How to Write a Stage Play

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To write a stage play, first develop a basic story outline that carries the characters from the beginning to the end, establish the characters both on and off the stage, and include an obstacle that the protagonist must overcome. Write a play meant for the stage 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 stage play? I'm John Conlon here with some answers. First of all get your story straight. You have to have a story to tell otherwise you are not going to be writing a play you'll be writing something else. A play involves a whole lot of elements. There has to be a story and so that is the plot. There has to be characters who embody the story. We don't want necessarily in a play a whole lot of description about what a character thinks we want indeed what a character says which will tell us what a character thinks. In addition to plots and characters there is action. There has to be conflict. Somebody has to want something and somebody has to want it back and that conflict between those wants is exactly the kind of thing that makes for drama for doing. To overcome an obstacle to your wants you need to use all the strategies you can to outwit, outfox, intimidate or otherwise get what you want from your antagonist and you want your antagonist to not necessarily give you what you want right away otherwise the play is a real short one and so in the conflict there is usually a kind of rising action or intensity. There are complications that happen of course in the course of this rising action and then finally there is a resolution of action in which you get finally what your objective has been the whole way through as a character and so in writing about your characters you need to keep those things in mind, their story, who they are, what they want, how they achieve it and the costs it takes them to achieve what it is they want. I'm John Conlon and those are a few words about writing a stage play.


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