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Reader's Theater: How to Win an Oscar in Six Simple Steps

by Barbara Waugh,
with Sharon Cooper, Erin Nishimura, Susan Seaburg, and Liz Yager

  1. Go through your script and highlight your sections. Do not highlight stage instructions. (Example: Notes to "interrupt" or "voice-under".) Why? Because you'll read them. Trust me. I've done it!
  2. Exaggerate your normal speech style.

    Normally we talk like this:

    For the presentation, talk like this:

    Go through your sections, and line by line, underline the word you plan to emphasize. It really needs to be your emphasis.

  3. Accelerate the pace of normal talking. Give this thing energy. If it's slowing down, pick it up and help us all.
  4. Stand close together. It will help with the jitters, with timing, and with passing unconscious information back and forth. You will probably be terrified. It's normal and will pass.
  5. Practice at home. Change anything you trip over. Substitute words, and break up long sentences and phrases into smaller ones. If you change the last line of a section, make sure the next speaker knows the new cue.
  6. Smile. Because you're loving this. And make eye contact with individuals in the audience as often as you can, because you believe in what you're doing.


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