Speech shows down at state


Photo courtesy IHSA.

Amanda Feinberg, Editor-in-Chief

Sitting together in the Peoria Civic Center cafeteria at the state speech competition, senior Maeve Dwyer and her teammates were still waiting to hear the results of their earlier rounds. Dwyer waited for hours until the news finally arrived: everyone broke to the final round, meaning they were all guaranteed to place at state. 

“That was such a fantastic moment,” Dwyer said. “Just to be around all these people that I love and realizing that our talents are all being recognized.”

Dwyer, who joined speech her freshman year after her brother had been involved, placed sixth overall for Impromptu Speaking, an event in which she received three different prompts in an envelope – typically a quote, phrase or proverb – and had to deliver a six minute speech about them.

Her first round went incredibly well, however, Dwyer’s second round was not as strong as she had hoped. Regardless, Dwyer appreciates the unpredictability of the event and the challenges that come along with that.

“The freshness of it is something that really appeals to my strengths,” Dwyer said. “With impromptu I really am thinking on my feet and I think that that brings a connection to the audience unlike a lot of the other events.” 

In junior Emily Caravello’s Dramatic Duet Acting piece, she is able to connect with the audience on another level alongside her partner Colin Ryan. The duo placed fifth at state, and the event consists of an eight minute performance with a storyline and blocking.

“Being able to tell a story and connect with another person while you’re performing is cool,” Caravello said. “Through the connection of two people other people watching it get more attached to the piece.”

Similarly, Dwyer emphasizes the strong bond between speech members. Members of the varsity team consistently supported underclassmen by helping them with their pieces, according to Caravello, and that regardless of how the members place head coach Michael Piccoli is proud of them nonetheless.

“He’s really good at making sure that you feel supported and important,” Dwyer said. “Prospect is so lucky to have such a great state speech tournament and I’m just really proud of everyone.”