Tips for Writing Readers Theatre Scripts

From Readers Theatre: A Secondary Approach

Neill Dixon

Neill Dixon

by Neill Dixon

In Readers Theatre: A Secondary Approach, author Neill Dixon urges teachers to get their students writing scripts. While ready-made scripts can be purchased, Neill suggests that teachers encourage their students to write their own scripts – either from scratch or by adapting the writings of others.

Materials suitable for adapting into a script can be found everywhere. Most popular are works of fiction (for example, novels or chapters of a novel, short stories, plays). Fiction is often chosen to be adapted into a script, because it usually contains direct speech and clearly defined characters. Poems, works of nonfiction (for example, a newspaper article or a chapter from a history book), and biographies are also commonly adapted into scripts. While these can be more difficult to work with, they can often be better understood by students after scripting.

Adapting different forms of writing into scripts have different challenges. To help you and your students decide what types of material to use, consider the following before making a selection:

  • literary merit
  • subject appeal of direct speech
  • suitability for classroom (and other audiences)
  • level of sophistication
  • character parts available to the readers

To purchase a copy of Readers Theatre: A Secondary Approach please visit

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