The most common questions we get from customers interested in our scripts concern logistics. What props are necessary for this play? How many lines does each character have? What kind of costumes are involved?
We hope our most recent update to the website will clear up some of these questions. As of this week, we now have every script’s Production Notes available online. These Notes include information on casting, costuming, props, and sound effects, and you can access them directly from each play’s webpage.
The Casting details for each script answer questions like are any of the roles gender-neutral? and does the story allow for players to double as two characters? You’ll learn exactly which characters are flexible and in what way (i.e., from The Gift’s Production Notes: “The cast member playing the Angel can double as any other character except Stanley or a Shepherd, and the role can be performed by a male or a female actor”).
Our information on Costuming gives suggestions for how each character’s outfit can be chosen to reflect his or her personality and circumstances and the play’s setting. For instance, in the Notes for The Twelve Months of Christmas, our play set in the late Victorian era, we’ve detailed how each character’s age and social status would affect their appearance. The three prosperous Paternoster brothers, middle-aged bachelors, dress quite unlike Nicodemus and Bob, two simple vagabonds, sidekicks of the villain. We’ve tried to provide specific ideas for how to costume such different characters.
In the Props section of each play’s Production Notes, we have a comprehensive list of all the properties used onstage, organized scene-by-scene. For most of our scripts, we’ve further categorized the props according to what items are part of the set from the time the curtain opens on each scene vs. what props are carried onstage during each scene by a particular character. For Padlock Homes and the Missing Splinter, for example, our Notes first describe the basic set, then break down the “Props Brought Onstage” by scene and by character: “Scene Two—Notepad, pencil (Dr. Arson); magnifying glass (Mr. Homes); matchboxes (Matilda and Dr. Arson); splinter (Catherine).”
Finally, a few of our scripts require Sound Effects, and we’ve made note of this where applicable. Whether the Effects include a recorded voice speaking offstage, like in Rejected: The Inside Story, or simply the bell that tolls in The (Reimagined) Book of Daniel, we describe the effect and specify in which scene it occurs.
In addition to each script’s Production Notes, we’ve also updated all our Character Lists, so that they now include the number of lines spoken by each character. Is 60 lines too many for your young cast members, or is 20 lines each not enough of a challenge for your group of teens? We realize that some actors don’t have time to memorize the number of lines others might be able to, so now you have access to exact line counts for each role, which will, we hope, make the process of casting much easier.
Questions about this latest update? Just leave a comment and we’ll answer as soon as possible!