How to Write a Play Script

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When writing a play script, formatting the entire document correctly is important in order to differentiate between dialogue, stage direction and extra information. Learn to write a play script in the proper format with help from a performing arts professor in this free video on theater.

Part of the Video Series: Theater Acting & Scripts
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Video Transcript

Hi, have you ever wondered how to write a play script? I'm Professor John Conlon and I'm here to give you a few hints on how to do that. First of all there are some preliminaries. Your script should include a Title Page with the title of the play on it, your name and address, your e-mail address and your telephone number and a little letter c in a circle, this is copyrighting your material. All creative work done by you or anyone else is copyrighted by the person who writes it automatically. If you want to save a copy and a time stamp on it that will help you. All your work will be copyrighted except for the title. Titles are not copyrighted and titles can be used and reused and reused and have been. The first thing you'll want to know after you get the title page down is how to format your play. There are so many differences that are out there but the one that is primarily preferred by playwright and playwriting teachers and people who read scripts goes like this, first center your character's name on the page in all capital letters so for example if my character is John it is all JOHN in caps centered. The next thing is dialog and those should be coming from the left hand margin of the play. If you have stage directions that are lengthy and playwright probably should try to keep stage directions to a minimum, that's why there are directors, the stage directions should be justified to the right hand side of the page. Stage directions that include entrances and exits might be done in the standard format of dividing the stage into nine acting areas. Starting at the front so downstage right is the actor's right facing the audience, downstage center is the next one and that would be DC and the next would be downstage left and that would be DL, moving to the center of the stage center right is center right, CR, center stage is CC and Center Left is CL. Off stage is the same as downstage except that we now use the letter u for UR upstage right, UC up center and UL, up left. Those are some stage directions and that is how you begin to write a play. I'm John Conlon and those are words of advice.

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