Using Drama (Reader’s Theater) to Promote Discussion
What is Reader’s Theater?
Reader’s Theater is a type of theatrical performance in which participants read directly from short scripts while performing (no memorization required!). Typically, volunteers do the readings, not professional actors. And the props and scenery can be as simple as you want.
Below are scripts you can download for free. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download the files. Each script is about 10-15 minutes long. We also provide you with a facilitation guide that explains more of the process of Reader’s Theater and helps you plan the event.
Scripts to download
Adapted from a real situation in Vance County, North Carolina, this series of three scripts explores the perspectives of a community member whose well has been contaminated by a landfill and a health department employee who is responding to her call. Use all three scripts and watch the story unfold.
This story is based on the efforts of Holly Springs residents in Wake County, North Carolina to prevent the county from siting a seventh landfill in their area. The script portrays the process and frustrations of organizing a community around an environmental health issue.
Inspired by the story of a resident of Randolph County, North Carolina, this script shows the frustration of a family whose house is located near a factory emitting noxious odors and responsible for groundwater contamination. Concerned about the health of her asthmatic grandson, the main character decides to move but is unable to sell her house without concealing the pollution from the potential buyers.
Based on several situations in North Carolina, this script tells the story of a congregation in a small town in North Carolina whose members are concerned that their health may be affected by pollution from a local industry. As the pastor, community members who attend the church, and medical professionals try to understand what is happening, tensions arise within the congregation. The group wrestles with how they know when something is harming them.
This script explores various points of view surrounding the proposed outlying landing field in southeastern North Carolina. It touches on the tension that may exist between traditional environmental movements and people concerned about environmental justice.
Facilitator’s Guide to download
This Facilitator’s Guide will help teachers and facilitators plan the Reader’s Theater skit and provide questions to ask after the performance. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download the file.