How to Write a Children’s Play

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Isn’t it fun to see a play? It may even be fun to be in one, or fun to write one.
What would it be like to write a play for children? This passage will give you some ideas about how to write a play for children like you.
Writing a play has some things in common with writing a story because a play is another way of telling a story. Like a written story, a play will usually have a plot or main idea and may have subplots. It usually has at least one major character and may have minor characters, costumes, and scenery other than an undecorated stage or performing area. Thinking up an idea for a play is similar to thinking up an idea for a story. An idea can come from anywhere – your own experiences, or the experiences of others you have seen through a play, movie or concert or read in a story.
The story that the play tells is written in a document called a script. Actors have to memorize their lines in the script so they can speak the words to a live audience or a video or movie camera. Besides containing actors’ lines, a script usually gives details about the scenery (so the set designer and builder know what to build), time period in which the play takes place, time of day or night each scene takes place (for the person deciding how to light the stage), costumes, when an actor is onstage or offstage, when music is played or sung and when dancing is performed.
If there is dancing, instructions are given to the dancers about the movements involved. These instructions are called choreography. If there is music, instructions are given to the singers and musicians in printed sheet music that shows the notes and the timing of the notes. Writing a play that includes actors, dancers, and musicians usually require a team with members who understand acting, dancing and music. It is rare that one person is an expert in all three areas.
Now that you understand what is involved in writing a play, you can get started. Who knows – maybe you will write one so entertaining that a director will want to have it performed at a school or theater! Good luck!!

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Word Lists:

Memorize : commit to memory; learn by heart

Scenery : the natural features of a landscape considered in terms of their appearance, especially when picturesque

Costume : a set of clothes in a style typical of a particular country or historical period

Designer : a person who plans the form, look, or workings of something before its being made or built, typically by drawing it in detail

Involved : difficult to comprehend; complicated

Camera : a device for recording visual images in the form of photographs, film, or video signals

Perform : carry out, accomplish, or fulfill (an action, task, or function)

Area : a region or part of a town, a country, or the world


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