Oral Interpretation of Poetry
Original Persuasive Oratory (Sr. only)
Extemporaneous Speaking (Sr. only)
Oral Interpretation of Scripture
General Rules: Since the guidelines and rules on this page are meant as an overview, once there is interest in a category it is necessary to read the exact requirements in the AACS Manual. There may be specific rules that need to be followed.
- All material should be in good taste and of high quality, and from reputable authors. No “author unknown” pieces are acceptable. Entries will not be restricted to sacred themes. However, entries which reflect anti-biblical themes, content, and/or word usage (including profanity or suggestive language) – or which contain sensualism, humanism, or worldliness ( including offensive performance) – will be disqualified. CHEWV notes that literature-based selections seem to be preferred over other kinds of selections.
- No “author unknown” pieces are acceptable.
- Three typewritten copies of the selection must be submitted to the judges prior to the performance.
- A lectern may be used in the category of Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking only.
- The judge will confirm the speaker, selection and author. The judge will then announce to the individual or group, “you may begin.” Timing and adjudication will begin immediately.
- The student must first introduce himself and cite the name of the selection and author and then timing will begin.
- The same selection cannot be performed in two consecutive years.
- The following rules apply to Categories 2,3,4,5,6, and 10. a) Body movement should be primarily, but not limited to, movement above the waist. B) No hand props or costume pieces will be permitted. 3) all selections will be taken from published works. D) In addition to the introduction the participant may also provide the audience with necessary background information in order to set the mood for the piece. He may also give transitional narrative for clarity within the piece. These additions combined are not to exceed one minute and are included in the time limit.
- Selected students will be chosen from the first session to participate in the final competition session.
- Singing of a song during a speech is to be limited to no more than one verse of the song or no more than 1.5 minutes of the speech. In addition, no instrument may be used to accompany the individual or group during the speech performance.
Senior High – 5-10 min. Junior High 3-9 min. Elem. 2-8 min.
Unless otherwise noted.
Point Deductions for Elem/Jr. High only
- No script -5 points
- Only one copy of script -2 points
- Over or under time by 15 to 60 seconds (15 second grace period) -5 points
- Over or under time by over 60 seconds -5 points
- Not using KJV – -5 points
Since the guidelines and rules on this page are meant as an overview, once there is interest in a category it is necessary to read the exact requirements in the AACS Manual. There may be specific rules that need to be followed.
Category 2: Dramatic Interpretation- memorized oral interpretation of a serious selection of narrative or dramatic literature. , Sr. high 5-10 min., Jr. high 3-9 min., Elementary 2-8 min.
Category 3: Oral Interpretation of Poetry- memorized, Sr. high 5-10 min., Jr. high 3-9 min., Elementary 2-8 min.
Category 4: Religious Reading- memorized oral interpretation of prose, Sr. high 5-10 min., Jr. high 3-9 min., Elementary 2-8 min.
Category 5: Declamation- memorized persuasive or inspirational material, Sr. high 5-10 min., Jr. high 3-9 min., Elementary 2-8 min.
Category 6: Humorous Interpretation- memorized, cuttings taken from plays or prose. Selections with multiple characters are preferred. Sr. high 5-10 min., Jr. high 3-9 min., Elementary 2-8 min.
Category 7: Acting- stage performance, memorized, Sr. high 5-13 min., Jr. high 4-12 min., Elementary 3-11 min.
Category 8: Original Persuasive Oratory- memorized, (may use 3×5 card), only 10% direct quotation, 5-10 minutes long, Sr. High only Three typewritten scripts must be submitted to the judge at performance time. Poster, chart, etc. will not be allowed. Small hand props or costume pieces may be used.
Category 9: Extemporaneous Speaking- persuasive speech on a current issue, student will be given 30 min. of preparation time, topics drawn randomly, 5-10 minutes long, Sr. High only.
Category 10: Oral Interpretation of Scripture- memorized, one long or two short passages, KJV only, Sr. high 5-10 min., Jr. high 3-9 min., Elementary 2-8 min. A passage with dialogue in which characters speak is recommended. The interpreter should use the dramatic ―V‖ as in other interpretation categories.
Category 11: Readers’ Theatre- oral presentation of dramatic, poetic, or prose, Sr. High -5-13 minutes, Jr. High 4-12 min., Elem. 3-11 min. long by a group. (Ask coordinator for additional guidelines.)
Category 12: Choric Speaking- an oral group presentation utilizing some or all of the following techniques: unison speaking, solo speaking, vocal effects, word color, dramatic climax, and group movement, group size consists of 7 to 15 individuals, memorized, 5-13 minutes long Sr. High, Jr. High 4-12,Elem. 3-11 min. Please request additional rules from the fine arts coordinator.
Category 13: Artistic Signing (for the deaf) – in ASL, it should be intended for a larger audience (rather than conversational) and paced with a recorded song or recorded spoken Word. Should be expressive in nature. SH Time Limit – 2 1/2-4 min., JH Time Limit – 2-4 min., Elementary Time Limit – 1 1/2-3 min.