Boone County High School Forensics




Prose is the third “black book” event and thus is very similar to Poetry and POI. Like Poetry and POI, you will use and refer to the manuscript in the form of a “black book,” which is a small black binder. You can use this for movement or blocking. You are allowed to move around (e.g. walking, bending, etc.) to express the piece; however, you are not required to move.


In Prose, however, your performance will be a single piece of fiction or nonfiction from prose. This excludes things like poetry, articles, etc. but does include things like novels, short stories, movie scripts, or memoirs. While you can cut down a longer piece, you can only use one selection (unlike Poetry which has the option to use multiple selections or POI which requires multiple selections).


While there can be dialogue in the performance, the majority of the piece should be narration. This (in addition to the black book) is a difference between Prose and DI/HI.


The maximum time for Prose is ten minutes. You must have an introduction with a background to the performance and the title/author of your piece.


Tips and Tricks:

  • Because the majority of the performance is narration and not dialogue, make sure you choose a piece with effective narration and an interesting character. The audience is likely going to be spending most of the piece with that one character.

  • Likewise, spend lots of time thinking about your character. What are their motivations? What makes them emotional? Knowing your character well will help you develop effective characterization and portrayals, including voice, facial expressions, movement, etc.

  • While it may be tempting to read from your black book, you should only look down at the book about once per page, and it should be for effect. Instead, perform for your audience, treating the black book as an extra appendix that you can use to enhance your performance.


For more detailed practicing tips, check out the KHSSL handbook (Poetry starts on page 35).