Readers Theater Script: Zia

By writing a Readers Theater script for Zia, by Scott O'Dell, students will learn about Zia and her brother. They discover a boat on a beach below the Santa Barbara Mission in the late 1800s.
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Scott O'Dell

This suggested script comes from chapters 1, 2, and 3.

Zia, Father, Mando, Vicente, Narrator


In this scene from Zia by Scott O'Dell, fourteen-year-old Zia and her brother Mando discover a boat on the California beach below the Santa Barbara Mission. The boat had washed ashore during a storm. They hide it and later Zia talks to Father Vicente during confession.

Zia is read by ________; Mando is read by ________; and Father Vicente is read by ________. I, ________, am the narrator.


    1. Begin the scene as Zia tells Father Vicente that she found a boat on the beach that morning.
    2. The dialogue continues as written until Zia promises Father Vicente she will not try to sail far in the boat.
    3. The narrator will say: After Zia leaves Father Vicente, she returns to the garden where Mando is waiting.
    4. The dialogue resumes as Zia asks Mando if he has been to confession.
    5. Continue the dialogue until Mando promises he will not go in the boat alone. Let him also say that he will get oars so they can go out in the boat.
    6. The narrator will say: Mando works long and hard at the oars. Finally they are finished and he and Zia are able to take the boat into the lagoon.
    7. The dialogue begins again as Mando tells Zia they can go out in the boat now, perhaps like Columbus. Continue the dialogue as it is written until Mando tells Zia he thinks they might not be allowed to leave the mission.
    8. End the scene with Zia's reply that they can go no matter what is said.

    Zia and Mando find themselves in a precarious position on their journey to find Karana when they are taken aboard a whaling boat. After escaping, they are able to make their way back to the mission, and Zia convinces others to go in search of Karana.

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