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Handbook - Drama Division Rules

National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

  1. Drama entries must be video recorded and last three minutes or less in length. Any entries reaching national competition that are longer will be disqualified.
  2. If a drama entry requires a female character and no eligible female Veterans are available, the part may be read by a female volunteer or staff member.
  3. All Veterans must speak in order for an entry to be considered a group entry. (Example, if one Veteran is speaking and another is playing an instrument as accompaniment this would not qualify as a group entry but rather a solo entry with accompaniment.)
  4. Judges reserve the right to move an entry to the appropriate category or disqualify the entry if rules are not followed.
  5. Veterans must perform each of their entries themselves on the video recording in order for the entry(ies) to be eligible for competition judging.
  6. An E-mail containing a separate attachment for each entry of the typed text (do not send scanned copies of the text) of all drama entries MUST also be E-mailed to Erin Todd in order for the entry to be accepted and judged at the national level. The name of the eligible Veteran(s) who is shown on the video must also be included on the document. This applies to each entry in all drama categories.
  7. Each video recorded entry must contain a title slide/page that includes the category number, category name, title of piece and name of Veteran(s) in the entry. The time it takes for the title page to be viewed does not count against the 3 minute entry.

Note: Veterans Affairs staff contact persons will be notified via E-mail with the 2013 competition results.

Drama Categories

Note: Veterans who wish to have their original work judged by performance criteria (that is, on stage presence, expressiveness and interpretation) should submit the entry into the drama division in one of the categories below that best fits the entry. Veterans who wish to have their original work judged by criteria based upon the merit of the composition (that is, on creative content, message clarity, use of language, and originality of topic or idea) should submit the entry into the creative writing division.

  1. Solo Dramatic Prose - A composition in ordinary speech or writing (not poetry) presented by one eligible Veteran. (For example: a reading or excerpt from a speech.) Can be existing or original.
  2. Group Dramatic Prose - A composition in ordinary speech or writing (not poetry) presented by two or more Veterans. Can be existing or original.
  3. Solo Patriotic Prose - A composition in ordinary speech or writing (not poetry) with content that relates to American patriotism. Presented by one eligible Veteran. Can be existing or original.
  4. Group Patriotic Prose - A composition in ordinary speech or writing (not poetry) with content that relates to American patriotism. Presented by two or more eligible Veterans. Can be existing or original.
  5. Solo Inspirational Prose - A composition in ordinary speech or writing (not poetry) with content that is of spiritual nature, presented by one eligible Veteran. Can be existing or original.
  6. Group Inspirational Prose - A composition in ordinary speech or writing (not poetry) with content that is of spiritual nature, presented by two or more eligible Veterans. Can be existing or original.
  7. Solo Comedy - Any drama of light and amusing character presented by one eligible Veteran. Can be existing or original.
  8. Group Comedy - Any drama of light and amusing character presented by two or more eligible Veterans. Can be existing or original.
  9. Solo Dramatic Poetry - A verse composition presented by one eligible Veteran. Can be existing or original.
  10. Solo Patriotic Poetry - A verse composition with content that relates to American patriotism. Presented by one eligible Veteran. Can be existing or original.
  11. Solo Inspirational Poetry - A verse composition with content that is of spiritual nature, presented by one eligible Veteran. Can be existing or original.
  12. Solo Comedy Poetry - A verse composition of light and amusing character presented by one eligible Veteran. Can be existing or original.
  13. Group Poetry - A verse composition presented by two or more eligible Veterans. Can be existing or original.
  14. Solo Interpretive Performance-Dramatic - A presentation by one eligible Veteran that involves acting, movement, and props. Original or existing.
  15. Group Interpretive Performance-Dramatic - A presentation by two or more eligible Veterans that involves acting, movement, and props. Original or existing.
  16. Solo Interpretive Performance-Comedy - A presentation by one eligible Veteran that is of light and amusing character involving acting, movement and props. Original or existing.
  17. Group Interpretive Performance-Comedy - A presentation by two or more eligible Veterans that is of light and amusing character involving acting, movement and props. Original or existing.
  18. Mime/Juggling/Magic/Puppetry and Ventriloquism - Solo or group. Mime: A presentation that imitates actions without words. Juggling: The art of keeping several objects in motion in the air at the same time by alternatively tossing and catching them. Magic: The art of producing illusions by sleight of hand. Puppetry/Ventriloquism: Any act where the Veteran(s) manipulates puppets and speaks in such a manner that his voice seems to be coming from the puppet.
  19. Multimedia Video - Solo or group. A video vignette three minutes or less in length that is created, directed and edited completely by an eligible Veteran or Veterans. The video must contain a combination of two or more of the following: photography, graphics, music, sound effects, spoken dialog and/or narration. Judging criteria for this category includes: Structure and Organization; Originality and Creativity; Total Presentation.

Drama Special Recognition Category

  1. Special Recognition - Solo or group. Existing or original. Entries that recognize individuals who exhibit creative expression through the use of drama while possessing significant physical or psychological limitations. The intent of this category is to reinforce the concept of the arts as therapy, where an individual uses artistic expression to facilitate successful treatment outcomes. Entries and their accompanying written statements from the Veteran’s Veterans Affairs staff contact person should focus on how the arts are used by the individual(s) to rise above severe limitations.

Entries in this category MUST include:

  • Solo or Group Entry form
  • a written statement/narrative (25 to 225 words) by a Veterans Affairs staff person or the Veteran of why the Veteran is deserving of special recognition
  • a Consent for Picture and/or Voice form(s) signed by the Veteran(s)
  • a Request for and Consent to Release Medical Records or Health Information form signed by the Veteran(s)

Senior Drama Categories

The purpose of the senior categories is to allow Veterans who may have experienced diminished physical functioning an opportunity to compete in a category with persons who are at a similar level and age. The senior categories are special categories for Veterans age 65 and older. Entries may be ANY type of drama. Group members must all be eligible Veteran inpatients or outpatients 65 years of age or older. As with other group entries, groups may not be expanded by staff, volunteers or ineligible Veterans. If a female partner is needed for the entry, then a staff member, volunteer or other person may be used, but the entry would be counted as a solo if only one Veteran is present. Seniors may also enter other categories in the drama division as well (not to exceed three total).

  1. Senior Drama Solo
  2. Senior Drama Group

Drama Division Judging Criteria

Judges at the 2013 National level of competition will be ranking each drama entry (excluding category 19) based on the following criteria: stage presence, expressiveness, creativity and interpretation. Category 19 will be judged based on: structure & organization, originality & creativity, and total presentation.

Submitting Entries into the 2013 Competition

Veterans interested in participating in the competition should contact the local recreation therapy/creative arts therapy departments at the VA facility where they are enrolled, as early as possible to assure that deadline dates for submission of entries are met. Veterans must work with a staff person from the VA facility where they are enrolled to obtain necessary entry and consent forms and to submit the digital video recording of their entry.


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