The Competitions

The Magnum Opus International Speech and Drama Competitions aim to encourage young people to master the art of public speaking, speech arts and drama. It also encourages a deeper appreciation of literature, the spoken word and drama. The unique experience will empower youth for a lifetime of success in their personal and professional lives.

The competitions are produced under the general administration and management of the Foresight Leadership Foundation with the mission to further promote speech and drama education by creating opportunities for youth and amateur adults around the world to perform at world-class venues, where participants will have an opportunity to share their passion, showcase their talent and enhance their careers.

“Voice is breath,
and breath is life.”
— Unknown

Winners of the competitions will perform a piece chosen by the adjudicators at the Awards & Winners' Showcase, at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Eligibility

All submission guidelines must be met before an Entrant's application will be accepted.

All Competitions shall be open to non-professional performers who are (i) legal citizens in their declared country of origin, or legal immigrants in their country of residence, and (ii) who meet the age requirement per performance category. The condition of "non-professional" does not apply to those bona fide students of the performing arts who teach for the purpose of applying the money so earned for furtherance of their education, and does not preclude occasional remuneration received for services rendered in the arts.

The Society does not wish to disqualify any performer and sincerely advises all Entrants, parents, teachers, coaches, and Associates to abide by the Definitions & Rules and Guidelines herein and to abide by the spirit of the Competition so that infractions do not occur.

Age Categories:

  1. Primary (6 - 7)
  2. Junior (8 - 10)
  3. Intermediate (11 - 14)
  4. Senior (15 - 18)
  5. College students
  6. Amateur Adults

For duologues and groups, each Entrant must either be in the same age category or compete at the age level of the oldest Entrant.

Each age category has its maximum time requirements. A leeway of fifteen seconds on either side will be granted. Beyond that, a penalty will be applied to the overall score.

“There are three things
to aim at in public speaking:
first, to get into your subject, then
to get your subject into yourself,
and lastly, to get your subject
into the heart of your audience.”
— Alexander Gregg

Entries

All required forms must be completed and received, along with associated fees, as per these Guidelines. Entries that are either incomplete or received after the deadline will not be accepted.

The adjudication panel will take into consideration the interpretation and suitability of the material.

The Society reserves the right to refuse any entry without assigning an express reason for doing so.

Entrants may not submit any selection that previously earned them a place in a Magnum Opus Festival.

Entrants may apply to compete in multiple categories. For example, an Entrant could submit entries for Persuasive Speech as well as Dramatic Performance.

Duologues and groups are advised to demonstrate in performance that the onus of success is shared equally by all Participants. For example, two Entrants in a group should not be overly featured, while the third Entrant offers little contribution. Due consideration in this regard is expected.

All selections must be memorized, and performed in English.

Entrants need not rely on elaborate presentation aids. To that end, Entrants are encouraged to choose material that requires, if any, a minimum of props and costumes; and these should be portable.

Under no circumstances shall live flame or animals be permitted. Under special consideration may replicas of weapons—never real weapons themselves—be permitted (e.g. a blade used in a dramatic performance). The Society does not deem such props integral to successful performance, and advises Entrants to use considered judgment in such choices. Consider, too, the potential legalities of traveling with such items.

For all Non-Original entries, the title, author, publisher, and edition information of the material must be stated on the entry form. Also, Entrants must submit a typed, typographically accurate copy of said material.

For all Original entries, the title and author must be stated on the entry form. Also, Entrants must submit a typed, grammatically correct copy of said material with their submissions.

All selections must be accurately timed and stated on the entry form. Timing shall start upon the utterance of the first word and stop upon the final word or significant stage movement.

No selection changes will be allowed by the Entrant once a selection listed on the entry form has been submitted.

Entries will be adjudicated in a timely fashion upon the Competition's deadline. Only Winners will be contacted to confirm acceptance into the Showcase.