Stoa Voting Guide 2019: Solo Interp
“Proposal: Replace Humorous Interpretation (HI) and Dramatic Interpretation (DI) with a single new event called Solo Interpretation.”
Dividing Humorous and Dramatic pieces skews the field toward hysterically funny or devastatingly tragic pieces. If your piece is just kind of funny, or somewhat serious, it may not do as well. Some pieces are a blend of both, and can be hard to categorize. Mixing the two events together might give more complicated or subtle pieces a place to stand. So you may wonder:
“Why Were They Divided in the First Place?”
Comparing humorous and dramatic pieces competitively is incredibly difficult. Most judges have a preference between humorous and dramatic, just as you probably have a preference between action, romantic comedy, and horror movies. Try comparing a great romantic comedy like Sleepless in Seattle with a great action movie like Indiana Jones. Which is better?
Chances are, your choice will be determined mainly by which genre you prefer. A similar bias for humorous or dramatic pieces will sort you in your panel in a way you can’t control. This isn’t because judges are lazy or untrained. It’s because comparing movies that different is highly arbitrary. You can compare Sleepless in Seattle to other romantic comedies, but hold it against another genre and picking which is best is mind-boggling.
This Intensifies the Issue
To make matters worse, if judges tend to favor one over the other (very likely), the less popular form (probably dramatic) will start to die because it has nowhere else to go. That means this measure will probably exacerbate the problem it’s trying to fix.
Single-person interp needs to be divided into at least two categories to be competitive and judgeable. There is no perfect solution, but any division is better than merging them all together. If Stoa wants to break out of the emotional skew of the current divisions, it should replace them with new divisions like Prose Interp/Scene Interp.
This is half of a good idea. It deserves a chance when it’s fully-baked. As written, it’s a big downgrade.