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Speech Night 2019

Part 1

The Man Who Disliked Cats by P. G. Wodehouse


Jean Priaulx, Justice Kocher; Marion Henderson, Bridget Haselbarth; Mrs. Henderson, Bridget Sheridan; Captain Basset, Micah Volpe; Julia Priaulx, Monica Levis; Mrs. Rockmettler, Olivia Coppa; Director of the Animal Pound, Olivia Coppa; Honoria Glossop, Monica Levis; Butler, Micah Volpe; Maid, Monica Levis.

“Life as a Younger Brother” by Jacob Louie


“Sing Like a Caged Bird” by Audrey Drennen


C is for Cottage Poetry Recitation


“The Elixir” by George Herbert, recited by by Linus Haselbarth; “The Owl” by Alfred Tennyson, recited by Lucia Volpe; “A Laughing Song” by William Blake, recited by Bhargav Talajia; “Alice” by Christina Rossetti, recited by Mahki Roundtree; “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost, recited by Athena Nolan; “The Camel” and “The Manatee” by Ogden Nash, recited by John Lengkeek; “If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking” by Emily Dickinson, recited by Mikayla Young; “A Poison Tree” by William Blake, recited by Saarang Anand; “Hope” by Emily Dickinson, recited by Ana Mohan

“On Getting Up” by Joshua Louie 


Vices and Virtues Speak, Part 1


“Intemperance Speaks,” Caleb Garecht; “Confidence Speaks” by Evie Huie; “Rationalization Speaks,” by Jerushah Levine; “Courage,” Emilia Owen.                             Audio

Five-minute Intermission; Part 2

A is for Apple Poetry Recitation


“A Chill” by Christina Rossetti, recited by Lily Drennen; “The Arrow and the Song” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, recited by Bruno Haselbarth; “Seasons of the Year” by Isaac Watts, recited by Prielle Roundtree; “There is But One May in the Year,” recited by Sophia Young; “A Morning Song” by Isaac Watts, recited by Margot Mohan; “Going Down Hill on a Bicycle” by Henry Charles Beeching, recited by Tobias Volpe

“Post-Series Depression” by Ben Callahan


William Wordsworth’s Poetry

“William Wordsworth” by Lucas Mohan; “Simon Lee” by Francesca Milani; “Harry Gill” by Andrew Stevens

“Matthew” by Nathaniel Tom; “A Little Cottage Girl” by Cecilia Volpe


Vices and Virtues Speak, Part 2

 “Vanity,” Amalyah Callahan; “Pride,” Lizzie Drennen; “Contentment,” Rose Kocher; “Courage,” Saarang Anand.


“Orthodontists” by Christian Lengkeek


Five-minute Intermission; Part 3

Mrs. Veal by Daniel Defoe, dramatized by Sophia Burrowes, Anna Walter, and Emma and Elise Lengkeek


Mrs. Veal, Elise Lengkeek; Mrs. Bargrave, Anna Rose Walter; Mrs. Watson, Emma Lengkeek; Narrator and Mr. Veal, Gianluca Milani.

“The Class Clown” by Elijah Levine


“A Letter to a Furry Family Member” by Hannahgrace Burrowes

“Customers” by Vincent Marcozzi

“Speak Less Than Thou Knowest” by Irene Thomas


About Speech Night 2019​

The cover of the program features a cat—the subject of this Speech Night’s play, based on G. P. Wodehouse’s fictional narrative, “The Man Who Disliked Cats.” Wodehouse’s piece is part of the Personal Narrative curriculum, which covers personal narratives, journals, biographies, autobiographies, narrative poems and fictional narratives. Wodehouse is more famous, perhaps, for his Jeeves stories, which typify his farcical humor. Some are nonplussed by the Wodehouse’s humor while others thoroughly enjoy it. What camp do you fit in? 

This year, the high school class studied drama, narrative essays and speeches in a course titled “I Tell, I Speak, I Write.” The literature included works by the great essayists and orators of the past three centuries, including Joseph Addison, Christopher Morley, Henry David Thoreau, G. K. Chesterton, Stephen Leacock, Robert Benchley, Frederick Douglass, and many others. The major dramas that we read included Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest, and Shakespeare’s King Lear. This year I asked the students to memorize a long quotation from Lear and make it their “life-long lesson in Lear.” (I called the assignment the “L4 project.”) They not only had to recite the passage throughout the year but also had to write a narrative in which they retell an incident in their own lives, inspired by the quotation. The purpose of the L4 project was to encourage students to relate their own life experiences to literature. There are a few students tonight who will be giving a speech that they wrote for the L4 project. The other speeches are musings inspired by one of the assigned essays.

The Vice and Virtue course consists of many character-building stories by classic authors, such as Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, and William Wordsworth. This year’s Vice and Virtue students have chosen a vice or virtue to personify on stage and will tell one of the stories that they have read. 

The English History and Literature class studied a lot of poetry this year, concentrating on the Romantic era. We went over the poetry of William Wordsworth extensively, and I thought it would be a good idea to present some of the real-life characters that Wordsworth includes in his poetry. For the most part William Wordsworth wrote from the experiences that he or his friends had, and thus the people of his poems are not products of his imagination but people that the poet either met himself or heard about. For artistic purposes, Wordsworth chose the rustic people and related very common incidents in which their minds were “stirred,” so that he could show how “we associate ideas in a state of excitement.” Tonight you will get to meet several characters from Wordsworth’s poems, including Harry Gill of “Goody Blake and Harry Gill,” Simon Lee of “Simon Lee, the Old Huntsman,” Matthew of “Expostulation and Reply,” and an unnamed country girl of “We Are Seven.”

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