by: Nathan Steele

Contestants are required to have a manuscript with them during the performance. The very common norm is to put literature in a 5.5 by 8.5 inch black binder with a 1 inch spine.

Your typed manuscript can be set to landscape and formatted with 2 columns. The printed manuscript can then be cut and secured to thick black construction paper with tape or glue. The black construction paper can then be inserted into sheet protectors of which there are two commonly used types.

The binder is your only prop. It can be a clipboard, serving tray, gun, mask, puppet, wall, newspaper, etc. As mentioned earlier, how a character holds the binder says something about what they are thinking and feeling.

Page turns can indicate transitions or shifts in time, scene, or mood. How the page is turned (slowly, urgently, like a ticking clock, etc.) can set the tone of a scene or reflect the thinking/feeling of a character. This means you should find purposeful moments in the performance to turn the page.  In duo interpretation, page turns are often synchronized.

Now that you have an idea of how to use your binder, let’s move on to learn about good practices for rehearsal.