Pella High Speech Team Prepares for Districts


The Pella High Speech Team is approaching their first competition of the season on January 22 when Pella hosts the district large group competition. During districts, members of the IHSSA (Iowa High School Speech Association) come together to perform in a variety of group events. The Pella High Speech Team has members competing in improv, musical theater, one act, reader’s theater, radio news, group mime, and ensemble acting. Senior Akira Lopez and sophomore Luci Hopkins are both performing in musical theater.

Lopez is the current Vice President of the Pella High Speech Team. He has represented Pella in musical theater and improv for the last four years. 

“It’s going to be a fun year since we’re seniors, and we know what to expect,” said Lopez. “Covid restrictions last year have shown us that we can handle lots of different situations, and I think we’re going to be great.” 

For his final year in musical theater, Lopez is performing excerpts from Shrek The Musical

When asked about his favorite musical he’s done, Lopez replied, “Last year’s Drowsy Chaperone because the characters fit us very well, and it was balanced in terms of stage time and parts. It was truly a great balance between the students’ and the director’s creativity.”

Hopkins will also be competing in the same musical theater group as well as one act. One act is a full-length, memorized play condensed into 35 minutes. 

“We all try our best and give it our all. It doesn’t matter if we place but that we are having fun while we are performing,” said Hopkins. 

Hopkins was recently a cast member in the Union Street Player’s Production of Elf. According to Hopkins, both the actors in the Union Street Players and the actors in her one act group are hard workers. 

“We are all trying to portray our characters to the best of our abilities,” asserted Hopkins. This season, the one act will be performing a condensed version of the play Junie B. Jones

For students still wanting to join the speech team, there is still time. The individual competitive season does not start until late January to early February. Lopez encourages students to join.

“It’s a fun activity. You don’t really have to take it seriously, and you can just do it for the fun of it.” 

Lopez went on to say how speech has helped him perform in front of audiences and become closer with other students. Hopkins has valued her time with the team, especially the upperclassmen she has got to know.

“I’ve learned from all the upperclassmen, and they’ve taught me so much,” said Hopkins. 

Students looking for a non-competitive performing outlet have the opportunity to participate in the improv show in April. Auditions for a spot on one of the four improv teams will be in mid-March and auditions for the fall production of Little Shop of Horrors will take place in May. 

Students interested in watching the large group speech team perform can come to All-City Speech Night alongside Pella Christian on January 27 at Pella High School.