Speech Team in D.C. 2023

Co-Director of Forensics Shawn O'Rourke shared that Saddleback’s award-winning Speech Team competed at its national tournament last week in Bethesda, Maryland. The annual championship event, Phi Rho Pi, brought together over 50 of the top speech teams in the nation in one of the largest tournaments of its type, which lasted from April 10-15.

The team took advantage of the tournament's location to visit Washington, D.C, a short train ride from the event hotel, and visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Holocaust Museum.

 The team was excited to bring Reader's Theater to Phi Rho Pi. The 25-minute performance, entitled "Monuments of Thieves," brings different sources of literature and music and weaves them together into a cohesive performance, with choreographed blocking and singing structured around a theme or argument. Typically reserved for second year competitors, first-year students Daniela Hernandez, Aashika Doshi, and Jack Brubaker proved to be up to the challenge and dedicated countless hours to the show, which examined museums and the debate over returning important artifacts to their countries of origin.

 Saddleback didn't leave the East Coast empty-handed. Jack, a film major who is getting ready to transfer to CSU Fullerton, won a Silver Medal in Prose Interpretation. After winning his award, Jack, who also performed the piece at the President's Breakfast during Spring Flex Week wrote, “Performing on such a prominent stage in the presence of so many good speakers, had brought more out of me than I realized it could.”

 Co-Director of Forensics Lucas Ochoa was thrilled with the team’s showing, writing, “We are so proud of the results at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. Earning a Silver Medal at the toughest tournament of the year is a testament to the dedication, grit and tradition of the Saddleback Speech and Debate team.”

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