It’s showtime! Everyone’s hard work during the past few days has led up to a performance. Since performers frequently do their best work in front of a live audience, invite students to present the script to their classmates, schoolmates, teachers, parents/guardians, office staff and principal, and other members of the community.
Remember, however, that reader’s theater scripts are NOT to be memorized. Performance is done “book in hand,” as when actors do a staged reading of a play.
Still, it is a live performance. And the same performing-without-a-net energy that makes live theater so vital can turn into an actor’s nightmare.
Here are some tips on how to deal with performance flubs and audience curveballs from storyteller and reader’s theater maven Aaron Shepard, author of Readers On Stage:
- If the audience laughs, stop speaking until they can hear you again.
- If someone talks in the audience, don’t pay attention.
- If someone walks into the room, don’t look.
- If you make a mistake, pretend it was right.
- If you drop something, try to leave it until the audience is looking elsewhere.
- If someone forgets to read, see if you can read the part instead, or make something up, or maybe just skip over it—but don’t whisper to the reader.
- If readers “fall on their rear end,” pretend they didn’t.
Also, check out a live performance of Casey at the Bat:
Read the entire Reader’s Theater Series:
- Reader’s Theater Day 1: Multiple Reading Opportunities
- Reader’s Theater Day 2: Echo-Reading
- Reader’s Theater Day 3: Choral Read and Table Read
- Reader’s Theater Day 4: Repeated Read/Rehearsal
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A choral-read is a group read-aloud. Students get to practice a range of expressiveness, pausing, pacing, and other aspects of... more