Speech Night 1014


    There are two literature classes represented in Speech Night 2014: The Personal Narrative and Greek Influence on English Literature. The Personal Narrative class primarily read journals, biographies and autobiographies, although our study included other genres of writing related thematically to the works, such as poetry and fiction. The course focused on some of the most important aspects of writing, including structure and development, word choice, voice and theme. The course began with the journal and naturally progressed into the personal narrative, the autobiography and lastly the biography. The course closed with a study of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a play based on Plutarch’s biography of the Roman soldier-emperor. The reading included Quaker narratives by George Fox, John Woolman, and John Greenleaf Whittier; works on people, society and nature, such as those by Henry David Thoreau, William Henry Hudson, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Jefferies, Pierre Loti, and Paul B. Du Chaillu; narrative poetry, such as by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; slave narratives, such as by Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington; and autobiographies, such as by James Thurber, Charles Dickens and Hudson Taylor. Tonight the students will be performing dramatic monologues based on the reading as well as giving speeches about a personal experience—the definition of a personal narrative.

    The Influence of Greek Literature class studied Greek literature and its influence throughout the ages on the various disciplines—literature, philosophy and the fine arts. Students began with a reading of Greek mythology, dramas and epics, including Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Homer’s Odyssey. Students then studied English literature, art and modern philosophy, such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Thomas Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge, Keats’ odes, Breugel’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” Camus’ Sisyphus and Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy, and examined how each of these works was influenced by the content, themes, or structure of Greek literature. In the second half of the year, we studied the essay and discussed the various formats used to communicate a message. We read classic essays by Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, George Orwell, E. B. White, and Mark Twain, as well as modern commentaries by William F. Buckley. In class, students studied the themes, structure, and language of the essays and made an attempt to employ what was learned in original compositions. The speeches you will hear or read were inspired by essays written by George Orwell, William F.  Buckley, and E. B. White.

Part 1

Farewell, My Ballooney by John Paul Stevens
Transcript of Speech

The Stopwatch by Jonathan Klee
Transcript of Speech

The Boiler Broke: What Do I Do? A Dramatic Monologue by Richard Stahl portraying George Mueller

Political Correctness by Isaac Linton

Centerville Experiences by John Kocher

Do You Hear that Crack? A Dramatic Monologue by Noah Davidson portraying John Greenleaf Whittier

Reflections by Grace Mox

Cats are Really People by Elsa Pearl Walter

Part 2

My Father’s Desk A Dramatic Monologue by Mark Stahl portraying Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Four Seasons by Marisa Sankey

They Keep the World Spinning by Tad Lyon

Ruined Photos by Isaac Shaw

Perfect Photographs by Jonam Walter

Tender Mercies A Dramatic Monologue by Stephen Dierkes portraying John Woolman

A Triggered Memory by Theresa Garner

Decisions by Annie Ghrist

Taking the Thule to the Airport by Catherine Lyon

Part 3

Babysitting by Lia Welch

The Battle of the Ants by Jeremiah Levine

Squirrels for Tea by Antonia Milani

Seeing A Dramatic Monologue by Rebecca Harper portraying Helen Keller

Changes by Miriam Shera

Lunchtime by Megan Stevens

What’s in Your Pocket? by Marcus Shera

The Family That Cooks Together by Timothy Harper


About Speech Night 2014