Prepare for Theater Performance using TeachingBooks

Making the words on the page spring to life through drama and theater is one way to connect students to literature outside of the classroom.

Theater directors know the most important element to creating an outstanding performance is making sure your ensemble understands the script allowing everyone involved to make acting and design choices. Directors can use TeachingBooks’ resources to help actors and designers build understanding.

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For example explore scripts like  The Crucible by Arthur Miller  with resources including lesson plans, author interviews and book readings that support script analysis.


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Locate multiple versions of the story, such as  Gareth Hinds’ graphic novels adaptations of some of Shakespeare’s plays. These illustrated versions assist the team when visualizing the production as they prepare for staging a performance.


Examine cover illustrations and meet-the-author book readings to inspire costume and set design ideas. A good example of a title to examine is Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Share resources for the classic European Fairy Tales, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk to build understanding of the complicated musical theater script.

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Sometimes actors need to make sense of unfamiliar language in order to gain comfort with their lines.  Vocabulary lists for texts like Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream  can help.


Theater 4Find a connection to specific characters.  An actor playing Miep Gies in Diary of Anne Frank could learn more about her by looking at the book’s website, which is a resource for Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Women Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family by Miep Gies.  Listening to book readings for other titles written about Europe from 1940-1945  illuminate the fear and anger felt by young adults in such books as The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phil Hoose or The Upstairs Rooms by Johanna Reiss.

Directors, actors, and designers all need to have a thorough understanding of a script in order to bring it to life on stage. Using resources such as those available on will help to create a detailed world that will pull an audience into a production and expand literacy instruction on to the stage.

We would love to hear how you use to enhance your work and engage all learners.  Please share your ideas or contact us at or 800-596-0710 if we can support you in your work.


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