Pratt High School Forensics Duet Acting team Abby Domann and Kedric Sprugin captured First Place at the 4A State Forensics Tournament in Topeka on May 5.

The Pratt High School Forensics team had a very successful trip to Topeka for the State 4A Forensics Tournament at Washburn Rural High School. Overall, the team placed sixth out of 51 teams at the tournament. Leading the team were Abby Domann and Kedric Spurgin in Duet Acting who took first place out of 60 entries. Placing Fourth out of almost 40 entries in Impromptu Duet Acting were Coleton Cummins and Bridget Kiley. Alesha Bergner took Fifth in Original Oration out of 40 entries. Both Domann and Bergner also broke into semi finals in Impromptu Speaking as did Kevin Johnson in Extemporaneous and Katie Strobel in Serious Solo but these entires did not advance to finals. This gave Pratt seven team entries in semi-finals.

The rest of the team are: Ryleigh Cook-Impromptu; Elise Coykendall-Impromptu; Amee Hidalgo-Oration; Ruby Howell-Informative; Will Mass-Poetry, David Mathes and Camdon Nickelson-Duet Acting; Kahrie Stegman-Serious Solo; Kimberly Allen Thompson-Oration.

Forensics Coach Rose Beilman said she was amazed with Domann and Sprugin who took their 16th place duet into semi finals and turned it into state champions. They worked with Beilman and assistant coach Kadie Larsh to learn some new blocking and character work in 30 minutes.

“They showed an amazing spirit of cooperation,” Beilman said.

As a team, they were in 12th place after the first of three preliminary rounds but they supported each other and created momentum to reach 7th place semi finals then 6th for finals that is very competitive at state and very hard to do.

“It was beautiful to see how “my kids” were there for each other,” Beilman said.

The team was about half varsity and half in their first year. They have matured and are excellent teammates. Beilman’s goal for all her students is for them to gain a sense of confidence, develop better communication skills and to believe in themselves and others.

She also wants to thank Brynn Hampton for time keeping, assistant coach Kadie Larsh, the community and the district for their support and the volunteer judges Tonja Harrison, Katie Buhler and Gale Rose.

“I’m very fortunate to have a lot of community support,” Beilman said.

Seniors Spurgin and Domann captured First in Duet acting at the tournament. Spurgin has been in Forensics for four years and enjoys doing duet acting because of the sense of teamwork. Their duet piece, “The Big Bang” was something he had seen another duet us and was successful so he wanted that success too. He joined Forensics because it was a chance to get into an acting class at school. It has made him a better speaker, he’s more confident in front of crowds and he has become more of a people person. He feels it will help him in his future major of broadcast journalism.

He thanks his partner Abby for sticking with him during this year’s journey. The whole team did a phenomenal job and were there for one another.

Domann has been in Forensics four years and took third at state in 2017 in Duet Acting with partner Dillon Cochran.

She joined Forensics because it was something she enjoyed doing. She has gained confidence in her speaking ability. She enjoyed working with her partner Kedric on their duet because it was something they were both passionate about. The synchronization was difficult and the humor was great but not over the top.

“It was a great piece for Kedric and I,” Domann said.

Domann said Spurgin is her best friend and they are like two halves that make a whole. He’s a breath of fresh air and there’s never a dull moment with him around.

Domann said Beilman is one of her best teachers and one of the most caring in her life. She was always there for her and pushed her to be a better performer and a better person.

Kiley and Cummins placed fourth in Improvised Duet Acting. Kiley, who is a senior, said she enjoyed doing IDA because it let her be kid. It lets her little child out and she gets to make up stories. She joined Forensics to get over stage freight and come out of her shell.

“I was able to be my self,” Kiley said.

She loves her partner Cummins who brings his own ideas and adds them to hers. Coach Beilman expects her students to do their best and pushes them to see what they can do physically. Kiley said, with a big smile, ‘She (Beilman) slightly terrifies me.’

Sophomore Cummins said being in IDA is fun and magical. It allows him to connect with his partner. While he says its so much fun, between rounds he talks about being nervous and scared. Being in Forensics has helped him improve his personality. He said he used to be shy, was rude and not very social. But he has changed for the good and has discovered he is funny.

He said Kiley is amazing, competitive and helps keep him calm so he doesn’t fall out of place.

“I’m going to miss her,” Cummins said.

Berger’s fifth place Oration was “Fire” about prescribed burns for prairie management. She was proud of her work because it was the first time this junior, who has been in Forensics for three years, had ever broken into semi finals and finals. She enjoys doing oration because it gives her an opportunity to talk about topics she is passionate about and do it in a professional setting.

She said being in Forensics has helped her improve her communication skills. Beilman has been encouraging and challenged students to grow and get out of their comfort zones.

Senior Kevin Johnson has spent four years in

Forensics and this is the second year he has broken into semi finals. He was just one place from making finals this year in Extemporaneous Speaking. He said doing extemp helps him find out what he believes in. He said Forensics has helped him overcome his nervousness about his capabilities and helped him discover himself.

“I found the passion within my self,” Johnson said.

When junior Katie Strobel made it into serious solo semifinals, she had a great chance to make it into finals. But during her round, she slowed down too much and went over the allotted time and was given last place in the round. She likes her solo “Normalcy” a story about a girl dealing with her brother that killed their mother.

She said she likes doing serious solo as a way to deal with anxiety. It’s a way for her to let her emotions out through her character. In her solo, she said she could almost feel her character’s pain.

She got involved in Forensics because she loves acting and once she got started she couldn’t stop because it lets her be in someone elses world.

Strobel said Coach Beilman always pushes students to do their best and helps prepare them for the outside world. She appreciates that Beilman was willing to teach her.

Other PHS Forensic team members competed at the State Forensics Festival in Wichita on Saturday with Coach Michelle Popovich.

State Festival results:

Receiving “I” ratings: Caden Donnenwerth and Nick Brown in Improvised Duet Acting; Kate Shanline in Poetry and Oration; Rafe Donnenwerth and Hogan Thompson in Duet Acting; Colby Barradas in Serious Solo.

Receiving “II” ratings: Rafe Donnenwerth and Kurtis Veninga in Duet Acting; Blake Becker and Colby Barradas in Duet Acting; Morgan Rogers and Aubrey Meyers in Duet Acting; Donovan McAbee in Serious Solo and Impromptu Speaking; Kurtis Veninga in Impromptu Speaking.

Receiving “III” ratings: Cindy Ibarra and David Holman in Improvised Duet Acting.