By Alex Stanley ’12
Walking into the Black Box Theater for the first annual Poetry Out Loud contest, a poetry enthusiast might expect to see just a handful of students.
This was not the case in January when, there were 30-40 Brophy students crowded into the Black Box Theater.
Brophy’s first ever Poetry Out Loud poem recitation contest took place on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21.
The basic rules for the event were simple: a student recited a poem, written by a famous poet, by memory.
The participants are judged similar to a speech and debate round; on how well they project their voices and act out the emotion in the poem.
Seventeen students participated in the event. Only the winner, however, Jean Luc Cavnar-Lewandowski ’10, will go on to the state competition. If he wins this he will go to the national competition for a run at $20,000.
The second place prize went to Conner Wareing ’12, and Jack Wolf ’10 claimed third place.
The contest was coordinated by the Mr. John Damaso ’97, and judged by a cast of five Brophy teachers: Ms. Kelly Guffey, Ms. Eliabeth Clark, Mr. Scott Middlemist ’88, Mrs. Dorothy Dunnion and Mrs. Susan Maynard.
The judging of recitations consisted of six different categories.
These are Physical Presence; Voice and Articulation; Appropriateness of Dramatization; Level of Difficulty; Evidence of Understanding; and Overall Performance.
Each category was graded on a one to six point scale except for the Overall Performance section, which was on a two to 12 point scale.
Mr. Chad Unrein was the prompter in case someone needed a reminder on lines. Mr. Steve Smith ’96 was the official score keeper.
Mr. Unrein described his job as “nerve-wracking” since he wasn’t sure whether students were taking dramatic pauses, or forgetting their lines.
Mr. Damaso said he didn’t know how the event was going to go, but the students rose to the occasion. Because of this, he said the quality was even higher than he had expected.
“I was very impressed by the students’ ability to get up in front of the crowd and perform,” said Ms. Christine Gallagher, who attended the competition.