Moorpark College Forensics team prepares for Night Before Nationals

Nicole+Castro+delivers+her+speech+about+transgender+individuals+in+organized+sports+during+the+Forensics+Showcase+on+Tuesday%2C+Dec.+10%2C+2019%2C+in+the+Performing+Arts+Center.+The+style+of+speech+included+jokes+and+witty+word+play+to+deliver+a+larger+message.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt

Nicole Castro delivers her speech about transgender individuals in organized sports during the Forensics Showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in the Performing Arts Center. The style of speech included jokes and witty word play to deliver a larger message. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Lauren Bender

The Moorpark College Forensics team will host the annual “Night Before Nationals” show this month. The Moorpark College Forensics team has hosted the show for just over 20 years and will stage three performances, with one on March 16 at 7:30 p.m., and the other two scheduled for March 17 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Department Chair of Communication Studies and leader of the Forensics team, Rolland Petrello discussed the variety of performances by the team.

“Everybody has preconceived notions of nerdy people debating and all of that. They don’t realize that half the events we do are acting events,” Petrello said. “There are prepared speeches that people have been working on and competing with.”

Riley Shapiro performs her persuasive speech during the Forensics Showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the Performing Arts Center. Shapiro spoke about the rampant culture of sexual assault within law enforcement in the U.S.

Riley Shapiro performs her persuasive speech during the Forensics Showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in the Performing Arts Center. Shapiro spoke about the rampant culture of sexual assault within law enforcement in the U.S. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Petrello detailed a lot of preparation has gone into many of the speeches. These speeches and acts to be performed are the same ones the team is taking to nationals, and this opportunity serves as a chance for friends and family to see what the team has been working on.

Students will also perform impromptu speeches. The audience will participate and give the students topics in which they will then have to perform a speech on the spot.

Aveista Helmandi delivers her impromptu speech during the Forensics Showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the Performing Arts Center. Helmandi spoke about a Mahatma Gandhi quote suggested by a crowd member.

Aveista Helmandi delivers her impromptu speech during the Forensics Showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in the Performing Arts Center. Helmandi spoke about a Mahatma Gandhi quote suggested by a crowd member. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

In terms of turnout, Petrello explained that it’s hard to tell, the audience usually ranges between 200 and 300 people.

“Not only is it eye opening, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be deeply moved. There’s a lot of entertainment value in it as well,” Petrello explained in his hopes for the show.

The show will be performed in the Performing Arts Center at Moorpark College. Anyone interested in tickets can find more information online.