Contrary to what their title would have you believe, playwrights do a lot more than just writing plays. They also plan them. See? There's a ton of diversity in their workdays.
|4th Grade||Language Arts|
|Elementary and Middle School||4th Grade|
Otherwise, you might end up in the rainforest without a raincoat or on the beach without [Girl in rainforest and begins to rain]
sunscreen… and that might just ruin your cool, free trip.
Anyway, that whole "planning" idea doesn’t just apply to adventures. [People on a rollercoaster]
It can be useful for all sorts of things, including writing a play.
An author doesn't just sit down and launch straight into writing a play. [Person scribbling on paper]
Well…maybe some of them do.
To each their own!
But some author's like to plan.
Some authors like to plan a lot. [Man drops stack of papers on author]
First, they have to decide how many characters there will be and what those characters will
Playwrights don’t get to speak to their audiences directly; they have to do it through
their characters, so it's pretty important to get this right.
So let's say our author's play has a grumpy old man, an excitable young child, a sassy [Play characters appear]
teenager girl, and an evil mad scientist.
These characters become the playwright's “Cast of Characters.”
Next up, the playwright must decide where the play will be set.
Whether it’s a city in present day or a village in the medieval ages, it’s pretty
crucial to write down and describe the setting. [Person writing down the play settings]
Otherwise all those characters will be just, like, floating in space or something.
Which could be cool.
Y'know, if you have a really talented set designer… [Characters floating in space]
The third planning step is to figure out what the big conflict of the play is.
After all, without a conflict, a play would just be a bunch of people being boring.
So yeah, the conflict is pretty important.
Finally, the playwright must plan out their plot. [Coop discussing step four of planning]
Once they know the conflict, they can work around it to build a beginning, middle and end.
How do the characters get themselves into the conflict? [Boy in a dingy and sharks circle]
And how do they get themselves out?
This is arguably the hardest part, as it requires working out all the details of the story. [A ladder appears and a shark eats the man]
But, hey, once all the work is done, the play is pretty much on the floor in a bunch of
separate pieces just waiting to be assembled.
Just don’t forget your screwdriver.
Writing a play with a screwdriver would be pretty tough. [Man holding a screwdriver and piece of paper]