So, you’re hoping to get your career off the ground by creating your own stage play.  Maybe you have some life events worth re-telling, you were inspired by a friend’s journey, or you’re just inspired by a desire to get your career moving and want to star in the production.  Whatever the case may be, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when developing a stage production, according to The Writer’s Cookbook.

First, you’ll need to have an interesting storyline.  You must have an entertaining plot that will guide the story throughout and take you and your audience from the first act to the final without too many twist and turns.  Your story doesn’t need to be completely linear, but the characters need to understand where they fit and your audience will want to leave without shrugging their shoulders.

If you have an exciting plot in mind, you’ll next need to decide on how the play will be structured.  In other words, you’ll need to decide on the number of acts, and within each of these, the number of scenes.  Sometimes, determining how many scenes you’re hoping to incorporate will depend on the physical limitations of the venue that will be hosting it.  You’ll have to consider how stage transitions will be handled, and whether the venue has all of the needed props.

A big part of effectively writing for the stage is being able to envision how the story will come to life ahead of time.  Remember, sometimes an eye-catching, versatile backdrop can be more effective than props and will be easier to accomplish on a limited budget.  You’ll need to know your audience ahead of time as well.  Think about who will come to see your production.  What demographic is the story best suited for?  This will help you market the product once it’s complete.

Interesting characters are a must.  The audience should be able to identify with the story and its characters.  Plays involve grand, exaggerated gestures and facial expressions that can easily be picked up by the audience.  The characters must communicate skillfully, meaning it should be easy to understand the points they are conveying.  Avoid hard to see body language such as raised eyebrows or hard to hear dialogue, such as “m-hm.”  The wardrobe should also help to distinguish each character but be careful not to require anything too unique or over-the-top.

Above all, have fun!  If you aren’t connecting with what you’re writing, this will show.  Write something that you enjoy and that sparks your interest, and it may just spark the interest of others in the industry.

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