Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Q&A with UW-W Forensics Team National Champs

By Nicole Aimone

April 13, 2016


The UW-Whitewater Forensics team came home from the University of Kentucky Pi Kappa Delta National Championships last month with a ranking of sixth in the nation – and a duo with matching national championship trophies.

Seniors Colton Larsen and Hannah Farajpanahi finished first in their category of Duo Interpretation after spending the past four years performing with each other. The Royal Purple sat down with them last week to discuss their forensics career together, and their last hurrah.

Royal Purple: How long have the two of you been performing?

Hannah Farajpanahi: We have been performing together for about four years. We met at orientation for forensics for the fall, right before school started our freshman year. During orientation, we just sort of clicked, and it was a really interesting connection.

RP: What is it like to be able to perform with someone that you have know for so long, and know so well?

HF: It’s amazing. It’s so wonderful, Colton and I have not only [have] a history together, but also this natural chemistry. So, it’s really easy for us to fall into rolls together and a lot of the same ideas that I have, he will have simultaneously.

Colton Larsen: It’s invaluable to have someone I’ve known so long like Hannah as a competitor with me. She and I know each other so well. We are best friends, but we also have a similar performance style.

RP: What is the best part of performing with a each other?

HF: Colton is one of my best friends. So, while sometimes we do kind of get at each others throats, as most friends do, we have just this great bond. And I think it makes it so much easier, because when you’re working with people you don’t know very well you have this insecurity about it. Colton and I have grown so close that I could literally punch him and we would be fine.

CL: I would say the ability to love what we’re performing every time we perform it. We always have such a great time performing every time, with whatever piece we do, whatever the piece is, we never grow tired of it

RP: What are some of the challenges?

HF: I don’t think there is that much of a downfall. I know that sounds awful to say, but we have just enough space away from each other to where we don’t get sick of each other, especially now that he is living on the east coast. I miss him so much all the time. I mean, we have definitely gotten into little spats, but I don’t think there has ever been one consistent issue.

CL: I think sometimes Hannah and I both are pretty much perfectionists when it comes to how we perform, and we’re very detail-oriented. And sometimes we can get caught up in the details, but we’re both so like-minded. That’s probably the biggest challenge is that we often we just get caught up in the details.

RP: What does it feel like to win a national award while having such a good friend with you?

HF: So when we won, it was between us and one other duo, and then they called them as second place, and then we just kind of stood there. I don’t think it really sunk in for either of us, we hugged each other on stage, and they gave us our trophy and stuff. We looked at each other and just started crying and laughing. That’s when it hit.

CL: It’s incredible. I wouldn’t have rather won with her by my side than anyone else. It’s a great way to kind of start wrapping up our senior year, both in college and in our final year of speech team too.

RP: What is the piece that you won with, and what is it about?

HF: So the piece that we performed this year is called “The Suicide Tourist,” it is a piece about ALS and also a piece about physician-assisted suicide. So in it I play the wife, and he is the husband and he has ALS and we have been married for close to 40 years. And he makes the decision that he wants to commit physician assisted suicide while he still has the cognitive power to do so. Super heartbreaking. ‘Cause when you’re so connected to someone, you have that added layer of, ‘Okay now I have to pretend that he’s dying.’ It’s really, really hard.

RP: Do you think that your  connection is what helped you to connect to those emotions so well?

HF: It was hard to imagine him dying, but it’s even harder to imagine him with an illness like that, because I love him too much, so it was really easy to portray that sadness and that empathy. What was harder I think was trying to portray that character myself. Because in it, she’s so much different than me, she’s like a 50-60-year-old woman, trying to come to terms with the love of her life is about to leave her permanently, through his own decision.

CL: Since we have been performing together, this is our fourth year of competing together and performing together, the piece is also kind of like a metaphor for our forensics career. As in, the piece follows this man up until he dies and that’s just kind of like the ending to our forensics career.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Royal Purple encourages readers to voice their opinions via the online comments section. Comments may be monitored for appropriateness and viewer safety. If a comment is harassing, threatening or inappropriate in nature, it may be taken down with editor's discretion.
All Royal Purple Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Founded 1901
Q&A with UW-W Forensics Team National Champs