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					How to write a script

When writing or studying scripts there are certain conventions that need to be
followed to call a script a script!
Below is a list of the conventions used to write a script:

      The layout of the text, the character is listed at the left then a gap
       followed by the text

BUTTONS:           I’m just trying to cheer you up Cinders. What’s this?

CINDERELLA:        An invitation to The Royal Ball.

BUTTONS:           What did you tear it up for?

      The use of Italics or bold text to convey instructions to the actors,
       directors or technical staff - Stage Directions

CINDERELLA:        The stepsisters made me do it.

                   Buttons is upset at this. He slams his hand on the
                   floor in anger. It really hurts

BUTTONS:           That really hurt. Blow on that would you, Cinders? (She
                   does. He holds his hand up for the audience) Blow on
                   that, would you? (They do) Don't worry about the invitation,
                   I'm quite good at jigsaws. I’ve just finished one which took
                   me eighteen months to do. I’m really proud of myself
                   because it said 2 to 4 years on the box!

                   Cinderella smiles and Buttons picks up a piece of the
                   ticket

      The setting of the play – where each scene takes place
      Suggested props to use
      Sound effects – written in Italics or bold text

BUTTONS:           Right, go!

                   MUSIC CUE: The Band stand up and sing „dum
                   diddidum dididumdididi dum dum dum’.

BUTTONS:           (to the audience) Don’t encourage them! (to the band)
                   Could we have some nice magical coach music please?


MUSIC CUE: “SLEIGH BELLS” – BUTTONS

BUTTONS:           JUST HEAR THOSE SLEIGH-BELLS JINGLE-ING
                   RING-TING-RINGLE-ING TOO
                    COME ON, IT'S LOVELY WEATHER
                    FOR A SLEIGH-RIDE TOGETHER WITH YOU
                    OUTSIDE THE SNOW IS FALLING
                    AND FRIENDS ARE CALLING "YOO-HOO!"
                    COME ON, IT'S LOVELY WEATHER
                    FOR A SLEIGH-RIDE TOGETHER WITH YOU


      Props – objects and furniture the characters use

BUTTONS:            Well... first you need a glamorous gown...

                    BUTTONS pulls the tablecloth off the table. He drapes
                    the cloth around her.

BUTTONS:            A perfect fit... what you need next is a gold necklace...

                    There is a STRING OF CARROTS above the fireplace.
                    BUTTONS takes it and places it around CINDERS‟
                    neck.

CINDERELLA:         This isn't gold.


      Technical cues – music or lighting cues for the technical crew to know
       when to change an effect.
      Plays are written in the present tense and in first person

BUTTONS:            I‟m just trying to cheer you up Cinders. What’s this?

CINDERELLA:         An invitation to The Royal Ball.

BUTTONS:            What did you tear it up for?

CINDERELLA:         The stepsisters made me do it.

      At the beginning of the script a character list is included – this lists all t
       he character in the play and a short description of the character
      An overall plot of the play is given at the beginning of the script




Extracts from the Sheffield Theatres 2007 production of Cinderella
Extract One
Conventions of a Script – Highlighted in Red

BUTTONS:            I’m just trying to cheer you up Cinders. What’s this?

CINDERELLA:         An invitation to The Royal Ball.
BUTTONS:      What did you tear it up for?

CINDERELLA:   The stepsisters made me do it.

              Buttons is upset at this. He slams his hand on the
              floor in anger. It really hurts

BUTTONS:      That really hurt. Blow on that would you, Cinders? (She
              does. He holds his hand up for the audience) Blow on
              that, would you? (They do) Don't worry about the invitation,
              I'm quite good at jigsaws. I’ve just finished one which took
              me eighteen months to do. I’m really proud of myself
              because it said 2 to 4 years on the box!

              Cinderella smiles and Buttons picks up a piece of the
              ticket

              Why don’t you take this bit and go for ten minutes?

              Cinders breaks into a little laugh. She stands

CINDERELLA:   There's no point, Buttons...I haven't got anything to wear
              anyway. Oh, I did so want to go to the Ball.

BUTTONS:      Never mind, Cinders - we'll have our own Ball, right here in
              the kitchen!

CINDERELLA:   How can we do that?

BUTTONS:      Well... first you need a glamorous gown...

              BUTTONS pulls the tablecloth off the table. He drapes
              the cloth around her.

BUTTONS:      A perfect fit... what you need next is a gold necklace...

              There is a STRING OF CARROTS above the fireplace.
              BUTTONS takes it and places it around CINDERS‟
              neck.

CINDERELLA:   This isn't gold.

BUTTONS:      Yes it is – it’s nine carrots! Next you need a tiri-ararara.

CINDERELLA:   A what?

BUTTONS:      A tiri-ararara. Princesses always wear tiri-ararararas!

              He takes the colander and puts it on her head.
CINDERELLA:   Oh, Buttons - you are silly!

BUTTONS:      I’m not the one standing there with a colander on my head!
              I know, I’ll drive you to The Palace in this beautiful silver
              sleigh!

              BUTTONS places a CHAIR on top of the table and a
              CHAIR at the end. He grabs two DUSTBIN LIDS and
              places them in front of the table legs

BUTTONS:      Look at that... ‘Pimp my Ride!’       Your carriage awaits
              m’lady.

              BUTTONS helps CINDERELLA to sit on the table and
              seats himself on a chair at one end.

BUTTONS:      Right we need some coach music.

              MUSIC CUE: Slow, Plodding „Steptoe and Son‟

              Buttons tries to make the ride exciting but it obviously
              isn‟t.

              BUTTONS walks DS and talks to the band.

BUTTONS:      Just a minute guys... just a minute... I’m trying to impress
              Cinderella here and I can’t impress her with Steptoe and
              Son, can I? I’m Australian, I don’t even know what Steptoe
              and Son is! I want something exciting like ‘dum diddidum
              dididumdididi dum dum dum!’ OK?

              He gets back on the chair

BUTTONS:      Right, go!

              MUSIC CUE: The Band stand up and sing „dum
              diddidum dididumdididi dum dum dum’.

BUTTONS:      (to the audience) Don’t encourage them! (to the band)
              Could we have some nice magical coach music please?


MUSIC CUE: “SLEIGH BELLS” – BUTTONS

BUTTONS:      JUST HEAR THOSE SLEIGH-BELLS JINGLE-ING
              RING-TING-RINGLE-ING TOO
              COME ON, IT'S LOVELY WEATHER
              FOR A SLEIGH-RIDE TOGETHER WITH YOU
              OUTSIDE THE SNOW IS FALLING
              AND FRIENDS ARE CALLING "YOO-HOO!"
              COME ON, IT'S LOVELY WEATHER
              FOR A SLEIGH-RIDE TOGETHER WITH YOU

              GIDDY UP, GIDDY UP, GIDDY UP, LET'S GO!
              LET'S LOOK AT THE SHOW
              WE'RE RIDING IN A WONDERLAND OF SNOW
              GIDDY UP, GIDDY UP, GIDDY UP, IT'S GRAND!…

              The music continues to underscore the following
              dialogue.

BUTTONS:      Giddy up! We’re picking up a bit of speed. Watch out for
              that speed bump! (They both jump in the air) and
              another one (they jump again) Oh no, speed camera!

              LX CUE: 2 Flashes

              They get everywhere, don’t they?… Are you comfortable,
              ma'am?

CINDERELLA:   Yes thank you, Buttons.

BUTTONS:      Listen to the sound of the horses' hooves...

              BUTTONS encourages the audience to make the
              appropriate
              sound effects...


BUTTONS:      And although, in the distance, you can hear wolves
              howling...   (audience    howl)   there     are    doves
              cooing...(audience coo) owls hooting...(audience hoot)
              and kangaroos making the noise that they make…
              (audience tut) Thank you, Skippy! Finally you arrive at
              the Palace gates; where a huge crowd is waiting to cheer
              you...(audience cheer) Then I escort you to the ballroom
              and when the guests see your beautiful dress, they
              gasp...(audience gasp) ...And the orchestra starts to
              play…

              MUSIC CUE: “SLEIGHRIDE” segues into
              “CINDERELLA WALTZ”

				
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