The public is being invited to the Mexico High School tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 12:30 for the one act readers dress rehearsal performance as they prepare for the state competition.
The first weekend of March, MHS hosts the MSHSAA District 2 Speech & Debate Tournament where students from our District compete to qualify for the MSHSAA State Competition in April. This year was the first live District speech & debate tournament in 2 years. Both the One Act Play “Bible Camp: The Musical” and the original Readers Theatre “My Grandpa is Online Dating: a Historical Journey through the Importance of Relationships” were District Champions and qualified to State. In addition, Mexico qualified 2 individual events to State. Juniors, Mia Moeller and Ethan Wiley were District Champions and qualified in Duo Interpretation. Jyllian Whitworth, a Freshman, qualified in Storytelling.
The Readers will perform at 1:45 PM and the One Act at 3:50PM at Republic High School in Springfield, MO on Thursday, April 21. All are welcome to attend. It is free. If the Readers and/or One Act qualify to the Final Four, they will compete again on Friday in Springfield (location will be listed on the MSHSAA Website under “Speech & Debate”). The Individual Event competitors will compete on Saturday, April 23 at MSU.
The third weekend of March, the Speech Team competed at the NSDA National Qualifying Tournament at Ladue High School in St. Louis, MO. Students in Speech & Debate do not compete by class size (school size) rather, all competitions are open to all schools both public and private and of all sizes. At NSDA Districts, MHS is one of the smaller schools competing. Students have to earn enough NSDA points at regular season tournaments to compete at the NSDA District tournament.
This year, for the 8th year in a row, MHS has qualified students to the National Tournament. Mia Moeller and Ethan Wiley competed in 6 rounds of Duo Interpretation competition to earn their spot on the Northeast MO National Qualifying Team. Jyllian Whitworth advanced through 5 rounds, making it to the Semi-Final Round in Dramatic Interpretation. However, each school could earn supplemental event bids to the National Tournament for students who competed at, but did not qualify from the NSDA District Tournament. Jyllian got that bid and will be joining our team in Louisville, Kentucky competing in Storytelling.
But, that’s not all!
We need to recognize another MHS alum this year. 2020 graduate Riley Given wrote the play “Dark” under the instruction of his playwriting instructor, and published playwright, Dr. Aaron Scully at UCM. His play, along with a few others were selected to be performed at UCM in a showcase at the Highlander Theatre at UCM in the Spring of 2021. In addition, Riley’s play “Dark” was published on New Play Exchange. Copyright 2022.
Our team was the first to jump on this script. We contacted the playwright through New Play Exchange and were given permission to cut and perform a 10 minute scene from his play for Duo Interpretation. We are proud to take a former student’s published script to both MSHSAA State and NSDA National competition. In 2020, Riley Given was the only student from the State of Missouri to qualify to Nationals all four years of high school. It is an honor to perform his piece in an event he qualified to Nationals in 3 of his 4 years (His Junior year he qualified in Humorous).
Mexico has had a 27 year streak of qualifying to MSHSAA State, an total of 11 years of National Qualifiers (8 consecutively). Over the past 28 years, Mexico has sent a total of 15 students to Nationals and since 1996 has had almost yearly 1st and/or 2nd place District wins with almost as many State Qualifications in One Act Play and Readers Theatre. Those plaques are displayed on the wall 1st floor South of MHS.
The MHS Speech & Debate Team is currently under the direction of Sara Given, 28 year veteran coach and Laura Loudenslager, assistant Speech & Debate Coach. The One Act and Readers Theatre productions are under the direction of Mrs. Given and assistant theatre director, Sarah Murdock.