The Secrets to Becoming a Playwright

If you aspire to become a playwright, learning the technique and acquiring the skill can be intimidating. Even experienced authors travel down a bumpy road to arrive in the area of playwright. This is because plays have naturally occurring moments that should be seen by an audience, rather than read. Many novice playwrights spend a great deal of time pouring over their first drafts, inserting every little detail in a crude attempt to perfect the art.

As a playwright, you must learn to work with a team, the cast and crew as well as producers, rather than alone. In the end, the journey is incredibly rewarding, as there are few things in life that are more pleasing than seeing that an audience is captivated by the world that you have brought to life on the stage of the theatre. You have so many amazing productions that are locked in your mind just waiting to be released. Here are some secrets to becoming a playwright to help you along your way.

1. Know Your Role

Your job as the playwright is much simpler than it may initially seem. Your role is to simply write the script for your play. The beauty of theatre is that every production is done as a team. You worry about the script itself and let the actors work their talents in to produce the magic of standing, walking, sighing and all the other little additives. Do not worry about costumes, zoning, marketing or lights; worry about your part and your part alone: the script. The director and producer will make sure it really comes to life.

2. Attend Read-Throughs

Attend read-throughs of your script and bring a notebook to jot down any details about elements that are or are not working. Your script might sound great, or poor, in your head, then sound completely different when the actors read it out loud. Be prepared to give comments, but avoid interrupting the cast. As people approach you with their own commentary, learn to decipher what will help you to become a better written and what is simply criticism with an agenda.

3. Write in Actions

Keep in mind that every word that is written in a script correlates with an action. Plays should be flowing, moving seamlessly from one action to the next. Provide the words as a vessel to carry these actions and prevent the audience from falling into a state of boredom.

4. Keep an Open Mind

As the theatre team begins to bring your production to life, keep an open mind and be willing to re-write scenes on a daily basis. The director, actors or crew might have suggestions that bring your play to the next level. Allow them to bring their natural skill and great insight to the stage and make your play one that is worth watching.

Of course, one of the first steps to becoming a playwright is to get involved with the theatre and learn its mechanics. Lionheart Theatre Company has a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. For more information, contact us today!

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