The Declamation Contest: Record Participants and Performances

By Tanvi Dange ’14
Staff Writer

The 146th Declamation Contest consisted of a record number of entries as well as performances with a vast range of topics from serious to comedic. It took place on Jan 9 and had around twenty-four entries, which was the most entries the contest has ever had. Even though there were many more contestants than in years past, Theater Teacher Jay Jaski managed to keep everything under control.

“I entered because I saw it last year and thought it would be really fun to perform my favorite spoken word poetry in front of people,” Grace Gu ’16 said.

After many entries made it to the semi-finals, twelve finalists were chosen. The finalists included Robert Bernard ’14, Anthony Chau ’14, Patrick Creamer ’14, Grace Gu ’16, Alexandra Jones- Twaddell ’16, Tess Kochenash ’14, Jocelyn Ng ’14, Simisola Olagundoye ’14, Kavita Oza ’14, Stephanie Saxton ’14, Morgan Spivey ’14 and Jesse Zhou ’16.

“All the performers put all their energy into the monologues,” Colby Saxton ’15 said. “It was really impressive.”

Some acts were merely for entertainment, such as Zhou’s excerpt from The Boiler Room, which was a huge crowd pleaser. Others’ had a deeper message like Olagundoye’s except from House Arrest, which was about a women in jail who comes to terms about the abuse that killed her daughter.

After all the acts performed, judges Stan Cahill, Kelsey Carroll ’11, and Genevieve Nixon ’95 deliberated on which were the top four performances. During the time when the judge’s met the audience was entertained by The Pulse.

Finally, the judges decided on the four best performances and the awards were given out by Headmaster Peter Quinn. In third place was Ng with her poem, Pretty. In second place was Kochenash with her poem, I’m Comic Sans, Asshole. And in first place was Saxton who performed OCD. Jones-Twaddell received an honorary mention for her performance of Repetition.

“The performances were very well done, from humorous to serious, they kept the entire crowd entertained,” Colby Saxton said.