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A Guide to Reader’s Theater
(or Readers Theatre)

By Aaron Shepard

Reproduced in full from the booklet
Readers on Stage, Shepard Publications, 2003

A revised and expanded version can be found in the later, book-length edition of Readers on Stage.

For more reader’s theater, visit Aaron Shepard’s RT Page at

Copyright © 1993-97, 2003, 2004 by Aaron Shepard. May be freely copied and shared for any noncommercial purpose as long as no text is altered or omitted.

Reader’s theater is often defined by what it is not—no memorizing, no props, no costumes, no sets. All this makes reader’s theater wonderfully convenient. Still, convenience is not its chief asset.

Like storytelling, reader’s theater can create images by suggestion that could never be portrayed realistically on stage. Space and time can be shrunk or stretched, fantastic worlds can be created, marvelous journeys can be enacted. Reader’s theater frees the performers and the audience from the physical limitations of conventional theater, letting the imagination soar.

Enjoy the magic of reader’s theater!


  1. Tips on Scripting

  2. Tips on Staging

  3. Tips on Reading