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Rumson Country Day's Forensics Stars


The Rumson Country Day School recently hosted its 25th Annual Forensics Festival.

The annual event showcased on Nov. 16 the talents of more than 100 students from six schools, including Ocean Township Middle School, Oak Hill Academy, Ranney School, The Winston School, Far Hills Country Day School and The Rumson Country Day School.  

In front of an audience of more than 150 guests, students competed for top honors in the categories of dramatic pairs, storytelling, and humorous interpretation of literature. RCDS Forensics Director Geoff Harrison served as the coordinator of the event, with forensics coaches Kevin Nicholas, Jessica Goski, Claudia Volpe, Sheila Bacon, Aline Ronzier, and Amy Clark assisting. RCDS students distinguished themselves by claiming five of the outstanding finalist awards.

The Forensic Club is a popular activity that provides dramatic coaching to students who are interested in drama and public speaking. The students must perform scripts that include memorization, stage movement and demonstrate theatrical presence.

"Forensics is a great opportunity for students to not only perform in front of others, but to also strengthen non-cognitive skills that cannot always be addressed in the classroom," Harrison said. "Students learn self-discipline, empathy, resilience, and motivation. Students come back every year to RCDS and discuss the positive impact that the Forensics Festival had on their future endeavors."  

Forensics is offered to students in grades 5 to 8 who are interested in drama and public speaking; and Upper School students can select Forensics as an activity.

The annual festival is a competitive venue that provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate their public speaking skills, confidence and poise for a panel of judges. The judging panel consisted of members of the Count Basie Theatre, New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, and an Off-Broadway SAG/AFTRA regional actor.

To prepare for the festival, RCDS students presented their pieces to fellow students and teachers during a workshop on Nov. 13. The event not only served as an exposition highlighting the many talents of student-performers, but also as an opportunity to practice in front of an audience.

Students competed in the categories of Storytelling, Humorous Interpretation of Literature and Dramatic Pairs.

Congratulations to the following RCDS students who were selected as finalists for their notable performances in the Dramatic Pairs category:

Paul Thomas ’14 & Cole DeMeulemeester ’14 ~ 
Kill the Butter, by Bradley Walton;
Maddie Orr ’15 and Katerina Chrysanthopolous ’15 ~ 
Now. Here. This, by Hunter Bell and Susan Blackwell; Molly Siciliano ’15 and Lauren Marcolus ’15 ~ In the Way, by David J. LeMaster; Charlie Murphy ’15 and Kate Swikart ’15 ~ Ken and Barbie, by Sandra Dempsey; Abigail Devine ’15 and Eleanor Lynch ’15 ~ Dueling Phobias, by Brenda Cohen and Jonathan Mayer.

Congratulations to the following students who performed at the festival:

Brendan Greene ’15 and Patrick Devine ’15  (Dramatic Pairs); Paul Thomas ’15 and Cole DeMeulemeester ’14 (Dramatic Pairs); Taylor Harrison ’15 and Jessica Scopellite ’15 (Dramatic Pairs); Maddie Orr ’15 and Katerina Chrysanthopolous ’15  (Dramatic Pairs); William Geisler ’16 (Storytelling); Molly Siciliano ’15 and Lauren Marcolus ’15 (Dramatic Pairs) Jesse Wallace ’14 and Ava Atanacio ’14 (Dramatic Pairs); Charlie Murphy ’15 and Kate Swikart ’15 (Dramatic Pairs) and Abigail Devine ’15 and Eleanor Lynch ’15.    
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