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An Open Interpretation creatively explores and develops the

intellectual, emotional, and artistic embodiment of a single

selection of literature for performance.

Goal: The goal of the event is to develop a piece from a single selection of literature into an original and unique
Time: 10-minute maximum; no minimum time. There is no official penalty for time, and judges may use
discretion when weighing a speakers time into their ranking. The speaker should not be penalized for excessive
audience laughter, which may occasionally extend the time of a speech.
Rules: All General Individual Event Rules and Script Submission Rules and Guidelines must be followed,
along with the specific event rules below.
1. The speaker will select a single, non-original, published selection of literature to interpret from the
genre of plays, prose, or poetry. A published selection of literature is a work of an author which is
available to the public.
2. The selection of literature may not include blogs or social media, audio recordings, or media
transcriptions from movies, TV, or radio. Only a single selection may be used from within a collection
of works. Each book of the Bible is considered a separate source of literature.
3. No material may be quoted from literature outside of the single selection, except in the introduction.
4. Up to 150 added words may be used to introduce the selected piece of literature. There should be a
clear distinction between the introductory words and the words of the selection. A speaker may not
assign original dialogue to an authors character.
5. The title and author of the selection of literature must be introduced, but are not included in the 150
word count. The selection identification should be near the beginning of the piece, but may follow a
teaser from the selection.
6. Directly quoted material (Bible verses, song lyrics, quotes, etc.) may be used in the introduction, but
must be included in the 150 word count. If directly quoted material is used, the outside source(s) must
be mentioned in the verbal delivery of the speech and cited parenthetically within the typewritten
7. Speakers may cut the selection of literature to fit the time limit. Phrases from several sentences may be
combined. Although single words taken from nearby sentences may be added for transition or

NCFCA Open Interpretation Rules Revised August 2015

character identification, single words from separate sentences may not be strung together to create
new sentences.
8. It is not permissible to change the authors words for any reason other than pronoun substitution, verb
tense, and subject-verb agreement. It is permissible to repeat an authors words or phrases when the
author does not do so.
9. Lines may be taken from one or more characters and given to another character.
10. Limited singing and/or dancing is permitted but must be motivated by the literature. Singing may not
comprise more than 60 total words in the entire piece. No published tunes from another source may be
used in the selection of literature unless the song lyrics and/or published tune is specifically included
in the selection of literature.
11. Sound effects may only be used if they are motivated by the selection of literature.
12. Visual aids, electronics, and costumes are not allowed. The term visual aids refers to items or
audience members used to enhance the speech. A costume refers to a part or all of the speakers attire
that is worn to enhance the speech.
13. Only feet are permitted to touch the floor at any time.

NCFCA Open Interpretation Rules Revised August 2015