In its simplest form, Reader’s Theater is an activity where students read a play
aloud with the scripts in hand. They often do so without having memorized the
script. They may not have props, act out the action of the play, or even move. There
doesn’t need to be an audience besides the readers themselves.
However, some teachers do reader's theater as a full script-in-hand production, with props, action, even costumes, and an audience. Reader's theater can be an activity in-and-of-itself to help students experience the language out loud and practice intonation, voice, and body language. It can also be a kind of rehearsal to a full production or a way to make a reading text come alive.
This short guide covers the benefits of reader's theater and various ways to do it. It goes over all of the decisions you will need to make from seating arrangements to staging to how to prepare students to perform reader's theater.