The Competitions

Masterpiece Extravaganza Competition 2019

Celebrating literary masterpieces from the past to the present.

Masterpiece Extravaganza is a Speech and Drama competition to provide an opportunity for young people to celebrate the works of literary masters throughout the centuries and to bring their works into life. The performers may also bring their own masterpiece performances to the world stage. Whether performing a brilliant selection from the literary canon, or a self-written composition, the Masterpiece Extravaganza Competition aims to be the podium from which emerging artists and public speakers can impact the world. With the Winner's Recital held at the world-class Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, this experience is sure to be one that will be learned from and remembered for life.

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.

Entry deadline: October 25, 2019.
Entry start date: July 15, 2019
Showcase date: Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm.

“Speech is power:
speech is to persuade,
to convert, to compel.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Winners of the competition 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.

Competition Type & Categories

Magnum Opus reserves the right to determine the scope of performance categories for each Competition. For example, one Competition may focus on speechmaking, another on poetry and prose; one may focus on classical texts while another may include all possible categories; or, new categories may be introduced. Regardless, eligible categories will be made clear in each Competition's submission guidelines.

Entrants are encouraged to choose material that challenges themselves as well as the listener. Also, they are reminded that humorous pieces are as welcome as serious ones.

Poetry

Intended to convey ideas, experiences, and emotions by way of purposely structured language. Entrants may choose any type of poetry, being sure to match performance choices to the author's intention and the poem's style.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

Prose

Defined by non-metrical writing, either fiction or non-fiction, where the speaker is the narrator. The focus should be on vocal, not dramatic, performance. The selection should include narration, description, and dialogue. It should be spoken in the storytelling style, and not performed as a dramatic scene. Vocal characterization is allowed, but the quality of the prose must be maintained.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

Dramatic Performance

A monologue, soliloquy, duologue, or scene (not Elizabethan or Jacobean), where speakers are characters. Entrants should approach the performance as actors: by embracing the language and deportment of the character portrayed. Selections should be judiciously edited to reflect the number of characters speaking while maintaining sense.

And,

Dramatic Performance (Elizabethan & Jacobean)

A period-appropriate monologue, soliloquy, duologue, or scene, where speakers are characters. Entrants should approach the performance as actors: by embracing the language and deportment of the character portrayed. Selections should be judiciously edited to reflect the number of characters speaking while maintaining sense. Material should be sourced from dramatic plays, not poetical works.

Solo

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 5 minutes
C. Intermediate 6 minutes
D. Senior 8 minutes
E. College 8 minutes
F. Adult 8 minutes

Duologue

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 4 minutes
B. Junior 6 minutes
C. Intermediate 7 minutes
D. Senior 9 minutes
E. College 9 minutes
F. Adult 9 minutes

Group

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 5 minutes
B. Junior 7 minutes
C. Intermediate 8 minutes
D. Senior 10 minutes
E. College 10 minutes
F. Adult 10 minutes

Storytelling (Original)

Considered an unpublished story written by the Entrant, delivered in a vivid style that feels extemporaneous. Themes range widely and may include, for example, mysteries, heroism, or fairy tales. Entrants are encouraged not to equate “storytelling” with immature subject matter or young audiences.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

Storytelling (Non-Original)

Considered a published story not written by the Entrant, delivered in a vivid style that feels extemporaneous. Themes range widely and may include, for example, mysteries, heroism, or fairy tales. Entrants are encouraged not to equate “storytelling” with immature subject matter or young audiences.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

Speech (Original: Persuasive)

Considered an unpublished discourse with the general purpose of persuasion, written by the Entrant and delivered in a style that feels extemporaneous, appropriate to the imaginary circumstances, and suitable to its specified audience.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

Speech (Original: Informative or Demonstrative)

Considered an unpublished discourse with the general purpose information or demonstration, written by the Entrant and delivered in a style that feels extemporaneous, appropriate to the imaginary circumstances, and suitable to its specified audience.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

Speech (Original: Entertaining)

Considered an unpublished discourse with the general purpose entertainment, written by the Entrant and delivered in a style that feels extemporaneous, appropriate to the imaginary circumstances, and suitable to its specified audience.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

Speech (Non-Original)

Considered a published discourse from any historical period, delivered in a style that feels extemporaneous and appropriate to the original speaker's intent.

Age categories Time Limit
A. Primary 3 minutes
B. Junior 4 minutes
C. Intermediate 5 minutes
D. Senior 6 minutes
E. College 6 minutes
F. Adult 6 minutes

“There are only two
types of speakers in the world.
1. The nervous and
2. Liars.”
— Mark Twain

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.