Every year, the DGN speech team participates in 14 events. All 14 of these events are more or less individual events, with only one or two performers at a time, however, when the regular speech season draws to a close and the state competition approaches, a new event emerges: PIR.
PIR stands for ‘Performance in the Round’ and is a very unique event in the world of speech. In the words of this year’s PIR director, social studies teacher, Ms. Temple, PIR is “…a 15-minute play. We held auditions and then we have our cast that performs this play. The play is ‘The Amish Project’ and it’s held in a big circle — so the stage is a big circle. The audience is all around you, and then you just use that energy to perform your play and compete against other schools and hope that the judges like you most.” Ms. Temple is new to the PIR process, as this is her first year coaching the team.
This year’s play is entitled “The Amish Project”. It follows the aftermath of a school shooting in a small Amish school, focusing on the shooter and his wife. In the words of Ms. Temple: “…The Amish Project is about a shooting in Nickel Mines which was an Amish community but there are also people who are not Amish living around the community. A non-Amish person went into a schoolhouse full of children and shot all the girls. And so it’s a play about how the Amish react and how people outside of the Amish community react. And also about the dogma surrounding the Amish people so how do we perceive the Amish considering that they’re a little bit different than us.”
The team competed in the Downers Grove South Regional speech meet Saturday, February 8. They did not qualify for the Sectional meet, but, according to junior Edie Barlin, who starred in the play, the value lies not in the results, but in the experience as a whole. “…honestly, I’m just kind of proud of our small little show and that we were able to compete because we went to one of the most competitive regionals in the state… Yeah, it’s gonna be competitive, so I’m just proud that my team was able to show up and technically do it.”