On Writing : Page Length by Sidney Crudup II

Sidney Crudup II

Page Length

Brand new to the game and I have been studying the craft of the playwright and the screenwriter. Looking for insight. I know each page of the screenplay equals a minute of script. Is that pretty much the same for the stage play? Just want to make sure my newly finished stage play isn't too long.

Garland Thompson Jr.

Hi Sidney, the best way to find out is to gather some actors, do a reading of your stage play and time it. Also note how long it feels to you, where it flows well, and where it may drag. Best of luck to you!

Sidney Crudup II

Garland, thank you so much. Will definitely add that do my to do list. Most appreciated

Louisiana Dalton

Yes, roughly one page per minute -- however, you do need to read and time it before submitting.

Sidney Crudup II

Thank you, Louisiana. Had not thought about submitting it, but I will definitely take that into consideration. Was thinking of producing it on my own....crazy as that might sound.

Glen Kinnaird

Biggest difference when looking at these two art forms, your perspective. Screenplays will have cuts and more transitions. Live on stage is a different medium and you need to understand the experience for audiences.

Sidney Crudup II

Thank you Alle.

Anthony Toohey

It's a decent rule of thumb. My newest play just had its first table-read Sunday. Throughout the writing and the first 3 drafts, it felt longer than that. It came in at 95 printed pages - 12 pt. font - Modern format. I was expecting 2 hours, because its rather dense. But I'll be damned if it didn't come rolling right in at 90 minutes. That said - I have to concur with others. Get a group of readers - and I would stress not just anyone. Get some experienced readers from a local amateur theater group, get 'em some snacks and goodies, and make an afternoon of it. Not only will you figure out how long it is, but you will get a much clearer view of what is and isn't working in your dialogue.

Ben Webber

The "page-a-minute" rule can vary wildly with plays. It all depends on the content of the play, and how fast or slowly it's delivered. I've produced an 11 page play that in reality lasted for 35 minutes. My last production got 55 minutes out of a 16 page script. It all depends on the content. Definitely recommend getting actors to do a reading, or just time yourself as you read to sense. After all, you're the one who wrote the script, you should know the rhythm of your work.

Glen Kinnaird

You can go by the standard when first starting, yes one page is about a minute give or take depending on your stage direction. Remember, do not direct from the type... uh, keyboard. lol Good Luck!

Sidney Crudup II

Anthony and Ben....most appreciated. Thanks for your input.

Jake Chika

I would pretty much agree with Sydney.

Sugith Varughese

If you use scriptwriting software, (for example Final Draft can do both screenplay and stage play format--which are different), either should time out to 1 page/minute. While having readings by experienced actors is very useful for many reasons beyond timing, if it doesn't time out to 1 page/minute after a reading, then it's likely your script isn't conforming to professional format standards in how it is written. (Remember that it's not EACH page=minute, but 90 pages=90 minutes.)

Sidney Crudup II

Great advice Sugith. Most appreciated.

Mark Georgeff

Realize and accept PLAYS and SCREENPLAYS are 2, total diff. monsters, youl'll avoid headaches from the start. But yeah, about 1 page equals I minute. But even that's a misnomer once I'm in the edit room.

Richard Toscan

Yes, on average one page equals 1 minute in both screenplay and stage play format -- that's why the format is so different for each medium. But keep in mind as many have said here that averages can be misleading. What can change this measure considerably is the density of the dialogue (how much each character says in each time they have a line). Most playwrights and screenwriters today write very sparse dialogue most of the time, typically no more than one sentence -- and a very short one at that -- per line of dialogue, so if anything contemporary scripts come in at under a minute a page.

Andrew Priestman

Get some insights here : great new comp and potential to get noticed by the right people. https://filmfreeway.com/festival/INDYSTOCKSCREENPLAYCOMPETITION

Donna Hoke

My plays tend to be about a page a minute, but I don't write a lot of dense text and monologues, which add time quickly (and which aren't usually found in screenplays, which is why there can be a standard that hews closer to reality). If you're unsure, have it read, as others have advised.

Anthony Toohey

It seems to vary more between plays than with screenplays, in my experience, but it's at least a decent rule of thumb. EDIT: Holy cow - I thought this was new and didn't realize I replied to this a year ago! LOL - sorry :)

Sidney Crudup II

One can never get too much advice. All good. Thanks again.

York Davis

Hi Sidney. Last Sunday I had a reading of my one act play "Dressler Undressed" of 47 pages. No, Marie Dressler did not disrobe, but some of her private life was revealed...lol! The actors' reading came in at approx. 50 minutes if that's any help.

Sidney Crudup II

Thanks York. Been a while since I have been on the Stage 32 site. Working on my doctoral degree. Thank you for your comment.

Glen Kinnaird

Yes, a stage play is approximately the same as a film script. 1 page = 60 seconds

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