Tween Programming – Theatre

19 Mar

untitledOne of the best ways we have found to get tweens (grades 5 – 8) to come into the library is to provide them with an acting opportunity.  At this age, the kids love being the center of attention and providing reader’s theatre plays for these kids to participate in, doesn’t take too much time or money… just a lot of imagination!  We also encourage students to help us with costumes and props – allowing even the shyest of kids a place in this fun program.  And the best part?  It doubles as another program for our younger audience.

This spring the tweens are putting on three short shows for an evening of live theater for young children and their families.  The shows are geared toward little ones from 2 – 7.  We like to pick funny stories that can be easily adapted into reader’s theatre scripts.  This spring’s stories include – Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems, Introducing Limelight Larry by, Leigh Hodgkinson, and The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.  I took the time to covert these stories into scripts with characters and narrators and it’s nice because costumes, props, and backdrops will be pretty simple.  Solid colored shirts to make crayons, animal ears or masks, and the only thing worrying me is creating a peacock… I’ll have to think about that one.

We hold try-outs where I promise every tween will get a part (some even get more than one part) and then we rehearse once a week for an hour for six weeks, with a culminating event that is held for our younger patrons.  If you don’t have a lot of time or money for props, the best thing to do is create a reader’s theatre stage and just read the story as a script, maybe showing the book or putting the illustrations into a PowerPoint presentation.  Use your imagination and let the kids express themselves!


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