Playwrights write scripts which are stories told through the actions and spoken words of the characters in a live performance. A script may be original or it may be an adaptation of a something that is already written such as a book or short story. A script for a play can be read as a book but it is usually conveyed more suitably as it is presented in a live stage production by one or more actors. The website says that playwrights may work alongside a director and actors and some attend workshops to get feedback on their writings. But putting together the material into a coherent creative and believable script is the playwright’s sole responsibility. There is no formal educational requirement to become a playwright. However playwrights often have bachelor’s degrees in English drama creative writing or communications and many have acting experience. According to the website most stage playwrights join the Dramatists Guild of America. This membership keeps them apprised of business practices in the theater world including how to protect the rights to their work. Guild membership is also a way to network so that they can market their work and it allows them to participate in Guild sponsored workshops. Being a playwright sounds glamorous but playwrights must be willing to accept criticism and rejection of their work. Many must hold other jobs to make a living and they write scripts in their spare time. According to the website pay for playwrights varies considerably. For example regional theaters may pay playwrights a flat fee ranging from $400 to $10000 for a finished product. In some cases however theaters pay playwrights a percentage of the box office ticket receipts. The website states that the average yearly salary for a playwright is $38000. The terms and amount of payment are heavily dependent on the size of the theater and the playwright’s reputation for success.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $38000
High Salary: $48000
Low Salary: $28000
Tasks: Creates scripts for plays or theatrical performances.
Works with actors and directors to develop a story.
Re-writes portions of a script on an as-needed basis.
Uses dialogue to establish a bond between the audience and the actors.
Also Called: Scriptwriter
Story Developer
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