Between 1986 and 1991, Aaron was a professional actor in Chamber Readers, a nonprofit reader’s theater company that has performed since 1975 in the schools of Humboldt County, California. During his five years with the group, he scripted and directed many of its performance pieces and led workshops for teachers, librarians, and students. In 1986 and 1987, he also performed, scripted, and directed for Radio Readers on local public radio.
Aaron left professional reader’s theater in 1991, when he moved away from Humboldt County. But in 1993 he published Stories on Stage, (H. W. Wilson), considered by many the premier collection of reader’s theater scripts.
Since 1994, Aaron has shared scripts on the Internet through his acclaimed series Reader’s Theater Editions. First run as an email service, the series found its home on the Web in 1996 as part of Aaron Shepard’s RT Page. Today this is the Web’s most popular reader’s theater destination, with visits by thousands of teachers and librarians each week. Many Reader’s Theater Editions can now also be found in Aaron’s collection Folktales on Stage, while other reader’s theater resources can be found in his book Readers on Stage.
Aaron’s skills in reader’s theater have also contributed to his success as a children’s author. His stories are often noted for their dramatic and visual qualities—qualities that Aaron purposely fosters through an awareness of “scriptability.” And he regularly draws on reader’s theater technique for the dramatic readings he gives during author appearances.
Aaron now lives in Friday Harbor, Washington. On the Web, you can find him at www.aaronshep.com.
Sept. 29, 2004