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Q: Standard Way to Bind a Stage Play ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Question  
Subject: Standard Way to Bind a Stage Play
Category: Arts and Entertainment
Asked by: firebird-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 20 Jul 2005 21:53 PDT
Expires: 19 Aug 2005 21:53 PDT
Question ID: 546073
Is there a standard way to bind a stage play script when sending it
to Regional Theaters for consideration to be performed, or sending it to
Producers and Agents for other considerations?  I seem to remember
that years ago one used a binder that was faux leather yet not
expensive, with the name of the play embossed on the cover.  Yet
someone tells me today all that's needed is three holes punched then
bind the script with brads.  This isn't a question of formatting in
the typing of the play.  It is a question about a standard - if there
is a standard - way to cover/bind the script.
Answer  
Subject: Re: Standard Way to Bind a Stage Play
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 21 Jul 2005 05:14 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
 
Hello firebird~

Here?s what two of the most eminent sources say about binding stage scripts:

?Always bind the script. You need not go to great lengths or expense,
but never, ever send unbound pages?A sturdy cover is recommended, but
other types of binding may be preferred, as detailed in a theatre?s
submission guidelines. A script may be thin enough for heavy-duty
staples, but don?t cut corners and end up with a script that has its
final few pages threatening to fall off (or actually doing so). Be
sure the cover and the script are *clean*.?  (Stage Writer?s Handbook
by Dana Singer, p.110-111,
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1559361166/qid=1121947051/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-8319960-2919819?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
)

?Never, ever send an unbound script. Loose pages held together by a
rubber band don?t qualify as bound, nor do pages clamped together with
 mega-paperclip. A heavy paper cover will protect the script as it
passes from hand to hand.? (Dramatists Sourcebook, p.x,
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1559362472/qid=1121947231/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-8319960-2919819?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
)

In short, the only ?standard? is that the script be bound in some
durable way. Often, you?ll see scripts that are three-hole-punched,
with heavy paper covers and brads holding them together. Do be sure
that the brads aren?t flimsy, however, and that they are long enough
to bind the script and allow for constant page turning. (And never use
just brads, without a heavy cover. The script will look shoddy as soon
as a single person takes the time to thumb through it.) Another common
way to bind a stage script is with a report cover. Again, care must be
taken that the cover will adequately accommodate all the pages of the
script. (Unless the play is long, this is more a problem for musicals
than for ?straight? plays.) I have even seen some plays come to
theatres with comb or spiral binding, which is relatively cheap and
easy to obtain at a local print shop. The problem with this, however,
is that the comb binding requires mailing the script in a padded
envelope, adding to the cost of shipping out scripts. In addition, the
pages of the script might be more likely to rip away from this type of
binding; since there isn?t a good way to repair such damage, the
playwright may be more apt to waste money printing new scripts.

Whatever binding is chosen, the name of the play and its playwright
should be displayed on the cover. If you use heavy paper for a cover,
a copy shop can easily print an attractive, simple cover for you. If
you use a report cover, use a computer to create an label for the
cover.

In addition, of course, the play will need a cover page, which should
include the playwright?s name, full contact information, title of the
play, subtitle (if there is one), copyright notice, and name of agent
(if applicable).

I hope that this fully answers your question, but if you need
clarification, please don?t hesitate to ask before rating this Answer.

Kind regards,
Kriswrite

RESEARCH STRATEGY:
Researcher?s personal knowledge
A search of prominent books on the topic

Request for Answer Clarification by firebird-ga on 21 Jul 2005 07:43 PDT
Dear Kriswrite, thank you for your answer.  I would be grateful for a
few clarifications.

FYI - this is a straight play, thirty-three pages long.

Assuming I use heavy paper w/ brads, does the playwright?s name,
contact, title, copyright, & agent appear on that first cover page, or
is it common to put only the play & playwright's name on the first
cover page, and on a second page of regular weight paper repeat the
play & playwright's name plus the rest of the info?

Assuming the play and playwright's name are centered & about 1/3 from
the top of the page, is there a standard placement for all the other
info, i.e., bottom left corner, bottom right coner, etc.?

As to brads and ease of page turning, I understand the need for sturdy
brads.  But for ease of page turning, do I want a brad that is a
little bigger than the thickness of the play, or does the brad just
need to be able to accommodate the exact thickness of the play?

If you will allow - don't I have to list the characters somewhere and
include a prop list & schematic of the set?  In this case, it is a
one-set play.

Thank you, again.  firebird

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 21 Jul 2005 08:37 PDT
Hi again firebird~

Some of your questions are really beyond the scope of your original
question (specifically, the formatting questions). I?m answering them
here anyway, but wanted you to be aware that new questions are really
supposed to be asked in a new, separate question.

On the cover itself, only the play title and the playwright?s name are
standard and necessary. The first page of the script itself should
contain the play?s title, playwright?s name, playwright?s copyright,
playwright?s contact information, and any agent information.

You?re right that the title and the playwright?s name should be
centered on the first page of the script, between 1/3 and  of the way
down the page.

The playwright?s contact info should go on the left hand side, at the
bottom, along with the copyright. Any agent info should be on the
right hand side, at the bottom. Here is a pretty good example of a
title page; the only thing missing is a copyright notice:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scriptsmart/stageus.pdf

As for brad size, I?ve learned the hard way that a brad that might
seem too big is best. A brad that is ?just the right size? often
allows the paper to escape. So definitely go for a brad that is longer
than the thickness of the pages. When in doubt, bind a script, and
then flip through it multiple times. It should hold up easily.

Now, here?s the order everything goes in:

? Cover with title and playwright?s name
? Title page 
? List of characters and, if there?s room, a general setting description
? If there?s no room for a setting description with the list of
characters, it can go on a separate page, right after the list of
characters
? The play itself

There?s absolutely no need for a schematic of the set, or for detailed
descriptions of sets or characters, costume plots, or prop
information. The play should speak for itself, and allow the creative
people reading it to develop their own ideas about setting, etc. In
fact, including these things will mark you as an amateur. It?s true
you see them in some published scripts, but they are not at all
standard when submitting original scripts.

I hope this helps you get your script ready for submission! Break a leg!

Kriswrite
firebird-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00
Generous in answers and in time spent.  Full, complete information.  A
BIG THANK YOU!

Comments  
Subject: Re: Standard Way to Bind a Stage Play
From: kriswrite-ga on 21 Jul 2005 10:40 PDT
 
Firebird, thank you for the terrific rating...and the generous tip! I
appreciate both.

Kriswrite

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