Rules of the Laureate

Eligibility and General Rules

1. Citizenship Requirement

Must be a permanent resident of Trimaris and have lived within the boundaries of Trimaris for six (6) months. This ensures the symbols of the office remain in kingdom (Laureate staff, poet book, bell baldrics, etc.)

2. Entrants Headcount 

A minimum of three (3) entrants are required to participate in each competition in order for any Laureate Competition to be held. If there are not enough entries for a Laureate Competition to take place, the holder of the title for that competition will be given the option of retaining that title and regalia until the next Kingdom event that this competition may be held or may return it to the Minister of the Laureate.

3. Judges 

A minimum of two (2) judges are required (three recommended), and cannot include the minister of the Laureate or the current “titled” Laureate, save for instances of a tie. See “Laureate Judging Guidelines” (below) for more specifics.

4. Piece Selection/Criteria

All entrants may present a brief oral introduction, of no more than a three minute explanation regarding the piece about to be performed. The subject matter required for all competitions must either be of an SCA or Period Theme. The composition and performance of documentable period forms and styles are not only allowed but also encouraged; however, they are not required save for the Jongleur Laureate competition (see section for details).

5. Winning Pieces 

An individual who has won a Laureate competition with a piece may not re-enter that same piece in that same Laureate category again. If they did not win, they may improve their performance and re-enter it as many times as they desire. It is allowable to enter their piece in a different Laureate Competition (as long as they abide by the rules of THAT competition). Winning pieces may be submitted in follow up the the Laureate Minister to be added to the website and Poet book. 

All Laureates are expected to honor their new title by championing the performance arts at events they may attend; and to share their skills and knowledge with others who seek to learn more about the performance arts.

6. Multiple Laureate Wins

If a person holds the title for any Laureate, they may enter (and win) any or all other Laureate Competitions held. An individual could conceivably hold (and has held) ALL of the Laureate titles at one time. No holder of any one of the Laureate Titles may succeed themselves. (Enter a consecutive competition of which they already hold that title).

7. Laureate Bling and Future Competitions

The winner will be given the regalia for the title and is encouraged to wear/carry it at all official SCA events during their tenure as the champion. The victor/Laureate must either agree to be present, send a proxy, and/or work with the Minister of the Laureate to conduct their competition at the applicable event (typically 6 months or so later). Should a proxy be sent in the Laureate’s stead, it is the Laureate’s responsibility to ensure the regalia is present in advance of the competition. 

8. Laureate Expectations
The winner will be asked to perform at any time during their tenure as the champion. They may join the Crown’s champions any time they are asked to serve the Crown and stand with them. The winner is expected to run the next Troubadour Laureate competition with the assistance of the Deputy of the Laureates. 

If for any reason the holder(s) of a Laureate Title is unable to continue in that position, it is the Laureate’s responsibility to notify and coordinate with the Minister of the Laureate for return of the competitions’ regalia. Should the items be stolen/lost/forgotten, the individual(s) will be held responsible for its replacement. 

8. OP Addition

The winner(s) of any Laureate competition will receive the Order of the Bards Laureate (OBL) when acknowledged as Troubadour/Poet/Masque/Jongleur Laureate. This is acknowledged in Court (at the discretion of the Crown), to be applied to their Order of Precedence. 

Laureate Competition Breakdown

POET LAUREATE

Original poetry performed solo by the author, traditionally held twice a year at Crown Lyst. 

TROUBADOUR LAUREATE 

Original songs (both melody and lyrics) performed solo by the author (with or without instrumentation), traditionally held twice a year at Coronation. Filking is not permitted for entry into Troubadour Laureate.

YOUTH LAUREATE 

Solo performance for entrants ages 5-17, traditionally held twice a year at Coronation. Any form of performance art is permitted and may be an original work or not.

MASQUE LAUREATE

Traditionally, Masque Laureate is held twice a year, at the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Faires.  Group performances are welcome, as are solo performances. Solo performances may include original compositions by the artist if accompanied by an instrument. Ensemble performances may be written by one of the ensembles or not, with credit given to the author. 

Other performances not already listed or covered under previous Laureate rules, such as instrumental, non-original composition poetry recitation, prose/speech/story/play acting/recitation, dancing original/period choreography and/or original/period style music, and any form of street performance such as juggling, sword swallowing, dog and pony shows, puppets, etc., are all acceptable entries. Filking is permitted for entry into Masque Laureate.

Note: IF an ensemble wins the Masque Laureate Competition the ensemble may share wearing the Laureate Bells/Medallion at their discretion and a single scroll shall be presented to the group as a whole.

JONGLEUR LAUREATE

The Jongleur Laureate competition is held at Kingdom Art-Sci. Documentation of the art form and method of performance period to a particular time, place, and culture will be required to determine eligibility of the entrants but will not be used to judge performance and thus the victor of this competition. Other criteria include:

  • Documentation shall be turned over to judges no less than an hour prior to competition for their perusal.
  • All aspects of performances are eligible for this competition, types of performances that are not normally encountered in the other Laureate Competitions are highly encouraged. 
  • Solo or ensemble performance of all aspects in this competition will be allowed. 
  • Parodies will be allowed provided you are able to or have documented the practice and how you have employed it. 
  • Any form of street performance including those allowed in Masque Laureate Competition will also be allowed to enter in the Jongleur Laureate Competitions, as solo or group. 

Laureate Judging Guidelines

Selecting Judges 

The Laureate competitions require 2 but encourage 3 judges (to avoid ties).
The following is a good list to choose from: Sitting Royalty or landed Barons/Baroness’; Previous Laureate Winners and competitors; known/established performers of the kingdom; Patrons of the Performance Based Arts; etc.

At the conclusion of the performances, the judges will adjourn to a location away from the performers to discuss/critique each of the three (3) before making a final decision. Should performers care to share more of their art to entertain the audience during this “intermission”, such is encouraged. 

 Judging Criteria

When judging the victor of each competition, the main question you are trying to answer is “Whose quality of performance was the best?”. Judging criteria should therefore be guided by, but may include more than the following:

  • What was your “personal” response to the actual performance? 
  • Do you think/feel you were “put” where the performer wanted you to be? 
  • Were you skillfully/emotionally moved during the performance? 
  • Did the performer(s) “play” to the audience? 
  • How did the audience respond to each performer?
  • Could they be heard if a vocal performance? 
  • Did the performance seem to falter at any point? 
  • How prepared did the performance appear? 
  • Tiebreaker consideration only: 
    • Regarding Masque and Jongleur it is recommended if there is difficulty in choosing a winner, that originality of work (when a performer IS the author) be a judging consideration. 
    • The individual(s) holding the title for any competition will only judge as a tiebreaker. 

Judging may not be based on personal bias toward any individual or ensemble. If any person feels they are unable to judge without personal bias, they should not judge. 

End of Competition Note to Judges

There will be a question and answer period involving the performers and judges after every Laureate Competition. The judges should try their best to be accessible to the performers after each competition, with a positive and/or constructive critique on whatever can be done to help them improve some aspect of their art.