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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Work-in-Progress > Scene Changes

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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 03:08 am
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dollardreams
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Mana: 
I came for advice one previously, and people were really helpful. I'm a screenwriter with one credit, trying to make the transition to writing for the stage. There is so much information out there online, but a lot of it is conflicting.

I have a lot of scenes. I know that the idea play is two characters, very few scenes, and I look forward to writing that play. I do. But I have a completed screenplay that I don't want my agents to see, because I know they will sell it, and it won't get made. But it's completely dialogue driven, and I think I can combine the already long scenes to make a powerful play.

So, here's my simple question. Throughout the play, all my scenes are represented by tables and chairs. I don't need ornate sets, the dialogue can indicate the setting.

But can I simply have, say, a mom and dad exit a stage after their dialogue is finished, and then have, say their two kids enter? Instead of breaking it up into two scenes with a confusing blackout. I know CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION had 30 blackouts, but that's a rarity. I don't want to have two page scenes, and then 40 blackouts, and if it were a community theater production I was putting on myself, I'd simply do what I mention above: Have x characters exit, and then have some more characters enter. I don't think it's the most awkward transition, but is it ridiculous to keep writing it that way? Because this way, it'd be very easy to write the play. But that get tiresome in its own way? Thanks so much for any insight.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 03:14 am
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Paddy
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Mana: 
Be creative. Directors like a challenge. Make a note at the beginning that this is how you see it, and when there could be a blackout, but you don't want one, just put SHIFT. They will come up with a music, or sound cue, or something...that's what they do. Trust.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 03:42 am
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dollardreams
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Mana: 
Thanks. Do you think I can show you five pages? I'm not asking you to read the actual five pages, just to see how I handle the actual transitions. Thanks so much for your help either way. I know people are busy.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 17th, 2013 10:28 am
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Wendy Onslow
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Mana: 
I say, go with your instinct. I don't see why you can't simply have everyone enter and exit when you want. It is a play, after all, no one's pretending that anything is real; although people do simply walk in and out of places all the time.

Wendy

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 Posted: Sun Sep 22nd, 2013 05:22 pm
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katoagogo
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Mana: 
Take a look at this essay from the blog Rick On Theater - “The Sculptural Drama” Tennessee Williams’s Plastic Theater:

http://rickontheater.blogspot.com/2012/05/sculptural-drama-tennessee-williamss.html

I think you'll find it interesting.

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