Best Practices for Formatting a Play

AITAF StaffBridge Award

We often get questions from first time playwrights, including the email below, wondering about best practices for formatting a play. We reached out to our friends at Samuel French for some insight from the experts. Below are standard practices for formatting a play, along with some suggested reading. Happy writing, and keep the questions coming!

With the expectation that there will be another Bridge Award competion, I am writing for your advice. Is there a particular page format required. I am a new playwright and I notice there are a few different types. Should I just buy a Samuel French play and make sure my page format is consistent with that? Also, any recommendations for books to read that will help a new playwright is also appreciated. Many thanks for your attention.


FORMATTING GUIDELINES Courtesy of Samuel French:

All text should be single-spaced, in a readable font, such as 10-12 point Times New Roman. When separating characters’ lines or longer stage directions, use 1 to 2 hard returns. Song lyrics should be in ALL CAPS and indented. Continuous pagination is preferred (not resetting at the start of an act or scene). The title page should never be numbered. Page one should be the first page of the play. Ideally, the Acts and Scenes will also be included in the pagination. For example, if there is text for Act II, Scene 1 on page 51 of your script, it would read as follows: II – 1 – 51.

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