Theatrical script characteristics types functions examples

A  theatrical script  is a text that contains the dialogue and technical details needed in the assembly and performance of a play. It is a roadmap addressed to all those who participate in the work, to guide them in the performance of their duties.

The theatrical script is a guide that a playwright carries out to describe the actions, dialogues, technical or artistic aspects that make a staging possible and whose participants must take into account.

This theatrical text has specific characteristics that allow the story to unfold smoothly, as it contains guidelines that actors, set designers, director, costume designers and other team members must follow.

Theatrical scripts are also made up of some elements that offer unique features. Therefore, they contain the parliaments, the scenes and the acts that bring the story to life, as well as the actions that the characters must perform. The lighting, sound and costumes are contained in it.

General characteristics of theatrical scripts

Some of the most important features of the theatrical script are as follows:


Dialogues or conversations are essential in the theatrical script. This is because, through them, the characters perform actions, express their emotions and thoughts. In addition, the dialogues indicate to the actors the moment of their participation.

scenario data

Every theatrical script has a description of the scenography that accompanies the staging, which determines the time and place where the actions take place. In general, the author of the theater text notes the specific characteristics that each painting in the play must have.


A theatrical script tells a story through an introduction, node, or denouement. In each of them, the author or playwright presents the relevant and striking aspects of the staging, and these details are what usually attract the audience.


The theatrical script has descriptive variety, as it shows the different activities that each member of the organization and the entire human team must carry out. In this class of texts, the tasks and responsibilities of each participant are specified.

In addition to the above, the theatrical script can be: technical script, actor script, director script, lighting technician script, wardrobe script, among others.


Theatrical script is also known or identified with the name of the notebook, theatrical notebook or page. Regardless of how it is called, this type of text must conform to the purpose of exposing the guidelines that must be carried out so that the preparation has an ideal objective.


A theatrical script must fulfill the following functions:

N Serve as a guide for the actors so that they get to know the respective dialogues.

Support the work members so that they know the assembly guidelines.

N Inform everyone about their roles and responsibilities.

-Communicate to the group about the activities and when they will take place during the role-play.

Theatrical script elements

A theatrical script is composed of the following elements:


Characters in the theatrical script are identified by name and are almost always highlighted in bold. This element describes the parliaments or dialogues that an actor must express, as well as indicating the actions and their relevance in the play.

On the other hand, in the theatrical script, the characters can present an appearance order in the staging, as well as several times, according to their importance in the story. Therefore, the characters are major, minor, or referential.


Scenes are those that determine how long characters or actors continue to participate in an action. A scene change is specified in the theatrical script whenever an actor leaves or enters the stage. This element belongs to a larger unit called act.

In other words, scenes detail action, space and time in a dramatic play. For this reason, they are considered a fundamental rhythmic structure of the theatrical setting.


Parliaments in the theatrical script refer to the verbal expression in the form of dialogues or monologues that the characters have. These pronouncements vary in length and duration, according to the character‘s importance in the story. These texts also identify the intervention of some kind of narrator.


It is a brief situation or brief dialogue that takes place within a scene, usually it may or may not change the setting or setting of the play. This element is considered to be integrated by several scenes, while having independence in terms of approach, development and outcome.


An act is the main division of the play, through each of which the most significant events in the story are specified. This element of the theatrical script is usually composed of several scenes and corresponds to the beginning, development and end of the play.

An act is usually identified when the stage lights go out or when the curtain is lowered. In short, the act endows the story that is represented with logic, order, and coherence.


Dimensions are the different notes that the author or playwright shows to publicize the actions, feelings, clothes or entry and exit of a character on stage. To differentiate them from parliaments, they are usually written in parentheses or square brackets.


To present the set of guidelines necessary in the staging of the story, the author must develop 2 types of scripts: the literary and the technical.

literary script

Present in an orderly way the theme of the story, the dialogues of each character and the action they must perform during their presentation.

technical script

Contains the texts, dimensions or comments of the technical team, including: directors, costume designers, makeup artists, sound designers, set designers and others responsible for the production and staging of the theatrical work.

How to make a theatrical script


The first step in creating a theatrical script is to develop the idea of ​​the story you want to tell, whether in the dramatic, comic, horror, adventure genre, or adapting an existing play. This part contains the context in which the preparation will take place, as well as the locations and time.

character development

After the story is chosen for the play, the characters are created. It is necessary to endow them with importance and prominence. This will give you an idea of ​​how many times he will appear in the scene.

Likewise, the author or playwright must specify the physical, psychological and emotional characteristics of each of the characters.


One of the steps applied to the development of a theatrical script is the organization that the play will have. This means that an outline of the beginning, node and end must be made, as well as the number of images, scenes and acts in which the story will be distributed.

script development

After crafting the story, characters, and structure, the final script is written. In it, the characters are identified with their own name, the parliament of each one and the way they enter and leave the scene, the costumes and scenography that accompany their actions are noted.

However, the theater script must have a centered title related to the story of the play. Characters are placed under the title according to their importance. On the other hand, each of the acts is identified with a number and briefly describes the part of the story that is unfolding at that moment.

Then we describe the corresponding box with the description of the environment that surrounds the characters. Then the corresponding scene is recorded, which changes whenever you exit or enter a character. Finally, under the scene identification, the parliaments are written.


Finally, the playwright or theatrical script writer carefully reviews everything he has written. This is done with the aim of ensuring that all elements are organized and that the story is coherent and follows a chronological order.

Examples of theatrical scripts

– The proof of love

Act I

Scene I: School, central courtyard

Maria, Antonieta and Patricia are 2nd year students and are in the school’s central courtyard, resting, dressed in their uniforms.

Maria – (sadly) You know girls, I have something to tell you!

Antonieta – (looks at her face) What’s wrong, friend?

Isabel – (worried) You’re scaring me, tell me quickly what’s wrong?

María – (in a shy voice) This is my boyfriend, Manuel, do you remember? ,

Antoinette, Isabel – (they both look at her face and get up) Of course we know who she is!, but what’s a friend?

Maria – (with tears in her eyes) My boyfriend, Manuel, wants proof of love.

Isabel – (surprise) what happened? He went crazy!

Antoinette – (looks at her amazed face) and what kind of proof do you need?

At that moment, the doorbell rings announcing that the break is over and they must enter the room.

Scene II: Classroom

Teacher – (walking around the room) Good morning everyone, today we are going to talk about dating and romantic relationships. Who has a boyfriend or girlfriends?

Several students raise their hands, but Maria.

Isabel – (with a little doubt, she raises her hand) I have a boyfriend, teacher, and she is asking for proof of love. What should I do?

Maria and Antonieta look at her with anguish and make gestures of complaint.

Teacher – (walking around the room, he approaches Isabel) And what do you think is a proof of love?

Antonieta – (with a shy smile) good teacher, have sex.

Teacher – (she approaches Maria) the love test must be done by your boyfriend, respecting and taking care of them a lot!

Teacher – (walking around the room, she addresses everyone) This is a proof of the purest and truest love and, if she insists, she doesn’t deserve it, because she doesn’t value it.

Isabel, María and Antonieta – (The friends look at each other and shake their heads negatively) no, no, no, I don’t deserve it!

Characters: Isabel, Maria, Antoinette, Teacher.

– House of Bernarda Alba

Federico Garcia Lorca


– Bernarda (60-year-old woman).

– Maria Josefa (Mother of Bernarda).


the bridge.

– woman 1.


– Employee.

– woman 2.


– Beggar.

– woman 3.

– Martyrdom.

– Women in mourning.

– woman 4.


– Girl.

Act I.

Very white room inside Bernarda’s house. Thick walls. Arched door with jute curtains, covered with arbutus and ruffles. Cattle chairs. Paintings with implausible landscapes of nymphs or legendary kings. It’s summer. A great dark silence stretches across the scene. When the curtain rises, the scene is alone. Bells are heard ringing.

(Maid sheets).

– Maid: I already have twice those bells between my temples.

– La Poncia: (goes out eating chorizo ​​and bread). They’ve been gori-gori for over two hours. Priests came from all peoples. The church is beautiful. At the first reply, Magdalena fainted.

– Maid: She is the one who is most alone.

– La Poncia: She was the only one who loved her father. Oh! Thank God we are alone a little! I came to eat.

– Maid: If only Bernarda could see you!

– La Poncia: I wish now that she doesn’t eat that we all go hungry! Bossy! Master! But he gets angry! I opened the sausage keel.

– Maid: (saddened, anxious) Why don’t you give me my girl, Poncia?

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