Dramatic Interpretation

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Dramatic Interpretation (often shortened to "Dramatic Interp," "Drama" or just "DI") is an event in National Forensic League (and NFL-related) high school forensics competitions.

In a typical round of DI, five to seven performers will each perform a "cutting" (excerpt) from a readily available, published (copyrighted or non-copyrighted) play, novel, or short story. As the name suggests, the cuttings are invariably from non-comedic (e.g., dramatic) works. Some performers select monologues, others may adopt the roles of many different characters, changing their tone, manner, and the position of their body to indicate a change in character.

After all of the competitors have performed, the judge (or judges) in the round will rank them from best to worst, and assign each of them a score. Contestants who score well will "break" out of preliminary rounds and continue to advance through octo/quarter/semi/final rounds if they continue to score well.

In college, DI cuttings must be from a play. Novels and short stories are used in prose.[1]


The use of props is forbidden. Wearing a costume or attempting to dress "in character" is seen as a kind of propping. Performers are restricted in their movement and may only move about two steps in every direction.[2]

There is a time limit of ten minutes.

Within the ten minutes, there must be an introduction which states the title and author of the selection. A "teaser" from the selection may precede the introduction.

2013 NFL National Finalists - Birmingham, AL Performed By:
1) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ~ John Berendt *BAMA BOWL* Anthony Nadeau, Royal Palm Beach High School - FL
2) Dennis: An Original Masterpiece ~ Eddie James Kenneth Zhang, The Harker School - CA
3) The House at Sugar Beach ~ Helene Cooper Emerald Egwim, Eagan High School - MN
4) My Life ~ Bruce Joel Rubin Elijah Burton Beery, Salina High School - KS
5) I, Tina ~ Tina Turner Tyara Hooks, Alpharetta High School - GA
6) The Gift of Tongues ~ Tyler Freeman Christina Parker, Pascagoula High School - MS

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Drama Interpretation" (PDF). Blinn Colledge-Bryan writing center. Retrieved 7/10/2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "Dramatic Interpretation: Structure and Rules". ForCom: Forensics Community. Retrieved October 30, 2014.