The Words on the Page

Writing for film, television, and the stage is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult - and most rewarding - art forms. The language needs to be visual and evocative as each script must achieve two important tasks. First, it must be an easy read. On paper, it should tell a compelling story and flow as easily as a novel as, if it doesn't past the first test of being read and enjoyed, it will never amount to anything more than a pile of pages in a drawer. But being an easy read isn't enough. Scripts also have to serve as a blueprint for the finished product and need to tell the story in a manner that allows the reader to picture it in his or her mind's eye. The characters need to be memorable and leap off the page; the story must come to life.


In addition to writing scripts of their own, I believe all writers can learn and benefit from studying scripts that have launched successful movies, television shows, and plays. For the next year, on each Tuesday, I'll be posting my thoughts on a piece.

September 26, 2017

It seems A History of Paper is a completely different animal. Here the focus is on the words, the story. While there were hints of sound throughout, they were in support of the story and, I imagine, would not be at all distracting. I found the script a very interesting...

September 19, 2017

Chuck Mee's plays are in your face. He refers to them as visual collages featuring contrasting scenes around a central theme. In The Mail Order Bride, as in in many of his works, that theme is love. Like all of his work, he borrows from and is influenced by earlier...

September 12, 2017

That's Not How I Remember It fits right in with Zolidis's niche of plays for young people. In addition to having an expandable cast for 13-22 actors, it tells stories from the year 1986. While the high schoolers performing weren't even alive in the 80s, the...

September 5, 2017

Leight wrote Union Square Incident in mid-November for a 24-hour play festival. The election still fresh in most people's minds, he used it as fodder, creating an almost worst-case scenario for his characters, who have all been detained in an unknown holding cell,...

September 1, 2017

Thanks to the Internet, digital publications, and inexpensive self-publication options, the landscape of theatre is changing. While companies like Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing maintain strict submission standards, there are countless companies with open submis...

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