What is Reader's Theatre?
Each semester at UAHuntsville, the Xi Theta chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society, produces a series of play readings of various genres as part of the Reader's Theatre program.
These dramatic readings are performed without sets, costumes, props, or script memorization. Actors are seated on stage with their scripts, but they do not simply read the text aloud. Prior to the performance, these actors rehearse to ensure that the end result is a deliberate, meaningful, and entertaining show.
Why Play Readings?
In the professional theatre industry, play readings are common and serve many purposes. They are perhaps most useful in regard to new plays, which are often tested through play readings before being published. This allows the playwright to determine how an audience will respond to his or her script. Based on this feedback, the author knows which revisions to make prior to publishing.
Play readings are also a great way to experience plays which many might never have the chance to experience otherwise. Most importantly, the Reader’s Theatre program serves as an opportunity to become involved with theatre for the first time.