Everything to learn better...




Performing a play script

Explainer Video

Tutor: Sam


Performing a play script

In a nutshell

Play scripts are written for actors to perform. In order to perform a play script, you need to be familiar with the script's structure and the methods for performing one. In this summary, you will learn some advanced tips for performing play scripts.

Script and dialogue

Play scripts follow a certain structure. They are written in scenes, where every scene contains a setting (when and where is the play taking place), characters, and dialogue. In most play scripts, dialogue is written without speech marks. 

Generally, the name of the character is written on the left side of the script, followed by a colon (:) and then the text of what the character has to express. 

Play scripts include stage directions which tell the actors and directors how a play should be put on. Stage directions describe how the stage should look, how props are used, and also how characters should speak, move and interact with props. Stage directions are sometimes written between brackets and they can be found above, within or below the dialogue.


Mike and Julie are walking down the streets of New York City.

Mike: (Taking pictures with his camera) Is this what dreams are made of?

Julie: (Looking around, amazed at the grandeur of the city) I can't believe we're here!

How to perform a play script

There is a useful phrase that can help you perform a play script effectively: show not tell. Facial expressions, body movements and action are key elements to performing a script. 

Remember, the goal is to show what the character is feeling visually. Think about the play's genre: is it a drama, tragedy, comedy? Practise the expression of emotions like sadness, happiness, despair, excitement, panic and so on.


If you are playing the role of a monkey, try to walk and make sounds just like a monkey would! 


  • Speak clearly and with confidence. 
  • Make a list of the most common stage directions and practise them in front of the mirror. Some of the most common stage directions are shouting, crying, whispering, trembling and laughing.
  • Read the dialogue aloud and change the pitch of your voice to give the character some personality.
  • Practise body language that suits your character's description.
  • Record yourself playing the character and analyse the details you can improve on such as body language, tone and the speed of your voice.
  • Act the role of different characters to practice different expressions and tones of voice.
  • Ask a friend or relative to read the other characters' lines so you can interact with other characters.


An old man with hearing problems is talking to a salesman.

Salesman: Hello, sir. I'm selling chocolates, would you like to buy one?

Old man: What?!

Salesman: Chocolate, sir. Would you like one?

Old man: You're selling omelettes?

Salesman: (Becoming impatient) No, sir. Listen, I am selling chocolates.

Old man: (Turning his head as though he is looking for someone) MARGARET! Come here, there is a man selling omelettes!

In this play script, there are two different characters of contrasting personality. So, your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions must be played according to the character.

Create an account to read the summary


Create an account to complete the exercises

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

How is dialogue written in a play script?

What are stage directions?

How to perform play scripts effectively?


I'm Vulpy, your AI study buddy! Let's study together.