Whereas Theatre performances allow audiences to observe a fully realized “world” of the play through technical elements such as scenery, set pieces (furniture), hand properties (props), costumes, makeup, lighting, and sound; interscholastic Speech contests involve performers giving more audience-focused performance with minimal set pieces (chairs, and for Play Acting, a table), and wearing (neutral) clothing. We are often asked for the nuance of what constitutes costuming and props, since rules for Speech categories prohibit these items.
should be documented, and when necessary, brought to contest officials to weigh potential penalties. Contest officials, and not adjudicators, make determinations for any penalties.
When is it a Costume? #
In interpretive categories, if contestants wear clothing implied for a particular character or described in the script, that is a costume. In group categories, merely dressing alike does not constitute a costume, unless the script calls for it (such as characters who are twins). In speech categories, if a student is wearing the attire called for by a particular occasion or topic, that is a costume. However, in Demonstration Speaking, students should wear attire appropriate to what is being demonstrated.
Usage of the Floor #
The rules are silent with regard to touching the floor or lying on the floor. It is a choice performers may make. Although students may not be disqualified for touching the floor, judges can take movement into consideration in the overall evaluation of a student’s performance.