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Writing a play script

The other main task you can be asked to do as part of a drama subject or unit is to write part of a script for a play. Sometimes you’ll be asked to write a script from scratch. Sometimes you’ll be given a theme or topic, or some strange requirement. For instance, you might have to have two blind characters in the play. Sometimes you may have to rewrite an existing play, often a famous one by someone like Shakespeare or Neil Simon.

The first thing to realise is that because you have limited time, there’s no way you’re going to be able to write a full-length play. This means several things. In a longer play, the writer has the luxury of developing the characters. In a five-minute performance, you can’t really do this. A full-length play can have several different scenes set in different places. In a short play, it’s best to stick to one setting; otherwise, you waste valuable minutes changing the set. In a long play, you can have multiple costume changes, but you don’t have the time in a shorter play to do this. These are just some of the considerations you’ll have to think about, things that make writing a short script different to a full-length play.