Going from acting to writing your first play…

Hey guys! So, picture this: you’ve spent years in front of the camera, gracing the stage, bringing characters to life and now you have some characters you want to bring to life too!

It’s time for a fresh chapter—transitioning from acting to writing plays. It’s not just a shift; it’s an artistic evolution. With so many multi-hyphenates in our industry (and your dream roles not as easy to come by) we’ve put together some pointers to help you make that transition and seriously up your pengame.

1. Understanding Character Dynamics

  • Remember those moments on stage? Well, use that experience to craft characters that jump off the page. What’s distinctly different about your lead? How does your antagonist speak? Why is character x always grumpy? Let’s make them as real as the ones you embodied
  • Tip: Remember you’ve done this before.

2. Crafting Realistic Dialogue

  • You know when the dialogue just flows? Well, now it’s your turn to create those moments on paper, drawing from the rhythm that you know already captivates audiences. Remember; this is a process and once you start, always make a point to read it out loud after you’ve bashed out a few pages/scenes to find out what really flows… and also what really doesn’t.
  • Bonus tip: As your bring on board new actors and collaborators, your script will almost 100% change (even if it’s only a few words) – This doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer, it means you’re getting a knack for realising what works! 

3. Studying the Craft

  • This is one you should embrace with open arms, study what works! Yes you’ve read scripts before but there is a craft to how the actual story is pieced together.
  • Even if you just want to get started and write something beforehand, make every effort to learn how to write at some point (sooner rather than later).

4. Get in touch with your local theatre

So many theatres have programmes for new and young actors, writers and creatives to get involved with them and it’s a good way to get in touch with a community of others who have been putting on plays for years!

David Alade shared how he joined Theatre Peckham’s Rep company (in our last Industry Notes interview) purposely to build his connections so he could put on his play ‘Sunny Side Up’ there… And it worked!

Tip: Most theatres have a ‘Rep company’ or ‘Young company’ and this is a good route to getting in the building.

Get going

Enjoy your  journey of discovery, late-night scribbles, and seeing your worlds come to life. We look forward to watching your play soon!  🎭✨