Reader's theatre

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Readers Theatre or Reader's Theater is a style of theater in which the actors do or do not memorize their lines. Actors use only vocal expression to help the audience understand the story rather than visual storytelling such as sets, costumes, and intricate blocking.

Readers Theatre is also known as Chamber Theatre or Interpretive Theatre.

Readers Theatre became popular during and following the second World War when resources to produce plays were scarce. A common Readers Theatre will be presented using only the scripts and stools or chairs. Limited costuming is sometimes used. While the readers may interpret the scenes or poems cold, in most cases the scripts are memorized and rehearsals are conducted with even more intensity than those conducted for a regular play.

Theatre in Education[edit]

According to some drama teachers,[who?] plays have built-in strategies to help students improve their reading skills. The acting out of dialogue causes rears to work more closely with the text to project and interpret meaning into the reading experience. Consequently, students gain improvement in vocabulary, comprehension and retention. Reading in a small group provides reading role models which is also proven to improve reading skills in students. Research has shown that Readers Theatre can improve reading fluency, word choice and comprehension.[1][2][3]

One of the foremost authors on Readers Theatre was Dr. Leslie Irene Coger. Dr. Coger taught for most of her career at Missouri State University and wrote the book, Readers Theatre Handbook: A Dramatic Approach to Literature. [4]


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