Stories, puppet shows, and reader's theater

Reader's Theater

Reader’s theater provides a way to encourage theatrical performance without having to memorize lines, set up a stage, or practice movements. Sometimes props or masks are used but if you do not have time to prepare any they are not critical to the program. Children use voice and facial expressions to represent their characters.

Arrange the readers in a row at the front of the room. If they are seated, each child should stand up when it is his or her turn to read. If the children are standing, the reader can take a step forward at the appropriate time. Readers can hold their scripts or place them on music stands, if available. Take a few minutes in advance to read the script with the children and provide definitions and pronunciation for any words that they do not know. Allow time for each reader to also review the script silently.

Start the performance by reading the name of the story and the author. At the end of the performance, all the readers should take a bow and wait for the applause. Often a reader’s theater script also lends itself to puppetry or a craft activity.

Professional Resources

Fifty Fabulous Fables: Beginning Reader’s Theater by Suzanne I. Barchers.


Texas Reading Club 2004 Programming Manual / Color Your World...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011