The NTPA Invitational Tournament will offer competitions in thirteen events, nine of which are traditional Middle-School competitions and four are special Events for theatre students.

The guidelines below will be adhered to in the NTPA Invitational Tournament.  For more background on each event and supplemental materials, see the National Debate & Speech Association’s “Middle School Competition Events Guide.”

Audition (AU)

  • Performance Event
  • This event is a solo event for one performer only.
  • The participant performs an audition consisting of EITHER two contrasting one-minute monologues from published plays OR one one-minute monologue from a published play and one one-minute musical theatre song.
  • The participant must provide their own accompaniment track and device on which to play it. 
  • No vocals may be on the track used. It must be instrumental accompaniment only.
  • The participant must “slate” at the beginning of the audition: student’s name, titles of pieces, names of characters.
  • No costumes are allowed, but the participant is expected to wear nice, casual clothes they feel their best in.
  • The contestant is not expected to provide a headshot or resume.
  • Length of audition: 3 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period. 
  • For tips on how to present an audition, go to ntpa.org/audition-tips-for-students/

Dramatic Interpretation (DI)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This is a solo event for one performer only.
  • The participant performs either a dramatic monologue or a scene involving 2 or more characters.
  • The selection must be from a published source of literary merit (plays, long-format monologues, memoirs/personal essays, etc.)
  • The selection must be memorized.
  • The performer must write and memorize an introduction, which sets up the mood of the piece and includes the author and title.
  • No props, costumes, chairs, or scenery is allowed.
  • Movement below the waist is allowed for this event.
  • Length of performance: 8 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Duet Acting (DA) (Team Event)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This event involves two performers.
  • The participants perform a selection/scene from a published play.
  • Participants must write and memorize an introduction which sets the mood and scene of the selection and includes the title and author.
  • The selection must be memorized.
  • Two chairs may be used.  No costumes or props are allowed.
  • Blocking/movement is encouraged.
  • Length of scene:  10 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Group Scenes (GS)

  • Performance Event
  • This event involves 3-8 people.
  • The participants choose a scene or selection from a published source(s).
  • Scene must be memorized. 
  • Props, costumes, music, or additional scenery (including tables) are not allowed.
  • Movement/blocking is encouraged.
  • Performers must write and memorize an introduction which sets up the theme (if relevant) and must include title and author.  The introduction may be delivered by one participant, or this responsibility may be shared. 
  • Length of the selection:  8 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Group Vocals (GV)

  • Performance Event
  • This event is a team event for 2-20 performers.
  • The participants perform a song from a published Broadway or Off-Broadway musical.
  • The participants must provide their own accompaniment track on either a USB drive, smartphone, or CD.  
  • No vocals may be on the track used. It must be instrumental accompaniment only.
  • The participants must write and memorize an introduction which sets the mood and scene of the selection and includes the title of the song and show, characters, and songwriter(s).
  • Costumes, props, and choreography may be used and are encouraged but not required
  • Length of song: 5 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Humorous Interpretation (HI)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This is a solo event for one performer only.
  • The participant performs either a humorous monologue or scene involving 2 or more characters.
  • The selection must be from a published source of literary merit (plays, long-format monologues, memoirs/personal essays, etc.)
  • The selection must be memorized.
  • The performer must write and memorize an introduction, which sets up the mood of the piece and includes the author and title.
  • The participant must use vocal changes, facial expressions, gestures, and posture to indicate changes in characters.
  • No props, costumes, chairs, or scenery is allowed.
  • Movement below the waist is allowed for this event.
  • Length of performance: 8 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Lip Sync (LS) (Team Event)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This event involves 1 to 6 performers and while the production can be an individual performance, group productions are encouraged. Not all performers are required to lip sync.
  • Participants choose a song and lip sync the words as accurately as possible. All lyrics in the song should be lip synced.
  • The participants must provide their own music on a burned CD that can support playback, as well as a CD player. A phone or mp3 player connected to speakers may be brought in place of a CD/player.
  • Participants are encouraged to use props, costumes, set, makeup, etc.
  • Participants may use a medley of songs.
  • Participants can either choreograph a dance or tell a story through the lyrics of the song. 
  • Performers may write and perform a short scene at the beginning and/or end of the song to add context to the story they are telling.
  • The more creative, the better! 
  • Time length:  5 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Musical Pantomime (MP) (Team Event)

  • Interpretation Event
  • The event involves 1-6 performers, and while an entrant can be a single performer, group productions are encouraged. 
  • No spoken dialogue or sounds may be used. 
  • Medleys or “mash-ups” are allowed.
  • The performer(s) choose a song (or medley) that does not contain lyrics or speech of any kind.
  • Participants must present a story through silent movement.
  • The story should have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Participants must provide their own music and player.
  • One chair per performer may be used.
  • The title must be given at the beginning of the performance.
  • Length of pantomime:  4 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Poetry (PO)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This is a solo event for one performer only.
  • The speaker can perform up to four poems from a published source.
  • Poems must be read from a binder.
  • Poems may not be memorized.
  • If using more than one poem, all poems must have the same theme or author.
  • If using more than one poem, a memorized transition between each poem must be included.
  • The speaker must write and memorize an introduction which sets the mood and states the author(s) and title(s).
  • Movement from the waist up is allowed for purposes of enhancing the piece (feet must stay planted).
  • Length of poem(s): 7 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Prose (PR)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This is a solo event for one performer only.
  • The performer reads a selection from a published short story or novel.
  • The selection may be comedic or dramatic.
  • The piece must NOT be memorized.
  • The participant must read the piece from a binder.
  • The speaker must write and memorize an introduction which sets the mood and tone of the piece.  The introduction must include the title and author.
  • The speaker may delete any words or sentences that are not necessary to the audience’s understanding of the story.  You may NOT add or change any words or sentences!
  • Movement from the waist up is allowed for purposes of enhancing the piece.
  • Length of piece: 7 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Shakespearean Interpretation (SI)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This is a solo event for one performer only.
  • The participant performs either a dramatic Shakespearean monologue or a scene involving 2 or more characters.
  • The same selection may also be employed in the Dramatic Interpretation (DI) event. 
  • The selection may be a collection or compilation and can be of tragedy, comedy, poetry or a combination, but selections must remain true to the original Shakespearean text.
  • While the selection does not need to be memorized, points will be added based on level of memorization and familiarity.  
  • The performer must write and memorize an introduction, which sets up the mood of the piece and includes the title and short background.
  • No props, costumes, chairs, or scenery is allowed.
  • Movement below the waist is allowed for this event.
  • Length of performance: 6 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.

Solo Vocals (SV)

  • Performance Event
  • This event is a solo event for one performer only.
  • The participant performs a song from a published Broadway or Off-Broadway musical.
  • The participants must provide their own accompaniment track on either a USB drive, smartphone, or CD.  
  • No vocals may be on the track used. It must be instrumental accompaniment only.
  • The participant must write and memorize an introduction which sets the mood and scene of the selection and includes the title of the song and show, character, and songwriter(s).
  • Costumes, props, and choreography may be used and are encouraged but not required.
  • Length of song: 4 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period. 

Storytelling (ST)

  • Interpretation Event
  • This is a solo event for one performer only.
  • This event is for 6th graders only.
  • The selection must be from a published children’s story.
  • The piece must be memorized.
  • The performer must write and memorize an introduction which sets the mood and includes the title and author.
  • No props, chairs, costumes, or scenery may be used.
  • The story should be acted out using different voices, gestures, and movement.
  • It should be highly energetic!!! 
  • Length of story:  6 minutes max, with an additional 30 second grace period.
NTPA Invitational Theatre and Speech Tournament Information