Standard Script Format

Plays are now mostly written/published using the same format as television and movie scripts. We use this format for all scripts written in this class, whether for dramatic performances, film, or radio production.

Everything is centered.

The name of the character or narrator speaking is in bold, followed by a colon, above the character’s line.

(Stage and/or scene directions are set off in parentheses and formatted in italics.)

Lines are skipped between spoken lines.

Character Name:
Line! Line, line line line line. (stage direction) Line line line line line.

(Stage direction)

Line line line.

An Example

Excerpt from Machina, by Nelson Yang

(James’ cell phone rings. He impatiently gets off the ledge to answer it. He takes a look at his caller id, and an eyebrow goes up. He flips it open.)

Abby? Why are you calling me? Jenny? What about Jenny? She dumped me on Monday. Yeah, of course you knew. She wants to talk to me? She want- Abby no, Abby no! Jenny? What do you want? I… uh huh, uh huh, Saturday? Ok. (Uncertain) That’s okay, that’s good. Meatloaf on the table? Umm, sure… I… I love you too. (He hangs up.) She’s coming home Saturday. The guy turned out to be interested in Abby. They’re not in love anymore.…She… she’s… coming home.

Well that’s great news! You can’t jump NOW…

(James leans on the edge. He lets out a huge sigh. Warren is irritated.)

My parents died a week ago. I got a call from the hospital. Dad had a heart attack, and I don’t think Mom could handle it. Like that she was gone. Not even a week after Dad went. They both, just… went. I couldn’t even make it to their funeral. They didn’t say goodbye, and I couldn’t say goodbye. I didn’t even know they were sick! I barely know how they died.

(The phone rings again in James hand, louder even, causing both men to jump.)

Hello? What? Hello? Who’s is this? Mom?! But, what, how … They said- no, no! They called me and said that- wha… wha… Mistake?! That’s… okay, okay, right, but-

The hospital made a mistake?

(James nods silently.)

Posted by Justin Wells : 03/05/2008