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Help writing a one act play

START SMALL! Do n't seek to compose the following Angels in America or Rent for your first play. A large job for many immature ( and non so immature ) authors is get downing a play and non completing it. My favourite manner to get down is with a ten-minute play, which, at a page per minute, is 10 pages long. It 's got a beginning, in-between and an terminal, merely everything happens more rapidly. And you 'd be surprised at how many theaters look specifically for ten-minute pieces ( I have several that get produced reasonably on a regular basis ) . Once you write a few ten-minute dramas, you can compose a one-act of more significant length and finally work your manner up to a full-length. Do n't hotfoot! HOW DO I START: WHERE IDEAS COME FROM Anywhere. Everywhere. Still stumped? Here are merely a few possibilities: A line of duologue. A rubric. A character, either fabricated or based on person you met or observed or read about. A historical event. A scene. A theme/issue. Anything observed. An object. A exposure or an image. The newspaper. Your ain life. Anything you care about. And that 's the bottom line. You ca n't compose about something which is n't in some manner truly, truly, REALLY of import to you. Find an thought? Take this source of an thought and inquire yourself `` what if? '' What if there 's a homeless adolescent? What if he 's looking for person? What if he 's looking for his female parent? ( That became Ben. ) What if there 's a `` milk confederacy? '' ( This is what we might name a `` construct, '' and it became Milk and Cookies. ) This is the first measure toward making the universe of your play. Now what? Who lives in this universe? It 's clip to construct some characters.

A few inquiries to inquire yourself about your play I 'm a large truster in inquiring the playwright inquiries about the play as a manner of assisting the dramatist compose the play he or she wants to compose -- non the play I want to compose. Ask yourself these inquiries as you enter the alteration procedure -- reply them candidly -- and help yourself to a better play. Format Is the talker 's name of all time on one page, while the duologue that goes with it is on another page? ( If so, acquire them together. ) Are the borders for duologue and phase waies consistent? Are the talkers ' names and the scene/act headings the lone things centered? Is my title page businesslike, without being excessively flashy? Does it hold the necessary contact information ( name, reference, phone figure, email reference ) unless the entry guidelines tell me to make otherwise? Dialogue Have I eliminated 99 per centum of filler words like `` good, '' `` uh, '' `` OK, '' `` all right, '' etc. ? While they are meant to do duologue sound `` realistic, '' they do n't truly add anything. Have I punctuated the duologue accurately? Have I gotten person else to read it out loud in forepart of me so that I can hear if the punctuation makes sense? It 's ace of import to set periods, commas, elans, semicolons and whatever else you 're utilizing where they belong. It 's the lone existent chance you have to pass on the beat of the lines to the histrions. Have I run a enchantment cheque? Have I proofread by reading aloud to do certain nil has slipped through? Often, you can misspell a word into another correct word that your enchantment cheque wo n't observe. Have I given the play to person else who has a good editor 's oculus? Do I avoid duologue which is merely at that place to `` state '' about the characters? Can I replace it with an action of some sort? For illustration, alternatively of a character stating us he is afraid of spiders, he could leap onto the couch and shriek for help. If there are long soliloquies, do they hold a good ground for being there? Phase Directions Are the phase waies clear, concise and grammatical? Do I use the phase waies to depict what happens but non to compose a novel or long descriptions of characters ' feelings? Do I compose the phase waies in the `` active voice '' ? Is it clear which character is supposed to make an action or execute a phase way? Do n't presume that it 's obvious -- normally, you should advert the character specifically. Have I avoided line readings ( e.g. `` angrily '' ) except in important instances? Have I given a specific clip and a specific topographic point ( e.g. a life room, non simply inside a house ) at the beginning of the play? Have I introduced each character with a one-line description ( age, gender if it 's non obvious, and a phrase of description ) ? This is important to help a possible manager or manufacturer determine who could be cast in the function, or merely to help a reader acquire a grip on your play. Character Is each character distinguishable and well-developed? Is each character 's speech consistent with his background and instruction? Do the characters sound different from each other? What if you removed a character from the play? What would be lost? ( Edit Villarreal, one of my professors, suggested this exercising, and it 's a great manner to do certain that you do n't hold two characters who fundamentally fulfill the same map. ) Is each character 's behaviour and actions credible? Try `` pin downing '' your characters, so that they feel they have no pick but to make what they do. Make each character have a alone place in the play? In other words, if two characters fulfill reasonably much the same map in a play, how can you do them different? Are the relationships between the characters clearly established? Do the characters change? Inactive characters are n't as interesting to play. Did you pick the characters ' names for a ground? As a sidenote, be careful of calling characters excessively likewise ( e.g. James and Jack ) . Other Contented Issues Does the play have a clear struggle with a beginning, a center and an terminal? Does the struggle physique as the play goes on? Remember that two characters reasoning is n't conflict. Conflict is driven by characters seeking to acquire what they want. Are the bets high plenty? It has to be important to each character that she gets what she wants. Is at that place a ticking clock? Time force per unit area ever creates extra tenseness. Is what happens in the play a consequence of picks the characters make, or make outside events dictate what happens? Strive for the former. If the play requires research, do you hold your facts straight? Is the tone of the play consistent? You do n't desire a play to be a travesty for the first 10 pages and a household play for the last 10. Make you give the audience new information, or do you simply tell us things we already cognize? Audiences get bored without new information, and retrieve that while intelligence may be new to a character, be careful if it 's non new to us. Every play is its ain universe that you create. Are the regulations of that universe consistent? Is your play 's rubric both catchy and adjustment? Does the play Begin at the right point? Sometimes a play begins excessively early when it should get down in the center of action. Does every scene have conflict? Fictional characters who urgently want things do n't of all time halt seeking to acquire what they want.

You ca n't hold a play without characters. You can set speaking ( or non-talking ) Canis familiariss or stones on phase, but guess what: they 're still characters. That means you have to calculate out who they are. Let me propose three possible theoretical accounts: Model One The constabulary file or bone construction theoretical account. Divide a character 's properties into three classs: physical, societal and emotional. Physical includes things like tallness, weight, skin colour, muscularity, etc. Social is instruction, category, occupation, avocations, history, household, populating state of affairs, religion—all the things that have to make with a individual and his topographic point in society. Emotional includes mental wellness and disposition—all things psychological. Be every bit thorough as you can in making the character to make a elaborate individual. Remember, non all ( possibly non even most ) of this information will really happen its manner into the play. So why fuss to do it up? Is n't it a waste of clip? The reply is no, because this information will demo why a character behaves the manner she does. For illustration, cognizing that Ellen 's best childhood friend was black may explicate why Ellen sticks up for a black adult female she does n't cognize in a difference at a eating house. That Ellen 's friend was black may ne'er come up in the play, but you, the writer, knows. Model Two Simply get down writing. Create an age and gender, so allow the character act how he or she wants to act. This is likely best for more experient authors. E-mail me to inquire me why. Model Three The via media solution—between Models One and Two, but non needfully in quality. Come up with the character 's name and gender, so seek to make a few shaping points for each character. For illustration, Ben ( the homeless adolescent in the play named for him ) was put up for acceptance when he was about four old ages old, used to wrestle before he dropped out of high school and was abused by his healer. He is about 16 old ages old. These pieces of information define, in wide shots, who he is. The inside informations can so come in the writing. I like this attack because it gives you a certain foundation, but it does n't lock you in. This is how I work. Model Three `` A '' This is a somewhat more structured fluctuation on Model Three. For each character, come up with three words to depict him. For illustration, she is a female parent, a instructor and a sky frogman. Come up with three physical features ( e.g. athletic ) and three emotional 1s ( e.g. edgy ) to travel along with them. Add in one job. For illustration, he wants to purchase a auto. Find an obstruction. He has no money. Sprinkle one secret into the mix—he has been arrested for rummy drive and lost his licence, perhaps—and you 're ready to function. Character Tip: Find a Verb Define each character with a verb, and allow that verb help you shape their behaviour. For illustration, a character who `` fells '' may be the one who leaves the room in the center of a confrontation or who can non be without his friend ( behind whom he hides ) .

Now that you 've created all these truly great characters, you have to set them someplace. Not all scenes are created equal. The scene that works best for your play is the one that allows you to make the most conflict and tenseness when you put your characters in it. For illustration, an at large captive concealment in a constabulary station is a batch more exciting than one in a distant wood. QUICK TIP: Noted dramatist and film writer Bruce Graham told a group of us sitting around a conference table one forenoon in Philadelphia that he likes to walk around his scenes. For illustration, when he was traveling to compose about characters in a hotel, he checked into a hotel and truly explored all the possibilities of that scene. So if you 're traveling to compose about characters at school, even though you may travel at that place every twenty-four hours, pay a visit to your school as a playwright—you may see things otherwise than you do as a pupil. The `` when '' of your scene is merely every bit of import as the `` where. '' What twelvemonth is it? What clip of twenty-four hours is it? Again, choose a clip that works with your topographic point to make the most conflict and tenseness. A pupil stealing the instructor 's reply key long after everyone has gone place is n't every bit interesting as the same pupil stealing the key in the center of the twenty-four hours, with the instructor due back at any minute.

The legendary dramatist and dramaturg Leon Katz one time described the two indispensable elements of play construction as follows. He said that in the beginning, what 's traveling on should do the audience say, `` that 's interesting '' and want to remain with the play. By the terminal, that should turn to `` wow. '' While there are many ways ( see below, where I talk about them ) to construction your play, allow 's get down with an oldie but a goodie: Think of a play as holding three parts. Let 's name them—big surprise—the beginning, center and terminal. And dramas are all about struggle. So here 's how it works: Let 's presume we have two characters, JACK and JILL. In the beginning of the play, we introduce the struggle. Jack wants Jill 's bucket of H2O. Jill says no. Conflict. If Jack says, `` OK. Fine. Have a nice twenty-four hours, Jill, '' the play is over. He ca n't make this. There must be some truly good ground Jack ca n't walk off. Possibly he 's deceasing of thirst. Jill has the lone H2O for stat mis, and if Jack does n't acquire H2O in the following 10 proceedingss, he 's traveling to decease. There is now something at interest for Jack ; if he does n't acquire the H2O, there 's a effect: he 'll decease. And non merely that, there 's what we call `` the ticking clock. '' The play has a sense of urgency. All this can go on in the beginning. So as we move to the center of the play, Jack changes tactics. Possibly he tries to corrupt her with money or a goldfish or a new Porsche. Possibly he threatens to crush her up. But Jill needs the H2O excessively. She needs to rinse her Canis familiaris before it competes in a Canis familiaris show, and her household needs the award money or they 'll hunger to decease. Whatever the ground, it has to be good. Remember, Jack is running out of clip. Thingss are acquiring desperate. That leaves the terminal. In the terminal of a play, four things can go on. One, Jack gets what he wants. He takes the bucket from Jill and drains it on the topographic point. Two, Jill gets what she wants. Jack may drop dead, but the Canis familiaris wins the show and Jill 's household gets the award money. Three, they both get what they want. Jack drinks adequate to acquire to the following H2O hole, but Jill has some H2O left—the dog gets 2nd topographic point, which still nets them some prize money. Not every bit much as earlier, but plenty to acquire by. Four, neither gets what they want. They fight over the bucket, slop the H2O, and everybody 's suffering. That 's it, folks. A beginning introduces the characters, the struggle, the bets and a ticking clock. The in-between builds the struggle and develops the characters as they change tactics. In the terminal, they either acquire it or they do n't. Advance PLAY STRUCTURES NEW! This is decidedly a proceed at your ain hazard subdivision, and I STRONGLY urge that novices skip this subdivision. NOW! GAPPED STRUCTURE Your play consists of a series of scenes in which clip has passed between each scene. For illustration, the first scene is in April, while the following one is in May. What keeps the audience interested in this type of play is non what happens during the scenes, but what happens between them. It 's the occupation of the audience to detect during each scene what has happened since the old scene ended. They are, in a sense, playing investigator as they catch up to the new state of affairs of the characters. Gapped dramas are a signifier of landscape play, which, appropriately, is my following subject. LANDSCAPE PLAYS Landscape dramas are rather simple to explicate, though non rather that easy to compose good. They begin with really small information about where we are or the given fortunes of the play. But as the play continues, it fills in more and more of the landscape. An illustration is Beckett 's Endgame, in which merely bit by bit does the image become clear. ANECDOTAL STRUCTURE The play is made up of a series of characters apparently traveling along on their ain separate narratives. But by the terminal of the play, the narratives have all intersected into one. Imagine five different togss, each person and possibly non even looking to be affecting, but as you move closer to one terminal, the togss are acquiring closer and closer until they knot. For illustrations, see the work of Chekhov. PROCESS PLAYS New Process dramas are structured around some event, some peculiar procedure. For illustration, two people have dinner. When dinner ends, so does the play.

Want to compose great duologue? Before you can larn how to do characters speak in ways that people remember, you have to larn to listen. Dialogue is n't similar existent address. It 's what I call heightened or edited address. Take a few proceedingss, for illustration, to listen—without talking—to your friends at tiffin. You 'll happen that they do n't complete their sentences, use tonss of `` filler words '' ( illustrations are `` good, '' `` like, '' `` um '' ) , repeat themselves and likely speak about nil 90 per centum of the clip. On phase, we have a limited sum of clip. We do n't hold clip for every `` good '' or long conversations about the conditions. We have to redact. Here are a few helpful intimations: Dialogue should progress the plot/conflict and develop the character talking it ( either through what the character says or how he/she says it ) . Dialogue should n't state us something that can be shown alternatively. For illustration, why have a character say `` I 'm afraid '' if he can alternatively conceal under a bed? Serve out information to the audience on a need-to-know footing. In other words, do n't hold parts of your play that are merely about giving us information ( e.g. characters speaking about themselves ) and that do n't progress the plot/conflict. You 'll be regretful, and we 'll be bored. Be careful of long soliloquies. While soliloquies can be fantastic, if they 're non done good, they can frequently the halt the forward motion of a play. Read duologue out loud to hear how it sounds. Punctuate it carefully, because it 's your best chance to do clear your purposes to the manager and the histrions. Real people frequently use contractions when they speak. Be consistent. A cat who ca n't set a grammatical sentence together one minute is n't likely to sound like an English professor the following minute. Make certain that the words a character utilizations are consistent with his instruction and background. Remember, much of what makes a play memorable is its duologue, so do every word count!

Plaies are meant to be seen on phase, non on the page—right? Right, but before it makes it to the phase, the play must do it through a reader or a little ground forces of readers. I 've been one. And so, of class, presuming you survive the readers ( and the literary director and the artistic manager ) , there is the manager, the histrions, the interior decorators, etc. Each of them wants as clear a image of your play on phase as possible. A few ideas on how you can help them: Keep your phase waies every bit compact as possible, with active verbs. In other words, alternatively of `` Jennifer is sitting on the rug '' at the gap of a play, `` Jennifer sits on a rug. '' Note that I did n't compose `` Jennifer sits down. '' Introduce each character with a one-liner which tells us his age and gives the reader ( and possible manufacturers ) a grip on her: `` Annie, mid-20s and a walk-to accident. '' Remember, if I 'm a manufacturer, I want to cognize who I can project in the function ; I want to cognize the character 's age and type. Avoid `` overcreating '' a character ( even if you 've come up with this information in your constabulary file—see Building Characters above—keep it to yourself ) : `` five-foot-three, with ruddy hair and green eyes and heavyset. '' Unless it 's important to the play, you 're blowing clip on something that 's irrelevant. What if there 's a truly good actress who 's five-foot-five or has brown hair? You 'll come off as an amateur. In this same vena, do n't direct the play on the page. Avoid `` line readings '' —do n't precede every line of duologue with `` unhappily, '' `` angrily, '' etc. I merely use line readings like these if it 's important, which means I might hold a smattering in a full-length play. Alternatively, put in a `` intermission '' or a `` round '' and go forth it to the histrions and manager to calculate it out. You might detect something interesting. Phase waies are written to be read. Make them well-written and clear. There 's nil incorrect with giving them a small spin, but do n't compose a novel. A instructor of mine, when speaking about screenwriting, told me ne'er to clop more than six lines of description together. In playwriting it 's All right to interrupt that jurisprudence, but it 's non a bad thing to maintain the spirit of it in the dorsum of your head.

TIP 1: Proper Format Presenting your book decently is important. As a reader, it 's easy to acquire turned off to a book that is n't formatted right and which makes reading more hard. Page borders are normally 1 '' on the top, bottom and on the right, but 1.5 '' on the left ( because of hole punching/brads/binding ) . Manuscript format calls for the character name to be centered ( or left indented at a consistent border, either an excess 2.5 '' or 3 '' ) in CAPS, with duologue on the following line running border to margin. Phase waies go on their ain line and in parentheses, indented an excess 2 '' on the left side ( so fundamentally 3.5 '' from the left border of the paper ) . A common error is for authors to copy published book format by seting character names on the left, which is harder to read. Check some of my PDF book extracts to see what proper format expressions like, and if it 's still ill-defined, e-mail me. SPECIAL SOFTWARE NOTE: If you can afford it, purchase scriptwriting package. I recommend Concluding Draft. You can utilize it for writing both dramas and screenplays, and because it does all the data format work for you, it leaves you to be originative. Yes, it 's possible to compose utilizing MS Word or another word processing plan, but Final Draft makes your life so much easier and saves you tonss of clip. If you 're a full-time pupil ( high school, college, etc ) , teacher or in the active military, you qualify for a particular rate. Click here to order it from The Writers Store. Want Final Draft but do n't measure up for the academic/military rate? You can still acquire it at a discounted rate from the Writers Store by snaping here. You can even purchase it and download it on the topographic point ( if you have a fast connexion ) , so that it 's ready to utilize today! TIP 2: Do n't Rush It Out Why non direct your `` finished '' book to a major theater right off? Two grounds. First, you are viing with dramatists who are much more experient than you are. And unlike movie, which has a repute for coveting young person ( more myth than reality—the ground you hear about a 19 twelvemonth old merchandising a book is because it 's so rare that it 's intelligence when it happens ) , theater does n't hold that repute. Second, if you send out a book that 's non ready, you potentially have a work stoppage against you when it comes to acquiring that theater to read your future work. They may retrieve you as the drudge who sent them the icky book. But have no fear—check out my “Step by Step Guide to What to Make With Your Finished Play” below. TIP 3: Read Away Your Influences If you read a twosome of Beckett dramas, I 'd be willing to wager that the following few pieces you write will read like Beckett—until you get it out of your system ( I admit I went through my ain Beckett/Ionesco period ) . So after you read that Beckett play, travel out and read Arthur Miller, so read Wilson ( August, though Lanford would besides be revelatory ) . Read Shakespeare. Tony Kushner. Edward Albee. Marsha Norman. David Mamet. Paula Vogel. Anton Chekhov. Swill all these different manners into the runing pot of your head, and finally, if you write adequate, your ain manner will develop. Check out my Young Playwrights Reading List for a more organized list of reading suggestions. TIP 4: Write What You Know—Or Not Many immature authors ( and older authors ) are told, `` Write what you know. '' Good advice, I suppose, but I seldom follow it. What I do n't cognize is so much more interesting. Ben is about a adolescent life on the street in Harvard Square and looking for the adult female he believes is his female parent. Yes, I lived in Harvard Square in college and was a adolescent at one clip, but I 've ne'er been homeless, have two fantastic parents, etc. ; Ben 's life is non one I knew. So I read about it. I spent a term volunteering at a shelter for troubled teens. I kept my eyes unfastened. But above all, I was genuinely, urgently interested in the universe of my play and the people in it. It 's that despairing involvement that allows you to compose what you do n't cognize. TIP 5: Merely Get It On Paper! A first bill of exchange is n't supposed to be perfect. Not even near. Do n't worry—just maintain traveling! Let the play go where it wants to travel, because THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is completing. The clip to second-guess yourself is after you can safely type `` Blackout. End of play. '' TIP 6: Write Something Else Complete a book? Start another one. Now. Writing a book is like giving birth, and the book is your babe. Our babes are ever beautiful and perfect. In our eyes, they can make no incorrect. But no first ( or back or 3rd or. ) bill of exchange is of all time perfect. By writing something new, you make the new play your babe, and the first play becomes the older sibling, possibly even a adolescent. Now you have some distance to look at it critically, because we all know that adolescents are ne'er perfect. Besides, if you 're directing out a book to competitions or theaters, writing something new certain beats waiting for the mail to get every afternoon. And on that note, retrieve that responses to your entries may run from hebdomads ( this is highly rapid ) to months or even a twelvemonth or two. TIP 7: Give Every Character a Moment! Actors want the opportunity to act. No one gets excited about playing the 3rd tree on the left. So make certain to give every character at least one & # x201moment” where the histrion can reflect. It’s how you make histrions want to make your play, even if their functions aren’t the largest. TIP 8: Material That Does n't Play Some things merely do n't look to work on phase. You may be the mastermind who can draw them off, but keep an oculus on this infinite for a list of things you 're likely better off avoiding. Here they are: Peoples speaking about how they feel instead than demoing how they feel. Phone calls on phase. Chase scenes, particularly auto pursuits. Animals. Elaborate particular effects. Phase waies that dictate characters ' facial looks ( e.g. a soiled look—half the clip you ca n't even see it from the audience ) . Inside gags. More to come… TIP 9: Stuck? Try Improv Not certainly where to travel in a scene, or is it merely non working? Actors are frequently a great beginning of thoughts. Get a few histrion friends together, set up the scene for them, and allow them play it out, with you entering ( either sound or picture ) what happens. Try it as many times as you like, altering some component of the set-up each clip, so that you get to see different picks played out in forepart of you. They might hit on something utile. TIP 10: Know Your Audience A play with tonss of wit about your peculiar high school instructors will merely work at your high school, because no other audience will understand the gags. If you are writing a play for kids, leave out the four-letter words. If it’s a touring show, don’t write sets that can’t be packed into a box at the terminal of the twenty-four hours. Writing for the high school market? Try to compose more female functions than male functions, as schools normally have an copiousness of adult females. Writing for professional theatre? Keep your dramatis personae size down, because every histrion who does a spot portion still has to be paid.

A soliloquy is truly any drawn-out address by one character ( anyplace from possibly 30 seconds to a one-man show that’s more than 90 proceedingss in length ) . Soliloquies are normally portion of a larger play, but sometimes they are written to stand entirely. There may or may non be another character on phase. I tend to avoid long soliloquies in my dramas, because if you’re non careful, soliloquies tend to decelerate dramas down. But a good soliloquy is a fantastic thing, and histrions ever need them for hearings. So if you want to compose a soliloquy, whether as portion of a play or as a stand-alone, retrieve a few tips: The character presenting the soliloquy must desire something in the present. In other words, why is he stating us this? What does he desire right now, and how is presenting the soliloquy assisting him acquire it? Soliloquies whose merely intent is to depict something that happened don’t work. Soliloquies, like duologue, have two maps: to travel the plot/story frontward and to state us more about the character. That doesn’t mean that the character literally should state us about herself. We should larn more about her from what she says and from how she says it.

WHY WE REWRITE There are many grounds to rewrite. We can ever compose better duologue, make more specific characters. In fact, if you hop on down ( hit your page down key ) , the author 's `` web '' will give you a whole clump of topographic points to look. But before you move on, maintain one ground to rewrite in head: dramas change as we write them. The characters or narrative may hold moved in unexpected waies. Your thoughts may hold changed as you wrote. You may hold changed as a individual. Remember, peculiarly when you are younger, you are bombarded with new life experiences every minute. You may non be the same individual in February as you were in January. Your involvements or concerns may be different. So a large portion of revising is traveling back to the beginning of the play and `` doing it one '' with the terminal. We call it recentering, and it 's a important portion of rewriting. You are now ready to rewrite. Do n't cognize how to get down? Try the Web, a creative activity of my good friend and fellow dramatist, Ed Shockley. Here 's why it works: particulars and inside informations draw an audience into the `` web '' of your play. So with each strand of your revision web, your occupation is to happen the particulars that bring the universe of your play alive. THE WEB

Practically talking, what does all this mean? Let 's state, for illustration, you want to work on the `` Story '' strand. The manner I use narrative, it means what 's traveling on in the universe. So if you write a play about a cat purchasing a loaf of staff of life, how does the play alteration if it 's in the center of the Cuban Missile Crisis? How does it impact the actions of the characters and what they want? What happens if it 's raining ( `` Weather ) ? Or they 're stuck in a shop that 's snowed in for the dark? Or the temperature is 90 grades? What if one of the characters is deaf ( `` Disability '' ) ? See how adding a strand of particulars can truly alter your play. Have an thought for a new web strand? E-mail me. Necessitate more rewriting help? Visit my trouble shooter 's checklist to happen out some specific inquiries you should be inquiring yourself about your play.

The expression is that good dramas are n't written, they 're rewritten. At each phase of the procedure I outline below, expect to rewrite. Does that intend you have to compose your play from abrasion each clip? Of class non. But it does intend that you should be prepared to do important alterations and maintain an unfastened head. 1. Once you 've finished your first bill of exchange, travel back and proofread it, because at every measure of the manner, your book demands to be as typographically and grammatically clean as possible. Run a enchantment cheque, but so proof `` by manus. '' Why cogent evidence manually? Because enchantment cheque does n't catch every mistake, peculiarly if you misspell a word into another word ( for illustration, your vs. you 're, it 's and its ) . When you finish, print a new transcript. Quick Tip: Save each bill of exchange as a different bill of exchange figure, and retrieve to endorse up your play someplace other than your difficult drive—in instance of a clang. Besides, if you have the pick, do n't maintain everything at one location—e.g. hold a parent maintain one set of discs at work, in instance of fire, burglary, etc. at place. 2. Reread your first bill of exchange. Use the author 's web and the trouble shooter 's checklist to rewrite and determine your book. Often, each `` expanse '' through the book will be to turn to one peculiar component of the web ( e.g. looking at the manner a specific character speaks ) . 3. When you feel that you 've done all you can make on your ain, give the book to person you trust. But if you do n't hold anyone in whose judgement you feel perfectly confident, I 'd jump this measure, because bad feedback is worse than no feedback. Quick Tip: There is no jurisprudence that says you must act on every remark. If I agree with person 's unfavorable judgment, I rewrite. Otherwise, I disregard it. 4. The following measure is a sit-down ( sometimes called a “table reading” ) reading. Get a group of histrions ( or even a group of your friends ) together. If you’d like, garner a few people whose feedback you trust as the “audience.” This reading is for you to hear the book out loud, and possibly to acquire some feedback. For all readings, it 's best to give the histrions the book in front of clip so they can pattern and non trip over the words. SUPER SUPER IMPORTANT! ! ! YOU ARE Not YOUR PLAY. YOUR PLAY IS NOT YOU. Never take unfavorable judgment of your play as a unfavorable judgment of you as a individual. 5. Have a directed, rehearsed reading. To make this, you need to happen a manager and histrions. They should hold several dry runs ( the reading will be script in manus ) , and at that place will likely be some minimum theatrical production ( motion ) . You may wish to ask for an audience, or sometimes it 's better to work through the book merely with the histrions and the manager. If you do ask for an audience, ask for an audience that you think will be constructive. After the reading, have a treatment. Either you or your manager should chair, and it 's a good thought to come up with a list of inquiries which you would wish answered. Some stock inquiries are `` what worked? '' `` what did n't you understand? '' and `` what would you wish to see more or less of? '' QUICK TIP: I strongly recommend that you follow the `` soundless writer '' regulation. When there 's a treatment of my work, I write down every remark made, but I NEVER defend my work or come in the treatment in any manner, except to inquire inquiries if I do n't understand a remark. If I do n't hold with a remark or a suggestion, I ignore it. 6. Have a staged reading in a public scene with a more general audience. Have a directed post-show treatment to acquire feedback if you like. 7. If you have the chance, have a more to the full realized production ( utilizing props and costumes, minimum set ) at your school or in a likewise safe topographic point. At productions of my work, I watch the audience—seeing how they react during the public presentation gives me hints as to what is working and what isn’t. At any measure of this procedure, you can ever back-track if you 're non satisfied that your book is ready to travel up the ladder. When you feel that your book is ready ( do n't hotfoot! ) , it 's clip to look at immature dramatists competitions and other chances for immature authors. Good fortune! I CA N'T SAY IT ENOUGH! Sloppy scripts—with misspelled words, ill punctuated sentences, handwritten changes—are the grade of sloppy writing. Many readers are instructed to set them down, and this can kill your relationship with a theater. Your book is your face. Do n't demo it until it 's clean! !

Here you 'll happen a listing of CONTESTS AND SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITIES for high school, in-between school, simple school and college age dramatists in the United States and abroad. They have different age and geographical limitations, so It 's up to you to research each one and see whether you qualify. None of these listings constitute an indorsement unless I explicitly say so. Note ABOUT ENTRY FEES: I am against entry/reading fees in general, but I am peculiarly against them for immature authors. Postage, copying and envelopes cost adequate without adding a fee to them, and entry fees discriminate against talented immature authors who may non be able to afford this excess disbursal. None of the competitions below charge fees -- if you find that one of them does, delight allow me cognize. Competitions for High School and Younger Students in the United States YouthPLAYS New Voices One-Act Playwriting Competition ( May 1 ) Why is this one foremost? Because I help run it! Open to anyone 19 old ages old or younger. Alabama Shakespeare Festival ( March 13 ) Open to Alabama high school pupils in grades 9-12. All Children’s Theatre Youth Playwriting Competition ( December 8 ) Open to Rhode Island high school pupils. Arena Stage Student Ten-Minute Competition ( deadline TBA ) Open to pupils from the District of Columbia, the City of Alexandria, or one of the undermentioned counties: Loudoun, Prince Georges, Prince William, Montgomery, Fairfax or Arlington. Students must be in grades 6-12. Arlington Children 's Theater Young Playwrights ( September 1 ) Open to all. 18 old ages old or younger. Baker 's Plays ( January 30 ) Open to all high school pupils. Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival ( March 15 ) Open to anyone 19 old ages old or younger. Blueberry Pond Theatre Ensemble ( February 25 )

Open to middle and high school pupils from the Lower Hudson Valley. California Young Playwrights Project ( June 1 ) Open to occupants of California under the age of 19. CenterStage Young Playwrights Festival ( February 17 ) Open to pupils in Maryland. City Theatre Company Young Playwright 's Contest ( April 15 ) Open to pupils in Western Pennsylvania in grades 7-12. Curious Theatre Company ( see website for inside informations ) Their New Voices plan is unfastened to immature dramatists ages 15-21 and offers play development ( climaxing in public staged readings ) and direction with seasoned professional dramatists, with all participants having full scholarships. The company is based in Denver, though non all past participants have been from Colorado. Delaware Theatre Company, Delaware Young Playwrights Festival ( deadline TBA ) Open to Delaware pupils. Check web site for more information. Dobama Theatre 's Marilyn Bianchi Kids ' Playwriting Festival ( see website for deadlines ) Open to Cuyahoga County ( OH ) pupils in grades 1-12. Deadlines are staggered harmonizing to pupil rate degree during February and March. Florida Stage ( December 16 ) Open to any Palm Beach County pupil in classs K-12. Geva Theatre ( winter deadline ) Open to Rochester-area authors, ages 13-18. For more information, send an electronic mail to gevatalk @ gevatheatre.org. Gorilla Theatre, Young Dramatists Project ( February 18 ) Open to middle or high school pupils in Hillsborough or Pinellas County ( FL ) . Advanced Stages’ Young Playwrights Competition ( March 15 ) Open to occupants of Westchester County ( NY ) , grades 9-12. Lebanon Community Theater 's Playwriting Contest ( April 30 ) Open to dramatists of all ages and experience. All dramas must be written merely for this competition and must non transcend 20 proceedingss of production clip. Check web site for more information. Metro Milwaukee Young Playwrights Competition ( June 1 ) Open to high school pupils in the greater Milwaukee ( WI ) country. The Midwest High School Playwriting Competition ( March 25 ) Open to high school pupils in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Students who are new to playwriting are particularly encouraged to compose a play and submit it to the competition. New South Young Playwrights Festival Contest ( deadline TBA ) Sponsored by Horizon Theatre Company, this festival for southern immature authors has divisions for in-between school and high school ( every bit good as college ) dramatists. Check their web site for inside informations. Pegasus Players ( deadline TBA ) This is unfastened to Chicago occupants, but while the competition still exists, there’s small info online, so you’ll have to reach the theater for inside informations. Philadelphia Young Playwrights ( May 16 ) Open to high school pupils in the Philadelphia country. Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest ( January 26 for high school ; February 16 for junior high and simple ) Open to New Jersey pupils in grades 4-12. Princeton University Ten-Minute Play Contest ( March 1 ) Open to any pupil in grade 11 during the current academic twelvemonth. San Francisco Young Playwrights Festival ( December 16 ) Open to high school pupils in San Francisco. Scholastic Writing Awards ( deadlines vary harmonizing to part ) Open to pupils enrolled in classs 7-12. Shenandoah Valley Regional Playwright’s Festival ( January 13 ) Open to pupils under the age of 19 on the entry deadline, shacking in Virginia or West Virginia ( see entry instructions for specific counties of abode ) . Syracuse Stage ( February 14 ) Open to Central New York pupils. TADA! ( January 4 ) Open to all. To come in the “young writers” class, entrants must be 19 or under, though there is besides a class for authors over 19. Separate instructions for musicals. Thespian Playworks ( February 17 ) Open to any active member of the Thespian Society who is a high school pupil during the current school twelvemonth. Vermont Young Playwright 's Project ( deadline TBA ) Open to middle and high school pupils from Vermont. Scripts selected through school workshops. Reach them for more information. VSA Playwright Discovery Program ( mid-April ) Open to entrants 21 and under. Plaies must cover with some facet of disablement. Waterfront Ensemble/ New Jersey Dramatists ( February 1 ) Open to all pupils from New Jersey. Plaies and soliloquies should be no more than 20 proceedingss in length. Write A Play! NYC School Playwriting Contest ( April 1 ) Open to all New York City pupils. Young Playwrights Festival National Playwriting Contest ( December 1 ) Open to all entrants ages 18 or younger. Competitions for College Students in the United States Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival ( see website for deadlines ) You need to be an undergraduate or alumnus pupil produced by a college that participates in ACTF—check the web site for information on engagement and the many awards ACTF patrons. Marc A. Klein Playwriting Award ( December 1 ) Department of Theater Arts, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7077, c/o John Orlock, Chair. Open to American college pupils. New South Young Playwrights Festival Contest ( deadline TBA ) Sponsored by Horizon Theatre Company, this festival is unfastened to southern college authors. Check their web site or reach them for inside informations. Wichita State University ( February 15 ) Open to all undergraduate and alumnus pupils enrolled at any college or university. Competitions Outside the United States Interplay Europe ( festival takes topographic point in June in even-numbered old ages ) A two-year festival in Europe for dramatists aged 18-26, held in opposite old ages from World Interplay. Email them for entry info. Magnus Theatre ( deadline TBA ) Open to occupants of Northern Ontario ( Canada ) , ages 12-19. Reach them for entry inside informations. New Zealand Young Playwrights ' Competition ( December 6 ) Open to New Zealand occupants ages 16-22. Sydney Theatre Company 's Young Playwrights ' Award ( August 5 ) Open to Australian occupants of NSW or the ACT 19 old ages or under. Under 20 for Under 20’s Competition/Tarragon Theatre ( January 17 ) Open to Ontario ( Canada ) occupants under the age of 20 as of the competition deadline. Open to All Fledgling Films ( ongoing for production in July ) solicits adolescent and pre-teen written dramas, screenplays, and short narratives to be produced as short movies at the Fledgling Films Summer Institute. Accepts national and international entries, with a strong penchant toward plants written chiefly in English. Writers receive little honorarium, an invitation to be involved in the cinematography procedure and a transcript of the finished movie. Ideal book is 10-30 pages. Submit to: Fledgling Films, 949 Somers Road, Barnet, Vermont 05821, USA. Send SASE for return of stuffs. E-mail kcp @ pshift.com for more information. International Student Playscript Competition ( November 30 ) Must be a current pupil or recent alumnus. See website for inside informations. World Interplay ( mid-May in odd-numbered old ages ) A two-year festival in Townsville, Australia which includes dramatists ages 18-26 from all over the universe. They besides work with Australian dramatists aged 11-17. Reach them through their web site for more information. Remember, deadlines can alter from twelvemonth to twelvemonth, and competitions sometimes get discontinued—so confirm the information on each specific competition before subjecting. Let me cognize if you find any links that are no longer active.

So you 've written a great play. It wo n't count if you do n't cognize who to direct it to. A brace of non-web beginnings are really utile to the draw a bead oning dramatist of any age. I got all the immature dramatists competition info from looking in The Dramatists Sourcebook ( comes out in the autumn every other twelvemonth, published by TCG ) . It 's available at any decent-sized bookshop, or online. You can besides fall in the Dramatists Guild of America ( even if you do n't populate in the United States! ) , the national association of dramatists, lyrists and composers. Not merely do you acquire the bang-up one-year resource directory, but you get The Dramatist, a semimonthly magazine, and entree to concern advice, standard contracts, etc. There’s a pupil rank. On the web, look into out CurtainRising.com. It has an index of links to many, many theaters and other resources. Another great topographic point to look is Paul Thain 's site, Dramatists on the Web. Use these resources to larn what sort of work a theater is making, and to see if they are bring forthing the kind of dramas you’re writing. If you’ve merely written a one-act play and the theater merely wants full-length dramas, it’s a waste of their clip and yours ( non to advert your money ) to direct them your one-act. Necessitate help writing screen letters? Click here.

How to compose letters that work You will normally present yourself to a possible manufacturer through a question or screen missive. This missive is your chance to demo the possible manufacturer that you can write—and the first topographic point they will judge your writing. It’s important that your missive is well-written, grammatical and free of typographical mistakes. On this page, I’ll show you sample letters that can help you present yourself professionally. A query missive is frequently accompanied by a outline ( short sum-up ) of your play and a duologue sample ( possibly ten pages ) , depending on the theater’s peculiar guidelines. Make certain you find out a theater’s entry guidelines before directing anything! ( Reference books like The Dramatists Sourcebook are ideal for this. )

John Smith Artistic Director Pilgrim Theater Company 525 Puritan Way Plymouth, MA 02156 Dear Mr. Smith: Enclosed for your consideration please happen a outline and sample pages from Milk and Cookies. Milk and Cookies is about Margaret Nancy Reagan Ballmoth, who becomes a fleeting when her kids poison the cookies they give the Teller at a bank 's drive-through window. She meets up with Bruce, a adult male on the tally from `` milk, '' which he believes to be the industrial in the military-industrial composite. It has a dramatis personae of four and has minimal set and proficient demands. Enjoy. Thus far, Milk and Cookies has had two developmental readings through City Theater Company of Wilmington ( DE ) , which has produced a figure of my dramas. Other recent productions of my work have gone up off-off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Virginia, Florida and even near London. A brace of productions of my free version of War of the Buttons are scheduled for early 1999. Additionally, I have been a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award and a book reader for several major regional theatres. I presently run the theatre plan at The Haverford School, and I am a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center. Enclosed for your convenience is a sketch. Enclosed is a stamped post card to ease a answer at your earliest convenience, and you can besides make me by phone at 555-555-5555 or via electronic mail at youraddress @ isp.com. Thank you for your attending, and I look frontward to directing you the full book. Best, Jon Dorf Always include either a self-addressed stamped envelope ( SASE ) or a self-addressed stamped post card ( SAE ) with your question missive, or you will likely ne'er acquire a response. Sometimes you don’t acquire a response anyhow ; that’s merely the manner it goes. Response clip on a question varies from about immediate to several months or even over a twelvemonth. Don’t expect to acquire the sample pages back. I personally prefer a post card. I give them three boxes to look into: “Send me the book, ” “Send me the book, but wait until _____ , ” or “Other.” I ask, if they are non bespeaking the book, to state me why. Sometimes they will, and it can be really utile in future entries to that company. Some theatres prefer that you send the full book. Still, you need a good screen missive that tells them why they want to read your script—otherwise, they may non read it.

555 Writer’s Alley New York, NY 10003 August 12, 1999 John Smith Artistic Director Pilgrim Theater Company 525 Puritan Way Plymouth, MA 02156 Dear Mr. Smith: Enclosed for your consideration please happen Milk and Cookies and Neverland. Milk and Cookies is about Margaret Nancy Reagan Ballmoth, who becomes a fleeting when her kids poison the cookies they give the Teller at a bank 's drive-through window. She meets up with Bruce, a adult male on the tally from `` milk, '' which he believes to be the industrial in the military-industrial composite. Together they set off for Montana to happen the fabulous Rufus, a free-lance version of the witness protection plan. The play has a dramatis personae of four and has minimal set and proficient demands. In Neverland, Wendy follows Peter through his life, reinventing herself and re-emerging in his universe each clip he moves on. It requires a dramatis personae of three, with minimum set and proficient demands. Therefore far, Milk and Cookies has had two developmental readings through City Theater Company of Wilmington ( DE ) , which has produced a figure of my dramas, while Neverland had a developmental reading at the Philadelphia Dramatists Center. Recent productions of my work have gone up off-off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Virginia, Florida and even near London. Most late, my free version of War of the Buttons was produced near Philadelphia. Additionally, I have been a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award and a book reader for several major regional theatres. I presently run the theatre plan at The Haverford School, and I am a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center. Enclosed for your convenience is a sketch. Enclosed is a SASE to ease a answer at your earliest convenience ( recycle the books if they 're non for you ) , and you can besides make me at 555-555-5555. Thank you for your involvement in my work, and I look frontward to acquiring your ideas on the dramas. Respects, Jon Dorf IMPORTANT: Never compose how great you think your play is! Keep it factual. Your well-written missive says more about your writing than boasting. They want to read your book. Now what? Try this missive on for size.

555 Writer’s Alley New York, NY 10003 August 12, 1999 John Smith Artistic Director Pilgrim Theater Company 525 Puritan Way Plymouth, MA 02156 Dear Mr. Smith: Thank you for bespeaking Milk and Cookies, which I enclose. Enjoy. Enclosed is a SASE to ease a answer at your earliest convenience ( recycle the book if it 's non for you ) , and you can besides make me at 555-555-5555. Thankss so much for your involvement in my work, and I look frontward to acquiring your ideas on the play. Best, Jon Dorf Sometimes, I like to advert any intelligence about my writing ( e.g. a recent award ) or current undertakings I’m working on. If you choose to make that, the ideal topographic point is between the gap and shutting paragraphs. With script entries, I enclose a business-size SASE. It’s non cost-efficient to pass three dollars on postage to acquire back a potentially dog-eared, coffee-stained script—I’ll likely have rewritten it in the twelvemonth it might take to acquire a response. Yes, responses to a full book normally take anyplace from a month or two to a twelvemonth or two. Be patient.

Bing a dramatist is n't merely about writing good dramas. When you write a play that person wants to bring forth, a whole new larning experience Begins. You have certain rights, and it 's of import that you know what they are. Even when there is no money involved, insist on a contract to do certain your relationship with the manufacturer is clear. First off, you may be inquiring. Should I copyright my play? Plaies are copyrighted the minute you write them, whether or non you register them. But registering your play with the Library of Congress ( US writers ) gives you official protection ( you ca n't action person for copyright violation without your work being registered foremost ) . Realistically, about no one steals plays because, unlike screenplays, there 's really small to be gained financially. Click here to see the US Copyright Office site and download Form PA, the signifier to register dramas, musicals, screenplays, etc. In the terminal, is it a good thought to hold your work registered officially before its first production? Probably. Just in instance. Remember, no one can bring forth your play without obtaining permission foremost. There is no release of this regulation for school productions, productions that do n't bear down admittance, forensics or similar non-commercial ventures. But be warned: non everyone is decently educated about right of first publications, permissions and royalties, so you need to be argus-eyed. That 's why, when you do acquire a production, you need a contract. Here are a few of the rudimentss, all of which you 'd happen in a standard Dramatists Guild of America contract, that should look in any understanding you sign: You own your play. Unlike screenplays, which are normally bought outright by the production company, dramas are owned by the dramatist. A production does n't alter the fact that the play you wrote continues to be your belongings. No one can alter a word of what you have written without your permission. Period. No cuts, no add-ons, no alterations unless you say OK. This applies to dialogue or present waies. I one time pulled a reading of a play of mine at a college when I was n't convinced the manager was traveling to adhere to this. Now before you go ballistic on a manager for disregarding a `` intermission, '' you as the author are responsible for holding a small common sense. To me, altering a phase way is when you write that `` Ben issues '' and the manager keeps him on phase. If you allow a alteration based on person else 's suggestion, the alteration becomes YOUR belongings. No one should acquire partial ownership of your play merely because they suggested you `` seek it this manner. '' But do certain you get this in writing. Rent went into several old ages of legal conflicts because of merely such a struggle. You are allowed to go to all dry runs and public presentations ( complimentary ) . You may non desire to or be able to, but you are entitled to. Of class, you must carry on yourself professionally at all times. This means non seeking to direct the play in dry run. Have a inquiry or job? Take the manager aside during a interruption in dry run ( unless you and the manager have agreed upon this in progress, you should NEVER pass on straight with the histrions or crew other than to interchange pleasantries, nor should you get down reasoning with the manager in forepart of the histrions or crew ) . If you feel that the manager is n't listening, talk to the manufacturer or whomever is finally in charge. You should have a transcript of the plan and any other promotion stuffs issued by the bring forthing group, every bit good as any reappraisals and newspaper coverage, should they be ( it 's improbable that a immature dramatists production will be reviewed, but merely in instance. ) 10 Thingss You Can Make to Help Yourself Be Successful as a Playwright 1. Learn how to utilize the cyberspace. Make a web site for yourself to publicise your work. Learn what sites will allow you post information about your dramas, what sites will associate to your site, and where to look for playwriting chances ( i.e. competitions, book calls, etc ) . 2. Be a playgoer. You do n't necessitate to travel to Broadway. Sing anything is a learning experience ( I draw the line at junior high and simple school dramas ) . Take advantage of local college productions and smaller professional companies ( many of which have discounted student tickets ) , and be on the sentinel for new play readings ( many of which are free ) at local dramatists organisations and at theatre companies. 3. Read plays. To be a good dramatist, you need to read good dramatists. Expose yourself to authors with different manners. To happen out some dramas I think you should read, see the Young Playwrights Selected Reading List. 4. Keep a small notebook or tape recording equipment around, and if you come across an interesting character or `` life minute, '' make a note of it. 5. Join the Dramatists Guild of America or your tantamount national organisation. Learn how to protect your rights, and do n't allow people walk all over you merely to acquire a production. 6. Make a regular writing clip for yourself. Even if you 're non writing a play, maintain the musculus in form by writing something originative. 7. Meet local theater people. Find out what companies are in your country and develop relationships with them. Most readings and productions come from relationships developed over clip. More Tips to Come!

A list for dramatists and histrions, immature and old If you are traveling to be a serious dramatist or histrion ( or manager, interior decorator, etc ) , you need to be a serious play reader—even if you can’t afford to be a playgoer, everyone can afford the library. I’ve made a list ( which will turn ) of dramas I think you ought to read. The list includes dramas of different periods and authors who have different backgrounds and writing manners. It’s non complete, and it’s merely my sentiment. I’ve tried to choose, for each major playwright, one or two representative dramas. Some are hard reading, and some ( peculiarly the modern-day stuff ) may hold grownup content—nothing you won’t happen in a newspaper. All can be handled, at least on some degree, by a high school pupil with a small finding. The list CLASSICAL Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. The Bacchae by Euripides. Eumenides ( or any portion of the Oresteia ) by Aeschylus. Lysistrata by Aristophanes. Medea by Seneca THE ELIZABETHANS AND MORE A Midsummer Night 's Dream, Romeo and Juliet and Richard III by William Shakespeare. Reasonably much anything by Shakespeare is a good thought, and surely Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and Othello are worthy add-ons to this list ( merely a bit more hard ) . The Miser or Tartuffe by Moliere. Volpone by Ben Jonson. Edward the Second and Doctor Faustus by Marlowe. Fuente Ovejuna by Lope de Vega Life is a Dream by Calderon She Stoops to Suppress by Oliver Goldsmith ( largely because you ought to read something Restoration ) . THE “MODERN” DRAMATISTS Miss Julie by August Strindberg. Ghosts and Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. A SYMBOLIST Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry. TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICAN CLASSICS Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Long Day 's Journey into Night and The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill. Our Town by Thornton Wilder TWENTIETH CENTURY EUROPEAN CLASSICS The Visit of the Old Lady by Duerrenmatt. Woyczek by Buchner. Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht. THE ABSURD AND THE “POSTMODERN” Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Zoo Story by Edward Albee. Have more clip? Read Three Tall Women or A Delicate Balance. The Homecoming by Harold Pinter. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco. Six Characters in Search of an Writer by Luigi Pirandello. The Balcony by Jean Genet. A GRAB BAG OF PLAYS FROM THE 1960 'S AND LATER THAT I RECOMMEND Angels in America by Tony Kushner. American Buffalo by David Mamet. Fences or Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson. Buried Child and Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard. Dutchman by Leroi Jones ( Amiri Baraka ) . Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere-Smith. Marisol by Jose Rivera. Lonely Planet by Steven Dietz. Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchhill. Master Harold and the Boys by Athol Fugard. Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. OTHER TOP CONTEMPORARY PLAYWRIGHTS ( a major work in parentheses ) Suzan Lori-Parks ( In the Blood ) , Maria Irene Fornes, Paula Vogel ( How I Learned to Drive ) , Lee Blessing, Arthur Kopit ( Oh Dad, Poor Dad… ) , Nicky Silver, Howard Korder ( Search and Destroy ) , Alan Ayckbourn, Christopher Durang ( Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You ) , Lanford Wilson ( Burn This ) , David Henry Hwang ( M. Butterfly ) , Marsha Norman ( ‘Night, Mother ) , David Rabe ( The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel ) , John Guare ( Six Degrees of Separation ) , Brian Friel, Joe Orton ( What the Butler Saw ) , George Wolfe ( The Colored Museum ) , John Patrick Shanley ( Doubt ) ; Horton Foote ( Young Man from Atlanta ) , William Inge ( Bus Stop ) , Peter Shaffer ( Equus ) , Adrienne Kennedy, Israel Horovitz IF YOU’VE GOT A BIT MORE TIME These aren’t the dramas I’d choose to read foremost, but they’re really good, so if you get through the remainder of the list, take a expression. Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets. Duchess of Malfi by Webster. The Sisters Rosenzweig by Wendy Wasserstein. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre. Look Back in Anger by John Osborne. The Importance of Bing Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

PENULTIMATE NOTE ABOUT BEING A WRITER I make it a point to make at least one thing each twenty-four hours to foster my calling. Writing is difficult, frequently frustrating work. It 's of import to maintain traveling frontward, both in footings of your trade and the concern terminal of your calling ( when you 're ready ) . The one thing you do could be to compose or sketch a play, to direct out a entry, to read a play or even merely to believe about one of your dramas. But do something. If you want to be a author, acquire out at that place and be one. Good fortune. THE ABSOLUTE LAST WORD, BUT MAYBE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING Write plays that shake—plays that shingle with your energy and passion, plays that agitate us up. As a dramatist, you have enormous power to impact people in a unrecorded theatre. Do n't blow it writing dramas that are rational exercisings in camouflage, or dramas that are wannabe situation comedies. Plaies are meant to sway the world—sometimes merely a bantam corner of it—so get to it.

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