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  • 1.  Adding extra characters to one act

    Posted 11-06-2018 10:52
    Good Morning! 
    I have more students auditioning for the one act play than there are parts. I don't direct in a big school and am always short on male actors, so I don't want to turn anyone away. Luckily, the play I chose calls for extras. I was wondering if allowing the extras to ad-lib lines is an infringement of copyright laws. I would like to give the extras more to do if possible. 

    Thank you for any advice you may have!

    Anne Elisa Brown
    Director of the MHS Drama Department
    Madison Central School District
    Madison SD

  • 2.  RE: Adding extra characters to one act

    Posted 11-07-2018 18:17

    In general, the rule is that you may make no changes--including cuts or additions--to a play without permission from the playwright (or the playwright's representative). So if you're adding lines, ad-libbed or not, you're making changes--changes that may alter the playwright's intent. You need to ask.


    Jonathan Dorf
    Playwright/ Co-founder of YouthPLAYS/ Co-chair of The Alliance Of Los Angeles Playwrights
    Los Angeles CA

  • 3.  RE: Adding extra characters to one act

    Posted 11-08-2018 14:54

    Jonathan is correct, unless you have written permission to make the change, it is usually expressly prohibited. 

    Perhaps have a couple of the students perform a monologue or two or a 10 minuet play before the one act? 


    David Simpson
    Performing Arts Center Manager
    East China Schools
    East China MI

  • 4.  RE: Adding extra characters to one act

    Posted 11-19-2018 11:38
    I always tell my kids that they are actors not playwrights so I do not allow for ad libs except where the stage direction specifically states. I do however, always bring in 2 additional students with each character entering. They get more stage time & get to hone the skills of reacting. With The 10 I had without lines last year, each had 5 costume changes when those with lines had 1 or 2. It made them feel important & taught about quick changes too. Sometimes I assign each member to a specific character so whenever your counterpart is on stage, so are you.

    Maria Stadtmueller
    St. Augustine School
    Kendall Park, NJ

    Sent from my iPhone
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