The Catholic University of America

Media Advisory


CUA Annual Student Declamation Contest "Gets Presidential"

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m.

WHERE: The Catholic University of America
Callan Theatre, Hartke Theatre Building
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C.


Students who enjoy using public speaking skills will "get presidential" while vying for the fourth annual Hartke Declamation Prize at Catholic University. This year, contestants will attempt to win a $1,000 first prize while artfully presenting memorized texts of their choice on the theme of "The United States Presidency."

Each student will present a pair of 2-5 minute readings from oratory, commentary, poetry, literature or drama by or about any American president. The readings will be declaimed from memory before an audience and contestants will be judged on elements of diction, elocution, presence and presentation. The winners will be named at the end of the competition.

Open to all CUA students - graduate or undergraduate, full- or part-time, degree- or non-degree-seeking - the contest will award the $1,000 first prize, a $300 second prize and a $200 third prize.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the contest.

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, an experience that 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.

SPONSOR: Department of Drama

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