Writing for theatre


DramaOrangeWhat I offer on this blog are some tips and tricks for new playwrights. My advice is based mainly on my time bent over the keyboard in pursuit of the art of writing for the stage. However, insights also come from what I have learned from others and from study. Essentially, I am describing how I write plays in the hope that this, in some way, may be of use to you. It is certainly not intended to be definitive or exhaustive in any way. My views on the subject represents but one approach. Personal preferences and subjective values are always part of the creative mix and often influence how, what and why we write.

Writing for performance is a practical kind of writing, as it has to work in the physical world of a flesh and blood actor. A writer of plays should therefore have some understanding of the acting process as well as a rudimentary understanding of stagecraft. Going to theatre and/or working in theatre is a great way to learn some of the fundamentals.

At the risk of stating the obvious, new playwrights should note that they are writing performance texts not literature, although the two do not preclude each other as the works of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Miller and many other greats testify. In fact, it is the marriage of beautiful language and an understanding of the physical form in which that language operates that makes these writers great.

This is a work in progress and always in draft form. You never stop learning.