Peter Salzano: Playwriting can Help Your Screenwriting

“I agree with the fact that playwriting can help your screenwriting,” says Peter Salzano, a professional playwright. Both screenwriters and playwrights practice the creative art of dramatic writing with a similar goal in mind. The goal to entertain the audience with a compelling store that leaves a long-lasting impact on the views.

Before moving on with the topic “Playwriting can help your screenwriting” let’s first discuss the difference between the two for your better understanding.

Peter Salzano - Interview Questions for a Playwright

What is Playwriting?

Playwriting is directly connected to the live performance that makes the entire play feel more personal. The actors perform live to share the story and connect with the audience. Within the limited stage and props, the actors beautifully perform the play and convey the story written by the playwright.

One more speciality of plays is that even if you see the same play again and again, written by the same playwright and performed by the same actors, it will be slightly or drastically different. 

What is Screenwriting?

TV shows, films or video games are some best examples of screenwriting. These stories are written by screenwriters, and because they are not live like plays the scope of edit and retakes is always available.

Usually, the stories that you see on the screen are long and are generally divided into episodes or series. The technical support to their stories brings the imagination alive, in short, the scope of creativity with the support of technology gives screenwriting more scope of making the story more realistic and relatable.

Moving on to the main section of the article, “Playwriting can help your screenwriting” let’s discussed some points shared by Peter Salzano to support this statement:

Peter J Salzano - austin-distel-playwriting
  • Better Dialogue Writing

Writing plays means valuable practice in creating subtext through dialogue. Writing plays to enhance your skills to write the same dialogue in a different tone and emotion that can make the play more interactive for the audience. The same concept is required in the screenplay “ a dialogue that becomes the highlight of the show” for which the experience as a playwright, who has succeeded to entertain the live audience can understand and create better.

  • Character

The structure of the play exactly mirrors the story and its characters. Plays focus on a relatively few characters that are kept in the limelight and the story revolves around them. This is what is required in screenwriting, a story with few characters or mainly one main character, for example, a biography with a few supporting characters, to make the story less complicated. This way the audience can easily engage and relate to what the characters in the story try to express. 

  • Get more out of the confined spaces

As a playwright, your story has a limitation of the actors as they have to perform and change scenes to display a new location on the same limited stage. Keeping that in mind, a playwright trying to add fewer location or time-specific twists in the play so that it looks good on stage with limited pros, and space.

Whereas on the screen you must have noticed very frequent screen change, with a different location. But this is not necessary, as a playwright you are creative enough to limit the location or screen-based changes and create a story that is more realistic.

Peter Salzano - improve-Public-Speaking-skills

These are the top three points that support the statement that “Playwriting helps your screenwriting.” Peter Salzano feels it’s an advantage in itself of being experienced as a playwright before you start screenwriting.

As a playwright, you are aware of the limitation also now as a screenwriter you have the freedom to bring your imagination alive. This experience as a playwright will definitely help you write screenplays with limited resources and short stories especially films.