Tales from the Script

JJP’s Pocket Readers’ Theater is just another way to be involved and be on stage. Readers theater is a style of theater in which the actors do not memorize their lines. Actors use only vocal expression to help the audience understand the story rather than visual storytelling such as sets, costumes, intricate blocking, and movement. This style of performance of literature was initially lauded because it emphasized hearing a written text as a new way to understand literature. We call our readers’ theater “Pocket Readers’ Theater” because you can carry your script around in your pocket!

Readers theater became popular during and following WWII when resources to produce plays were scarce. The original Readers theater was presented using only scripts and stools or chairs. The material performed was plays, poems, narrative fiction, and non-dramatic literature. The performers’ focus was offstage and limited costuming was sometimes used although the readers often wear all black to strip away character and allow for more focus on a vocal interpretation of the piece.

Here at JJP we try to have a few Pocket Readers’ Theater performances each theater season and they will generally take place between the shows in our regular season lineup. The performance opportunities will vary based on the availability of materials, a director’s interest and the ability to cast a performance. These performances offer a different kind of theater experience for our audiences so we think everyone should check them out. Also, this is a great way to get on stage if you’ve always wanted to but have a fear of forgetting your lines! If you have suggestions, ideas, or questions about performances, interest in directing, or want to get involved, please email [email protected].