author: Fran Averett Tanner

author: Fran Averett Tanner

Our home was packed with people and plenty of food. After the last dish was crammed into the dishwasher; the last wet dish towel was draped over the clean kitchen counter; as young and old started to awake from naps, I introduced a new tradition.

Moans poured out from most when the people were put into groups of various ages along with being handed a script. The quiet ones looked at me with either raised eyebrows or frowns that reached their chins.

However, each adult gave me their attention out of appreciation for the hours I had spent in the spread they had devoured. The children listened out of anticipation.

Directions for Readers Theatre were given. Adult faces began to relax when they heard that in Readers Theatre lines are not memorized, but read directly from the script they were to hold in their hands when on stage.

My weak reader grandson wiggled a bit in discomfort until I said each team was to go to different rooms and practice reading their parts together. As an old engineer, my husband wasn’t as easily comforted or so sure there wasn’t going to be a collapse in this activity. Yet silently he too moseyed along with his team to their rehearsal room.

Everyone practiced their parts for thirty minutes. I didn’t interfere with further directions. I prayed for new skills to be learned, camaraderie to be enjoyed, and fun to be had by all.

Low moans and grumbles were the tones heard when the readers left the living room to rehearse. Chipper voices filled the air on their return along with running feet rushing to get a front row seat.

Each team took their turn in reading their script, created from a treasured story. Together they worked out who would be the best for each part. One would be the narrator while others had character roles.

Young and old gave support and encouragement to each person standing before the crowd reading their parts. Excitement grew as teams shuffled on and off stage.

Laughter and applause filled us all that Thanksgiving Day. A new tradition was made.

Our grandson gained confidence in his ability to read aloud in a room full of people staring at him. My husband saw my blue print for success didn’t need a calculator, but only thirty minutes of prayer and family favorite stories written in script form. The rest of our Thanksgiving Day guests came up one by one to tell me, they liked the adding of Readers Theatre to the menu.

All was worth my time from cooking a feast to creating meaty scripts that filled family and friends with thanksgiving.

Over the years, Readers Theatre has become more filling than the food.

May your Thanksgiving Day get-together be a blessing stuffed with prayers and the Lord’s uplifting presence.

Don’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.

Philippians 4:6

Uplifting blessings,


Favorites for Readers Theatre:

READERS THEATRE Fundamentals by Fran Averett Tanner, Ph.D.

Books that I had turned into scripts that were hits:

The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Chicken Little – an old fairy tale

Never Talk to Strangers by Golden Books