7 junio, 2024

Theatrical script: characteristics, types, functions, examples

What is a theatrical script?

A theatrical script It is a text that contains the dialogues and the technical details that are needed in the assembly and realization of a play. It is a script 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 makes 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 smooth development of the story, since it contains the guidelines that the actors, set designers, director, costume designers and other team members must follow.

The theatrical scripts are also made up of some elements that give them unique features. Hence, they contain the parliaments, the scenes and the acts that give life to the story, as well as the actions that the characters must carry out. Lighting, sound and costumes are contained in it.

Characteristics of theatrical scripts

Some of the most important characteristics of the theatrical script are the following:


The dialogues or conversations are fundamental within 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.

Scenographic data

Every theatrical script has a description of the scenery that accompanies the staging, which determines the time and place where the actions take place. In general, the author of the theater text writes down the specific features that each frame of the play must have.


A theatrical script tells a story through an introduction, middle or end. 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 public.


The theatrical script has descriptive variety, since it discloses the different activities that each of the members of the staging and the entire human team must carry out. In this class of texts the tasks and responsibilities of each participant are specified.

Added to the above is that the theatrical script can be: technical script, actor’s script, director’s script, technical script for the illuminators, costume script, among others.


The theatrical script is also known or identified by the name of notebook, theater notebook or sheet. Regardless of the way in which it is called, this type of text must fulfill the purpose of exposing the guidelines that must be carried out so that the staging has an optimal end.

Theatrical script functions

A theatrical script must fulfill the following functions:

Serve as a guide to the actors so that they know the respective dialogues. Support the members of the work, so that they know the assembly guidelines. Inform everyone about their roles and responsibilities. Communicate to the group about the activities and when they will take place during the role play.

Elements of the theatrical script

A theatrical script is made up of the following elements:


Characters in the playscript are identified by name and are almost always highlighted in bold. This element describes the parliaments or dialogues that an actor must express, also indicates the actions and their relevance within the play.

On the other hand, in the theatrical script the characters can present an order of appearance in the staging, as well as a number of times according to their importance in the story. Hence, the characters are main, secondary or referential.


The scenes are those that determine the time in which the characters or actors continue to participate in an action. In the theatrical script a change of scene is specified, whenever an actor leaves or enters the stage. This element belongs to a larger unit called act.

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


The 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 importance of the character in the story. These texts also identify the intervention of some kind of narrator.


It is a brief situation or short dialogue that occurs within a scene, usually may or may not change the scenery or scenery of the play. It is considered that this element is integrated by several scenes, at the same time it has independence in terms of approach, development and outcome.


An act is the main division of the play, through each one of them the most significant events of the story are specified. This element of the theatrical script is usually formed in turn by several scenes and correspond to the beginning, development and end of the work.

Usually an act is 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.


The dimensions are the different annotations that the author or playwright captures in order to publicize the actions, feelings, clothing or entry and exit of a character on stage. To differentiate them from parliaments, they are usually written between parentheses or brackets.

Types of theatrical script

In order to present the set of guidelines necessary for the staging of the story, the author must develop 2 types of scripts: literary and technical.

literary script

Present in an orderly manner the theme of the story, the dialogues of each character and the action they must carry out during their representation.

technical script

Contains the texts, directions or comments for the technical staff, including: directors, costume designers, make-up artists, sound engineers, set designers and others responsible for the production and staging of the play.

How to write a theatrical script?


The first step in creating a theatrical script is to develop the idea of ​​the story that you want to tell, whether it be in the dramatic, comic, horror, adventure genre or an adaptation of an existing work. This part contains the context in which the staging will take place, as well as the places and time.

character development

Once the story for the play has been chosen, the characters are created. It is necessary to give them importance and prominence. In this way you will have an idea of ​​how many times he will appear on the scene.

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


One of the steps that is applied to the development of a theatrical script is the organization that the play will have. This means that a scheme of the beginning, middle and end must be made, as well as the number of frames, scenes and acts in which the story will be divided.

script development

After having devised the story, the characters and the structure, the final script is written. In it, the characters are identified with their own names, the parliament of each one and the way in which they enter and leave the scene, the costumes and the scenery that accompany their actions are noted.

However, the theater script must have a focused title that is related to the history of the play. The characters are placed under the title according to their importance. On the other hand, each of the acts is identified with a number and they briefly describe the part of the story that takes place at that moment.

Then we proceed to describe the corresponding painting with the description of the environment that surrounds the characters. Next, the corresponding scene is written, which will change each time a character exits or enters. Finally, below the identification of the scene the parliaments are written.


Finally, the playwright or author of the play script carefully reviews everything he has written. This is done in order to make sure that all the elements are organized and the story is consistent and follows a chronological order.

Examples of theatrical scripts

– The proof of love

Act I

Scene I: School, central courtyard

María, Antonieta and Patricia are 2nd year students and are in the central courtyard of the school taking their break, dressed in their uniforms.

María – (sad) You know girls, I have something to tell you!

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

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

María – (with a shy voice) It’s just that my boyfriend, Manuel, do you remember him? ,

Antonieta, Isabel – (they both look at her face and stand up) Of course we know who it is! But what’s up, friend?

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

Isabel – (astonished) what’s wrong with him? He’s gone crazy!

Antonieta – (looks at her in astonishment) and what kind of proof do you need?

In that, the bell rings announcing that the recess is over and they must enter the room.

Scene II: Classroom

Teacher – (walking through the room) Good morning guys, today we will talk about courtship and love relationships. Who have boyfriend or girlfriends?

Several students raise their hands, but Maria.

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

María and Antonieta look at her with anguish and make claiming gestures.

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

Antonieta – (with a shy smile) well teacher you know, have sex.

Teacher – (approaches Maria) The proof of love must be given to you by your boyfriend, respecting and taking great care of them!

Teacher – (Walking through the room, she addresses everyone) This is proof of the purest and truest love and if she insists, she doesn’t deserve you, because she doesn’t value you.

Isabel, María and Antonieta – (The friends look at each other’s faces and shake their heads negatively) no, no, no, she doesn’t deserve me!

Characters: Isabel, María, Antoinette, Professor.

– Bernarda Alba’s house

Federico Garcia Lorca


– Bernarda (60-year-old woman).

– Maria Josefa (mother of Bernarda).

– Anguish.

– The poncia.

– Woman 1.

– Cupcake.

– Maid.

– Woman 2.

– Amelia.

– Beggar.

– Woman 3.

– Martyrdom.

– Women in mourning.

– Woman 4.

– Adele.

– Girl.

Act I

Very white room inside Bernarda’s house. thick walls. Arched door with jute curtains topped with strawberry trees and ruffles. Cattail chairs. Pictures with unlikely landscapes of nymphs or legendary kings. It’s summer. A…

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