Speech Arts – 2023 (LIVE)

Open to anyone who resides or studies in the Province of Ontario or the Gatineau, Quebec area and has been recommended by their local festival.

The maximum age is 28 years old as of December 31, 2022 for advanced level classes.

Please note that there are separate classes for amateur adults 29 and over.

For the 2023 Provincial Festival, all Speech Arts classes will be LIVE.

Speech Arts Levels – Live Festival

Age-based level Classes are offered to competitors in each of the following eight levels:

Beginner Level: Competitors between the ages of 6-8 as of December 31, 2022.
Primary Level: Competitors between the ages of 9-10 as of December 31, 2022.
Elementary Level: Competitors between the ages of 11-12 as of December 31, 2022.
Junior Level: Competitors between the ages of 13-14 as of December 31, 2022.
Intermediate Level: Competitors between the ages of 15-16 as of December 31, 2022..
Senior Level: Competitors between the ages of 17-18 as of December 31, 2022..
Advanced Level: Competitors between the ages of 19-28 as of December 31, 2022.
Adult Level: Amateur Competitors older than 29 as of December 31, 2022..
• Ages 29 and up – 5 Years of Training or Less
• Ages 29 and up – 6 to 9 Years of Training
• Ages 29 and up – 10 Years of Training or More.

Performance Requirements for Speech Arts
Competitors must perform three selections that show a contrast in mood (serious, comic, reflective).

a) All selections must be from published works, plays or monologue anthologies, unless otherwise specified.

b) All content and material should be age-appropriate and suitable for all ages/audiences.

c) All selections must be performed from memory, except for Public Speaking where cue cards are allowed.

d) Competitors must bring the book, published source or copyright-cleared copies with the edited selections clearly marked.

f) Outlines are required for mime, public speaking and storytelling.

g) If the selection is in a language other than English, a translation must be provided to the Adjudicator.

h) The RCM Speech Arts Syllabus is a good resource for examples of poetry and prose excerpts for all age levels.

i) The absolute maximum total performance time limit is as follows:

Beginner (Ages 6 to 8)                  Twenty (20) minutes
Primary (Ages 9-10)                      Twenty (20) minutes
Elementary (Ages 11-12)             Twenty (20) minutes
Junior (Ages 13-14)                      Twenty-Five (25) minutes
Intermediate (Ages 15-16)           Twenty-Five (25) minutes
Senior (Ages 17-18)                      Thirty (30) minutes
Advanced (Ages 19-28)                Thirty (30) minutes
Adults (Ages 29 & Above)            Thirty (30) minutes

Accurate performance times must be included on the entry form. Do not guess timings or simply apply the specified time limit. There is no minimum performance time. The Adjudicator will stop the competitor after the maximum time.

j) Full costume is not necessary.  A suggestion of a costume (hat, shawl, jacket, vest) is sufficient.

k) Minimal, hand-held stage-props are allowed.

l) All criteria listed in the OMFA General Rules (separate document) must be strictly adhered to.

m) For Duologues – please see the Duet/Trio section of the OMFA Syllabus.

n) All criteria listed in the OMFA General Rules (separate document) must be strictly adhered to.

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.  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 published 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.

Choral Speech – Choral speech is the speaking of a piece of literature by a speech choir.  The focus is on the language and the text.  The prime emphasis is on telling the story, rather than acting it out.  Gestures and simple in-place movements may be used, but there is no movement around the stage.  Variety may be created through the division of voices, use of solo voices, physical arrangement of the choir, use of props and the suggestion of a simple costume.  Please note that as this is a group class – only two (2) selections are required.