Manuscript Format Elements
The Rules: Manuscript format is the only format to use when you are submitting your script to theater companies, contests, publishers, agents and other theater opportunities. The guiding principle here is easy reading.
- Title Page
- Cast Page
- Musical Numbers Page (musicals only)
- Act/Scene Heading
- At Rise Description
- Character Name
- Stage Directions
No particular font, like the Courier 12 point in screenwriting, is the rule. I prefer Times Roman for its ease of reading, but Courier or any other simple, clear font is acceptable. Cursive fonts or handwritten corrections are not acceptable. Whichever font you choose, though, keep the size at 12 points for reading ease.
Play Page Layout
- Use 8.5" by 11" paper (3 hole punch if possible).
- Top and bottom margins are about 1".
- Right margin is also 1". Left margin, where the binding is, is approximately 1.5".
- Page numbering starts on page 2, place a page number in the upper right hand corner (in the header).
- Do not number the Cast Page.
Note: See International Submission setting at end of document.
Software Tip: Script formatting software knows how to put off page numbering till the right place. As we go along other rules are either incorporated or quickly set up in the software, too.