|Write a one-act play. In fifteen minutes of stage
time, show character, setting, a situation, a struggle,
and the climax of an action. Perhaps this climax will be
a turning point in your character’s life.
Once you have chosen a character and decided upon the
conflict your character must undergo, then you need to
use the tools of playwriting to focus the action. You
only have about fifteen minutes of stage time to present
a complete action. Use the setting of your scene and an
igniting action to focus the conflict of your play.
In a play we write about the day when something
important happens. Plays are like a gathering storm that
finally breaks! Plays occur on days unlike any other
day. They occur on crisis days. People are in trouble.
Desires are starting to boil. Something has happened
which has turned up the heat! Start your play near the
climax. What is the igniting action of your play?
Conflict is the lens which reveals the true nature of
character: how the individual responds to the challenge
Think about what you can make happen that will best
bring out the conflict in the action. What is your
1) Describe the setting of your play.
- Be specific. Do a thorough description
of the setting. Convey the mood of your
character’s state of mind in your
description of the landscape in which he or
she exists. Detail will bring your scene to
2) Igniting Action
|What makes this day different from any
- The Boat carrying Prospero's enemies arrives on his island.
- A Gentleman Caller comes to Laura's home.
- Biff Loman comes home to help his family cope with his father's illness.
3) Write Stage Directions in Parentheses
- Explain the important physical
movements that the characters take on stage.
4) Include a monologue in your play if you wish.
- Monologues come from a character’s
deeply felt need to say something, to reveal
something about themselves. Characters at a
turning point need to tell people what
brought them there.
- The character may be explaining himself,
confessing, deceiving, winning someone over,
figuring out something, building up courage,
or coming up with a plan. What does your
character really need to tell? Your
monologue can take the form of a memory, a
dream, a confession, a revelation, a plan, a
philosophy or a story.
- Think about what you learned about your
character that you hadn’t known before you
wrote your monologue. Think about how this
new knowledge may teach you to sharpen the
5) Get inside your main character. Know your
character’s agenda at all times. Think about your
character’s agenda at all times. In a play the people
have clear desires and wants. They are in active pursuit
of their objectives. They carry their desires like
spears into the circle of action.