It's Dramatic Interpretation, NOT Murder She Wrote

The next time you are near a group of Dramatic performers discussing piece selections pay attention.  The language used to describe what type of piece a person is searching for is quite disturbing.  Most Dramatic Interpretation competitors will nonchalantly toss around the words incest, molestation, eating disorder, murder, and rape as though they were candies being shared.  People actively sleuth for pieces with these, and other horrors, as topics.  Some have a rational that because they have experienced these trials in some capacity they can relate and thus better perform.  Others openly admit they are in need of a hard-hitting drama that will be sure to place first.

Dramatic Interpretation performers, listen.  Having a piece with such graphic subject matter is not the way to success.  Purposely causing heavy, negative air to fall upon your round is not how champions are selected.  It is hardly the piece but rather the performance that makes judges and audiences swoon (finding well-written dialogue is important, but not the only factor to success).  Uncertain about that statement?  Think: words in a play stay the same; it is the actor that changes.  You might love Cat on a Hot Tin Roof's Maggie the Cat, but if the actress is poorly cast the role is ruined.  Dramatic Interpretation follows the same principle.  The work you select might be the most intense, shocking bit of dialogue ever to grace a round, but if the role is not you then all is lost.  The first question you should ask regarding a piece is whether or not it is perfect for you, not how many tears your judge will cry.

Further, it is Dramatic Interpretation.  When did drama only come to signify all the atrocities humans commit?  Drama can be anything emotional, enlightening, and with heightened conflict.  A struggle for a mother and daughter to understand one another is perfectly good drama!  Will the plot drop jaws?  Probably not.  But can the interpretation and performance behind the piece do so?  Definitely.  

Dramatic Interpretation pieces do not need to focus on topics of abhorrence.  "Normal" dramas still win rounds.  The only thing that truly needs to be shocking are your excellent interpretation skills.  Besides, by selecting a dramatic work because it moved you more emotionally and less in your stomach is a sign of a strong, competitive piece.  Also, you will stand out in your rounds as having chosen tremendous material that is not another killer story.  Can you do a Dramatic Interpretation that is brutal and violent?  Of course.  Just be certain that you are opting to perform that work for its merit and not for its shock factor.