The Catholic University of America

Feb. 1, 2008

CUA's Annual Student Declamation Contest to Be Held Feb. 4

The third annual Hartke Declamation Contest will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, in Callan Theatre, giving eloquent CUA students a chance to win a $1,000 first prize, $300 second prize and $200 third prize.

Each of seven contestants will perform two readings from poetry, literature, drama, speeches, essays or commentary keyed to the theme of "Sports and Leisure." Each contestant will recite one piece that is no more than five minutes in length, and a second piece that is no more than two minutes in length.

Readings will be declaimed from memory and contestants will be judged on elements of diction, elocution, presence and presentation. The winners will be named at the end of the competition.

The annual competition is the brainchild of professional actor and CUA alumnus Jack Knight, class of 1964, who donated the prize money. Knight won a similar declamation award while he was a student at the University of Massachusetts. It helped inspire him to take up a career as a television, film and stage actor.

The contest is held in memory of Rev. Gilbert V. Hartke, O.P., founder of CUA's drama department.

For more information, contact Melissa Flaim, a lecturer in voice and speech in CUA's Department of Drama, at or 202-319-6467.

MEDIA: To cover the event, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.