We have a great community of amazing playwrights here at Theatrefolk that contribute to our collection of middle and high school plays. We hope you’ll enjoy this peek behind the curtain as they share how they approach the creative process, how they overcome challenges, and what advice they have for young playwrights. Don’t forget to check out their work!
What was your first theatrical experience? How did it impact you?One of the first shows I remember seeing was Aladdin. The genie wore a jewel in her bellybutton as part of her costume. As soon as I got home from the show, I scoured the house for a belly button jewel – tin foil rolled into a ball did the trick – and then I insisted family members make wishes so I could grant them.
Why do you write plays?I love the medium of plays. There is no experience quite like sitting in a room full of strangers and having living, breathing people a few feet away from you telling you a story. As an audience member, you don’t have distance from the characters that you do with other mediums – like film or books. You can’t press pause, or rewind, you’re just right there in the moment with the characters, living the story. It’s the prospect of taking the audience on a first-hand, visceral experience that attracts me to playwriting.
What’s the most challenging part of writing a play?One of my challenges is making sure each character has a distinct voice – that they don’t all end up sounding the same. My worst case scenario is having all my characters using similar speech patterns despite their different personalities.
How do you address/overcome those challenges?I try to keep signature slang or phrases a character uses to just their lines, and make sure other characters aren’t using them as well. I also do a read through of a character’s lines (and only that character) from start to finish to see if their speech pattern is consistent throughout.
What advice do you have for young writers struggling to finish a draft?You don’t always have to write your script in order. If you’re stuck in one spot, but know what happens two scenes later, skip to the part that’s clear and get it on paper. It might help you figure out the scene you’re stuck on, and at the very least, helps you move toward getting a finished draft. You can put all your scenes in proper order later on in the process. Read sample pages from Krista Boehnert's plays here!