Tips for Young Playwrights

• There are typically two or three acts in a full-length play, with one intermission. One act full-length plays exist as well. It is very unlikely that a play under about 50 pages will need an act break, so you will likely be writing a one act play.

• Concentrate on creating well-developed characters. Plays do not need large casts to be enjoyable and impactful and you should avoid writing more characters than absolutely necessary.

Write what you know. Plays should come from both your imagination and your experience.

Edit, edit, edit! Read your finished play over several times, out loud if possible. You may want to enlist family and friends to do a read through for you so that you can hear what works and what doesn’t. Ask others for feedback. Leave time to rewrite. Make sure that you run a spellcheck on your play before submitting it!

• There’s no one way to format a play – it just has to be easy for the actors to read. That being said, all formats should have common elements: scenes, stage directions and clear character names. For an example of play formatting, click here.