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The Magic of Reader's Theater

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Reader’s theater combines two of my favorite things…Reading and Theater!


I was a theater kid. It all started when I was six and my teacher, Ms. Garges, was casting our first grade play, Snow White.

I wanted to be the lead soooo badly!

Instead, the part of Snow White went to my best friend Carol Kedzierski. I was cast as the Wicked Queen (which really was the juicier role, but my six-year-old self didn’t see it that way).

That's me...6 years old with that crown! ↑↑↑↑↑↑

So I raised my little fist at the ceiling and cried, “I will grow up to be a famous actress, and Ms. Garges will watch me at the Academy Awards and regret the day she didn’t cast me as Snow White!”

I was a little dramatic.

That was the day I gave up my dream of being a Nurse-Teacher-Bionic Woman-Spy (remember, I was only six) and fully committed to becoming an actress. I took acting classes, tried out for all the shows I could find, joined theater groups, and majored in theater in college.

Reading, Writing, and Theater

The skills I learned in theater have served me throughout my life (public speaking, communication, and so much more). And though I didn’t know it at the time, it also helped my reading and writing skills. Reading scripts and dissecting plays gave me a real understanding of story structure and storytelling.

Theater is also a great way to develop Emotional Intelligence. You literally walk in someone else’s shoes when you inhabit another character.

Theater not your thing? That’s okay!

Kids can still gain the benefits of theater while developing reading, writing, and emotional intelligence skills through the magic of Reader’s Theater.

What is Reader’s Theater?

Reader’s theater is a cross between reading a book out loud and putting on a play. It uses a script to bring the story to life without requiring a stage, costumes, or props. Kids don’t even need to memorize their lines as they read directly from the script while performing.

Reader’s Theater Fosters a Love of Literature

Many reader’s theater scripts are based on popular books. So kids actually get to be the characters they adore, making stories unforgettable and fostering a love for literature.

Reader’s Theater Increases Reading Fluency

While kids don’t need to memorize their lines, they do need to read over the script a number of times before performing it. This helps with word recognition and increases reading fluency.

Reader's Theater is a Confidence Booster

Reader's Theater takes the fear out of public speaking by turning it into a performance. It's often easier to speak on stage when pretending to be someone else.

Reader's Theater is Easy and Budget-Friendly

No need for fancy props or intricate costumes. Reader's Theater is the epitome of simplicity - just grab a script and start the show.

Reader’s Theater is an important element of our Seven-Way Story Adventures

All of Page Turner Adventures’ Seven-Way Stories include Puppet/Reader’s theater scripts so kids can act out the story themselves as a reader’s theater script or puppet show. The scripts are HERE.

Okay, I’m off to look for a Reader’s Theater script of Snow White so I can finally perform the role I was born to play. On second thought...I think I’ll stick with the part of the Wicked Queen. She really is the more interesting character. You were right all along, Ms. Garges!

I’d love to know your experiences with Reader’s Theater. Have you tried it? How did it go? Do you have any suggestions or questions? Let me know in the comments.

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