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Author Interview: The Sower and the Seed

publication date: Aug 6, 2010
author/source: Carol Montgomery

cover thumbnailAuthor Interview:  The Sower and the Seed

What does an author do if a story has narration, but no real speaking parts?  When a story is a good as "The Parable of the Sower," the author has several choices:  keep it straight as written or add characters based on the storyline.  Find out what was behind Carol Montgomery's free Readers Theater script, "The Sower and the Seed" when she faced the challenge of no dialogue in a classic parable from Biblical literature.  Carol Montgomery adapted Jesus' parable "The Sower and the Seed" as part of her master's project in 1982.  (Okay, she was 27 then!) Readers Theater All Year interviewed her in summer 2010.  Here is that brief interview:


RT All Year:  Where did you get the idea for this script?

Carol:  Well, somehow I grabbed hold of the power of Readers Theater, but it seemed like there weren't many scripts available based on the parables as I recall. That was a long time ago, you know.  I knew I wanted to do my master's project in education on Readers Theater, but I didn't want to only do research.  So, the idea to take seven parables from the Bible and adapt them for Readers Theater just popped into my head.


RT All Year:  What resources did you use to write the script?

Carol:  Oh, I just had a bunch of Bibles.  I compared versions.  And if the story was in more than one book of the Bible--like The Parable of the Sower--I chose one section of Scripture to focus on.


RT All Year:  How long did it take you to write the script?

Carol: Ha!  You're asking me after all these years? All I remember is that it took a while to compare the versions, but the actual writing wasn't too hard.  Actually, I revised it recently.  When I originally wrote it there was no male speaking parts.


RT All Year:  Why did you write the script?

Carol: (smile) My favorite book is the Bible, but I was at a public university working on my master's degree.  The school had a class on the Bible as literature.  So, I approached the masters project from the  perspective of Biblical literature.  Parables are told in many cultures.  Jesus told parables a lot.  I wanted to bring the parables to life in a different way--hopefully creating a hunger for someone to read the original.  This parable provided several potential parts which made it easier.  I just gave a voice to each seed and kept the narrators.  Recently I added the sower as a speaking part.  I was actually a classroom teacher when I first wrote it so I tested it out on my class and they loved it!  I think we even used it in a program for the parents!

Personal Story?

RT All Year:  Which story about the script or the process of writing it would you like to share?

Carol:  Hmmmm, I guess the most memorable time performing the original script was when I was teaching the drama club with our home school support group several years ago.  I just remember Julie at the Fine Arts Festival as a seed in the script weakly speaking into the mike, "Help!"  Everybody laughed because they knew she was bringing the character to life;  Julie was not afraid to speak into a microphone.  I was just grateful people enjoyed it.  It gave me more confidence as a writer seeing an audience of parents so receptive to their kids having fun reading into mikes on stage.  I hope others will catch the Readers Theater "bug" and we help build an army of leaders who are not afraid to speak in front of a crowd.

Readers Theater All Year™ LLC builds leaders and creators for positive influence through an inexpensive, easy, flexible system.  Readers Theater All Year™ LLC curriculum services provides a caring community for using and creating Readers Theater scripts for families, classrooms, homeschools, camps, and drama clubs.

Praise from Teachers

...Keep doing what you are doing.  There are not enough quality scripts available for children and teens.  So many are inappropriate from a parent's perspective.  As a teacher I want to also build character and integrity while I teach a subject.  Why can't drama build up, inspire and be thought provoking?...Anyway, keep doing what you're doing...we need all the help we can get!
Jen H., Drama teacher

> ...I have been teaching for 35 years. RT has been part of my education journey for the majority of that time. Initially my experience with it was as a performance genre in the Drama Curriculum. Now I use it across the curriculum - a wonderful high motivation strategy in the language program - particularly reading - and so much more as you would know. I was drawn to your 'community' by the idea of leadership... I think what you're doing is wonderful..."
Graham B. Former primary teacher (now a Visual Art and Drama specialist)

Readers Theater All Year is the most comprehensive collection of Readers Theater scripts and resources I have found on the internet!...Thank you Carol for your leadership and vision and for making Readers Theater so accessible for teachers and parents.
Daniel Fiore, Elementary teacher/author What They Have Taught Me

I found the free readers theater online scripts, teaching tips, and curriculum teleseminars at Readers Theater All Year very inspirational to me. I used the Twelve Days of Christmas...Vacation script in my ESOL classes before Christmas break and my students all enjoyed it..
Lily T. Teacher (English for Speakers of Other Languages)

"> ..We did Squanto's Squash for the family on Thanksgiving and [my sons] participated and loved it. I am so excited about making this a major part of homeschooling. What a great way to learn!
Bethany P. Homeschooling Mom

> our script "The Earth Day Hen and Friends" I've used this! The kids love it. Thank you for sharing...It's just right for all levels in the class...Your free scripts are wonderful!...They learn so much from drama and reader's theatre...I see the shy ones gain confidence as they read. Fluency and prosody increases with reader's theatre...
Angela D., 3rd grade teacher

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