How to Become a Playwright

Playwrights are passionate, creative people who write new plays and adapt existing novels into plays. They are also often tasked with the important job of creating modern versions of older plays and translating foreign plays into different languages. 

Playwrights pour their hearts and souls into every play they write, and they can be overjoyed when they finally get to see their hard work pay off in the form of a theater performance. If you’re an avid writer who dreams of one day seeing their name appear in a famous playscript, you might be able to break into the industry by doing some of the following things. 

Read Plenty of Playscripts

If you don’t have any previous experience in theater, reading through the playscripts of famous playwrights like Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, and Tennessee Williams can be an excellent place to start. Read a range of playscripts to familiarize yourself with the different styles, and pay attention to how they’re structured from page to page. The more playscripts you read, the more familiar with the format you generally become, and the easier it might be for you to craft your own in the future. 

Attend Shows

Whether you have professional or amateur theater shows in your area, attend as many as you can. Not only can you familiarize yourself with famous actors, but you can start connecting how the playscripts you’ve read translate on the stage.   

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If it helps, consider reading through playscripts for famous shows before attending them in person. When you see how scenes play out and how actors follow the instructions listed in the playscripts, you might be more conscious about the actions and movements you describe in your future scripts. 

Get Involved

Even if you’ve never had any experience in theaters or plays before, that doesn’t mean you’ll always be an outsider. Alongside reading playscripts and attending shows, you can also volunteer your time to be a part of them. 

Start following your local theater company’s social media pages and contact them to inquire about possible volunteering or acting opportunities. The more time you spend with drama clubs, acting classes, and theater companies, the more you can learn about plays, how they work, and what makes them successful. 

Join a Writing Group

You might be passionate about plays and one day writing your own, but it can be frustrating to get started when you don’t think your writing skills are up to scratch. Fortunately, writing is a learned skill. Consider joining a writing group or class to help you master the basics, such as spelling, grammar, paragraphs, formatting, and sentence structure. Such courses tend to be affordable or even free and can provide you with a wealth of knowledge you can put to good use. 

Start Writing

You don’t need qualifications or degrees to become a playwright. You just need to start. Use your previous knowledge of plays and playscripts and start writing a script you believe will grab people’s attention for all the right reasons. You might not get it right the first time, but the more effort you put in, the easier it might be to have your future work noticed by the right people. 

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If becoming a playwright is your dream career, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve your goals. Work hard, familiarize yourself with the industry, and start writing. At a minimum, you’ll find something that holds your passion and makes you happy. 

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