A Lesson by The Expatriate

Learn how to write an easy-to-read style that any actor can use.


Luckily, there is no industry standard for stageplays the same way there is for screenplays. How you format your 10 minute play is really up to you, but it should be easy to read so the actors and directors can have an easier time during read-throughs and rehearsals. 

Generally, stage direction is italicized and within parentheses, which looks like this:

(JACK enters from upstage-right carrying a heavy briefcase. Once JACK reaches center-stage he sets the case down with a sigh.)

Dialogue usually involves the character's name capitalized and above the dialogue or
before the lines themselves with a colon. It could like either of these to forms: (just remember: whichever your choose, be sure to be consistent throughout)

SARAH: I never knew that peaches were so juicy.


I never knew that peaches were so juicy.

All there really is to know about formatting stops at stage direction and dialogue. 

*But for an extra note: 
Most theaters prefer stageplays that are written in Courier or Courier New font (as I have just written the examples in) this is mainly because this font is useful for a rule of thumb in the playwriting business which is "a minute a page", so most 10 minute plays are ten pages long. I have not written any plays in Courier and have gotten off just fine, and all three of my 10 minute plays are more around twelve or fifteen pages. This is just because I format my plays a little differently and causes me to waste more paper (oh well), that's just me though, I would recommend following the standard as closely as possible.

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Posted 5 Years Ago

Funny, I was just editing and reading on WC. I want to change one of my stories to be in play format, so I googled "ten minute play format" and this was the top one, or so. This is helpful, thanks.
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Added on June 5, 2011
Last Updated on June 6, 2011
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The Expatriate
The Expatriate

Prospect, KY

I have written three 10 minute plays and three monologues. I enjoy reading fiction and plan to try writing a few stories or novellas soon. I also like reading poetry though I don't have any consistent..