Open Forum

Reader's Theater

  • 1.  Reader's Theater

    Posted 11-12-2019 13:37
    Hey there drama brethren, I need help. I have been asked to put a student/faculty performance together by my head of fine arts for a fundraiser next week! So it is clear if I'm going to do this with so little notice that I am going to need to do a reader's theater piece that won't require memorization. Any suggestions of pieces that would work for myself and some students? No limits on how many students. Thanks!

    Andy Simon
    Theater Teacher
    Naperville North High School
    Naperville, IL

  • 2.  RE: Reader's Theater

    Posted 11-13-2019 08:29

    I have worked at various grade levels 5 to 12 doing reader's theatre with James Thurber's Fables for Our Time - "The Little Girl and the Wolf," "The Unicorn in the Garden," "The Owl Who Thought He Was God," etc.   My students and audiences alike have always enjoyed them.  They're short and funny, and can be cast flexibly.  You can assemble as many or as few of them as you need to fill out the length of your program.  Good luck!

    Jeff Grove
    Theatre Teacher, Aesthetics Department Chair
    Stanton College Preparatory School
    Jacksonville FL

  • 3.  RE: Reader's Theater

    Posted 11-13-2019 12:13
    I worked with Fran Tanner at my junior college. She was one of the leading experts on Readers Theatre. Her book Readers Theatre Fundamentals is a great reference book on Readers Theatre. She taught us any script can be done as readers theatre. She also created devised pieces around a theme, like Christmas.

    You might also check out Dr. Leslie Irene Coger book Readers Theatre Handbook

    Plays to Consider:
    • Thornton Wilder's Long Christmas Dinner is a longer one-act
    • A scripted version of A Christmas Carol 
    • You Can't Take It With You by Kaufman & Hart
    Children's stories
    • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
    • scripted version of
    • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
    • The Wizard of Oz
    • Charlotte's Web 
    • James and the Giant Peach
    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    James Van Leishout
    Olympia WA

  • 4.  RE: Reader's Theater

    Posted 11-14-2019 10:28
    How long is this to be?  One act length?  15 minutes pieces?  Etc

    Natalie (Saunders) Dommer
    Pasadena Memorial High School
    Pasadena, Texas