Open Forum

Reading Scripts in Class

  • 1.  Reading Scripts in Class

    Posted 08-16-2019 10:00
    When you have your entire class reading/working on the same script, how do you handle the initial read-through? Sometimes we read it together, especially when I think there will be plenty of the things they won't understand/get during the play (like when we read Wit). This also means that half or more of the class will probably just be listening passively or even checking out.

    I've also had them break up into small groups to read the play. This can work, but it can also mean that some groups aren't as focused as others, and there might be parts of the play they don't get that we will still have to discuss as a class.

    Depending on the class, I might have a quiz on the play, and usually we work on scenes from it. It's just the initial read through that I wonder whether I'm structuring it in the best/most efficient way.

    What things do you do when you want the class to read through a play?

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 2.  RE: Reading Scripts in Class

    Posted 08-16-2019 10:56
    Edited by Josh Kauffman 08-16-2019 10:56
    One thing we have tried, which I really liked, was to read the play as a class, popcorn style. Meaning, we did not assign roles, but simply went 'round the room, each student in the circle reading the next line in the script. That way everyone reads and is engaged, and no one is jealous of the classmates who get to be the leads. As a side benefit, sometimes you have the gift of different takes on a character's interpretation, which makes for a fun conversation.

    Josh Kauffman
    Winfield AL

  • 3.  RE: Reading Scripts in Class

    Posted 08-17-2019 06:31
    I also often double or even triple the readers of main roles and have them alternate reading aloud. I even have students read the stage directions (and also any sound effects) during a class read-through. Good luck!

    Garry Tiller
    Theatre Arts Teaching Artist
    Sidwell Friends
    Washington, DC

  • 4.  RE: Reading Scripts in Class

    Posted 08-17-2019 11:22
    I second Josh's suggestion!  I refer to these as "Circle Read-Thrus".  I also use them when I have cast the ensemble for a show, but have not yet assigned roles from within the ensemble.  It engages every student equally.  One thing to watch for is if you have a struggling reader (or emergent reader, depending on your level), try to plan ahead so they don't have to cold-read a monologue or soliloquy.  Alternatively, you can strategically place them next to a stronger, trusted reader in the circle who can discreetly and positively support them.

    Jason Coats
    Shawnee Mission Northwest HS
    Thespian Troupe #888
    Shawnee, KS

  • 5.  RE: Reading Scripts in Class

    Posted 08-17-2019 13:22
    When reading through a play the class would produce, I let students volunteer for parts initially, then switched up fairly frequently.  I interrupted the reading to point out specific things in the script, etc.  We held auditions after the initial reading, then did another read-through with the cast in place before beginning rehearsals.

    C. J. Breland
    Retired Theatre Arts Educator
    Asheville NC

  • 6.  RE: Reading Scripts in Class

    Posted 08-18-2019 12:08
    I also have each student read the next line.  I do this in class and sometimes even at the first read through for our after school productions. It is a great way to keep them all involved and answer questions as a group.
    Break a leg!

    Tina Tutt
    Middle School Theatre Teacher
    Middle School Theatre Director
    Battle Ground Academy
    Franklin, TN