DHS speech group brings home coveted banner

A Group Improvisation team from Decorah High School was selected as banner recipient at the recent All-STate Speech Festival in Ames over the weekend.

A Group Improvisation team from Decorah High School was selected as a banner recipient at this year’s All-State Speech Festival held in Ames over the weekend.

This is the first time Decorah has won a banner in the area of Group Improvisation.

Cast members of the Group Improv team include Anders Lovstuen, Jack Sovern, Ansel Kowitz, Adam Jones, and Alex Irwin. They were directed by Molly Holkesvik, Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, and Lyra McKnight.

Approximately 70 Decorah High School students made the trip to Ames over the weekend to perform at the festival at the Iowa State Center on the ISU campus.Ten events were nominated as outstanding performances and joined other elite speech students from across the state to share their performances with a professional critic.

Each critic selects one performance at the end of the day and awards a banner to that entry, signifying them as “best of center” in that category. The banner winner, in the eyes of the critic, represents a state championship-quality performance that stands out above the rest. The Group Improv team performed a draw about washing windows on the Empire State Building. The critic praised the group for their creativity, willingness to trust, and their ability to “gift” each other with ideas.

“We couldn’t be prouder of these students. They worked hard to create a fun, witty, creative story that everyone enjoyed. They proved how effective the art of improv can be with the right amount of patience, persistence, and balance,” remarked the large group speech directors Molly Holkesvik, Gabriel Twedt, Carrie Kauffman, Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, and Lyra McKnight.

The coaches added, “A big thank you to all involved in the fire truck parade, the ringing of the victory bell, and for packing the house at all our performances throughout the season. Saturday night was a true celebration of our entire speech team.”