Boone County High School Forensics


Dramatic Interpretation


In DI, you’ll perform a memorized serious piece. The piece can be a monologue or a dialogue, and it can be a published excerpt from a longer work. Acceptable pieces include excerpts from:


  • Plays

  • Short stories

  • Novels or books

  • TV shows

  • Movies


The maximum time is ten minutes, including an introduction. The introduction must include:


  • Title of the piece

  • Author of the piece

  • Background information of the piece.


In DI, you are allowed to use transitions, such as song lyrics, but this cannot comprise more than 10% of the written content. Movement is restricted to within an area of ten feet in diameter. Acceptable movement includes bending, turning, pivoting, etc.


If your DI has multiple characters, you should use offstage focus in your eye contact when one character is speaking to another. This means you should look at different places for different characters. If the character/speaker is addressing the audience, then making eye contact with the audience is okay.


Tips and Tricks:

  • If your DI has multiple characters, then your body stance and voice should reflect the different characters. Use different voices, stances, facial expressions, and gestures to convey different characters. If one of your characters is taller than the others, then their eye contact should always be directed lower and vice versa.


  • It’s important to convey emotions in DI but remember that emotion does not equal yelling or loudness. Consider the different ways emotions can be expressed. Does your character look away when upset? Maybe they wring their fingers when nervous. If you’re having trouble thinking of ways to express emotions, think about what you or a close friend does when they are sad, angry, nervous, etc. See if you can adapt any of these characteristics in your piece.


  • Although the introduction is only a short part of your DI, it can be very impactful. Is there extra information that the audience should know to understand the piece? Is there an impactful statistic or quote you can include to demonstrate the importance of this story? For example, if your DI is about a character who is overcoming addiction, including a significant statistic or quotation about addiction reminds your audience of the reality of your piece.


For more detailed practicing tips, check out the KHSSL handbook (DI begins on page 21).