Announcing the 2020 Irving-Marshall Declaimers
The first Irving-Marshall Week of the 2020s at Mercersburg is just one month away. The spirited annual renewal of the highly anticipated contest between Mercersburg’s Washington Irving Literary Society and the John Marshall Literary Society begins Sunday, February 23, with athletic and skill contests. The highlight and culminating event of the week, Declamation (officially the “Irving-Marshall Prize Speaking Contest”), is set for Thursday, February 27, at 7:15 p.m. in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre.
Each society chooses five speakers (or “declaimers”) as representatives, plus a declaimer-in-training. The declaimers deliver prepared monologues on stage, in formal attire, in front of the entire student body and a panel of distinguished judges.
This year’s Irving declaimers are Wren Dahbura ’21 (Hagerstown, MD), Aidan Ferrin ’20 (Bozeman, MT), Carmen Martinez ’20 (Bethesda, MD), Will Maurer ’20 (Mercersburg, PA), and Emma Shuford ’22 (Hickory, NC). Carter Daughtridge ’23 (Hagerstown, MD) is Irving’s declaimer-in-training.
Marshall’s five declaimers are Chris Adams ’20 (Hagerstown, MD), Eliza DuBose ’20 (Rollinsville, CO), Clara Getty ’21 (Allentown, PA), Amelia Page ’21 (Alexandria, VA), and Manny Ponce ’23 (Union City, NJ). The declaimer-in-training for Marshall is Maddie Dawson ’21 (Hagerstown, MD).
Both societies’ lineups sport a pair of experienced declaimers: Maurer will be making his third-straight Declamation appearance for Irving, while Martinez was part of 2019’s Irving quintet. DuBose and Page both declaimed for Marshall in 2019.
Marshall has won the competition the last four years and in 11 of the past 13 years. Elizabeth Heidecker ’20 of Marshall earned the Scoblionko Declamation Cup as the first-place declaimer in 2019.
All students at Mercersburg are members of one of the two societies, who face off at the end of the winter term each year in a variety of competitions ranging from swimming and table tennis to volleyball and chess. Societies earn points all week for team victories in events, with the lion’s share of points up for grabs at Declamation; points are awarded to the society of the first-place, second-place, and third-place declaimers, as well as the society determined by the judges to be the strongest team overall.
This year’s society presidents are Addie Jenkins ’20 (Irving) and Annaliesse Cantera ’20 (Marshall).