Why more actors should write plays.

Yesterday’s Sunday giveaway was for two tickets to Zach Braff’s new comedy at Second Stage.  As I was ‘giving it away,’ I started thinking about how surprised I was to hear that Zach Braff had a new comedy at Second Stage.

But why?

There have been a lot of actors that have written plays before.

But in my opinion, there should be more.

What’s unique about writing a play as opposed to writing a novel, short story, poem, etc. is that a play is not meant to be read on the page.  It is meant to be performed on a stage.

Therefore, an actor/writer, whose job it is to interpret written dialogue and turn it into the spoken word, may have an advantage over the writer who doesn’t have performance experience.

A writer who writes a line like, “Hey, can you turn on the AC, it’s hotter than the devil’s breath in here,” may not see or hear as many things in the line as someone familiar with the turns and twists an actor could take with the same line.

As a re-read what I’ve written here, it’s beginning to sound like a sweeping generalization that playwrights can’t be great unless they have walked upon the wicked stage as well as written.  That’s obviously not true.

My point is, that more actors should write . . . because they may get it more than they think.  (Come on actors out there, I know you have ideas . . . start one today!)

And more writers should act.  At any level.  It’s not going to guarantee any type of career.

But I’d bet money that it would help.


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– 73 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

– Enter to win 2 tickets to All New People by Zach Braff Off-Broadway!  Click here.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.