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Playwrights hold the key position in developing a unique story that is made for the stage. They have an important creative role, using creative writing to generate an emotional impact on the audience, either from their own original idea or an adaptation of someone else’s.
Playwrights are responsible for researching an idea for a play, developing the narrative, the characters, the tone, the dialogue and the setting. Playwrights must be able to create a script which brings the production to life for the audience. The script must feature dynamic characters and an interesting plot as well as being marketable and adaptable in production.
Playwrights can compose their own plays completely from scratch, or could create them alongside directors and actors. There are many plays that are adaptations of successful books, films or even real events, so specific playwrights may be hired by others to adapt their story for the stage. Writing for the stage is very different from writing a book, as much of the description is done through stage effects, props and lighting.
Once the script is written the playwrights will show it to a theatre director, hoping that they will take the production on, and work with them in editing and adjusting the script to be fit the theatre. If the production is successful, the entire play could be credited to the playwright.
Playwrights often work freelance, pitching ideas for productions to theatre directors and production managers, in the hope that they get taken on. This can mean that this career can be financially unstable, especially at the start of the career. Much of the success of a playwright depends on individual reputation. Some playwrights end up working with the same theatre directors again if they are successful.
Unfortunately, being a writer in any industry can come with a lot of rejection. Many great screenplays never get made into film, in an industry that can be led by the producer. Screenwriters must be truly dedicated in order to succeed, but if successful there are great opportunities.