New Jersey Drama and Forensics League
Categories & Rules of Competition
                         RULES OF COMPETITION

DRAMATIC PAIRS: Each dramatic pair will present a cutting of a scene (or scenes)
from any published play classified as a drama (no screenplays or television scripts).  
The scene need not be a complete scene or act, but should function as a meaningful
unit of drama.  The cutting presented must involve two characters.  The actors may
use props, costumes, make-up, and background music (live or recorded).  The scene,
with an appropriate introduction, must not exceed ten minutes, including set-up and
strike time.  Judges will announce when they start the clock. No scripts or prompters
are to be used.  All contests are held in regular classrooms or meeting rooms.  A
contestant may enter only one (1) dramatic pair.

COMEDIC PAIRS: Each comedic pair will present a cutting of a scene (or scenes)
from any published play classified as a comedy (no screenplays or television scripts).  
The scene need not be a complete scene or act, but should function as a meaningful
unit of drama.  The cutting presented must involve two characters.  The actors may
use props, costumes, make-up, and background music (live or recorded).  The scene,
with an appropriate introduction, must not exceed ten minutes, including set-up and
strike time. Judges will announce when they start the clock.  No scripts or prompters
are to be used.  All contests are held in regular classrooms or meeting rooms.  A
contestant may enter only one (1) comedic pair.

DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE:  Each contestant will present a cutting of a scene (or
scenes) from any published play classified as a drama or tragedy (no screenplays or
television scripts).  The scene need not be a complete scene or act, but should
function as a meaningful unit of drama.  The cutting presented must involve one
character.  The contestant may use props, costumes, make-up, and background
music (live or recorded).  The scene, with an appropriate introduction, must not
exceed 7 minutes, including set-up and strike time.  No scripts or prompters are to be
used.  All contests are held in regular classrooms or meeting rooms.  

COMEDY MONOLOGUE:  Each contestant will present a cutting of a scene (or
scenes) from any published play classified as a comedy (no screenplays or television
scripts).  The scene need not be a complete scene or act, but should function as a
meaningful unit of drama.  The cutting presented must involve one character.  The
contestant may use props, costumes, make-up, and background music (live or
recorded).  The scene, with an appropriate introduction, must not exceed 7 minutes,
including set-up and strike time.  No scripts or prompters are to be used.  All contests
are held in regular classrooms or meeting rooms.

MUSICAL THEATRE PAIRS:  The performers must present one selection drawn from
published musicals written for the theatre.  No original works, medleys, or screenplays
will be allowed.  The selection may contain dialogue, but must be at least 50%
singing.  Both participants must be actively involved in the piece. The performers may
use props, costumes, and make-up.  Performers may use non-vocal musical
accompaniment, which can be live or electronically produced.  Students using tape or
include characterization and interpretation of roles, staging, delivery, interaction,
communication, and balance.  The scene, with an appropriate introduction, must not
exceed 7 minutes, including set-up and strike time.  No scripts or prompters are to be
used.  All contests are held in regular classrooms or meeting rooms.   
 

IMPROVISATIONAL PAIRS:  
Each improvisational pair will present a scene created
from a situation card to be selected from the judge's envelope.  The preparation and
presentation of the improvised scene, with an appropriate introduction, must not
exceed 7 minutes.  No notes, scripts, or props are to be used (student chairs/desks in
classroom are permitted).  All contests are held in regular classrooms or meeting
rooms.  Situations are selected as a blind draw – no choices will be given.

READER’S THEATRE:  Each group will present a cutting of a reader’s theatre piece,
novel, or short story from any published venue.  The piece need not be a complete
scene or act, but should function as a meaningful narrative.  The cutting presented
must involve three to six actors. All actors must have lines and may play more than
one character.  The actors may use props for sound effects only and background
music/sounds (must be live).  The scene, with an appropriate introduction, must not
exceed 10 minutes, including set-up and strike time. Scripts must be used.  All group
members must be sitting or standing in place, no eye contact between actors, and the
actors cannot move – in place or otherwise (no twirling in place) as consistent with
reader’s theatre rules.  All contests are held in regular classrooms or meeting rooms.  
A contestant may enter only one (1) group.
(Please list actors’ names when completing the registration from.)

IMPROMPTU SPEAKING:  Each contestant shall draw a random quote or topic from
the judge’s envelope and will present a speech based on that quote or topic.  
Contestant may use a note card, but should not have a manuscript or prepared notes
of any kind.   Contestant MAY NOT leave the room to prepare and there is no cell
phone use.  Total event time will be 7 minutes including an appropriate introduction
and preparation time.  

PERSUASIVE SPEAKING:  Each contestant will present an original speech to
persuade, convince, stimulate, or activate the audience about a certain topic or idea.  
The speech should be memorized but may be presented from note cards.  Visual aids
are not allowed.  Movement is allowed.  Total event time will be 7 minutes including an
appropriate introduction   This is NOT an acting category.

POETRY INTERPRETATION:  Each contestant will orally present a selection of poetry
from a published work or online published source (a complete poem, a segment of a
whole poem or several poems based on the same theme or poet).  Students may NOT
read their own poetry. Contestants must have a manuscript and must use an
introduction and relevant transitions.   As a forensic interpretation event, all
contestants must stay within a three foot circle from original speaking location and
should not sit kneel, etc.  Time limit is seven minutes, including introduction. This is
NOT an acting category.

PROSE INTERPRETATION:  Each contestant will deliver an oral interpretation of a
program of published prose, with appropriate introductory and transitional material.  
As a forensic interpretation event, all contestants must stay within a three foot circle
from original speaking location and should not sit, kneel, etc.  Time limit is seven
minutes, including introduction.  Selections may be single or multiple.  The use of
manuscript is required.  This is NOT an acting category.

AFTER DINNER SPEAKING:  Each contestant will present an original speech to
entertain an audience about an important topic and make greater sense of it through
the use of humor.  The speech may be either informative or thought-provoking in
nature, but it must have a serious thesis and cannot merely represent a "stand-up"
comedy routine. All humor during the speech should be in good taste.  The speech
should be memorized but may be presented from note cards.  No manuscripts may be
used.  Visual aids are not allowed.  Time limit for the speech is 7 minutes.   Speakers
are not confined to the three-foot circle of interpretation events and may move around
but are reminded that this is NOT an acting category; all speeches should reflect
appropriate public speaking etiquette and delivery.