2024 Live Syllabus - Speech Arts - Solo

a) One of the selections must have been performed at the Local Festival and received a minimum mark of 85 and the recommendation of the local Adjudicator. The second selection and third selections are the competitor's choice, but must follow the rules of this category.
b) Competitors must perform three selections that show a contrast in mood (serious, comic, reflective).
c) All content and material should be age-appropriate and suitable for all ages/audiences.
d) Selections must be contrasting. The Adjudicator will take the choice of repertoire into consideration.

General Rules
e) On the day of competition, competitors must present to the Adjudicator the published book or printed source with edited selections clearly marked, or, if selection is from a free website, bring a printed text citing the author and website source.
f) All selections must be performed from memory, except for Public Speaking where cue cards are allowed.
g) Outlines are required for mime, public speaking and storytelling.
h) If the selection is in a language other than English, a translation must be provided to the Adjudicator.
i) Full costume is not necessary. A suggestion of a costume (hat, shawl, jacket, vest) is sufficient.
j) Minimal, hand-held stage-props are allowed.
k) The RCM Speech Arts Syllabus is a good resource for examples of poetry and prose excerpts for all age levels.
l) For Duologues – please see the Duet/Trio section of the OMFA Syllabus.
m) No announcement of name or selection is required prior to your performance.
n) All competitors must be an amateur which shall be defined as a performer, or any person who does not earn significant income from performance or teaching in the discipline in which they are participating or, is a member of a professional union. (Please click here for the full definition of Amateur vs Professional: omfa.ca/glossary).
o) All criteria listed in the OMFA General Rules (omfa.ca/live-festival/rules-and-regulations) must be strictly adhered to.

Selections can be:
• Monologues from published works, plays or monologue anthologies
• Stand-alone monologues form "free" websites (monologue archive.com, ace-your-audition.com, dramanotebook.com, stagemilk.com, etc.)
• Poetry from published sources and collections, public domain (poets.org, famouspoetsandpoems.com, etc)

Speech Arts Selections and Resources

Your three selections can come from one or more of the following categories:

Poetry Solo– (Lyric, Narrative, Humorous, Canadian, Original, Slam):

Lyric Poetry Solo – a short poem that is contemplative, an expression of the inner thoughts and feelings of the poet. It includes sonnets, odes and elegies. Selections exhibit a graceful musical rhythm and flow. The content is reflective and emotional, typically written in the first person, and the story element is of secondary importance to the emotion/feeling. Not dramatized. No (or limited) movement or gestures so that attention is never drawn away from the language. (Examples include select works of Dickinson, Shelley, Keats, Rossetti, Tagore, etc.)
Narrative Poetry Solo– a poem that tells a story, or recounts an event, through verse. It contains a plot, characters, and a setting. It often contains action and dialogue but is told from the narrator's perspective. Usually written in metered verse but does not need to rhyme. Gestures are allowed for emphasis but it is not dramatized. Any movement should flow naturally from the text and the narrator's interpretation. (Examples include select works of Poe, Longfellow, Tennyson, St. Vincent Millay, etc.)
Humorous Poetry Solo– a light or humorous poem (examples include select works of Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, Ogden Nash, etc.)
Canadian Poetry Solo – a published poem written by a Canadian/Indigenous poet. (Examples include select works of Roberts, Service, Carson, Lampman, Atwood, Cohen, Montgomery, Ondaatje, Thomas, etc.)
Original Poetry Solo – Competitors perform their own original poem from memory. Performance will be assessed on content, delivery, creativity and originality.
Slam Poetry Solo – Original spoken-word poetry that is performance-based, rhythmic, passionate and has a "rise" (climax). Slam poetry makes a clear statement or point on a theme or subject people can relate to. Hip hop music and urban culture are strong influences in this style. Performance will be assessed on content, enthusiasm and style. Props, costumes and music are not allowed. (A recommended resource: Poetry Slam by Gary Glazner).

Prose Solo – An excerpt (in paragraph form) from a published story, novel, or essay (fiction or non-fiction). The passage may be abridged to form a unified whole. Prose is non-metrical writing and thus, stories written in verse are not permitted. Selection should include narration, description and dialogue. It should be spoken in a story-telling style and not performed as a dramatic scene. No acting and limited movement around the stage. Competitor may stand or be seated.
• Fiction Prose Solo
• Non-Fiction Prose Solo
• Humorous Prose Solo
• Canadian Prose Solo

Shakespeare Monologue – choice of a scene or play by William Shakespeare. Scene may be abridged so that the monologue includes only the words of one character

Monologue Other Than Shakespeare – a scene depicting one character from a published play or published anthology of monologues or a stand-alone monologue. Scene may be abridged so that the monologue includes only the words of one character. Simple portable props and simple costuming are allowed.

Storytelling Solo – competitors may write their own original story, or retell, in their own words, a folk, fairy tale, myth or legend.

Public Speaking Solo – competitors will prepare and present an original organized speech on a topic of their choice. Content must be suitable for all ages/audiences. The speech should have a defined purpose and clear structure. The speech may be delivered to entertain, influence, or inform the audience. Cue cards are permitted, but eye contact should engage the audience.

Mime Solo – Own choice from an original or a published work. Mime is a silent art form that uses body and face as instruments of communication and expression so as to express a mood or present a scenario. Performance may take place in silence, be accompanied by recorded music or live music. Competitors must clearly communicate character, storyline, location and emotion. Economy of movement, eye focus, ability to position objects and maintain consistency of distance are vital. Simple costumes are allowed.

Stand-Up Comedy Solo – Perform a comedy skit or sketch, either published material or original. Simple props and costumes are allowed. Content must be suitable for all ages/audiences.

Speech Arts - Solo


Competitors must perform three (3) contrasting selections.

The maximum performance time limits are listed below:

Beginner Level (Ages 6 to 8): Twelve (12) minutes
Primary Level (Ages 9-10): Twelve (12) minutes
Elementary Level (Ages 11-12): Twenty (20) minutes
Junior Level (Ages 13-14): Twenty (20) minutes
Intermediate Level (Ages 15-16): Twenty (20) minutes
Senior Level (Ages 17-18): Twenty-five (25) minutes
Advanced Level (Ages 19-28): Twenty-five (25) minutes
Adults Level (Ages 29 & Above): Twenty-five (25) minutes

There is no minimum performance time.

Accurate performance times must be included on the entry form. Do not guess timings.

If you do not provide all information required (your YouTube video link, the PDF of your music and payment) by your Festival's Provincial deadline, it will result in disqualification. "To Be Decided" in any field will not be accepted and will also result in disqualification.
The only exception to this is the field labelled "Movement/Musical".  If your piece is a sonata or a concerto, etc. you will need to define which movements you will be playing.  If your piece does not have any movements please put "none".

Class:22001 - Speech Arts - Beginner Level - Ages 6-8Live:closedVirtual:closed
Class:22002 - Speech Arts - Primary Level - Ages 9-10Live:closedVirtual:closed
Class:22003 - Speech Arts - Elementary Level - Ages 11-12Live:closedVirtual:closed
Class:22004 - Speech Arts - Junior Level - Ages 13-14Live:closedVirtual:closed
Class:22005 - Speech Arts - Intermediate Level - Ages 15-16Live:closedVirtual:closed
Class:22006 - Speech Arts - Senior Level - Ages 17-18Live:closedVirtual:closed
Class:22007 - Speech Arts - Advanced Level - Ages 19-28Live:closedVirtual:closed
Class:22008 - Speech Arts - Adults - Ages 29 and AboveLive:closedVirtual:closed