12th Grade Assignment - Writing the Opening Scene for an Original Play

Instructor: Lindsey Seril
Students completing this assignment study the structure of a familiar script, then write the opening scene for an original play. The script includes opening stage directions, character introductions, and dialogue. After, they write an analysis of how their choices contribute to the plot, symbolism, and themes of the scene. This assignment is appropriate for 12th grade students. Updated: 11/12/2020

Assignment Explanation and Topic Overview

This assignment covers material presented in the chapter 12th Grade English: Drama Characteristics Review. Check out the lessons there for a detailed explanation of the concepts assessed in this assignment, such as the elements of drama and how to analyze dramatic works.

Key Terms

Dramatic Form: A style of writing in which the piece is written as lines of dialogue in the form of a script. Scripts are usually broken down into acts and scenes.

Stage Directions: Notes in a script that describe the setting, stage design, lighting, costumes, and props. The stage directions also give instructions to the actors, such as where to turn or what emotion to use while delivering a line.

Cast of Characters: A list of characters, along with a brief description of each character and their relation to the main character, is typically included at the beginning of a script.

Dialogue: The speaking lines of the characters. The dialogue of a play is usually written in the following format:

CHARACTER NAME: Speaking line.

Assignment Instructions for Students

Choose a dramatic work you have previously studied, such as Shakespeare's Hamlet. Read over Act I, Scene I of the play. Pay careful attention to the opening stage directions, character introductions, dialogue, and overall structure of the scene.

Next, brainstorm a list of ideas for an original play. These can be on any topics you would like. Utilize skills such as mapping, freewriting, or listing to generate some ideas for these plays.

Choose one of your ideas and write the script for Act I, Scene I of your original play. First, write the opening stage directions, in which you describe the setting, props, characters, and costumes. What would the audience see on stage as the curtain rises? How would the lights look and the music sound? Introduce each character that will appear in the scene using the dramatic structure of a script. Include dialogue and stage directions for the actors. Do they interact with any props? Should certain lines of dialogue be delivered with a specific emotion?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Resources created by teachers for teachers

Over 30,000 video lessons & teaching resources‐all in one place.
Video lessons
Quizzes & Worksheets
Classroom Integration
Lesson Plans

I would definitely recommend Study.com to my colleagues. It’s like a teacher waved a magic wand and did the work for me. I feel like it’s a lifeline.

Jennifer B.
Jennifer B.
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account