Photo by Sydney Webb

Communications junior Michael Bole addresses the crowd about the importance of expression through public speaking. Bole has been competing on the Dreyfoos Speech and Debate Team since his freshman year, and took this opportunity to showcase his work to the audience. “As soon as the final ‘thank-you’s’ were being given, I came to realize how important the work that was put into the show truly was,” Bole said.

When viewed as a whole, the communications department is an amalgam of talents: the dynamic interaction of a multitude of skills. Throughout the course of the year, the department as a whole is instrumental in covering school events, debating current issues, and encouraging free expression among the student body. This year, the annual Communications Showcase deconstructed the department, providing insight into its individual aspects.

“The school gets to see the morning announcements, they get to read The Muse, they get to see The Marquee, [and] they get a hold of Seeds, but they don’t always get to see the films unless we show them,” communications dean Angela Anyzeski said. “They don’t always get to see speech and debate performances unless they’re performed. They don’t always get to hear from the creative writers unless they go to the open mic nights.”

Preceding the show, communications students used the entrance of Meyer Hall to promote various elements of their department. Merchandise, awards, and copies of the publications were scattered on the tables that had been set up for each department. Parents and students filed into the auditorium in anticipation of the show. The presentation began with a speech and debate portion, during which students exemplified their ability to demonstrate the power of their voices through public speaking. Students touched on issues such as polarization in the political world and recovery from life-threatening diseases.

“The power of the voice is something that I’ve always felt passionate about,” communications junior Michael Bole said. “To be able to express that while also giving a speech about it has not only inspired myself, but hopefully others as well.”

Following the live performances, four student-made films were played. Among the films was “Midnight,” created by communications sophomores Janelle Puckering, Julia Porter, and Tommy McCabe.

“It’s very flattering to have my work selected to represent communications as a whole,” Puckering said. “An important part of making any form of art is presenting it to an audience and getting feedback; I’m very glad I had the opportunity, and I hope people enjoyed my film.”

Succeeding the film portion, eight creative writing students took the spotlight to present the work they have done throughout the year. The performers voiced their viewpoints on stage, speaking in opposition of sexual harassment and assault, racial inequality, and gun violence.

“My favorite part about the showcase was my girlfriend, Emily’s, piece, The Day After,” communications junior Patti Linquist said. “The piece was about how we felt the day after the Parkland shooting and how schools have become such places of anxiety and fear when they really shouldn’t be.”

In addition to creative expression, students used the showcase stage to commemorate their fellow students of the senior class through a senior tribute video. The project was put together by communications sophomores Kristina Robinette, Julia Porter, and Janelle Puckering in collaboration with their film teacher, Ruby Hernandez. The tribute video, a Communications Showcase tradition, spotlighted every communications student in the senior class, honoring their time at Dreyfoos.

“I’m super excited to be a part of the tradition of the senior tribute,” communications senior Ariel Gordon said. “I think that as a communications major coming to showcase, you just know you’re looking forward to it because you see it all these years, and it’s just so cool to finally be apart of it.”
The night came to a close as the students gave the teachers of the communications department special thanks, as well as a rose and a standing ovation. Hosts, communications seniors Christiana Boehme and Alexander Gordon, expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to present their art.

“I think [the] showcase is an opportunity for our students to show the rest of the school what it is that communications does,” Ms. Anyzeski said. “It’s just a really great chance for them to recognize that our art is just as powerful, just as entertaining, and just as important as everyone else’s.”

Photo by Sydney Webb
Communications senior Garret O’Donnell performs his Original Oratory speech about focusing on the negative side of things. During the performance, O’Donnell explained that, as humans, we tend to focus our attention on those who break the rules rather than those who “play the game inside the rules.”