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How to Adjudicate Dramatized Verse in Kenya National Drama and Film Festivals

 1. Choice of poem In the Dramatized Verse (30)

In drama, there are no set pieces. Participants are free to dramatize a poem of their choice. The poem must have a subject matter which is of interest and which stimulates memory as well as emotion. In choosing a poem the following must be considered.

  • Theme: There must be a central idea in the poem which the poet is conveying. A theme chosen must be relevant to the performers as well as the audience, and the society.
  • Language: The language in which the verse is written must be within the ability of the performers and must be in tune with the understanding of performers. In other words, its language must be manageable to those who present it. Since it is verse/poem, it must use carefully chosen words and expressions and be poetic enough to create an impact on the audience. The language should be appropriate to the subject matter.
  • Structure: The arrangement of the verse should be seen to enable the verse to flow coherently. It should have a discernible shape in which every part in the verse is connected to the whole. Care should be taken in choosing or composing verses that have distinct poetic elements including rhythm, mood and imagery.
  • Rhythm and other sound techniques: Should be appropriate to the rendition of the verse.
  • Imagery: Use of appropriate word picture which stimulates the audience’s imagination.
2. Delivery and Performance of the Dramatized Verse (30%)
  • Presence: Emphasis should be on dramatization rather than recitation. In the first place, the performer must make his/her presence felt. What is the poise and how does the performer position himself/herself on the stage? Are gestures in conformity with the subject matter and theme? Is the performer competent, relaxed and confident? Is there stage sense?
  • Voice: Pitch; Is the performer’s voice lowered or raised according to the meaning of the poem? What about the tonal manipulation? Is the tempo varied accordingly to increase variety and aesthetic appeal of the verse? There should be adequate voice projection.
  • Speech: Does the performer pronounce words clearly and therefore bring out the meaning of the poem? Does the performer enunciate the words as demanded by the script? Does the performer interpret the demands of the script in terms of articulation?
3. Production of the Dramatized Verse (20%)
  • The arrangement of the set and décor should be in harmony with the subject matter of the verse.
  • Action, movement and stage use should work for the overall purpose of the verse.

4. Costume and Décor In the Dramatized Verse (10%)

Costumes should be seen to characterize participants in the presentation. Décor, on the other hand, should aid in defining the mood and purpose of the performance. Both should be functional.

5. Achievement of the Dramatized Verse (10%)

Focus should be on overall communicative value of the dramatized verse.

NOTE: None of these areas is mutually exclusive. A problem may arise when evaluating overlapping areas. The reason for breaking down the categories is to make the overall concepts meaningful to the producers, directors and cast.

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