Forensics

Abilene High School Forensics


Megan Hagaman: Forensics Coach

Forensics isa co-curricular activity offered at the High School that takes placeduring the Spring competition season. Competition begins in January andlasts through May. There are also opportunities for National Competitionand Travel in June, and summer Forensics camps throughout the summermonths.

 

What is Forensics? 

Forensicsinvolves a presentation by one, two, or sometimes a group of studentsthat is judged against a similar type of presentation by others in around of competition. Speech events range from limited preparationevents that require extensive knowledge of current events to dramaticand humorous interpretation, which challenge students to find powerfulmoments in literature and recreate them for an audience. The best partof forensics is that an event exists for all students to find theirvoice and have success. 

What events are offered during Forensics Season? 

Dramatic Interpretation aka Serious Solo Acting

Usinga play, short story, or other published work, students perform aselection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes inlength. With a spotlight on character development and depth, this eventfocuses on the student’s ability to convey emotion through the use of adramatic text. Competitors may portray one or multiple characters. Noprops or costumes may be used. Performances can also include anintroduction written by the student to contextualize the performance,and state the title and the author.

Duo Interpretation aka Duet Acting

Twocompetitors team up to deliver a ten-minute performance of a publishedplay or story. Using off-stage focus, competitors convey emotion andenvironment through a variety of performance techniques focusing on therelationships and interactions between the characters. No props orcostumes are used. Performances can also include an introduction writtenby the students to contextualize the performance and state the titleand the author.

Humorous Interpretation aka Humorous Solo Acting

Usinga play, short story, or other published work, students perform aselection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes inlength. Humorous Interpretation is designed to test a student’s comedicskills through script analysis, delivery, timing, and characterdevelopment. Competitors may portray one or multiple characters. Noprops or costumes may be used. Performances can also include anintroduction written by the student to contextualize the performance andstate the title and the author.

Original Oratory

Studentsdeliver a self-written, ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing.Limited in their ability to quote words directly, competitors craft anargument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals. Topics rangewidely, and can be informative or persuasive in nature. The speech isdelivered from memory.

United States Extemporaneous Speaking

Studentsare presented with a choice of three questions related to currentevents in the United States and, in 30 minutes, prepare a seven-minutespeech answering the selected question. Students may consult articlesand evidence they gather prior to the contest, but may not use theInternet during preparation. Topics range from political matters toeconomic concerns to U.S. foreign policy. The speech is delivered frommemory.

International Extemporaneous Speaking

Studentsare presented with a choice of three questions related to internationalcurrent events and, in 30 minutes, prepare a seven-minute speechanswering the selected question. Students may consult articles andevidence they gather prior to the contest, but may not use the Internetduring preparation. Topics range from country-specific issues toregional concerns to foreign policy. The speech is delivered frommemory.

Prose Interpretation

Studentsdeliver a 7 minute dramatic presentation over a selection ofliterature. Literature is drawn from books and short stories. Thematerial may be humorous or serious or a mixture of both. The materialwill include a memorized introduction, but the selection itself isperformed with the use of a black book. 

Poetry Interpretation

Studentsdeliver a 7 minute dramatic presentation over a selection of poetry.Literature is drawn from a variety of materials but must be classifiedas poetry. The poem maybe one piece or a collection of pieces. Thematerial may be humorous or serious or a mixture of both. The materialwill include a memorized introduction, but the selection itself isperformed with the use of a black book. 

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Inthis one-on-one format, students debate a topic provided by theNational Speech & Debate Association. Topics range from individualfreedom versus the collective good to economic development versusenvironmental protection. Students may consult evidence gathered priorto the debate but may not use the Internet in round. An entire debate isroughly 45 minutes and consists of constructive speeches, rebuttals,and cross-examination.

Public Forum Debate

PublicForum involves opposing teams of two, debating a topic concerning acurrent event. Proceeding a coin toss, the winners choose which side todebate (PRO or CON) or which speaker position they prefer (1st or 2nd),and the other team receives the remaining option. Students presentcases, engage in rebuttal and refutation, and also participate in a“crossfire” (similar to a cross examination) with the opportunity toquestion the opposing team.  Often times community members are recruitedto judge this event.

Congressional Debate (House and Senate)

Asimulation of the U.S. legislative process, students generate a seriesof bills and resolutions for debate in Congressional Debate. Debatersalternate delivering speeches for and against the topic in a groupsetting. An elected student serves as a presiding officer to ensuredebate flows smoothly. Students are assessed on their research,argumentation, and delivery skills, as well as their knowledge and useof parliamentary procedure.

Improvised Duet Acting

Twocompetitors team up to deliver a 4-7 minute original performance.Students draw and choose 2 characters, 1 location, and 1 situation tohelp them develop the scene. After selecting their guides, students aregiven 30 minutes to prepare their performance. The performance shouldinclude an introduction.


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