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Start Here: Teaching High School Interp

Start Here: Teaching High School Interpretation
Start Here: Teaching High School Interpretation

Interpretation centers upon a student selecting and performing published material and appeals to many who enjoy acting and theater.

In Interp events, students perform a cutting (a selection of one or more portions of a piece) of a play, short story, or other published work. Students may portray one or multiple characters and may “pop” from one character to another. Each character should be uniquely distinct with vocal, physical, and emotional choices carefully thought out. No props or costumes may be used. Interp events are ten minutes long with a 30 second grace period.

This collection covers Humorous, Dramatic, and Duo (partner) Interp at the high school level. 

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Determine a theme or central idea of a text, analyze its development over the course of the text, and use this information to cut a piece. 
  • Analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a piece, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
  • Bring a character to life by analyzing their spoken and unspoken motivations. 
  • Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, movement, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • Cut, block, memorize, perform, and revise a complete Interp.


LESSON 1: Basic Background Information 1
LESSON 2: Choosing Literature 12
LESSON 3: Cutting Literature 15
LESSON 4: Theme in Cutting 21
LESSON 5: Writing Your Introduction 28
LESSON 6: Characterization in Interp 38
LESSON 7: Environment 51
LESSON 8: Practice and Memorize Your Interp 54
LESSON 9: Judging/Critiquing Peer Speeches 62

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