Comedy v. Tragedy – Open to Interpretation

"Woe!  Woe to me!  I have to do my funny piece after a tragedy!?"

I hear it all the time.... Students doing dramatic material bemoan the fact that funny wins.  Students doing funny material hate walking into a room where judges are wiping away tears.  If Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation are separated into different rooms, the conflict doesn't occur, but I maintain that there is room for every place on the emotional spectrum in Open Interpretation...

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Drama, Drama, Drama!

I believe the strength of your speech can be linked to the strength of your script (what you have created for competition). However a Dramatic Interpretation is far more involved and has much more depth to be based on script alone. For a great Dramatic Interpretation or a dramatic Open, Duo, or even Original Interpretation to be created, there must be rich content from which to grow. When looking for a script, piece of literature, or play there are several considerations to think about:

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Embracing Open Interpretation

Open Interpretation - it’s an event in which competitors are always trying to second guess how to line themselves up in the competition room:

“No, I can’t go in with my humorous piece after you made the judges all cry!”

“Well I’m not going in after your funny piece and just depress them all either!”

It’s also one of the last events to get filled with judges:

“It’s just so…so…open.”

Let me tell you exactly why I love all that ‘openness’ in this event.

Interpretation is really about story telling at its most basic level, and stories run the full emotional gamut of things we feel as people.  We love to laugh with good old belly laughs.  We need to be moved at the deepest level to tears.  But there is a LOT of space between those two extremes where most of us operate most of the time.  The Open Interpretation strikes there, at that mid-zone along the emotional spectrum...

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