My “Intro to Theater Arts” class is conducting our first ever Readers Theater at the end of March. It’s a term many people seem not to be familiar with, so I wanted to highlight some of its features and how we are planning to produce our show.
Generally speaking, a Readers Theater is a dramatic performance where the actors do not memorize their lines; rather they use vocal interpretation to bring the script alive. Usually this is done without costumes, sets, or props.
I wanted my class to have experience producing a show, but with limited time I knew that a full-fledged production would not be viable. I heard of Readers Theater through a friend’s friend who actually used one of my scripts for a Readers Theater performance (“Spy Blue”). So I chose “Pillow Talk” (because we already had the script) as our work. (Remember the Doris Day-Rock Hudson film of the same name?)
I assigned a director and co-producers from my classroom, chose parts, and are now head-long into the production.
But the class wanted to go all out. They will be using limited sets, props, and costumes to bring the performance alive. We’ll be setting up four portable stages around our all-purpose room and use the par-can lighting to give it that theater flare.
Yesterday, we shot a trailer for the show. I’ll try to post when I can.
It’s going to be a ton of fun. March 28 in Penang. If you are around, I hope you can make it to our first Readers Theater ever!