Proposal: Replace Humorous Interpretation (HI) and Dramatic Interpretation (DI) with a
single new event called Solo Interpretation.
Solo Interp is a 10-minute event from a single piece of published literature performed by a single competitor. Stoa members have requested an interp event that allows a wider variety of literary work. Solo Interp will offer this by combining the best aspects of both HI and DI into a single event while opening up even more interpretative opportunities for competitors.

If approved:

● Solo Interpretation will run for a two-year trial during competition seasons 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

● Following the two-year trial, Stoa members will vote on the membership ballot of Spring 2021 to either make Solo Interpretation a Stoa permanent event or reinstate HI and DI as regular Stoa events. The Stoa Board of Directors and the Speech Committee support this initiative and believe it will be a positive and creative change for Stoa members.


1. Emphasis on the Story: Event emphasis will shift from the emotion to the content. Like in Monologue and Duo, Solo Interp will contain light-hearted stories, serious stories, and many that combine a variety of emotions. Competitors will be inspired to focus more on the story rather than extreme emotion. Judges will evaluate which competitors best bring their stories to life.

2. Character Development: Students will be rewarded for realistic character portrayals. Judges will focus on who best understood and interpreted their characters and who told a compelling story. Interps have the potential to teach students about human nature. Developing believable character requires understanding a character’s backstory, motivations and worldview. This shift in focus would bring quality literature and quality characterization to the forefront of these events.

3. Wider Variety of Material: Solo Interp allows for previous HI and DI pieces to be used while also opening the door for many new selection. This boosts creativity and encourages students to bring new literature to life and to select stories worth telling. Judges will shift their paradigm as originality, creativity, and message are rewarded.

Reasons for Change:

HI and DI participation has remained low for years. A primary reason for this is the forced focus on emotion in these two events. The event names have become synonymous with excessive laughing and crying, which is driving student choices and judge evaluation. Real stories mirror real life and are not exclusively happy or sad; rather, they offer a wide range of emotions. Many excellent pieces of literature are currently being overlooked because they do not clearly align with the event names of “humorous” or “dramatic.” Rather than forcing a piece to fit into HI or DI, Solo Interp will allow students to choose from a wider variety of literature and be true to the author’s intent. Solo Interp would increase student participation, refocus judge evaluation, and incentivize competitors to choose quality literature.

A YES vote on this initiative will replace Humorous Interpretation (HI) and Dramatic Interpretation (DI) with a single new event called Solo Interpretation for two seasons - 2019-20 and 2020-21. Members will vote in Spring 2021 whether or not to make this a permanent change.