What is a Short Play Called? [2023]

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Are you curious about what a short play is called? Look no further, because we are here to provide you with all the information you need. Whether you're an aspiring playwright, a theater lover, or simply someone interested in the world of theater, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll define what a short play is, explore different types of short plays, and provide some tips for writing and producing your own. So let's dive in!

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Short plays, also known as one-act plays, are a condensed form of theater that typically last between 10 and 60 minutes. They are often performed as part of a larger production or as standalone works in festivals or competitions. Short plays can cover a wide range of genres, themes, and styles, making them a versatile and exciting format for both playwrights and performers.

What is a Short Play?

A short play is a self-contained theatrical piece that tells a complete story within a shorter time frame compared to full-length plays. Unlike longer plays, which may have multiple acts and intermissions, short plays are designed to be performed in a single uninterrupted performance. They can have a minimal set, a small cast, and focus on a specific theme or idea.

Types of Short Plays

There are several types of short plays, each with its own unique characteristics and purpose. Here are some common types:

  1. Ten-Minute Plays: As the name suggests, these plays are written to be performed in approximately ten minutes. They are popular in theater festivals and competitions due to their concise format. Ten-minute plays require efficient storytelling and often focus on a single theme or dramatic situation.

  2. One-Act Plays: One-act plays have a more flexible running time than ten-minute plays, typically ranging from 20 to 60 minutes. They can delve deeper into characters and have a stronger narrative structure. One-act plays are often performed as standalone works but can also be part of a larger production.

  3. Youth Plays: Youth plays are specifically written for young performers and audiences. They are designed to be educational, entertaining, and suitable for a younger age group. Youth plays often address issues relevant to young people and provide opportunities for young actors to showcase their talents.

  4. Radio Plays: Although not as common today, radio plays were popular during the golden age of radio. These plays are written to be performed and heard on the radio, relying solely on sound effects and voice acting to tell the story. Radio plays require a different approach to writing and often involve more focus on dialogue and sound design.

  5. Short Musical Plays: Similar to short plays, short musical plays combine theater and music to create a unique performance. They are usually shorter in length and feature songs and musical numbers throughout the play. Short musical plays provide opportunities for actors and musicians to collaborate and showcase their talents.

Each type of short play offers its own set of artistic possibilities and challenges. It's important to choose a type that aligns with your goals as a playwright and the resources available to you.

Tips for Writing a Short Play

Writing a short play requires careful planning and concise storytelling. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose a clear and concise theme: Since you have limited time, it's important to focus on a specific theme or idea. This will give your play a clear direction and make it more impactful.

  2. Keep the cast and set simple: To optimize the production process, consider writing for a small cast and a minimal set. This will make it easier to stage and produce your play.

  3. Create memorable characters: Even in a short play, memorable characters can make a lasting impression on the audience. Focus on developing well-rounded characters that are relatable and have clear objectives.

  4. Craft a strong opening and closing: Grab your audience's attention from the start and leave them with a lasting impression. A strong opening and closing can elevate your play and make it stand out.

  5. Edit and refine: With limited time, every word and scene matters. Edit your play ruthlessly, removing anything that doesn't serve the story or contribute to the overall impact.

Tips for Producing a Short Play

Producing a short play involves more than just writing the script. Here are some tips to help you bring your short play to life:

  1. Gather a dedicated team: Whether you're producing the play yourself or working with a theater group, having a dedicated team is essential. This includes directors, actors, set designers, and technical crew.

  2. Secure a performance space: Find a suitable venue for your play and ensure you have the necessary permissions and resources to stage the production.

  3. Plan rehearsals effectively: Since time is of the essence, plan and organize rehearsals efficiently. Use rehearsal time wisely to polish performances and coordinate technical elements.

  4. Manage your resources: With limited time and budget, resource management becomes crucial. Make sure to utilize your available resources effectively and find creative solutions to any challenges that arise.

  5. Promote your play: Spread the word about your short play through social media, local advertising, and word-of-mouth. Engage with the community and build excitement around your production.


What are different types of plays called?

Different types of plays include full-length plays, one-act plays, ten-minute plays, musicals, children's plays, and more. Each type has its own characteristics and purpose.

What do you call a 10 minute play?

A 10-minute play is typically referred to as a ten-minute play or a short play. It is a self-contained theatrical piece designed to be performed in approximately ten minutes.

What are small sections of a play called?

Small sections of a play are often referred to as scenes or acts. Scenes are smaller units within a play that depict a specific event or interaction. Acts divide a play into larger sections and typically mark significant shifts in the story or setting.

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