Students bring movie characters to life

For the first time students performed speeches exclusively from movies at the annual Night at the Museum event hosted by communication professor Barry Poyner’s COMM 471: Persuasion Theory class.

Communication professor Barry Poyner imitates a movie character for the Night at the Museum event. The event was held Nov. 3 at the Ruth Towne Museum.

Students previously have presented famous speeches from history at this event. Participants taking the course gave three to five minute speeches Nov. 3 at the Ruth W. Towne Museum and Visitors Center, and audience members could circulate the room and listen to the speeches.

Junior Lincoln McCoy said this is the first year Poyner participated in the event instead of just organizing it. Poyner recited a monologue as Emperor Palpatine from the “Star Wars” series.

At the end of the event, McCoy said audience members could evaluate each speaker’s dress, rhetoric and delivery. He said this was advantageous because it allowed students to speak to a captive audience and receive feedback, which does not always happen in a classroom.

McCoy said the purpose of the event was to let students taking the course practice their rhetorical skills and share them with others. He said most of the audience members were other communication students.

“It’s a way for students to see good rhetoric as well as have fun at a night at the museum,” McCoy said. “Students reenacted movie scenes that they enjoyed, that they thought embodied good rhetoric, and they thought were persuasive in some sort of manner.”

McCoy said he thought the event was a success and attendance was higher than anticipated.

Sophomore Jory Knernschield said he was surprised when he attended this event that the speeches were from movies rather than political speeches. He said he thought the event was interesting and he enjoyed it.

Senior Aubrey Fulton said she attended this event to receive extra credit for a course, and thought the event was fun.

“I didn’t know it existed until I was given an incentive to come by my lovely [communication] professor Chandrika [Collins],” Fulton said. “It’s lovely and really funny, actually.”