POP! So, let's make this easy and fun for you! This will be a short multiple choice quiz on Readers Theater. All you have to do is guess the correct answer and you get 10 points. The whole quiz is worth 25 points. Okay? Here we go!
1. What is Readers Theater?
a. "minimal theater to support literature and reading..."
b. "...two or more people having fun reading literature aloud"
c. "...an instructional approach in which students read a book (or hear a book real aloud) and then perform a play (the book witten in script form) by reading the script aloud to an audience..."
d. "a shared happening between performers and audience..."
e. "...proven fun and unlimited motivation reading aloud"
g. all of the above
Ha! Terrible quiz, right? Too many choices? Everything sounds right? Well, you did just fine. Any answer will get you 10 points because they are all right! Oh, if only this could get a grade, huh? (Of course g should be the best choice then, but who cares?)
Answer a, the first quote that Readers Theater is "minimal theater to support literature and reading..." comes from Aaron Shepard's classic book Readers on Stage (page 9). Aaron Shepard is an amazingly creative author who has dominated the Readers Theater field with his front page listing on Google. (But, Readers Theater is only part of what he does.)
Answer b that Readers Theater is "two or more people having fun reading aloud" is from my first purchased book on Readers Theater called Readers Theater Comes Alive! by Paul Russel (page 5). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the book in print anymore. Maybe I'll have to try to track Paul Russel down and see if we can get it reprinted--even digitally?
Answer c, claiming that Readers Theater is "...an instructional approach in which students read a book (or hear a book read aloud) and then perform a play (the book written in script form) by reading the script aloud to an audience..." is on page 12 of Readers Theater for Building Fluency--Strategies and Scripts for Making the Most of This Highly Effective, Motivating, and Research-Based Approach to Oral Reading by the distinguished professor Jo Worthy, Ph.D. (associate professor of language and literacy studies at the University of Texas at Austin).
Answer d, that Readers Theater is "a shared happening between performers and audience..." is in the prologue of Dr. Shirlee Sloyer's comprehensive book From the Page to the Stage--The Educator's Complete Guide to Readers Theater.
Answer e is my new definition of Readers Theater--after getting bogged down with all the what about ______? And answer f is for all the _________ that the other explanations leave out, like motivation in the content areas, integrated language arts, public speaking opportunities....see what I mean?
Bottom line: You're right! But, just to stretch your brain a bit more I also like to think of Readers Theater as radio theater without the radio and oftentimes without the sound effects. So, no matter how you describe Readers Theater, think of it as productive fun!
Speaking of fun...let's do quiz question number two! Okay, not fun. But, if you're a poor speller you'll LOVE this!
2. How do you correctly spell Readers Theater?
a. Readers Theatre
b. readers theater
c. reader's theater
d. readers' theater
e. readers' theatre
f. reader's theatre
g. all of the above
Yep! You got another 10 points! Every answer is right! And, now you get the free bonus of 5 points for finishing! 25 points, 100%, you must be an expert now! Not quite, you say? Let's spend a little more time together and soon you'll be teaching others how to have fun with Readers Theater all year!