Some of the state’s top young performers will showcase their talent today at the Iowa High School Speech Association larger group All-State Festival in Ames. Association spokesman Craig Ihnen says some 15-hundred students are participating.He says all the students started at districts, and then advanced to state competition. Those who gained outstanding ranks by two judges advanced to today’s festival. He says they perform in eight areas. They are one-act plays, readers theatre, choral reading, group improv, ensemble acting, solo and group acting. Ihnen says the students are given a constructive critique for their performance.They bring in eight professionals to critique each individual area, and that includes Dee Wallace Stone, who played the mother in “E-T”. Ihnen says the large group area of speech is popular with students. He says they numbers have held steady or increased and they’ve just added musical theatre. The sessions for each area are held at the Iowa State Center. They are open to the public and there’s a six dollar admission fee.