Homer Alaska - Schools

Story last updated at 6:31 PM on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homer High DDF team holds tourney



By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer

Having already competed in three tournaments this year — at South, Dimond and East Anchorage high schools — the Homer High School Drama Debate and Forensics team will be welcoming out of-towners to the southern Kenai Peninsula this Friday and Saturday.

"We have had students place in the top three of various events at all of the tournaments we have gone to so far," said Head Coach Amy Christianson.

That will give Homer's 20-member DDF team — give or take a few depending on other activities in which they participate — an opportunity to show what they can do on their home turf against an anticipated 50 guests from schools as far north as Wasilla.

The tournament includes 16 different events with a focus on acting, public speaking and debate. Students select which events to enter. They also select their own material and develop it with the help of Christianson and her two assistant coaches, Marla McPherson and Kyra Wagner.

Each team member is required to be in two events, but may sign up for more. Some focus only on acting; other students set their sights on debate or public speaking, as well as acting.

"Some (events) involve only one person and some involve as many as six," said Christianson. "The students are required to participate in at least two events and only one can be debate. This means they are exposed to a broad variety of events."

The mission of the Homer DDF team focuses on helping young adults achieve personal growth and attain self-confidence in an environment that encourages "intellectual curiosity, clear communication of ideas, artistic expression and high ethical standards." The vehicle to that goal is public speaking, discussion of public issues and interpretation of literature through debate, speech and drama.

The program is student-driven and directed, with team members selecting and rehearsing their chosen events. In addition, they appear at various local venues and one never knows when or where members of the team might break into what they call "random acts of DDF."

Christianson also directs Homer middle and high school bands and is the high school's theater instructor. She and her assistant DDF coaches are aided by "an amazing support staff in all of the parents of the students," she said.

Two smaller tournaments are scheduled for the future: one in Eagle River on Jan. 28-29 and one at East High in Anchorage on Feb. 11-12. The state tournament is scheduled for Feb. 17-19.

This weekend's tournament begins at 3:30 Friday. Saturday's events begin at 8 a.m. and end with the presentation of awards at 4:15 p.m.


DDF Dictionary

Dramatic interpretation: Competitors choose a dramatic piece of literature, memorize it and perform it with a focus on vocal ability; minimum movement is allowed; time limit: 10 minutes.

Humorous interpretation: Competitors choose a humorous piece of literature, memorize it and perform it with a focus on vocal ability; minimum movement is allowed; time limit: 10 minutes.

Duo interpretation: Two competitors choose a piece of literature, memorize it and perform the piece with a focus on vocal ability; minimum movement is allowed; performers must maintain offstage focus, may not look at each other and must maintain a single character; time limit: 10 minutes.

Pantomime: One or more competitors creates a scene without any vocalization; instrumental music, one chair, costumes and character makeup may be used; time limit: 8 minutes.

Solo acting: A single competitor performs a cutting from the script of a stage or screenplay; the actor must maintain a single character; one chair, one table and minimum props may be used; no costumes or makeup are allowed; time limit: 8 minutes.

Duet acting: Two competitors perform from a cutting from the script of a a stage or screenplay; actors must maintain a single character; two chairs, one table and minimum props may be used; no costumes or makeup allowed; time limit: 10 minutes.

Readers' theater: One or more competitors read from a prepared script; minimum movement is allowed and at no time may an actor move more than three feet from his or her original position; actors may perform as more than one character; sound effects are allowed; costumes, props and makeup are not allowed, but a team may choose to use a team uniform but may not wear anything but tournament attire; reading stands may be used; time limit: 12 minutes.

Lincoln / Douglas debate: Also known as LD, this debate uses a one-on-one format focusing on values; two competitors debate the merits of two different values as outlined by the resolution.

Pubic forum debate: Also called PFD or Ted Turner Debate format, teams of two debate a current-events topic of public interest.

Policy debate: Also called CX, Oxford or Oregon style debate; teams of two competitors debate the merits of different policies as outlined in the resolution.

Original oration: Competitors write a persuasive speech of their own and memorize it; time limit: 8-10 minutes.

Expository: Competitors write an informative speech of their own and memorize it; time limit: 6-8 minutes.

Foreign extemporaneous: Speakers draw a foreign topic at random and speak on the topic after a short preparation period; no notes are allowed during the presentation; time limit: 5-7 minutes.

Domestic extemporaneous: Speakers draw a domestic topic at random and speak on the topic after a short preparation period; no notes are allowed during the presentation; time limit: 5-7 minutes.

Extemporaneous commentary: In the style of Andy Rooney, speakers comment on a topic drawn at random; the topic is one in the popular American mind; speakers must sit at a desk while presenting their speech; time limit: 2-5 minutes.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.

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