The Telling Project – Theater Performance


Objectives: The Telling Project gives military veterans a space to share their personal stories about their time in the military or life afterwards.  This activity focuses on the diaries, interviews, and firsthand veteran accounts of war through Reader’s Theater.  It is an excellent activity to do for Veterans Day.

Tools/Resources: MN Original video clip, 4-5 “scenes” – texts from diaries, interviews, and firsthand veteran accounts of war, highlighters and pens/pencils.

1) Watch the segment and discuss:

a. Why are the performances about veteran experiences?

b. Who is the intended audience for The Telling Project’s performances?

2) Reader’s Theater:

a. In groups of 4-5, use texts from diaries, interviews, and firsthand veteran accounts of war that have concepts of love, loss, roles, and time.

b. Each group gets a different section of a text to interpret.

i. Make sure each section is only a few paragraphs long with one main action/decision-making point.

ii. Be sure it has an important theme to focus on.

c. Read it the first time silently to yourself, then aloud as a group.

i. Pay attention to theme and tone.

ii. Highlight/underline words that stand out to you.

iii. Read scenes two or three times then have a conversation with your group about words/phrases highlighted.

d. Prepare performance.

i. The goal is not to perform but to use specific language or words that represent the theme or underlying message of each group’s excerpt.

ii. The performance should be silent or use voice creatively, noise, movement, and body position.

1. Example: alter the order of the text.

2. Example: No props, but use body positioning for effect.

3. Everyone in the group has to participate!

e. Perform.

i. Other group should immediately comment/discuss after each performance.

1. Possible sentence starters:

a. “It was interesting how…”

b. “It was powerful for me when…”

f. Reflect on the experience.

For information on the academic standards fulfilled by this activity download the full guide.

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