Valley Senior Leann Grandia Earns Second IHSSA Critic’s Choice Award

UPDATE from Feb. 17, 2018: Congratulations to Valley High School senior Leann Grandia, who earned the Critic’s Choice Award at the IHSSA All-State Festival at Iowa State University, Saturday, Feb. 17. Grandia was recognized for her Solo Mime performance in “Artemis and the Dragon: A Stolen Child,” directed by Ted Van Deventer.

The Critic’s Choice Awards are selected by a professional in the specific field and considered the top performer or ensemble in that performance area in the state. This year, Patricia Downey from the University of South Dakota served as critic. Grandia was also selected for the Solo Mime Critic’s Choice Award in 2017.

Since 2002, Valley has been honored with 22 Critic’s Choice Awards in the One-Act Play, Reader’s Theater, Choral Reading, Group Mime, Solo Mime, Television Newscasting, Group Improvisation, Musical Theater, and Radio Broadcasting categories.

Update from Feb. 3: Fifteen ensembles, and 161 total students, will represent Valley High School and Valley Freshman High School at the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) All-State Festival, Feb 16-17, at Iowa State University.

The Valley High School IHSSA All-State Contest performing entries are:

  • One-Act Play, “Leaving Iowa.”
  • Musical Theater, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
  • Musical Theater, “A Little Princess.”
  • Reader’s Theater, “A Murder of Crows: A Retelling of Hansel and Gretel.”
  • Solo Mime, “Artemis and the Dragon: A Stolen Child.”
  • Solo Mime, “Opus Siderum: Work of the Stars.”
  • Solo Mime, “Yo-Yo Man: A Life on the Line…and he Gets the Girl.”
  • Group Mime, “The Face Stealer: Platte River Valley, 1863, The Mecha Arrives.”
  • Choral Reading, “Faithful Elephants.”
  • Radio News, “AIR.”
  • T.V. News, “Perspective: Stigma on Mental Illness.”
  • T.V. News, “The Brunch Bunch.”

The Valley High School IHSSA All-State Contest special recognition entries are:

  • Group Improvisation. (Directors: Joe VanHaecke, Amanda Pichler. Performers: Olivia Allard, Ellie Whisler).
  • Musical Theater, “A Little Princess.”
  • “Musical Theater, “Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe.”

The Valley Southwoods Freshman High School IHSSA All-State Contest special recognition entry is:

  • Choral Reading, “The First Forest.”

From Jan. 20: Congratulations to the Valley High School and Valley Southwoods Freshman High School teams that competed at the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) District Large Group Contest at Roosevelt High School on Jan. 20. Twenty-two out of 24 Valley teams and 9 out of 12 Valley Southwoods teams earned top “I” ratings and will advance to the IHSSA State Large Group Contest on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Waukee High School.

Valley High School entries performing at the state contest are:

One-Act Play, “Leaving Iowa.” Director: Kim VanHaecke. Assistant Directors: Cathy Divine-Koch, Caitlin Edwards, Amanda Pichler. Stage Managers: Marina Fredregill, Emily Hansen, Emily Schnoor. Cast: Hadley Abbas, Isaiah Aldiano, Whisper Arbs, Sally Beaty, AJ Bleskacek, Lizzie Brackett, Faith Breiholz, Claire Burnett, Savannah Burnham, Shannon Carroll, Lexi Chesley, Brianna Cole, Isabella Cook, Chloe Edwards, Jo Craven, Zoe Dunham, Edmond Falk, Gabe Ferren, Isabella Giudicessi, Olivia Hansen,Marleigh Heil, Ella Henricksen, Sasha Hentzen, Mekhia Hillgren, Alison Hisel, Jack Johnson, Melanie Joint, Jordan Kazeze, Nora King, Maya Knudsen, Gracia Koele, Jackson LaFleur, Carlyn Mann, Skylar Manna, Alainna McAuliff, Makyah Merrifield, Caire Meyers, Sydney Mixon, Suraj Moorjani, Zach Netteland, Halle Norton, Mya Nurse, Marisa Rethman, Emmy Richardson, Lauren Salloum, Sahithi Shankaiahgari, Ashlan Simpson, Macalya Smith, Jake Stegman, Bryce Stewart, Kya Stilwell, Rebecca Stockham, Ann Thomas, Mary Thomas, Carson Tow, Rylie Tu, Andrew VandeBerg, Skylar Vanden Bosch, Radha Velamuri, Hannah Walker, Hope Walker, Nick Wharf, Molly Wright.

Musical Theater, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Director: Megan Helmers, Bryan Gamboa. Stage Manager: Grace Basler. Cast: Riley Bartlett, David Bone, Ethan Glenn, Olivia Hansen, Alec Jessen, Camille Mireault, Jordan Potter, Claire Sattler.

Musical Theater, “A Little Princess.” Director: Megan Helmers, Bryan Gamboa. Stage Manager: Carrie Cassady. Cast: Rachel Forney, Avi Gedler, Lauren Johnson, Lizzie Napier, Olivia Ramaekers, Kate Raridon, Jacob Rhein, Maddy Swaim.

Musical Theater, “Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe.” Director: Megan Helmers, Bryan Gamboa. Cast: Landon Denker, Taylor Gion, Gunner Hawthorne, Preston Hayes, Marco Masteller, Jacob Soto, Cole Strelecki, Julie Van Kirk.

Reader’s Theater, “A Murder of Crows: A Retelling of Hansel and Gretel.” Director: Stacy Hansen. Stage Managers: Amy Wickenkamp, Rachel Spence. Cast: Zoe-Ella Anderson, David Bone, Katie Derouin, Cooper Earle, Nick Ellis, Maddie Hansen, Gunner Hawthorne, Quinn Herbert, Lauren Johnson, Emma Ksiazak, Alex Matthews, Lizzie Napier, Christian Patrick, Caitlyn Potter, Garrett Wheeler.

Solo Mime, “Artemis and the Dragon: A Stolen Child.” Director: Ted Van Deventer. Performer: Leann Grandia.

Solo Mime, “Opus Siderum: Work of the Stars.” Director: Amanda Pichler. Performer: Isabella Ksiazak.

Solo Mime, “Yo-Yo Man: A Life on the Line…and he Gets the Girl.” Director: Ted Van Deventer. Performer: Sam Sheffield.

Group Mime, “The Friendship: A Captain’s Rivalry.” Director: Ted Van Deventer. Performers: Zoe Dunham, Sarah Mele, Makyah Merrifield, Madeline Shumaker, Clayton Stein, Josie Williamson.

Group Mime, “The Callaghan Brothers and the Honor of the Kamikaze.” Director: Derek Claussen. Performers: Hans Bunn, Nick Ellis, Quince Harding, Marco Masteller, Alex Matthews, Jacob Soto.

Group Mime, “The Face Stealer: Platte River Valley, 1863, The Mecha Arrives.” Director: Derek Claussen. Performers: Emma Bohn, Cooper Earle, Bre Eigenheer, Riley Heil, Quinn Herbert, Liz Lau.

Choral Reading, “Faithful Elephants.” Director: Stacy Hansen. Stage Managers: Mia Claric, Lauren Anderson. Cast: Lindsay Amundson, Emma Bohn, Ethan Glenn, Preston Hayes, Liz Lau, Camille Mireault, Jordan Potter, Olivia Ramaekers, Kate Raridon, Jacob Rhein, Sam Sheffield, Cole Strelecki, Maddy Swaim, Julie Van Kirk, Andrew Voggesser.

Group Improvisation. Directors: Joe VanHaecke, Amanda Pichler. Performers: Bre Eigenheer, Carter Oakley.

Group Improvisation. Directors: Joe VanHaecke, Amanda Pichler. Performers: Hans Bunn, Omar Mustafa.

Ensemble Acting, “Chicken Salad.” Director: Charlie Reese. Cast: Olivia Allard, Katie Derouin.

Ensemble Acting, “There Shall Be No Bottom (A Bad Play for Worse Actors).” Director: Charlie Reese. Cast: Caitlyn Potter, Cole stephenson, Rebecca Stockham, Andrew Voggesser.

Radio News, “AIR.” Director: Glen Biermann. Stage manager: Lillian Barker. Performers: Lillian Barker, Riley Bartlett, Rachel Forney, Quince Harding, Jacob Smith, Clayton Stein, Garrett Wheeler.

Radio News, “CRME.” Director: Glen Biermann. Stage manager: Lillian Barker. Performers: Isaiah Aldiano, Aubrey Bier, Brianna Cole, Madeline Shumaker, Ashlan Simpson, Conner Smith, Cole Stephenson.

T.V. News, “Perspective: Stigma on Mental Illness.” Directors: Glen Biermann, Justin Smith. Performers: Zoe-Ella Anderson, Emily Ash, Jane Berg, Aubrey Bier, AJ Bleskacek, Faith Breiholz, Kailey Casper, Emily Ellinger, Gabe Ferren, Sydney Fisher, Omar Mustafa, Carter Oakley, Abby Ringgenberg, Caroline Smoldt, Morgan Tyma.

T.V. News, “The Brunch Bunch.” Directors: Glen Biermann, Justin Smith. Performers: Sally Beaty ,Savannah Burnham, Quinn Fox, Alec Jessen, Nick Johnson, Jamia Jordan, Sarah Lagomarcino, Kylie Miller, Allison Ohringer, Christian Patrick, Marisa Rethman, Kate Snodgrass, Ann Thomas, Taitum Torpy, Nash Willham.

Short Film, “Thinking Out Loud.” Directors: Darin Webb, Ken Winber. Cast: Jace Baker, Katie Balsley, Sarah Dorn, Nicole Embree, Joey Furnald, Sophie Hixson, Jack Johnson, Alyssa Joyce, Huda Kocher, Jackson LaFleur, Elizabeth LeMar, Patrick Pham, Yasmeen Musharafa, Nash Willham Jace Baker, Katie Balsley, Sarah Dorn, Nicole Embree, Joey Furnald, Sophie Hixson, Jack Johnson, Alyssa Joyce, Huda Kocher, Jackson LaFleur, Elizabeth LeMar, Patrick Pham, Yasmeen Musharafa, Nash Willham.

 

Entries that earned a Division 2 rating are:

Short Film. “Christmas Carol: Game of the Year Edition.” Directors: Darin Web, Ken Winber. Cast: Lawrence Byerly, TJ Edge, Skyla Manna, Keegan McCullough, Rose Nicewarner, Alana Scherer, Conner Smith, Andrew VandeBerg, Skylar Vanden Bosch, Ellie Whisler.

Ensemble Acting. “The Mercy Seat.” Director: Marnie Strate. Performers: Nora King, Keegan McCullough.

 

Valley Southwoods Freshman High School entries performing at the state contest are:

Group Mime, “The Affair of the Sea Goddess.” Directors: Cooper Earler, Quinn Herbert. Performers: Monia Ali, Joseph Maxwell, Avery Redford, Bryan Stewart.

Solo Mime, “Stranded: A Descent into Savagery.” Director: Leann Grandia. Performer: Ollie Smith.

Musical Theater, “Legally Blonde the Musical.” Director: Caitlin Dorsett. Cast: Abby Bishop, Ella Bishop, Alexa Cheguer, Allison Cook, Kaitlyn Forney, CeCe Grabinski, Eliza Sheffield, Sophia Valencia.

Ensemble Acting, “Please Have a Seat and someone Will Be With You Shortly.” Director: Marco Masteller. Performers: Quinn Kelly, Gabe Schebel.

Ensemble Acting, “Regina Flector Wins the Science Fair.” Director: Bre Eigenheer, Maddie Hansen. Performers: Cate Dolphin, Will Fox, Nate Gass, Gwen Sobrado.

Ensemble Acting, “The Midnight Club.” Director: Aaron Hunt. Performers: Ben Connolly, Hallie Madigan, Gabe Pruneda, Ollie Smith, Molly Wilkerson.

Choral Reading, “The First Forest.” Directors: Aaron Hunt, Sarah Beth Weinberg. Performers: Ethan Amptman, Lanie Anthan, Alexa Cheguer, Allison Cook, Quinn Emison Clair, Kade Ferchen, Kaitlyn Forney, CeCe Grabinski, Hunter Khongmaly, Ava Neppl, Sarah Norwood, Ellie Penick, Jack Renda, Eliza Sheffield, Jacie Stewart.

Group Improv. Directors: Joe VanHaecke, Amanda Pichler. Performers: Gavin Beedon, Hunter Khongmaly.

Short Film, “META.” Director: CoraLynn Gray. Cast: Gavin Beedon, Michael Cunninghma, Shabir Knox, Anrea Li, Ondrea Li.

 

Entries that earned a Division 2 rating are:

Musical Theater. “The Producers.” Director: Caitlin Dorsett. Cast: Lanie Anthan, Quinn Emison Clair, Joseph Maxwell, Ava Neppl, Mia Wells.

Group Improv. Directors: Joe VanHaecke, Amanda Pichler. Performers: Ella Bishop, Michael Cunningham, Quinn Kelly

Short Film. “Vroom.” Director: CoraLynn Gray. Cast: Kail Hassoun, Nick McCluskey, Oliver Parizek.