This page includes the rules that pertain to performances and the judging criteria.

Each participating school may have up to four total entries in oral and costume contests. A couple’s costume counts as one entry.

Original Orations:

1. Orations must be original and persuasive, written in English and containing Latin or Greek phrases where appropriate.
2. The subject is to be a mythological or historical idea or event from Classical times.
3. Orations may not paraphrase, or depend upon in content, any extant speech or literature.
4. A classical character is permitted as an integral part of the speech and may be identified in a brief announcement prior to the beginning of the speech or in the course of the content.
5. Historical figures are limited to those found in the periods listed under the Greek and Roman history test sections.
6. Presentation at regional forum during the current year is the only prior usage of this speech that is permitted.
7. No costumes, notes, or props of any kind are permitted.
8. The oration must be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes.
9. A student may start an oration over once without penalty.
10. A student may be identified only by number, not by name tag or school clothing.
11. Before beginning the speech, the contestant must present one typed copy of the oration marked with the following divisions:
I. Exordium – introduction to arouse interest
II. Narratio – statement of facts of the case
III. Propositio – statement of what is to be proven
IV. Argumentatio
A. Confirmatio – affirmative arguments
B. Confutatio – refutation of opposing arguments
V. Peroratio – conclusion, summary of main points, and a sensational, dramatic appeal
12. The student’s number and division should be on the back of the speech.
13. The oration must be memorized.

1. Declamations are original dramatic presentations in English with the students acting the part of one or more specific characters from classical mythology or history.
2. Declamations may not be paraphrases of extant speeches in the literature.
3. Appropriate Latin or Greek phrases may be used.
4. The characters may be announced prior to the beginning of the speech but with no further explanation.
5. Historical figures are limited to those found in the periods listed under the Greek and Roman history test sections.
6. The speech may have been used only in regional forum during the current year.
7. No costume, notes, or props of any kind may be used.
8. Time limits are three to five minutes, with a deduction in points for not observing the limits.
9. While the declamation must be memorized, the student may start a declamation over once without penalty.
10. The student or his/her school may not be identified other than by declamation number given at registration.
11. The student is required to submit a copy of his/her declamation to the judges.

Dramatic Interpretations:

1. The 2014 NJCL creative arts selections will be used for the Dramatic Interpretation selections.
2. The reading must be memorized.
3. No props, costumes, notes, or prompters are to be used.
4. The student may preface his/her presentation with an introduction in English although this is not necessary and will not be judged as part of the presentation. The preface must be one minute or less.
5. One false start is allowed without a point reduction.
6. Students must not wear their name tags or clothing identifying their schools.


Girls: Eos
Boys: Helios
Couples: Selene and Endymion

1. The student must have photocopies of receipts for materials and supplies not to exceed $40.00. Points will be deducted for no receipts. Original receipts are to be kept for States and Nationals. Photocopies will not be returned.
2. All visible clothing and decoration must be included in the costs.
3. Donated materials are to be included within the limits of costume expenditures and counted at their fair market value.
4. Costumes must be constructed by student with aid only from family members.
5. Costumes will be judged on authenticity, design, workmanship, and characterization.
6. The student must submit a picture of himself/herself in costume. Points will be deducted for no picture.
7. Judges are to note that while props for scenic effect, audio tapes, and other adjuncts may affect the overall grade, the focus of this contest is the costume itself.

Sample Questions: How does your costume represent your character? Why have you chosen this color/style? What does this prop represent? What is on your feet, arms, etc., and why? How much of this costume was your own work? How did you go about constructing this particular item? Where did you find your accessories? What sources did you use for your information on your character? What else would you like to tell us about your costume? Would you turn around slowly so we can all see?

N.B. There will be seven categories judged for performances: Dramatic Interpretation I, Dram. Interp. II, Dram. Interp. (Adv. Prose), Dram. Interp. (Adv. Poetry), Declamations, Orations, and Costumes. For Costumes and Dramatic Interpretation, students may choose to do either the boy’s or girl’s costume/passage.


Costumes: Knowledge of Character (15), Relevance of Costume (25), Adherence to Rules (15), Craftsmanship/Quality (15), Creativity (20), Overall Effect (10); Total (100).
Dramatic Interpretation: Memorization (25) (poetry: 25), Character Portrayal and Depth (20) (poetry: 20), Pronunciation (20) (poetry: 15), Enunciation (10) (poetry: 5), Voice Control (5) (poetry: 5), Eye Contact (5) (poetry: 5), Natural Gestures and Appropriate Movement (10) (poetry: 10), Phraseology (5) (poetry: 5), Scansion (0) (poetry: 10); Total (100) (poetry: 100).
Declamation and Original Oration: Content (25), Originality (20), Memorization (15), Voice Control (10), Poise (10), Adherence to Rules (10), Enunciation (5), Appropriate Gestures (5); Total (100).