Caroline Botman and Emily Jashiki

Gaining confidence through performance

Story and Photos by Dimitra Lavrakas

Hannah Bochart and Iris Holmes of Haines; Skagway's Yasmin Corbi.

There they were in corners seemingly muttering to themselves, and if you rode the ferry this winter you couldn’t help but notice them. They may have seemed odd, but all that practice paid off.
Last Saturday night at the Eagles Hall, the Skagway School and Drama, Debate and Forensics team performed some of their award-winning pieces to a small, but attentive crowd.
Joining with the Haines team in a cooperative performance, each team or solo presenter offered a wide range of emotion from rebellion to empathy to ghoulishness.
Coaches Michael Stark (Haines) Skagway School English Teacher Kent Fielding, Haines coach Tim Shields, and local coaches Brandon Demery and Billi Clem began the evening by explaining the types of performances and the benefits of the program to high schoolers&Mac226; self-esteem.
Yasmin Corbi presented an expository piece about her autistic sister that won her first place in region competition. Caroline Botman and Emily Jashiki, in a duet about friends, one of whom is losing a battle with leukemia, was an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Hannah Bochart and Iris Holmes gave a rousing performance of Harlan Ellison’s “Repent Harlequin, Said The TicToc Man,” about bucking the system and the smothering of individual freedom.
Wickedly creepy, Cody Burnham, performed a solo written by Fielding about a man obsessed with cutting off the fingers of the dead. Sordid fare perhaps, but Burnham was able to elevate it to campy horror.
The Skagway team built on its poem on the Columbine shootings, “Judgment Day,” and gave a well-researched piece on the incident that was both unsettling and also enlightening.
But remember, if you missed the performance, there’s always an encore on the ferry. They board next Monday for the trip to Juneau, where they will fly on to State Tournament in Anchorage.

The Haines-Skagway ensemble improvise different emotions for the audience.

Cody Burnham

Coaches Michael Stark (Haines) Skagway School English Teacher Kent Fielding, Haines coach Tim Shields, and local assistant coaches Brandon Demery and Billi Clem.