The Playwrights Forum Home 
 

SEARCH STAGEPLAYS.COM
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PLAY DATABASE

  STAGEPLAYS BOOKSHOP NEW CYBERPRESS PLAYS PLAYWRIGHTING BOOKS PUBLISH MY PLAY AFFILIATE PROGRAM THE THEATRE BANNER EXCHANGE  
The Playwrights Forum > General > Question & Answer > Tenses in Stage Directions

* STAGEPLAYS WANTS TO PUBLISH YOUR PLAY *
click here for details

 Moderated by: Paddy, Edd
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
Tenses in Stage Directions  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sat Apr 12th, 2014 01:03 am
  PM Quote Reply
1st Post
earthworm_gym
Member
 

Joined: Fri Apr 11th, 2014
Location:  
Posts: 4
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Hey folks,

Getting some mixed responses on this subject.

When setting the scene in opening Acts/scenes, is it correct to use the passive present tense? For example:

"Amanda is sat at the table, eating her dinner."

I guess for the subsequent stage directions, it would ALL be ACTIVE present, as the characters are doing the actions as they occur on stage. But one would assume when we find them, it can be written as passive. Am I correct?

Thanks in advance.

J

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sat Apr 12th, 2014 08:43 am
  PM Quote Reply
2nd Post
in media res
Moderator
 

Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 1954
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
No.


Best,

IMR

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sat Apr 12th, 2014 04:53 pm
  PM Quote Reply
3rd Post
katoagogo
Member


Joined: Fri Jun 16th, 2006
Location: New London, Connecticut USA
Posts: 902
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
The stage directions are there to communicate immediate action. They are the one tool you have to evoke the play's action - which is its blood.

--kato

PS - IMR is 100% correct.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sat Apr 12th, 2014 05:39 pm
  PM Quote Reply
4th Post
earthworm_gym
Member
 

Joined: Fri Apr 11th, 2014
Location:  
Posts: 4
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
OK, so even if we find the characters in a certain state when lights come up, it is still in active present? Like, if a mechanic is repairing a car, it would be:

"At rise: Robbie sits on the floor, fixing some tires."

And not:

"At rise: Robbie is sat on the floor, fixing some tires."


Just wanted clarifying. I guess I found some scripts that use passive!

Thanks!

Last edited on Sat Apr 12th, 2014 05:44 pm by earthworm_gym

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sat Apr 12th, 2014 11:28 pm
  PM Quote Reply
5th Post
earthworm_gym
Member
 

Joined: Fri Apr 11th, 2014
Location:  
Posts: 4
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Also, what about the present continuous? Example:

Andrew is painting a masterpiece.

Would that be an acceptable use in the opening.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sun Apr 13th, 2014 07:53 am
  PM Quote Reply
6th Post
in media res
Moderator
 

Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 1954
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I was gong to post something, but I withdrew it.

Just write the play you want to write.

And...Pick up a book by Jeffrey Hatcher or Louis Catron.

Or The Poetics by Aristotle.

Won't take you but 4 days to read them.

Then continue.

Welcome to The Forum.

Best,

IMR

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sun Apr 13th, 2014 08:14 pm
  PM Quote Reply
7th Post
earthworm_gym
Member
 

Joined: Fri Apr 11th, 2014
Location:  
Posts: 4
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
in media res wrote:
I was gong to post something, but I withdrew it.

Just write the play you want to write.

And...Pick up a book by Jeffrey Hatcher or Louis Catron.

Or The Poetics by Aristotle.

Won't take you but 4 days to read them.

Then continue.

Welcome to The Forum.

Best,

IMR


Thanks- what war eyou going to say? Haha!

Just wanting to get it right- be professional an' all!

:-)

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

Current time is 04:22 am  
The Playwrights Forum > General > Question & Answer > Tenses in Stage Directions Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.1443 seconds (12% database + 88% PHP). 28 queries executed.