Archive for the Category » acting «

How To Format Your (Self-published) Stage Play

TS.   Now that the traditional publishers have turned you down, file away that rejection letter,  soothe your fragile writer’s ego with a hot cup of tea, some chocolate, or whatever and self-publish your play. 

 It’s important to know that the correct way to format a stage play for submitting (to a publisher, agent or theatre) is very similar to the format used when publishing it. Below is a sample of the correct formatting. 

List of  Characters:  I noticed that in the Dramatists Play Service scripts, they do not list the ages of the characters.  I know from experience that a director wants to have this information immediately when choosing a play.  What if they don’t have an eighty-year old, male who can act?  Make-up can only go so far!  Ethnicity is rarely listed but there are exceptions. But, generally, no. What if the director has a different vision for casting?

Sample: 

CAST OF CHARACTERS  (Place on the 3rd or 4th page after title, playwright’s name, Copyright notices.etc.)

                                                                       CAST OF CHARACTERS (centered.)

Emma ~~ A young earthling girl
Stare ~~ A rhetorical owl
Donald ~~ A young fairie
Cheets ~~ a rambunctious elf
Patsy ~~ A large banana spider
Agnes & Annie ~~ the sister Aardvarks
Thomas ~~ the sea-faring sea turtle
Bertie ~~ the resident reading teacher

SETTING
The Fabled Forest
TIME
Present day. 

Format Sample:

(From my published children’s play, “Emma and the Aardvarks”© ) The formatting of the Dramatist Play Service (publishers) do use parentheses when formatting the blocking. It is jumbled into dialogue even though it does not pertain to that particular character’s ‘action’.  I find this very distracting but I am certain it has to do with production costs and keeping the page count down. Blocking direction is indented, italicized and in parentheses. Line spacing is 1.15 instead of single-spaced. Character’s names are all in CAPS, centered, and not italicized. Before dialogue, Characters’ names are all in CAPS with a period. Blocking is indented x 2. Scene breaks should be on the next (right) page. There are no extra line-spaces between blocking and dialogue except if there is a ‘beat’ when the same character pauses. Be certain to leave plenty of white space for the actors/director’s written notes. I prefer the format used by (my publisher) Samuel French, Inc. which you see below:

 

ACT II  (centered & underlined.)

 

Scene 2

At Rise:   A clearing in the fabled forest.

(EMMA and MRS. MOSEYALONG are sitting together on the grass. The PUPPIES are rolling around, play fighting, in the grass as puppies do. CHEETS is trying to get into the play. AGNES and ANNIE sit across from THEM reading THEIR book on Australia.)

MRS. MOSEYALONG

Let me assure you, Emma, we hunt and eat impala, Thomson’s gazelle and common wildebeest. Also, smaller animals such as dik-dik and warthogs.

CHEETS
(Stopping HIS play with the PUPS.)

That’s a funny word. Dik-dik. (Demanding.) Cheets wants to know what it means.

                                                                     EMMA

Manners, Cheets. Perhaps you could ask Mrs. Moseyalong about dik-diks.

                                                                 CHEETS

Cheets wants to know about dik-diks.

                                                                  STARE

Who?

                     (EMMA sighs.)                                             

                                                   MRS. MOSEYALONG

It’s all right, Emma. Sometimes my pups can be very rude. (To Cheets.) Dik-diks are a small antelope.  We don’t hunt Aardvarks. We find their meat far too fatty.

                                                         AGNES
                                                   (Over-hearing.)

I beg your pardon. We are not fatty.  Really! Annie, did you hear what that dog said about us?

                                                         ANNIE

Oh, I don’t think she meant⸺

                                          MRS. MOSEYALONG
                                       (Speaking simultaneously.)

I didn’t mean⸺

                                                   AGNES

Really! The nerve of some dogs.

                                       MRS. MOSEYALONG
                              (Turning back to Emma and Cheets.)
                                   
Dik-dik live in the bushland of Africa. Sadly, they are being driven to extinction in some parts of our homeland. We try to eat other things.

                                                    PATSY
                                 (Knitting her web furiously.)

Iii–Eee!  Los pequeños, los cachorros! Mrs! Your children are destroying my web. Mira! See what they have done.

                            (Slowly rising, SHE crosses to where HER pups are bumping into the lower strands of Patsy’s web. SHE  growls once deep in HER throat.)

                                   MRS. MOSEYALONG

Grrrrrr⸺         

                                     (The PUPS instantly stop THEIR play and run to THEIR mother’s side, whining and kissing HER  face.)

                                     MRS. MOSEYALONG

I apologize, Miss Patsy. My pups are careless but mean no harm.

                                                   PATSY

Dios mío, qué molestia! My beautiful web. Now I will have to repair. Go away! I am very⸺how you say⸺ocupada.

                                     (MRS. MOSEYALONG leads HER litter to the other   side of the glen, where EMMA is sitting. ROGER, JAX  and SERENGETI pile into EMMA’s lap and EMMA   falls back in the grass, laughing.)

                                    (FERGUS and DONALD enter.)

                                   MRS. MOSEYALONG

Good morning, Sir Fergus, Mr. Donald. (Turning to her pups.) Quiet down, children.

                                    (The PUPPIES, stop their wrestling atop EMMA and sit  at attention watching the adults. EMMA sits up.)

                                                  EMMA

Good morning. Sir Fergus, did you rest well? 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you need help Formatting a Novel?                                        

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To correctly format your stage play for submitting to publishers, agents, directors click here.  

Look Inside a script: Click Here 
How To Format a Screenplay
Journals by Trisha Sugarek
Want to see some original plays? Click here. 
47 Short Plays to choose from. Click here.
Fiction by Trisha Sugarek  
Children’s Books by Sugarek
How to Create a Tantalizing Book Cover 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 This exciting, instructional book is a collection of tips covering over twenty+ years of experience. Within its pages is a snapshot of the writer  honing  her craft over time.

Thirty-five writing tips that include:

That first, all important, sentence
How to develop rich characters
Writer’s Block
Procrastination
Writing process
Many more words of encouragement and tips, including quotes from successful writers such as yourself.

Takes the ‘scary’ out of writing!

Order here!

How To Write a Play  Click Here
How To Format a Stage Play  Click Here
How to Write a Ten Minute Play

How To Format a Screenplay
How to
Format Your Novel
Want to try writing a ten minute play?  Click here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DON’T MISS MY BLOG with twice-weekly posts.  Also featuring INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS! with me once a month . We shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  on the home page; enter your email address. I love comments too!  Take the time to write one at the bottom of the post. Thanks!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Available now!

To Purchase

 

New Short Play, Trans-G Parents

Book #30 in the ShortN’Small Series of short, one act plays.   The Trans-G Parents

 A look into the world of the parents who are trying to do the right thing…support their child….love their child…sometimes
even save their life.  Their child is confused and frightened by their physical being telling them they are one gender
while their heart, soul and mind are telling them that they are another.

This short play’s setting is a support group for parents. Resigned, angry, confused, religious, experienced and lost,
they come together out of a common desperation.  Some handling the situation much better than others.

The script offers an insightful and educational dialogue from parents.  There is no manual on parenting much
less facing the challenges of this gender affirmation generation. 6f. 5m.

 

TS.  This seemed like a natural sequel to the Trans-G Kid, another short play by this playwright. Inspired by the television documentary, The Gender Revolution. 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   December: Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series. January was Dinah Jefferies and February’s author is Sheryl Steines. Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in March.
Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

Dreams Do Come True!

It took me two years of gentle prodding to finally get my foot (in this case, scripts) in the door of a Manhattan (NYC) book store. This drama book store has been around forever and is the only exclusive script store in the City.  To use the buyer’s expression, “we just have so much real estate” so I am doubly grateful that my books are included in their limited shelf space.

Cyber.Hate.BookCoverImageJust today I filled another order for my scripts and Journals.  Theatre people and writers are BUYING my books and using them.  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  And I’m always surprised by what is selling.

And just recently a  publishing house contracted with me to publish Book 1, The Art of Murder, in my true crime series. Not for a second will I discontinue my self-publishing of my other books.  It is a highly efficient and successful way to get your books out to the reading public with very little cost to you, the writer.

Ten.Minutes.Curtain.Vol.ICover3,200_

 

 

Possession.BookCoverImageWRITERS!  Never give up!  Sometimes it will take you years of perseverance to achieve your goals. The three top tips that I can give you is:

  1. Never stop writing!  You will only become more skilled in your craft.
    2. Keep knocking on doors, whether it is a brick & mortar book store, a publisher, or a literary agent.
    3. Self publish.  It’s free on some sites to build your book.  Your only cost will be the royalty when a book is sold.

    CW.Cover.Scan

    Best Seller!

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DON’T MISS BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!       Julia London, Matt Jorgenson, MJ Mooresand actor/narrator Tavia Gilbert.  March’s featured author is Susie Drougas and long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House) in April.

To receive  my  blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  sign up on the home page and enter your email address.  I love comments!  Take the time to write one at the bottom of the post.

 

The Trans-G Kid, a New Short Play

NEW in my collection of ten minute plays for the classroom or drama department.

Trans.G.BookCoverPreview.doThe Trans-G Kid

I was inspired recently, watching celebrity transgender headlines, to add to my collection of ten minute plays for the classroom. The media has put a ‘better late than never’ and much needed spotlight on the teenagers who are seeking their ‘true selves’. In the process, these teens have been living in fear, confusion and depression, having to hide their feelings. Alone, with a huge secret, many of them look to suicide as a permanent solution to end their pain and uncertainty. The suicide statistics in the teen transgender community is staggering.

The Trans-G Kid was born. My short plays for the classroom cover teen issues in real time. Bullying, cutting, running away, teen dating violence, suicide, drugs, and broken families. If my play opens a single dialogue between student and teacher or child and parent I will consider myself a success! more »

Shakespeare…The Gift that Keeps on Giving

William ShakespeareThe ‘naked truth‘ is, I’ll bet you can’t count the number of times you use one or more of these euphemisms in your every day conversation.  I doubt old Will realized where his words would travel to and for how long.  We writers just hope someone will read what we write. But, to have one’s words live on, after we’re ‘dead as a doornail‘ and not ‘vanish into thin air’ decades or centuries later, well, the possibility makes my ‘hair stand on end‘.

Yeah, I’m playing with you.

William Shakespeare wasn’t born (1564) famous… more »

My Kids Play Opens in Cape Charles

greed, ecology, elves, warlords, love, friendshipThe Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf  opens tomorrow at the Historic Palace Theatre in Cape Charles, VA.  That’s three openings for me this month; Chicago, Connecticut and now Cape Charles!
See?  Dreams Do Come True!  I am just thrilled!

Synopsis: In this stand alone sequel to “Emma and the Lost Unicorn”, Emma is held captive in Patsy, the Banana Spider’s web. No one can see her except the irrepressible elf, Cheets. Everyone in the forest has been searching for Emma to no avail and given his reputation, no one believes Cheets… more »

Letters to Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon

Catie708979_n

Catie on the right

fairy tales, fables, elves, fairies, running away, audio booksRecently The Eastford Elementary School in Eastford, CT began rehearsals for my children’ play, Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon, directed by Catie Protonson.  The kids have really been working hard and I have enjoyed every minute of watching them through FB.

I suggested to the young actors that they write each other a letter, in character.  Here are some of the letters….and photos from rehearsals. more »

Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare!

Richard.IIIToday is William Shakespeare’s birthday and I thought what a perfect time for dig out my old tried and true monologue that I used for 25+ years when auditioning as an actor.

When you stand in front of a director and his usual team (a stage manager, an assistant director, etc.)and you tell them your name and what monologue you will be presenting, (in my case) Lady Anne from Richard III.  I always enjoyed watching their faces; knowing the inward groan…’Oh, crap!  Not Anne again… I would smile knowing what they were thinking.   more »

Nostalgia….’Our Lady of the Tortilla’

Our Lady of the Tortilla

Our Lady of the Tortilla

Recently one of my writer friends asked me about ‘Our Lady of the Tortilla‘ by Luis Santeiro. Directed by yours truly in 2003-2004 season at the Harbor Playhouse, Corpus Christi, Texas. It got back to  me that the well established directors said, with a sneer, that they didn’t want to direct ‘that little Mexican play’. Since I was new to the area, and trying to establish myself at Harbor, I jumped at the chance to direct anything.

That little Mexican play’ sold out every weekend.   It was heartwarming to see new faces (in  the Harbor Playhouse audience) including Catholic priests, nuns, and Hispanics who needed an interpreter.  more »

The Early Days of Rehearsal…Stanley the Stalwart Dragon

Elem.Sch.#4n Elem.Sch.#3n Elem.Sch.#2_n Elem.School#1_nEastford Elementary School Drama Dept. (Connecticut)  begins rehearsal for their production of “Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon” by Trisha Sugarek.

Opens in May 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS! April’s author is Jodi Thomas. June’s author is mega-superstar, Dorothea Benton Frank.
To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  I love comments!  Take the time to write one at the bottom of the post.   Thanks!