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How to Write a Play (page 2)

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Updated on Nov 22, 2011

  

Setting:

The play takes place in a suburb of Boston during a particularly snowy day when schools are unexpectedly closed.

 

ACT I

SCENE 1

Stage Directions are messages in parentheses, aligned to the right margin, from the playwright to the actors and crew telling them what to do and how to do it. They should be brief, and written in the present tense. They describe action and visuals, not inner thoughts. Character names are written in ALL CAPS. For example:

(Early morning, snow falling. Sidewalk in front of a suburban house. JANE appears in front of the house bundled up for winter weather and wearing a backpack. SUSAN comes out of the house and runs to catch JANE.)

 

SUSAN

Jane, wait! The radio just announced that your school is closed today because of snow!

JANE

Really? You’re not just teasing me, are you? Do I really get a snow day?

 

(CHLOE enters, also wearing a backpack, and walks over towards JANE.)

 

CHLOE

Hi Jane, what’s going on? Aren’t we walking to school together today?

 

               

Conclusion: Notice in the format above that the character’s names are ALL CAPS, bolded, and centered just before each character’s line of dialogue. Stage directions are at the beginning of a scene and anywhere else where action, props, or descriptions need to be explained for the cast and crew.

If a child writes four scenes in the format above, using the plot structure described above, bravo! He has written his first play!

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