Songs include “Another Hundred People,” “You Could Drive a Person Crazy,” “Barcelona” and the classic “Being Alive.”

The Ensemble piece “Patio” will be performed by Jacqueline Leete and Alista Wikle. This story about southern siblings reflecting on their life choices is alternately hilarious and touching. “Patio” is staged and directed by Jan Thatcher.

Two grade nine students, Hermela Gebremariam and Drew Schoenfeld, competed in Radio Broadcasting this year. MSAE hasn’t entered Radio Broadcasting since 2005, but Hermela and Drew have had experience in our middle school with radio broadcasting and were eager to take on the challenge of competition. They worked on their own time to create their piece, which received excellent ratings at District and State competition.

New Indian School’s annual presentation of its speech competition performances is a full evening of varied creativity, with music, drama, song and dance, improvisation, physical theater, comedy and tragedy, all performed by this cast of 36 young people. A big thank you goes to the speech program director Brendan Thomas, assistant coach and costume and set designer Jan Thatcher, musical director Madeline Thomas, and improv coach Colin Miller, with musical help from Miranda Mallard and set construction by Darien Sloat. 

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