How to make a theatrical script?

Muhammad Usman Babar
7 min readJul 30, 2020

Do you have an original idea in mind that you want to turn into a play? Your biggest problem is that you don’t know where to start. The theater genre has been consolidated for decades. Thanks to well-known playwrights who have transferred the theater to all spheres of society. Many people believe that writing a play is somewhat far-fetched and expensive … But nothing is further from reality. The theater is more alive than ever and with sufficient knowledge on the subject, it is possible to create effective and original theatrical scripts. From Studyspecial we want to help you by offering you a guide on how to make a theatrical script step by step. We detail the steps to follow and some recommendations for you to start working on writing your work. Open the curtain and get started on this adventure!

What is a theatrical script

A theatrical script is a text that details all the elements and actions that make up a play. It is aimed at those who participate in the work and contains all the dialogues and technical or artistic details necessary to carry it out.

The theatrical script specifies all the details that must be taken into account for the staging. As well as the guidelines to be followed by its participants: actors, directors, technicians, etc. This text contains all the elements that will give life to the work, such as the dialogues, the actions, the type of wardrobe, the lighting or the set so that we could say that the script is in charge of launching the common thread of the story that you want to tell.

Whether you want to make a short theatrical script (perfect for beginners) or if you want to create a longer play, the script must be well detailed.

Parts of a theatrical script

Wondering what is the structure of a theatrical script? As we have seen, the script specifies all the details of the work to be presented. In this case, it should be noted that the structure of a theatrical script must have a beginning, a knot, and an outcome. However, we have already seen that there are many elements of a theatrical script that we must include.

Thus, we will not only talk about the structure but all the parts of a theatrical script, which are the following:

Title of the work

The title of any work is essential for the public to identify it.


In turn, these are divided into main and secondary. You must define very well the personality and characteristics of each character. And, if possible, how he is dressed and even what internal conflicts he has (if it is relevant to the story).


This is one of the most important elements in a theatrical script since it will give guidelines on the changes of sets and the movement, arrangement, and gestures of the actors on stage. Here all the details that the playwright deems necessary for the correct realization and interpretation of the work can be written down.


The acts refer to each of the parts of the work and are listed. The passage from one act to another implies a change in the scenery.


It is within the same act and refers to the characters that appear on stage, so a change of scene would mean a change of characters or character disposition.


It is an element integrated into a scene that represents situations or brief dialogues that can be independent of the common thread of the story. In the paintings, you may or may not change the scenery.


They are the texts that the actors interpret.


his happens when a single character is found on stage who interprets a text for himself, for other characters who are not on stage or for the public.

Features of a theatrical script

We have already talked about the main elements of a theatrical script, however, depending on the type of play you are working on, it must meet certain characteristics or others. These are the main characteristics of a theatrical script that you should know:

Coherent structure

A good theatrical script must be provided with a certain structure that allows the coherent performance of the play. A linear structure in a play is made up of the introduction, the knot, and the denouement, so that the common thread of the play has to be consistent from beginning to end. Although this structure is indeed the standard when it comes to writing theatrical scripts — and the most recommended for beginners — some playwrights go beyond these limits and settle in more experimental structures.

Concrete scenographic details

This implies a detailed description by the author of each of the elements that must appear in the staging during the work.

Clear dialogues

They are all those conversations that form a play. These must be specified with a hyphen, the name of the character, and two points that precede the text to be interpreted. Dialogues are one of the most important elements of any work and you have to work them very well.

Character Action

A theatrical script needs to specify the actions of the characters in the story to make sense of the play and help actors better interpret their dialogues.

Before you start writing your play, you can always take a look at a good theatrical script example for inspiration. It does not need to be the script of a great and popular play, but by analyzing an example of a short theatrical script you can get a clear idea of ​​the order that all these elements should follow.

How to make a theatrical script step by step

Once each of the parts and elements of a theatrical script is clear, you can start working on your script. For this, we propose some initial questions that any playwright should ask himself before starting to write his work.

What story do I want to tell?

You have to think carefully about what you want to tell, transmit, make visible, or expose in the work. It is advisable to focus on a specific idea or a situation that serves as a starting point. This will give better results than a great abstract idea.

How am I going to tell the story?

Once you have clear the main plot of the play, you will have to detail the structure of your narrative thread. Is it going to be something linear and coherent? Will it have an introduction, conflict, and solution, or will it be an open ending?

How many characters are there and what are they like?

You must define what the personality of each of them will be like. This involves hard creative work and possibly is the backbone of the work. It takes a lot of time to define all the details that affect our characters. Remember that you must be credible and have to differentiate yourself well from each other.

What type of decoration will my work have?

he next steps will be to identify in what time, place, and/or circumstances the theatrical work will be set. In this way, you will be able to get an idea of ​​the ornaments and scenery that must be inserted in each staging.

How do I finish?

You have to be clear about how to resolve the conflict in the story. And, if it is an open ending, think about the possible interpretations that the audience can give. You should always try to guide the work towards what you want to convey.

Steps to make a theatrical script

Do you already know what you want to tell and how are you going to do it? If so, follow the steps we provide from to develop a good theatrical script.

  • Make a draft or a scale of the work that contains the acts and scenes. Always detailing what is happening in each part.
  • Do not be in a hurry to finish your theatrical script. We recommend that you make as many drafts as necessary until you feel convinced of your work.
  • Once you have the acts and scenes more or less well defined, start writing the dialogues. Remember that you have to do it consistently. So don’t spend too much time embellishing these dialogues, for that there will be time towards the end.
  • Try to make the dialogue fit well with the definition of the personality of each character.
  • Write down the dimensions that you think are necessary. A trick for this is to imagine that you see the work from the outside to identify all the details of the actions, the lighting, the stage, etc. That is relevant so that the story takes on the desired meaning.
  • Once you have written the acts, the scenes, the dialogues, and the dimensions, it will be time to polish all the details of the work. So that it is as complete as possible. In the case of dialogues, for example, you will have to rewrite them to give them a natural touch (you can even record yourself saying them). It is possible that throughout this step new dimensions appear that you will have to include referring, above all, to gestures and non-textual reactions of the characters.
  • When you finish these steps, you can reread and continue polishing the work. Until you get the desired results and close the script with a good ending.
  • We recommend that the last step is to choose the title. Although many prefer to do it at first. But most playwrights need to see the finished play to get inspired to find a good title that fits.

Originally published at on July 30, 2020.