Page to stage – Anatomy of a script

Students are introduced to the key conventions of a script and explore how they can be used to create an engaging theatrical work.


  • 4.1.3 devises and enacts drama using scripted and unscripted material.
  • 4.3.1 identifies and describes elements of drama, dramatic forms, performance styles, techniques and conventions in drama.
  • 4.3.3 describes the contribution of individuals and groups in drama using relevant drama terminology.
  • 5.1.3 devises, interprets and enacts drama using scripted and unscripted material or text.
  • 5.3.1 responds to, reflects on and evaluates elements of drama, dramatic forms, performance styles, dramatic techniques and theatrical conventions.
  • 5.3.3 analyses and evaluates the contribution of individuals and groups to processes and performances in drama using relevant drama concepts and terminology.


2 weeks.

Driving question

How does a performer, director, designer or dramaturg navigate the various facets of a script?


Through workshop exercises, students gain an understanding of the importance of clear and consistent formatting and understand how to format scripted drama. Students document and critically reflect on their experiences reflecting on how this information supports their learning in drama.

  • information and communication technology
  • literacy.

Embedded elements of drama

  • role and character
  • time and place
  • language.

Teaching and learning activities

The following learning experiences are structured to provide students with a practical and theoretical understanding of how to structure a script.

In the centre of the room place a large sheet of butcher's paper, markers and an assortment of scripts.

Students will:

  1. read and review the scripts
  2. brainstorm and write down anything they note about the script form and structure. This may include:
    1. titles of scripts
    2. layout
    3. page numbers
    4. dialogue.
  3. discuss students' notes on the butcher's paper.

Use the butcher's paper as a starting point for student learning. As students progress through the tasks they can add to this sheet of butcher's paper which will be placed on a wall or accessible space in the classroom.

At the beginning of a script, key information is provided to performers, directors, designers and dramaturgs. As a class review a selection of scripts and determine if the following information is presented:

  • title page
  • dramatis personae
  • scene list
  • time.
  1. Review slides 5-10 of the supporting Page to stage PowerPoint (PPTX 6.21 MB) highlighting how the conventions of a script provide a clear picture from the playwright and provide us with more information to create the 'world of our production'.
  2. Highlight the Drama-specific terminology to foster literacy and build students' vocabulary. If these are new terms it may be beneficial for students to develop a glossary of key terms in their logbooks.

Now students are aware of the key conventions of scripted drama ask them to log onto a scriptwriting software such as Celtx.

Students will:

  • create a new project by adjusting the contentless scene to include all of the conventions of a script covered within the workshop OR by adopting the role of a playwright and create a new scene. Within their scene they must include the following conventions of a script:
    • title page
    • dramatis personae
    • scene list
    • time
    • scene description
    • stage directions
    • dialogue
    • end scene designations.

Students will:

  • contribute any new information they have learnt to the mind-map created at the beginning of the sequence
  • respond to the reflective question: what are the conventions of a script and why are they important?
  • encourage students to use their workshop experiences to support their findings.


All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all formative assessment activities.



Students could:

  • create a new script on
  • write a scene or play based on a stimulus idea or script provided by the teacher.

Life skills


  • LS 1.2 explores a variety of playbuilding activities

Students could:

  • read and perform a given script
  • write a short scene about a daily ritual
  • highlight the different parts of a script.


Feedback is formative during the lessons.

This sequence and accompanying worksheets are available as word documents below.


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Drama 7–10 Syllabus (2003) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017.

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