The Topic:
Skits, Plays, & Scripts

Easier - A play is a story that is written to be acted on a stage or in a theater. A skit is a short play that is usually performed in a more informal setting like a club meeting or a classroom. Skits are often funny. Acting is to perform, to play a part, to pretend to be a character in a play for theater, a movie, television or radio. The written text for a skit or play is called the script.
Harder - Theater happens when an actor or actors perform on a stage while an audience is watching. These four essentials - - actors, audience, space (stage), and performance - - are theater. It is a live performance before an audience. The actors present a story about some aspect of human experience. The performance is usually a type of play - - a tragedy, comedy, or musical, where the actors follow or interpret a script. But theater performances can also be a circus, vaudeville, puppetry, pantomime, or other forms of entertainment.
Improvisational Theatre Structures by H. MacLeod
This page explores all manner of improvisation structures including warm-ups, exercises, long-forms and ask-fors. These pages are aimed at those who practice the art of improvisational comedy theater.
Other Improv Sites:
2) Improv Page
3) Improvisation Situations (Grouped for Grades K-4, Grades 5-8, and Grades 9-12)
4) Living Playbook from Unexpected Productions
Framed version:
5) New Improv Page by F. Gerdes
6) Three Words (Grade 7) by M. Buchanan
Children's Creative Theatre (Gold Award, 1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site was designed to introduce the visitor to the world of children’s theater. Major areas of concentration are: theater history (brief), theater terms, theater games, resources, an original skit, and a tour of a real children’s theater. An original skit, written by the team, provides ideas for costumes and makeup (Note: This site was developed by kids for kids).
Readers Theatre from Gander Academy
This is a great site for both students and teachers interested in Readers Theatre, sample scripts, scriptwriting, and much, much more.
Related Websites:
2) All-Of-Us Express Children's Theatre
3) Classroom Theater from Fiction Teachers
4) Example of Script Formatting from Humboldt State University
5) Music for Readers Theater by R. DeVries
6) Reader's Theatre
7) Reader's Theatre at Baie Comeau High School
8) Reader's Theatre Concepts
Reader's Theatre Basics
Reader’s Theater involves children in oral reading through reading parts in scripts. Unlike traditional theater, the emphasis is mainly on oral expression of the part. It involves children in understanding their world, creating their own scripts, reading aloud, performing with a purpose, and bringing enjoyment to both themselves and their audiences.
Not-To-Be-Missed Sections:
2) Reader's Theatre Scripts
3) Riddles in the Dark by J. R. R. Tolkien (Script adapted from The Hobbit, Houghton Mifflin, 1966)
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following activities.
Start A Reader's Theater Group. Visit several of the websites to insure that you understand the concepts and procedures that define Reader's Theater. Once you form a group of interested participants, you can find ready-made scripts at the following websites:
1) Reader's Theater Scripts and Plays
2) Free Sample Scripts from Storycart® Press
3) Reader's Theater Collection (Grades K-3)
4) Reader's Theater Scripts (Download page for 'RT Script Pack')
5) Reader's Theater Scripts
6) Readers Theatre Scripts of the Month by L. Blau
7) Reader's Theater Titles by R. Swallow
8) Scripts & Tips for Reader's Theater by A. Shepard
Act Out! Try acting out some plays or skits. You can find scripts at the following websites. You might also search at your school or community library.
1) Orville and Wilbur Wright: First in the Air by T. Nolan
2) Crazy Critters by L. Walker (Grades 4-5)
3) Grasshopper and the Ant by L. Walker (Grades 4-5)
4) Plays by M. Buchanan
5) Theatre Script of Great Expectations adapted by K. Rickman, The Dickens Project
6) Zoom Playhouse Scripts from PBS
Write Your Own Script. Decide if you want to write a monologue or dialogue for a skit or play. Tell a favorite story or make up your own. Or you could use the approach found at Acting Out. Decide if you want to have costumes for your skit. Do you need scenery? Sometimes a few props are all that are necessary. Perform your skit at your school and for families and friends.
Write A Play, Enter A Playwriting Contest. First write an original play. Use the play writing websites to help with the process. Then enter the annual National Playwriting Competition at Young Playwrights Inc. The deadline is December 1st and entrants must be under 18 years in age.
Write And Perform A Radio Script. You might want to start with a radio program. You can get ideas and find help with writing at sites like (1) How To Write A Radio Play from BBC World Service and (2) How to Write a Radio Play by M. Klingensmith. You might also want to visit the 42eXplore project titled (3) Listen To The Radio.
Form A Drama Group. Explore different types of drama such as improvisation, monologue, dialogue, plays, and skits. Once you have identified your membership, find out who is interested in writing, performing, designing sets, costumes, etc. Have fun, learn, and stretch your talents and abilities.
Complete A Dramatic WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at one of the following webQuest sites:
1) Medieval Morality Play: A WebQuest by C. Irby and J. Murphy
2) On the Costume History Catwalk (Grades 9-12) by B. and D. Fleming
3) Origins of Greek Drama (Grades 9-12) by K. Reno
4) Retelling the Classic Tales
5) Retelling the Classic Tales: A Drama Webquest (Grades 5-8)
6) Theatre History 101 (Grades 10 and Above)
7) Theatrical Webquest
8) Which Way Is Up? (Grades 9-12) by B. and D. Fleming
Websites By Kids For Kids
Art and Science of Theater (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Study the history of western theater from the time of ancient Greece to the twentieth century. Learn how to stage a theatrical production. You'll need to find a script, audition actors, build a set, and design the lighting.
More Websites for Plays, Skits, and Scripts
ABWAG to Learn Acting
Learn acting subjects from the late drama coach, Don Richardson. The site design is a bit overwhelming, but it really has some great resources.
Other Similar Websites:
2) Acting Workshop On-Line (AWOL)
3) Dramatic Education
4) History and Science of Acting
5) Method Acting Procedures from TheatrGROUP
Children's Theatre History and Background from Northwestern Univ. Dept. of Theater
This site provides a brief history of Children's Theatre in the United States.
Copyright Law for Theater People by L.E. Catron
This webpage attempts to clarify the copyright law for theater folk, most especially aspects of copyright that relate to producing play scripts---copyright laws for Playwrights, Directors, and Sound Designers.
Costume Site
This site has online resources for historical, science fiction, and fantasy costumers.
Related Websites:
2) Costume Gallery
3) Costume History from The Costume Page
4) International Theatre Design Archive from United States Institute for Theatre
Technology and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
5) Museum of Costume
6) Shan's Costume History and Theatre History
7) Timeline of Costume History
Creative Drama
Here is some background with easy ideas and activities to get started in informal dramatic interpretation.
Related Websites:
2) Children's Theatre / Creative Drama by M. Buchanan
3) Drama Guide
4) Drama in Education
Dialogue, a Few Sins and a Sinner by A. Keegan from Writers Write
Good dialogue represents, but does not mimic real speech. Get some ideas about how it is done at this website.
Other Sites For Ideas On Writing Dialogue:
2) Dialogue: Writing What People Say
3) How to Write A Dialogue
4) Writing A Scene
Drama in Medieval through 19th Century Japan: Kyogen, Noh, Kabuki, and Puppets (Bunraku)
Learn about the history of drama in Japan.
Related Websites:
2) Kabuki for Everyone
3) Theatre of Japan
How Can my Students Create RT Scripts? from Baie Comeau High School
Here are guidelines for students creating scripts for Reader's Theater.
Related Websites:
2) Example of Script Formatting
3) Scripting for Reader's Theatre
How To Write A Play Review from The Goodman Theatre
This site contains a brief outline for writing a play review.
Related Websites:
2) How To Write A Play Review from Mission Viejo High School Drama
3) Writing A Play Summary from Mission Viejo High School Drama
Makeup Effects by L. Carsson, Gothenburg, Sweden
This site provides an introduction to the makeup artist's work.
Monologues (Grades 6-8) by M. Buchanan
Visit this site to see a few monologues written for middle school students.
Related Websites:
2) Dramatic Monologues
TheatrePedia from East Los Angeles College Theatre Arts
This mega-theatre site provides information and resources including biographies, play sources, and much more. They also have an ask-the-theatre expert.
Related Websites:
2) Theatre Central
3) Theatre History on the Web by J. Wolcott
4) Theatre Resources (Links-site)
5) Theatre Through the Ages by E.R. Mergenthal, Jr.
6) Virtual Library for Theatre and Drama
7) Virtual Theatre (On-line lesson)
Writers' Block? Try This from Young Playwrights, Inc.
This brief page outlines a process to help in writing plays.
Another Helpful Resource at Young Playwrights, Inc.:
2) Format Play
Other Websites for Playwriting:
3) Playwriting Resources at ELAC
Websites For Teachers
Acting Out Historical Events by M. Sparks (Grades 4-5)
It is somewhat difficult to remember all the happenings of certain events from throughout history, but it can be made much easier if you act out what you have learned about some of them.
All the World's a Stage (Grades 9-12)
In this lesson students review theatrical techniques and discuss the effect they have on the audience. Then students research and report on a present-day theater form.
Acting Up across the Curriculum: Using Creative Dramatics To Explore Adolescent Literature by J. Kaplan from The Alan Review, Spring 1997
This biographical article remind of the importance of teaching creative dramatics and speaking, acting, improvising.
'Cap o' Rushes' Lesson Plan (Readers' Theater) by J.D. Rusting (Grades 4-8)
Students will read and/or listen to the English folk tale, perform as a Readers Theater piece,respond to writing prompts, identify basic drama literary terms, compare/contrast with another Cinderella variant, and create a graphic response to the story.
Creating Plays From Children's Stories (Grades 9-12)
Students are to write and perform an original one-act play with developed characters, specific setting, conflict, and resolution.
Creative Drama and Theatre Education (Pre-school to grade 4)
Creative drama can include dramatic play, story enactment, imagination journeys, theater games, music, and dance. 'Let's pretend' is the norm.
Related Websites:
2) Art of Creative Dramatics Through the Eyes of a Young Child by G. Martin
from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
3) Creative Drama Guidelines
4) Creative Drama Activities: Grades Preschool - 1
5) Creative Drama Activities: Grade 2 - 3
6) Creative Drama Lesson Plans by M.Buchanan
7) Creative Dramatics Cookbook: Recipes for Playmaking by K. O’Rourke
from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
8) Creative Dramatics in the Language Arts Classroom (ERIC Digest Number 7)
9) Creative Drama in the Second Language Classroom by D. Dodge
10) Drama Workshop: Ideas For Teaching Drama by A. McCann
11) Introduction to Directing
12) Theatre Education Literature Review (Links-site)
13) Theatrix Web Centre
Drama Teacher's Resource Room (Grades 4-12)
This is a place where you can kick back and find some ideas for your classroom or production.
Related Websites:
2) Drama Fillers
3) Drama Library from Teachit
4) Dramania! by J. Smith
5) Unit Lesson Plans
Dramatic Play and Creative Movement Skills Activities from PBS
Marc Brown offers this short list of activities teachers can use with their students to promote creative expression and movement in conjunction with the Arthur series of books; includes Flea, Fly, Flamingo, Pencil Power and The Beat Goes On.
Related Websites:
2) Musical Freeze Improvisations by M. Buchanan
3) No, You Can't Take Me! by M. Buchanan
4) Theater Games
5) Warmup Activities from Kids 4 Broadway
6) Yes, But Dialogue Game (Grades 3-6)
Internet Resources for Conducting Readers Theatre by L. Carrick
This article provides a brief description of Readers Theatre and its many benefits for literacy learning, and goes on to describe Internet sources for scripts and for information on implementation, additional classroom applications, and assessment.
Related Websites:
2) Readers Theatre: A Reading Resource, a Teaching Tool, a Performance Vehicle, and a
Chance to Play With Language! by L. Walker
3) Dramatic Storytelling in the English Classroom by D. Pizarro and R. Buchanan
4) Readers Theatre by P. Johnson
5) Readers Theatre by S. Sebesta from Teachervision
6) Readers' Theatre
7) Readers Theatre Evaluation (Form)
Teacher Tips for Readers Theater
Here you find tips for primary, intermediate, and teen and adult readers.
Related Websites:
2) Readers Theatre from Ideas for Teachers
3) Using Readers Theatre with K-2 Students
sound effect
house lights
dress rehearsal
technical rehearsal
proscenium arch
stage right
stage manager
stage left
sound check
Globe Theatre
stage direction
'break a leg'
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1\02.