What Makes a Good Play?

Stefano Bertolotti/CC-BY-2.0

Some of the main components that determine whether a play is entertaining or successful are the story, script writing, performances of actors, stage management, set design and props, costumes, lighting design and sound.

The story is the foundation for the script and all of the other elements in a play. Stories that are exciting, passionate or striking provide material that audiences will be interested in or moved by. Compelling stories typically have strong literary elements, such as the setting, theme, plot and characters. Dialogue and script writing style also contribute to the success of a play. The performance of the actors in the play is another influential factor. Training, experience, stage presence, energy level and voice projection contribute to the performance level of theater actors.

Production aspects including stage management, set design, props, costumes, lighting design and sound, all have an effect on the quality of a theatrical play. The production manager and stage manager must work to ensure that technical aspects function smoothly and at the right time. Scenic backdrops, furniture, artwork and props add to the visual aesthetics and atmosphere. Costumes support the development of characters and settings in plays. In addition, sound equipment and lighting effects can enhance the production and ambiance of plays.