So You Want To Write A Play?
By Alexa Kelly
WHAT WE LOOK FOR IN A NEW PLAY:
In brief, when we are looking at a new play, if the title is of interest, the first thing we do is look at the cast list.
You must have a cast list! Do not expect everyone to have to read your play to find out who is in it!
If the cast list looks interesting, multi-ethnic or DO-ABLE (23 characters is NOT do-able, unless you have the budget of the National Theatre in the UK!) Then we look to see what the plot is, what it is about, what it might have to say about the human condition.
All too often, we are sent plays that are NOT plays, they are poems or even essays.
A play must have a plot, and it must have an action/conflict of some sort. It must have an energy/quest or goal, to drive it forward.
One should feel that something was accomplished– someone succeeded, failed, learned or grew on this play’s journey.
We should have become involved, intellectually or emotionally–or preferably BOTH in the time we spent with your characters onstage. To accomplish this, you need to give us PLOT DRIVEN dialogue, not narrative dialogue, or simply dialogue for the sake of talking!
It does not matter how clever your dialogue is, if it does not drive your plot forward, or tell us more about the needs of your characters, then GET RID OF IT.