Helping new and experienced playwrights improve their craft

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General Formatting Guidelines for Stage Play Manuscripts

by Samuel French Inc., 2008

Writing a Story: Kirk Bowman

The characters, the setting and the conflicts are all important when writing a story. Learn some tips for your story from our writing expert in this free video clip.

Bio: Kirk Bowman is a Los Angeles-based playwright. He majored in both Theater and Cinema at USC. 

Playwriting by Ian Finley

Ian Finley a teacher at Research Triangle High School gives a great overview of Drama in this video. Below you’ll find the sequence of videos on Playwriting from Character development through Manuscript formatting.

Playwriting: Character & Voice

Conflict & Dialogue


Playwriting: Structure

Advanced Structure

Manuscript Format

The National Theatre (UK)
Playwriting Playlist

Interested in playwriting? Want to know how to create characters? What is your writing style? How do you get started? Leading playwrights explain key elements of a well-written play in this collection of short videos, offering practical advice and support.

  • Playwriting: The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Adly Guirgis interview
  • How to create characters
  • Alan Ayckbourn in conversation
  • Top tips for writers
  • Simon Stephens on playwriting
  • Polly Stenham on playwriting
  • How do you write?
  • An intro to verbatim theater
  • How to write Dialogue
  • How to build a plot
  • Metaphors in theater
  • Finding a writing style
  • David Hare on playwriting
  • Politics in theater
  • How to structure a scene
  • Katori Hall on playwriting
  • Playwriting advice: Get it written
  • Playwriting advice: Give the Devil your best lines
  • Playwriting advice: Plan your story
  •  James Graham on playwriting
  • Playwriting advice: Write what you know
  • Playwriting advice: Write what you want to learn about
  • Playwriting advice: Don’t be boring
  • Playwriting advice: Do it because you have to
  • Playwriting advice: Carry a notebook
  • Entry Pass Q and A with Mike Leigh
  • Sean O’Casey – his life and work
  • The ethics of verbatim theater
  • A guide to creating verbatim theater

How To Write A Review

British theatre critic, writer and journalist, Lyn Gardner gives us her top tips on writing a review.