High School Oral Interpretation
The high school oral interp season will begin at the start of school. The region contest will be held at the DEC in Aberdeen in November. The state contest will be held on December 1-2 at Harrisburg High School, Harrisburg.
The story-telling theme for the 2023-24 season is Suspense.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Categories for oral interp include:
1. Serious Reading
2. Duet Interpretation
3. Humorous Reading
4. Non-Original Oratory
5. Poetry Reading
6. Readers Theatre
HIGH SCHOOL ORAL INTERP CATEGORIES:
This contest event consists of interpreting a selection from a single source. The contest event shall include selections such as orations, addresses, lectures and essays that are conducive to oratorical interpretation. (No cuttings from poems, plays or other works of fiction are allowed in this contest event.) The Non-Original Oration can be serious, humorous or a mixture of serious and humorous sentiments. Non-Original Oratory has been exempted from the “copyrighted and published” regulation because oratory, in its origin, is basically an oral medium of communication. However, selections shall not be the original work of the contestant. The maximum time of presentation, including the introduction, is ten minutes. The use of a manuscript is optional.
This contest event consists of interpreting a selection from a single source of dramatic literature or prose with literary merit and appropriate to the reader. The selection must have been copyrighted and published and be available to the public in either electronic or print form. The mood of the selection must be essentially serious in nature. The maximum time of presentation, including the introduction, is ten minutes. The use of a manuscript is optional.
Literature for the poetry contest event shall be selected by the contestants. They shall choose poetry to develop one theme or to illustrate the abilities, moods or characteristics of one author. If they choose to develop a theme, the contestants may select the works of one or more authors. In any case, the poetry may be one long selection, a cutting from a longer selection, or a series of short selections. The contestants may include in their presentation such introductory or transitory remarks as are necessary to establish mood and to orient the audience properly. Only poetry from the best of literature should be used. This includes plays. The poetry in the selection must have been copyrighted and published in either electronic or print form and be available to the public. The use of a manuscript is optional. The maximum time of presentation, including the introduction and transitory remarks, is ten minutes.
Humorous prose shall include all stories, plays and essays written in prose, together with all plays written in verse. The selection from a single source must have been copyrighted and published in either electronic or print form and be available to the public. Whenever possible, contestants should be encouraged to make their own cutting from literature to be used. Only the best literature and selections of literary value should be used since it offers the greatest opportunity for interpretation. The use of a manuscript is optional. The maximum time of presentation, including the introduction, is ten minutes.
The purpose of Duet Interpretation is to give students the opportunity to develop their characterization. Duet Interpretation is an exercise composed of two students. The selection from a single source must have been copyrighted and published in either electronic or print form and be available to the public. The material used by the contestants must meet the high standards of good literature. Cuttings from plays, verse plays or other works may be presented. A selection may be of humorous or serious nature. Material presented by all contestants shall be appropriate for public performance by high school students. Every precaution should be taken to ensure that no questionable material is selected. A narrated introduction, or transitional material within the cutting may be given by one or both members. Only during the presentation of the introduction and/or original transitional material may physical or eye contact be made with the duet partner. The narrated introduction shall be included in the time limit for the selection. The use of a manuscript is optional. The performance must begin from the “center stage” area. During the selection, off-stage-focus must be employed by both contestants. The contestants may react to each other’s verbal and/or non-verbal expressions, but they may not touch each other. Pivoting, turning or one or two steps may be used to indicate stage directions or transitions. Throughout the selection, each of the two performers may play one or more characters, so long as performance responsibility remains balanced. Cuttings of multiple scenes must be bridged by memorized narration. Cuttings may be made either from one continuous piece of dialogue or from short bits of dialogue. The time limit for Duet Interpretation shall be ten minutes. An entry will not be penalized if its performance is less than ten minutes.
The purpose of Storytelling is to give students the opportunity to develop the art of creating a mood wherein a spoken narrative transports the audience to the time and place of the story being recounted. A storyteller is a narrator - not an actor or actress - and although gestures, pantomime, movement, and characterization are not barred, they must be used with restraint. The focus of the presentation must be on the narrative, with the teller acting as a presenter and not a performer. The teller must clearly grasp and convey the meaning of the tale. The judge should rate highly the mechanics of superior speaking: fluency, vocal variety, articulation, eye contact, gesture. The use of a manuscript is optional. The storyteller may speak standing or seated in a chair or combination of both. No stools are permitted. The chair used in performance must be provided by the host site. No props or visual aids may be used. "When the teller has been successful in bringing the tale to life, the telling will seem entirely natural, almost effortless". a. Single published, printed story, anecdote, tale, myth or legend must be retold without the use of props. b. The maximum time is five minutes, but the story may be briefer without penalty. An introduction must be included within the five-minute time limit c. The student may not tell a story he/she used in previous years of competition in Storytelling within district or region contests or the State Festival. d. Gestures, pantomime, and characterization may be used with restraint but the focus must be on the Narrative. e. A theme shall be chosen by the Speech Advisory Committee annually. The theme for the 2022-23 school year shall be – Perseverance/Resilience
READERS THEATRE: Readers Theatre is an event in which a group of three to six students interpretively present literature.
1. Readers Theatre vs. One-Act Plays. While the One-Act Play is a theatrical performance of a play (or play cutting) Readers Theatre encourages the students to create a scripted ensemble performance that focuses on the use of interpretative skills to present prose, poetry and/or drama without the aid of costumes, make-up, set or props.
2. Selections/Materials. Materials used may include prose, verse, drama, speeches, diaries, letters, essays, original compositions, etc. NOTE: A school may not use any of the same literary materials in two consecutive years, but other literature from the same “selection”/source may be used.
3. Time Limits. The time limit for a Readers Theatre performance including the introduction is ten minutes.
4. Preparation and Presentation. A. Manuscripts are optional. They may be held and/or placed on music stands. If manuscripts are used, members of the group must carry their manuscript as they move from place to place during the performance. B. Costumes, make-up, and props are prohibited, but it is allowable for a school to have the participants dress in a uniform manner.
5. Performers may use either a uniform set of stools (between 24" and 30" high, having no back and unable to swivel) or a set of straight chairs. A school SHALL NOT use a combination of stools and chairs. The maximum number of chairs or stools allowed shall be no greater than the number of performers in the group. Schools are responsible for providing their own stools or chairs. NOTE: The performers cannot stand or kneel on the chairs or stools. The chairs or stools are only to be used for sitting.
6. Limited stage movement shall be allowed. The narrator may move about and the compositional groupings may change.
7. The performers may react to each other’s verbal and/or non-verbal expressions, but they may not touch each other.
8. A narrated introduction or transitional material within the cutting may be given by one or more members. Only during the presentation of the introduction and/or original transitional material may physical or eye contact be made with the other members of the group. The narrated introduction shall be included in the time limit for the selection.