Award-Winning Forensics Team Hosts ‘Night of Stars’ Tomorrow

Posted: March 22, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Interpreting poetry, revamping the literary canon, defending teachers who are falsely accused of abuse–the George Mason Forensics Team isn’t to be taken lightly. Garnering numerous awards and wins in smaller tournaments throughout this year, the team is gearing up for the National Forensics Tournament at the end of the month. As a way of practicing and also to honor each other, they will present “A Night of Stars: A Wonderful Evening of Performance” tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall 1 auditorium. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Seven students–seniors Courtney Anderson, Cindy Carlson, Christine Haynes, Jud Lewis, and Christyn Wallace, and juniors Patrick Barton and Erica Radcliffe–will give six nationally competitive performances.

Barton’s persuasive speech, “False Teacher Accusations,” deals with high school teachers who are falsely accused of abuse. He has placed in the finals of several different tournaments this year, including Top Speaker at a tournament hosted by Marshall University in Ohio. “When I came to George Mason, I knew that the reputation of the team was one of the best on the East Coast. I decided to join and have enjoyed myself immensely since then,” he says.

Anderson and Wallace attempt to broaden literature to include different audiences such as minorities in their dramatic duo presentation. Examining Shakespeare through literature that caters to an African American audience, the two seniors discuss an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and a rap of Othello and The Tempest. “It is based around the idea of making the literary canon more available to everyone,” says Wallace.

Other performances tomorrow will include a dramatic interpretation, impromptu speaking, informative speaking, and a poetry interpretation.

The George Mason forensics team has been a leader in national competitions for more than 25 years. The team, directed by communication professor Peter Pober, finished 12th in the national competition last year and was the highest-ranking nonscholarship team at the tournament.

“What this organization and these coaches can do with a little talent and a lot of hunger is nothing short of extraordinary,” says Anderson. “I’ve never been prouder to be a member of anything in my life.”

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