Readers' Theater Production Notes

Pair with another classroom teacher, each select a suitable story, each class prepare one theater, invite each other to view the other production.

Have an older group prepare a readers’ theater, read it to a younger class, use the production to motivate and model for the younger, have the younger prepare a production and share with the older and others.


Consideration for the selection of a story

  1. Motivational,
  2. Not boring,
  3. Mostly dialogue,
  4. An appropriate amount of characters for the number of students,
  5. Appropriate length for the developmental level of the students,
  6. Language, vocabulary, composition, style, plot is appropriate for
  7. The developmental level of the students and exciting,
  8. Favor dialogue over action,
  9. Its educational value,
  10. Third person stories give more flexibility than first.
  11. Encourage students to interpret the characters and vary their voices according to their interpretations.



  1. After selection read it aloud and see if it will work as well as anticipated.
  2. Photocopy or have a selection that you are able to write on.
  3. Use a pencil and begin to divide the text into narration and dialogue.
  4. Use symbols and write lightly so editing is easier.
  5. Decide if you want to divide the narration into more than one narrator.
  6. You might want to have a narrator for each point of view, Goldilocks and three bears.
  7. Select dialogue for character.
  8. Add sound effects.
  9. Add stage directions.
  10. Decide how the title and author are to be presented.
  11. Make a character list for all assigned parts.



  1. Decide if the cast is to read the story before selection of parts, if so read.
  2. Assign parts.
  3. Have characters highlight their parts.
  4. Have the cast become familiar with their dialogue as desired.
  5. Agree on stage arrangements, entering exiting, final curtain call.
  6. Rehearse as desired.
  7. Work on characterization, projection, diction, timing. Ask students why they should or shouldn’t do such and such. See how well they understand the story and the characterization. The better they do the better the production.
  8. Have Fun!



  1. Some things that might be evaluated are: selection, staaging, performaance, script use, narration, vocalization and nonverbal actions.
  2. Evaluation checklist comments sheet


Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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