Reader's Theater Scripts
Reader’s theater is a dramatic presentation in which the actors read the script, usually without props, costumes, or scenery. It allows children to perform without having to memorize a script or practice extensively. The performance is created through the readers’ voices and facial expressions, permitting the actors to experiment with language and emotions. Arrange the actors in a line or in smaller logical groupings, with the narrator standing to one side. Print enough copies of the script so that each actor has a copy. For younger children, it may be helpful to highlight their parts. Let each actor read through the script ahead of time to ensure a smooth performance, but realize that part of the charm of reader’s theater is its spontaneity.
Reader’s theater scripts can be found in many books and web sites. Try Aaron Shepard’s RT Page. Several appropriate scripts, along with information about reader’s theater in general, can also be found in Multicultural Folktales: Readers Theatre for Elementary Students by Suzanne I. Barchers, available through netLibrary, a Texshare resource. The script for Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s on First?” comedy act, is on-line at Baseball Almanac. Originally presented on radio, two teens could easily provide a dramatic reading of this hilarious exchange.