What is reader's theater?
Reader's theatre is a legitimate form of drama with actors using their voices and upper bodies to convey various roles in a script through reading to an audience. It differs from a play in that parts or roles are read rather than memorized. Actors usually stand behind lecterns or music stands and use techniques such as vocal and facial expressions as well as hand and arm movements. Small hand props may be used as well.
Why should you do reader's theater in the library?
- Improve reading skills and comprehension
- Tell familiar stories in a creative way
- Develop vocal and facial expression in order to effectively convey thoughts and emotions to an audience
- Experience camaraderie with peers who also enjoy reading and performing
Free Scripts for You to Use
The following scripts have all been written or adapted by Linda Nesbitt. You are free to print them out for your personal or educational use.
The Little Rag Doll - Word file | PDF file
A school teacher, staying late to grade papers, is visited by a strangely sad child.
The Ring - Word file | PDF file
When Julie takes a short-cut through the cemetary and finds a ring, she soon discovers that the owner wants it back!
A Call from Uncle Andy - Word file | PDF file
After Ginger has a bad dream about Uncle Andy, she and Grandma begin receiving mysterious phone calls.
FairyTale Mystery Theater: Goldilocks and the Three Bears- Word file | PDF file
An adaptation of the old fairy tale as a radio drama, complete with sound effects and commercials.
Reader's Theater in the Library
Readers Theatre for American History
by Anthony D. Fredericks
Historical readers theatre scripts from early people through the 21st century.
Frantic Frogs and Other Frankly Fractured Folktales for Readers Theatre
by Anthony D. Fredericks
Scripts for readers theater productions based on fairy tales. Available to download from the catalog as well.
Presenting Reader's Theater Plays and Poems to Read Aloud
by Caroline Feller Bauer
Readers theatre scripts based on classic folktales, contemporary children's books, poetry, chants, and songs. This volume also includes instruction in creating reader's theater for your group or school.
Children's Plays for Creative Actors
by Claire Boiko
A collection of royalty-free plays that may be adapted for readers theatre.
Fifty Plays for Junior Actors
edited by Sylvia E. Kamerman
A collection of royalty-free, one-act plays that may be adapted as readers theatre.
Stories on Stage: Scripts for Reader's Theater
edited by Aaron Shepard
A collection of 22 reader's theater scripts for middle grade and junior high school students.