By Classroom Theater we mean a special, scripted version of a
story that is easy for a group of students to read dramatically.
In creating these Classroom Theater scripts, our main objectives
have been to pick entertaining stories and to convey those stories
in a form that is enjoyable both for the readers-who need no costumes,
props, or staging-and for the audience.
Our scripts are based on stories from Girls
to the Rescue, a popular series of books featuring clever,
courageous girls; Newfangled
Fairy Tales, a popular series of books featuring fairy
tales with humorous twists; Troop 13 Mysteries: The
Mystery of the Haunted Caves, a novel about mystery-solving
scouts; and Long
Shot, a novel about a girls' basketball team. The scripts
run about ten to twenty minutes and contain every word in the
In the book, dialogue looks like this:
"Off with their heads!" shouted the angry king.
"You may cut my toenails if you like, but keep your royal hands
off my delicate neck," retorted the brave prisoner.
In the Classroom Theater script, dialogue would be presented
King: Off with their heads!
Narrator: shouted the angry king.
Prisoner: You may cut my toenails if you like,
but keep your royal hands off my delicate neck.
Narrator: retorted the brave prisoner.
As you can see, the Classroom Theater version is a lot easier
to perform than the book version is. Not only is it easy to read,
the audience will also find it very easy to understand. Everyone
will know which character is speaking because the narrator explains
the story and reminds the audience of who is speaking.
Students who can read at a third-grade level should be able to
handle most of the parts with little practice or preparation.
You may want to choose your best reader(s) to be narrator or you
may want to take the role yourself.
Classroom Theater is a reading rather than a theatrical performance.
We've left out staging, costume, setting, and prop suggestions.
You can make the experience more elaborate if your class is up
to the challenge. If your students decide to rehearse to the point
where they are highly convincing, you might want to eliminate
some or all of the narrator's lines. If your students want to
make it a big production, have them brainstorm ideas for props,
costumes, staging, and sets.
No special permission is needed to stage these plays in your
classroom. If you want to stage one of these plays outside an
individual classroom (such as for a schoolwide production), please
us so special permission can be granted.
In addition to the Classroom Theater scripts, we've also created
plans for these stories. Feel free to use these scripts
in conjunction with the lesson plans.
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