Rehearsals and Performances
Join us for the next Reader’s Theatre rehearsal and/or performance!
Reader’s Theatre troupe members bring to life books from the Teen Volume collections at the Chicago Public Library. To encourage their audiences to read, teens perform adaptations they helped create from contemporary and classic young adult novels.
Acting and Theatre Skills
Theatre games and skill building are a big part of Reader’s Theatre. They allow participants to practice new behaviors, offer community/ensemble building opportunities, and are just plain fun—which is one of the many reasons why the troupe’s performances often include games with audience participation.
Members of the Reader’s Theatre troupe earn valuable service-learning hours as they travel the city performing for teens all over Chicago, at branch libraries as well as Chicago Public Schools and special events, such as the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest. The Reader’s Theatre and its volunteer actors instill a love of reading, and they add depth and understanding to books by portraying characters’ emotions and motivations.
Reader’s Theatre Adaptations
Reader’s Theatre scripts are excerpted from young adult books in the Library’s Teen Volume collections and book discussion programs. Scripts are not intended to represent the whole of a book, and even those that have multiple scenes still manage to leave much of the story untold. One of the goals of Reader’s Theatre is to entice teens to read the books independently, so many attention-grabbing scenes have been adapted for the performances.
When the adaptations for Reader’s Theatre scripts are drafted, the troupe reads through them and evaluates the scenes. If everyone agrees the scene is interesting and exciting, and it helps showcase the wide variety of genres and themes of the Library’s Teen Volume collections, then the script is sent to the author and/or publisher of the featured novel with a request for permission to perform it. To respect the author’s and publisher’s requests, scripts are as close to the original text as possible.
Mayor Daley Book Club Conference, Spring 2010
Thankfully, the Reader’s Theatre project has received a lot of support from national and international authors and publishers. Some authors have featured the troupe on their websites or blogs; others have sent the troupe copies of their books or even T-shirts. Their encouragement and support has made this project a huge success. Additionally, the Chicago Public Library Teen Volume Reader’s Theatre project would not be possible without generous funding and support from the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Library Foundation.
For more information, contact the Department of Children and Young Adult Services at (312) 747-4780 or email email@example.com.