NCFL Massachusetts Combined Qualifier
2023 — Shrewsbury, MA/US
ï‚· Maximum - 10 minutes, including introductory and transitional material other than the author’s words. Material thus used should be limited to one minute.
ï‚· If the speakers go over a 30 second grace period, those contestants must not be awarded first place.
ï‚· No minimum time.
Rules of Procedure:
ï‚· The selection, delivered by two students each representing the same member school, must be from a single play, fictional, or nonfictional work. A series of poems is permitted. The poetry may be taken from a variety of published sources united by a single poet. It is the affirmative obligation of all NCFL coaches to ensure that all materials presented in interpretation events must be available and readily accessible to all members of the league. Lines which are attributed to one character in the published material must not be attributed to another character in the performance. The author’s words as published in the literature must not be altered for the presentation with the exception that cutting is permitted.
ï‚· The selection must be memorized. If the speaker(s) refers to prepared notes of any kind or a script during the presentation, the team will be disqualified. ï‚· No properties or costumes of any kind may be used. Using “properties” means manipulating articles of clothing or objects to enhance the performance. Speakers using properties and/or wearing costumes will be disqualified.
ï‚· Performers are not allowed to make deliberate physical contact with each other during the performance, except during the introduction. Physical movement is restricted to performers moving around one another, switching position, pivoting from side to side, or turning around completely. Should the performers make deliberate physical contact with each other during the performance, except during the introduction, or make deliberate physical movements other than those permitted herein, the performers will be disqualified.
ï‚· Positions other than standing should not be excessive in length or dominate the performance.
• Introduction: The introduction should name the work and author, provide necessary background information, and establish the mood. If using a teaser or if lines from the selection are used in the introduction, the speakers must adhere to the rules of the event.
• Material: The material being presented should allow for interesting character choices and reasonable plot structure. The material should be appropriate for the students. Consideration should be given to the literary merit of the selection.
• Interaction and Environment: The performers should convince you that they truly see the other character(s). Each character should listen and react with face and body especially as the other is talking. What one character says or does should provoke a fitting vocal, physical and emotional response from the other character. The characters should see and respond to what is around them. They should take the audience into the physical world of their story. The interpreters will vocally and physically respond to each other’s verbal and non-verbal cues while maintaining an offstage focus.
• Characterization: Each character should convey a distinct, consistent personality, stance, and manner of gesturing. Each character should be sufficiently developed and should interact meaningfully with the other characters. • Physicality: The physical movement and portrayal should contribute to the overall aesthetics of the presentation. A realistic environment should be established by the performers. Pantomime, if used, should be accurate and realistic.
• Vocal Quality: The interpreters, within character, should appropriately vary pitch, volume, rate, emphasis, quality, phrasing, and intensity to convey the various moods and messages in the story.
• Overall Effect: The overall performance should build to various moments and have a climax. The performance should be complete and easy to follow. The performance should display another world outside of the performance space. Additional Judging Criteria (from the Bylaws)
• The material may be humorous or dramatic, or may combine both tones, depending on the work selected.
• Except during introduction and transition, eye contact is aimed only in the audience’s direction; focal points are to be employed during dialogue; eye contact with specific audience members during narration is permitted.
• The selection should begin from the center stage area.
• The two interpreters should effectively utilize pitch, volume, phrasing, vocal quality, tone, articulation, enunciation, and fluency to create the characterizations desired. The dialogue between characters should reflect a genuine sense of interaction, not a mechanical exchange of lines.
• While singing is permitted, it should not be excessive or dominate the performance. Judges’ ranks may reflect if singing has dominated the performance.