What is Reader’s Theatre?
Readers Theatre is a group of people, or perhaps just a couple of people, who tell a story in a creative way. It may be called “Theatre of the Imagination” because everyone is involved, even the audience. The audience imagines what’s not shown on stage. And everyone knows that anything can happen in your imagination. A scarf can become a river; a hat can become a cat; a stool can become an island. Sometimes one person will read…or two…or three…or four…or five…or the whole group. They may decide to change positions to give action to the story or to portray different people. Sometimes they have props, sets, costumes, and sometimes they don’t. Reader’s Theatre can be used with small a group, such as a class of 3rd graders, or with a large group, such as a church choir, or a group of…well, really…any group, any size. Reader’s Theatre is really just a simple or complex, form of creative reading — providing theatre for the imagination.
Reader’s Theatre is for both the young and the old, the amateur and professional. It brings together acting, interpretation, and rhetoric (the art of using words) all of which bring pleasure to the eyes and the ears. It is an effective way to communicate a myriad of materials. There is no one set way to perform Reader’s Theatre. That is part of its beauty.