The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor 

Seahawks debate wins at State meet


Corey Hester | For The LOG

Hayden Tiner, Robin McKnight and Josephine Braun act out their award-winning performance of "Bad Auditions by Bad Actors" along with Emily Brockman (not pictured). The skit won the Seahawks team a first place medal for Reader's Theater at last weekend's statewide tournament hosted by East High School in Anchorage.

After capturing several medals in the statewide Debate, Drama and Forensics competition division for small schools, including a number one victory in Reader's Theater, the Seward High School team insured themselves a place in history on the Seahawks wall of fame. The team's photo is already on its way onto a plaque to be included among all the sports achievements displayed on the walls of the school's commons.

The team of Josephine Braun, Emily Brockman, Robin McKnight and Hayden Tiner won a first place medal for their "Bad Auditions by Bad Actors" skit in an unexpected turn of events. Tiner says that he expected a skit called "Good Cop/Bad Cop" featuring Kiesha Lynch, Kara Knotek, Sebastian Kratz and Christian Tofson to pull down the top medal for the team in that category, but that team managed a very respectable fourth place.

Tiner was also looking forward to taking a top spot in Duet Active along with Josephine Braun for a skit called the "The Ninth Step." However several missteps in that performance ended those hopes. However, he did pull off a top spot for his second shot at a Dramatic Interpretation of "War Child" by author Emmanuel Hall.

"The skits can be taken from anything that are published scripts. You could read the newspaper if you thought it could be dramatic. You can take entire books and condense them down for skits, which is what I did with 'War Child,' " Tiner explains.

His second place turn went toward the Seahawks placing first in the DDF tournament for Drama and second overall in the 4A division. The team also garned the good sportsmanship award and Michele Da Re took away a fifth place nod for his DI of "Ocean Sea." And, although there was a lot of concentration on their own productions, the team appreciated the work of the other schools.

"Before State we don't see any of the schools from Southeast like the Whitestone Lions who are amazing and usually steal the show," Tiner says. "It was also great to see new teams like Dillingham and watch other small schools like Sitka, Homer and Nikiski and their pieces. It was cool seeing the two new schools in their first year at DDF."

Tiner says the three days of competition take their toll. "It wasn't just a matter of getting a skit down over months of preparation, critiques and review and then taking the stage," Tiner explains. "A lot of it is energy and it's hard to bring it. You're exhausted after the first day, it really wears you out. Not only physically, but mentally, you're pooped out. It's really hard to keep up with it. By the last day you're just trying to get through it but you still have to show you're still all there on stage."

The three-year-old Drama, Debate and Forensics team, which started as a club, will see the graduation of five senior team members including two founders. The last group of founding members will graduate next year. Tiner says that the team has benefited from the enthusiasm of coach and Seward Schools teacher Augusta Lind. Tiner says she's like a den mother and has worked hard along with the team to get them to this level of competition.


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