Forensics on Fire: December Newsletter

Written by Madeline W. '24

November and December were busy but successful months for our Forensics Team! Since our last monthly newsletter, we have competed in 4 tournaments, with a sweepstakes win at the Byram Hills competition and our first overnight tournament! Also, four more students have qualified for States - Grey Webb ‘26, Grace Klausner ‘26, Manu Mejia-Fanjul ‘27, and Anaeli Munoz ‘26. Congratulations! 

Forensics on the Road:

On December 2 and 3, FOF members Sofia DeRose ‘24, Grace Klausner, Chloe Quan ‘26, Brooke Klausner ‘24, Anaeli Munoz, Veronica Lytle ‘26, and Estelle Baev ‘26 competed at the Princeton Classic, a two-day tournament competition located on Princeton’s campus. This was our first overnight tournament of the year and was challenging but successful. You can expect fun content from the trip in the following newsletter! 

Before describing our tournament wins, we thought it would be helpful to have a breakdown of the different categories FOF members can choose to compete in and what they entail. 

Categories Breakdown:

In Extemporaneous Speaking, competitors draw three questions concerning domestic and foreign affairs. After choosing one question, they have 30 minutes to prepare and memorize a seven-minute speech on their given topic. Competitors then deliver the speech in front of a judge; JV competitors may utilize an index card with fifty words or less, while varsity competitors must fully memorize their speech.

Declamation, a JV-only category, involves choosing a seven- to ten-minute preexisting speech, such as a commencement speech or a TED talk. After adding a brief introduction, competitors memorize the speech and incorporate different expressive choices in their performance before delivering the speech in front of a judge. 

In Oral Interpretation, competitors read a seven- to ten-minute selection of both poetry and prose. Competitors write a brief introduction and employ different storytelling devices in their delivery. They will then deliver the selection in front of a small audience. 

In Original Oratory, competitors write an original ten-minute speech on any topic or subject of their choosing. For example, competitors may speak about personal experiences or inform the audience about a certain event. Competitors then deliver their oration in front of a small audience and judges.

Program Oral Interpretation, a varsity-only category, requires competitors to combine literature from different genres: prose, poetry, and drama. Competitors compile literature from the genres and create a program that they deliver in front of a small audience.

In Dramatic Performance, competitors choose a selection from a play, a novel, or a story and present it in front of a small audience. Competitors may portray multiple characters as well.

Duo Interpretation of Literature requires two competitors to choose a selection from a play, a novel, or a story and present it together in front of a small audience. The competitors may portray multiple characters but are not permitted to make eye contact or touch each other during their delivery. 

Tournament Recap: 

Byram Hills 

Grey Webb ‘26 - JV Extemporaneous Speaking - 1st Place

Rhea Sriram ‘26 - Declamation -1st Place

Abby LaValle ‘26 - JV Oral Interpretation - 1st Place

MC Cronin ‘24 and Hadley Brooks ‘24 - Duo Performance - 1st Place  

Sofia DeRose ‘24 - Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking - 2nd Place

Grace Klausner ‘26 - JV Extemporaneous Speaking - 2nd Place

Karlygash Ni Longaigh ‘26 - JV Oral Interpretation - 2nd Place

Lisa Nelson ‘24 - Oral Interpretation - 2nd Place

Rosemary Roque ‘26 - Declamation - 3rd Place 

Leela Kapoor ‘25 - Programmed Oral Interpretation - 3rd Place

Anaeli Munoz ‘26 -  JV Oral Interpretation - 3rd Place 

Veronica Lytle ‘26 - JV Oral Interpretation - 4th Place

Brooke Klausner ‘24 - Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking - 6th Place

Manu Mejia-Fanjul ’27 - JV Extemporaneous Speaking - Finalist

Keeva Leddy ‘27 - JV Extemporaneous Speaking - Finalist

Eliana Castillo Yee ‘27 - Declamation - Finalist

Mini-Scar at Scarsdale High School  

Grace Klausner ‘26 - JV Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking - 1st Place

Anaeli Munoz ‘26 - JV Oral Interpretation - 2nd Place

Manu Mejia-Fanjul ‘27 - JV Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking - 3rd Place

Chloe Quan ‘26- JV Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking - 6th Place

The Princeton Classic

Sofia DeRose ‘24 - Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking - Quarterfinalist

Chloe Quan ‘26 - Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking - Quarterfinalist

Emily Clemente 

Abby LaValle ‘26 - Varsity Oral Interpretation - 1st Place 

Rhea Sriram ‘26 - Declamation - 1st Place 

Madeline Wadsworth ‘24 - Original Oratory - 3rd Place 

Rosemary Roque ‘26 - Declamation - 4th Place

Katherine McConnell ‘26 - JV Oral Interpretation - 4th Place  

Riley Donovan ‘26 - JV Oral Interpretation - Finalist 

Leyla Brin ‘26 - JV Oral Interpretation - Finalist 

Eliana Castillo Yee ‘27 - Declamation - Finalist  

Georgiana Trevisani ‘27 - JV Extemporaneous Speaking - Finalist

Now that the 2023 Forensics Season has ended, we will begin preparing for our January 2024 competitions! We have an exciting month in January with three tournaments. I’m sure FOF will continue to impress with new accomplishments in the New Year!