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Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Theatrefolk Featured Play – Letters by Mrs. Evelyn Merritt

Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Letters by Mrs. Evelyn Merritt is an excellent and challenging Reader’s Theatre script for high school and middle school student performers.

For many wars, letters home were the only form of communication between soldiers and their loved ones.

Letters is thought-provoking and character-driven. It’s not hard to see Marie, Jim, Caleb, Sarah, Harriet and Robert reaching out with pen and paper.

Why did we publish this play?
What’s great about the script is its focus on the characters. Each character expresses specific emotions about their place in their particular war. The play also has oral elements such as overlapping speech, unison speech, and repeated patterns. The words speak for themselves. A thought-provoking piece.

Why is this play great for online platforms?
Because this play is set up as Reader’s Theatre, it’s easy to transfer to an online platform. The montage sections can be presented in a gallery setting and will take a little practice to get the timing – but they would in a traditional production too.

Let’s hear from the author!

1. Why did you write this play?
I wanted a way to allow students to remember the past in a theatrical way.

2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
Remember the human face of war.

3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
The letters. Even though it’s readers theater, try to have the type of letter each of these characters would have as a prop.

4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Reader’s Theatre doesn’t mean you can’t act – each character should be brought to life as much as possible, even though you have a script in your hand.

5. Why is this play great for student performers?
It’s a chance for students to put a face to the past and also connect to history. Experiencing history is always better than just reading about it.

Products referenced in this post: Letters

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The 30-Second Monologue Project

by Lindsay Price

Give students the confidence, skills and tools they need to master the monologue with The 30-Second Monologue Project. This four-lesson unit guides students from the first moment to a successful performance.

Monologues for All

by Lindsay Price

Many monologue books have monologues with only male- or female-identified characters. This resource allows students to infer the identity of the character.

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Theatrefolk is the Drama Teacher Resource Company. We are your one stop shop for Plays, Resources, and Curriculum Support - all specifically designed for High School and Middle School drama teachers.
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