VHSL Super Regions 5CD and 6AB Forensics 2023
2023 — Midlothian, VA/US
6AB Poetry Interpretation
Purpose of Contest: To encourage appreciation of the full meaning of the printed page and the oral communication of that meaning to others with apparent spontaneity, and with directness, simplicity, and sincerity without distracting the audience through faulty pronunciation or indistinct enunciation.
Poetics: The student’s selection need not rhyme. By definition, neither blank verse nor free verse rhymes. Furthermore, free verse has no meter or rhythm. All forms of poetry share certain literary elements, mainly imagery or language that appeals to the five senses. Other common elements include metaphor, alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, etc. Blank verse and free verse, especially in contemporary forms, also may not appear like poetry on the printed page. When in doubt whether the selection is truly poetry, report your doubt to the tournament director, who will request the published source from the coach to see how the material is identified.
1. Each contestant shall read one prepared poem or poetic group of his/her own choice with a total reading time of not more than ten minutes. Any contestant who exceeds the established time limit by more than 30 seconds may not rank first or score highest in the round. There is no minimum time requirement. The adjudicator will not provide time signals, and students may not time themselves. The contestant may preface his/her reading with an introductory statement that will give the audience a better understanding of the selection read, provided his total time does not exceed ten minutes. Visual contact with the manuscript is required. No reader may use a prepared poetry selection, adaptation, or cutting that he/she has read in a regional, super-regional, or state contest in a previous year, a selection he/she has written or a selection written about his/her own experiences. Contestant must present the same selection in each round of a given tournament.
Examples of Judging Criteria
Appearance: speaker’s appearance is appropriate for competition
Poise: speaker is prepared, confident, composed
Choice of Selection: selection is appropriate, and fitting to speaker, category and audience
Organization: selection flows; editing/cutting is coherent
Interpretation: speaker’s interpretation is intelligible, effective, engaging, and entertaining
Communication: speaker presents material effectively in a way audience can understand story, characters, and character(s) motivation; establishes mood
Articulation: speaker enunciates, pronounces words correctly, and is understandable
Projection: speaker uses appropriate volume
Vocal Characterization: speaker clearly and thoughtfully creates different voices/accents for characters and is consistent when transitioning between/among characters
Physical Characterization: speaker clearly and thoughtfully creates and presents characters by incorporating appropriate and distinct gestures, body postures, behaviors, and other relevant physicality, and is consistent when transitioning between/among characters
Pace: pacing is appropriately varied, is not too fast or too slow
Freshness: speaker presents material with an “illusion of the first time” as if it were brand new; presentation is not stale or rote
Energy: speaker presents material with appropriate energy level, is not monotonous
Impact: presentation is impactful and arouses emotion in audience
Eye Contact: appropriate, focused, balance between audience and manuscript to convey dramatic reading
Delivery: speaker interprets poetic devices in material to differentiate it from prose