Standing Out in Dramatic Interpretation

Like most forensics categories, Dramatic Interp tends to have characteristics that are quite unique. It is drama at its best and those who succeed are able to captivate and audience through a theatrical performance that comes to life. With so many competitors and only so many pieces to choose from, how does one set themselves apart in such a category?

One of my biggest pet peeves in forensics is that every person who ever competes in Dramatic Interp feels that somehow they need to incorporate rape, molestation, or murder into their piece. Ironically, you want to slit your wrists just watching some of the pieces (boredom and content reasons). With that said, I can't help but ask the question, "Isn't there more to drama?" And the clear-cut answer is yes.

Because there is also the category of HI, obviously the drama is going to have to be more serious and less humorous. But why does serious have to mean brutal or morbid? Take for instance my favorite play/musical of all-time: Phantom of the Opera. You have a riveting story of three people who have to overcome obstacles in their own lives and on top of this all, they create a love triangle that is based off intense emotion. Hello? Earth to DI-ers! This has national-qualifier written all over it. Think about it. You have Christine who is in love with Raoul but has feelings for the Phantom since he taught her how to sing. The phantom then creates tension between himself and Raoul because of the competition for Christine's affection. Lastly, the phantom faces the internal struggle everyone seems to face at one point or another...unrequited love. To take a piece like this and play all of the characters would take tremendous work but it would be the type of piece that would allow a competitor to easily take the competition.

Why? First of all, you would stand out because the people in your piece wouldn't be hanging themselves from their closets. Secondly, this would be very difficult to pull off but if you did it, the judges and your fellow competitors would be very impressed. Third and finally, this is a well-known love story that many could relate to.

This is just one suggestion. The point is simple: Don't focus on death and crime when you are putting together your DI piece. It is morbid, overused and quite frankly, not fun or enjoyable to listen to.