Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Drama: Put on a Play!

Looking for things to do this summer? Put on plays! You can write your own or check out these books for ideas. Last summer's post, 9 Books for Summer Drama Funhas other books you can look at.

Some of the books give scripts for Reader's Theater. A happy thing about Reader's Theater: you don't need to remember your lines! Everyone reads from the script, doing all the acting with their voices. I've never liked remembering lines, so I love Reader's Theater!

 Show Time by Lisa Bany-Winters
Looking for ways to become a better singer, dancer or actor? This book has lots of ideas. Musicals, plays with singing and dancing, are always popular. No doubt you’ve seen lots of them – Annie, Lion King, The Wizard of Oz – all musicals. This book will give you ideas for creating your own musicals.

 Funny Bones: Comedy Games and Activities for Kids by Lisa Bany-Winters
Do you think you are funny? Would you like to be funnier? This book has lots of ideas for making people laugh. It talks about choosing material, punch lines and props. It has games, activities and short scripts. Laugh your way through summer!

 Songs and Rhymes Readers Theatre for Beginning Readers by Anthony D. Fredericks
This is a good book for the young set. It takes familiar nursery rhymes and turns them into plays or musical activities. There are suggestions for props, musical instruments and tunes.

 Fractured Frogs and Other Frankly Fractured Folktales for Readers Theatre by Anthony D. Fredericks
The plays in this book have longer dialog than the other books. You’d definitely want to do these plays as Readers Theater unless you really like memorizing lines! To give you an idea of what the plays are like, here are some titles:  Little Miss Muffet Smashes a Spider to Smithereens, Don’t Kiss Sleeping Beauty, She’s Got Really Bad Breath, Rapunzel Gets a Really Bad Hairdo.

 Readers Theatre for Beginning Readers by Suzanne I. Barchers, illustrated by Joan Garner
This book has lots of short (2-4 pages) plays based on fairy tales. Each play has suggestions for props and tips for the actors. Some of the titles: Jack and the Beanstalk, The Little Boy Who Went to the North Wind, The Emperor’s New Clothes.

 Scary Readers Theatre by Suzanne I. Barchers, illustrated by Joan Garner
The plays in this book range from silly to downright frightening. Each play includes suggestions for the actors and helpful props.

 Once Upon a Time by Judy Freeman
I wasn’t going to include this book at first because it seemed mostly for teachers. But I did include it because it’s so full of great books to act out. Just skip over the teacher stuff. [If you’re a teacher – this book is great]. My favorite parts are the lists of books that are just right for acting out.

 Folktales on Stage by Aaron Shepard
This book has 16 scripts – each script is a folktale from a different country. The number of characters in each play range from 6-19 characters. If you have fewer actors, just double up on the parts. Then you get to try out different voices!

 Stories on Stage by Aaron Shepard
This book has 22 scripts. Some of them have been adapted from kids’ books, like Sideways Stories from Wayside School and The Twits. The number of characters in each play range from 4-22 characters.

I hope you will give drama a try this summer. You'll have fun and so will your adoring audiences!

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