A guide for those who are not familiar with reading screenplays.

Each numbered section (scene heading) is a particular scene / setting of the story.  Each of these may contain a number of camera opportunities and angles. There are also action lines and dialogue.  At times there may be brief descriptions to assist in scene visualisation.

The abbreviation EXT means an outside scene, whereas INT means an inside scene eg INT a car or a barn or a house etc.  CONTINUOUS (or CONT) means that the scenes run together in real time.

Some other abbreviations you may see are POV (point of view); VO (voice over); OS (off screen).

The last part of the scene heading denotes the time of day when the scene occurs eg DAY; NIGHT; SUNSET etc.

FADE OUTs denote a passage of time or a significant change or shift of direction in the screenplay.  All FADE OUTs are always followed by a FADE IN.

It is accepted practice to capitalise SOUNDS and CHARACTERS NAMES at different times.

When reading try to visualise the characters and action as if a movie.  For short screenplays read the lot in one go!!

Some help for those not familiar with reading theatrical plays.

With a One Act Play it is best to read it all in one sitting.  So find a nice lounge chair – grab a cuppa, relax and enjoy.

You should be able to paint yourself a mind picture of the scenario after the initial introduction of characters, setting and time.

The characters will develop as you read on, and you will automatically alocate them there own ‘voice’ as you read their dialogue.

OS = off stage.  VO = voice over

Capitals are commonly used for SOUND and also for the character’s NAME

Italics are commonly used for action which are also bracketted – (he walks over)

Great PARTY ideas!!

Most of us are familiar with the Murder Mystery party ideas or the How to Host a Murder party plans that you can buy in the store.  Now this is way cheaper (less than the price of a cup of coffee) and a lot more original.

Use the script from a One Act Play.  Your guests can each be given a role to play out.  My One Act Plays are all set in a single location so this makes it easy.

Whatever props you need you can find in your own home.  In some instances you may need to improvise eg I don’t want you having syringes and needles for your guests as seen in the play “Vaccine” (it’s NOT that sort of party!!)

I would suggest dividing the play into at least two parts – with a meal or drinks break along the way.

Dressing to a role can add depth and a lot of fun too!

Be an ACTOR in your own home!!













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