Duo Interpretation and Duet Acting, often confused for one another, are two separate events with strong similarities. Chaparral Star Academy focuses on Duo Interpretation, as it is the event hosted by the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), but will — on occasion — compete in Duet Acting.
Duo Interpretation is a two-person performance piece lasting no more than 10 minutes. The script performed can be humorous, dramatic, or a combination of the two. Students are required to memorize their performance and an introduction that sets up the themes, arguments, or plot about to be played out. Additionally, contestants must use “off-stage” focus while performing. Off-stage focus involves students creating focal points and interacting with their partners as if they were off-stage.
Duet Acting is an event mostly limited to Texas tournaments (and one large national tournament called NIETOC — the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions). The event has a 12 minute maximum and involves traditional, on-stage focus (where performers look and interact with one another). In Texas, students are allowed the use of two chairs as props. In some states (like Illinois), they are also allowed a table. Again, the performance must be memorized and contain and introduction to the work about to be performed.