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About the Competition

Description of the Competition

Students work in teams of 4 to 6 to create and perform an improvised English drama. There are three categories for the competition as well as contingency measures to respond to COVID-19 social distancing arrangements:

  • The ‘Speak Up Act Out! Live!’ 1-week category (‘SU-AO! Live!’ 1-week), in which teams are given 7-10 calendar days to prepare an improvised performance of 4–5 minutes. There will be multiple sessions of this category with around 12 teams at each. The stimulus for the improvised dramas this year will be ‘an (imaginary) object’.
  • A ‘Speak Up Act Out! Live!’ 1-day category (‘SU-AO! Live!’ 1-day), which will be held on a Saturday and is intended to challenge more able students. Teams prepare their improvised drama of 3–5 minutes in the morning and perform it in the afternoon. There will only be one session and places will be limited to 12 teams. The stimulus of the dramas will be announced on the day of the competition. It is recommended that schools enter the ‘SU-AO! Live!’1-day should send teachers to attend the ‘Speak Up – Act Out!’ Saturday Teacher/Student training day to share best practice and help to train student drama leaders. Teachers are asked to bring two students from their drama team to this workshop.
  • A ‘Speak Up – Act Out! On Air!’ 1-day category (‘SU-AO! On Air!’ 1-day), in which students both create a radio drama and perform it live with online videoconferencing.  As this is a pilot programme, there will only be one session and places will be limited to 12 teams. This category is intended to challenge more able students and will be held on a Saturday in Term 1. Teams will be given 90 minutes to prepare a 3–5 minute radio drama and will then perform it live online. The purpose of this category is to provide a competition session which can be held regardless of any COVID-19 social distancing arrangements.
  • Contingency measures in the event of COVID-19 social distancing arrangements in Term 2:
    • The ‘Live!’ categories may be adapted to different social distancing arrangements.
      • For example, if larger scale gatherings are not permitted but students can do activities in small groups, schools may be asked to submit videos of performances (for ‘SU-AO! Live!’ 1-week).
      • For example, if small scale gatherings are permitted, both ‘Live!’ 1-day and 1-week categories may be held without student audiences and with each school team performing separately for the judges.
    • If both preparation for and participation in the competition need to be completed online:
      • ‘SU-AO! Live!’ 1-week will become ‘SU-AO! On Air!’ 1-week.  Students will be given 7–10 days to prepare and record a radio drama on a given stimulus. Recordings will be shared and prizes announced at an online videoconferencing session. Revised regulations and advice will be issued to teachers.
      • ‘SU-AO! Live!’ 1-day will become ‘SU-AO! On Air!’ 1-day and be held in Term 2.  Please see the above description of ‘SU-AO! On Air!’ 1-day.
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