Writing a script isn’t as easy as it may initially seem. It requires developing relatable characters, creating the right setting, and having an airtight, plausible story. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. Here are ten great scenario prompts to help you get started on your next playscript.
1. An Aging Man
The first entry in our list of scenario prompts is the aging man. Here, you want to start by creating a character of someone older, like a respected gentleman in his early 60s. You can set the theme for the playscript by talking about how he was once the epitome of success and charm. If it’s in line with what you’re aiming for, you could go into how he was a lady’s man.
Go into how he is now grappling with the inevitable challenges of aging. This approach will help you start setting up the main elements of your story. For example, you can say his once-thick hair, which was the focus of many of the compliments he received in his youth, has been increasingly thinning and is now causing him to feel self-conscious. At this point, people will be invested in the character.
To execute this part, consider including a scene where he looks at himself in the mirror with a rather sad expression, saying something like, ‘Where did the time go? I used to have such luscious hair. Now, it’s all gone.’ Your story can follow his search for the best hair loss treatment, from natural remedies to modern solutions. His bid to reclaim his lost youth can then lead to an emotional journey down the road of self-acceptance.
Along the way, you can introduce unexpected friendships. For example, one with an older man who’s at the point where they need round-the-clock care. This is a great way of integrating a different perspective into your story. Use them to help your character learn valuable life lessons about accepting change. At the end of the play, your audience will take away the fact that it’s important to find contentment in the present moment.
2. A Struggling Attorney
As you think of possible scenario prompts, consider one of a struggling injury attorney. Like with the previous one, start by creating a main character. Let’s start with a name, Jennifer.
Set the scene by talking about how she is a passionate and ambitious attorney who once had everything going for them. A successful career with great prospects, a loving family, good looks, you name it all. However, on one seemingly normal morning, while on her way to the office, she got into an accident that left her with life-changing injuries. While her experience as an injury attorney may have allowed her to get fair compensation for the resulting damages, Jeniffer now faces the daunting challenge of getting her promising career back on track while constantly battling her inner demons.
The play can explore her struggles adjusting to her new reality and navigating the demanding nature of the legal world. Delve into how the industry has historically valued appearance over substance. Ensure you have a few scenes diving into the trials and tribulations she experiences.
Go for a happy ending. You can have Jennifer meet a more successful legal professional who helps her realize that her appearance doesn’t define her worth as an attorney. It’s her determination and dedication to justice that sets her apart.
3. Hardworking Servers
Consider using hardworking servers as one of your scenario prompts. Start by coming up with a name for a restaurant. In this story, we can use ”Dice and Munch,” a popular restaurant where the servers work tirelessly to cater to the diverse needs of their customers. Delve into how friendships form amidst the chaos of delivering quality service. Don’t forget to explore the rivalries that are typical in the workplace environment.
To give your story a sentimental angle, you can focus on how each server dreams of a better future outside of working in restaurants waiting tables. Here’s an idea for one of the scenes. As the servers attend to the last customers of the day and clean up in preparation for the next morning, one of them says, ‘I dream of being more than just a server someday.’ Have their colleagues agree in unison to make it even more nostalgic.
You can follow up the scene with one where the servers go for after-work drinks and start talking about what they hope to achieve in life. The play should give an intimate look into the servers’ lives as they navigate the challenges of demanding customers, workplace dynamics, and personal setbacks. Ideally, it should end with the main characters finding solace and camaraderie in their shared experiences, motivating them to pursue their dreams beyond waiting tables.
4. Hardened Criminals
Hardened criminals are one of the most famous scenario prompts. It’s a popular theme for plays all around the world. To kick off your playscript, establish at least three characters of criminals who run their operations together. Talk about how they respond to loyalty, raise bail bond, deal with betrayal, and live life with the ever-looming possibility of capture.
When people think of hardened criminals, the first thing that comes to mind is a gritty, unforgiving world. That’s what people expect. To make your play stand out, consider a different angle.
Explore their human side. A great way to express this in your playscript is by going into detail about their pasts and how their different experiences led them down the road of crime. In most cases, one’s life experiences do make the man.
Challenge societal norms and perceptions. Demonstrate that even in the coldest and darkest places, you can find a bit of light. There’s always the potential for redemption and genuine connections.
5. The Novice Doctor
This would also be a nice addition to your list of scenario prompts. Here’s an example of how you can use it. Dr. Rosa Wright is a young talented, and dedicated vascular surgeon. She must deal with moral conundrums, demanding supervisors, and the persistent shadow of impostor syndrome as she navigates the difficulties of starting her first official job at a prominent hospital. Follow her progress as she works to establish her value and save lives in the demanding field of medicine.
Your playscript should highlight the enormous responsibility and strain that medical practitioners, particularly novices like Rosa, must bear. Shed light on the sacrifices they have to make daily and the emotional toll it takes on their lives. Rosa finds her inner strength through willpower, coworkers’ encouragement, and an unrelenting commitment to her patients and succeeds in the medical field. It is the responsibility and strain that medical practitioners, particularly
6. A Recovering Addict
If you’re keen on highlighting the challenges that addicts face when on the path to recovery, consider including a recovering addict in your list of scenario prompts. The opioid epidemic has plagued the U.S. for years now. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of drug overdose fatalities in 2020 were due to an opioid. This tells you that if you create a playscript from this prompt, you’ll find at least a few people who relate.
To give you an idea of how to use it, let’s create a fictional character, Alex. He’s a recovering addict who has been fighting the demons of addiction and has now won the first battle, accepting he needs professional help. As Alex seeks opioid treatment to begin the steps of recovery, he receives an equal share of support and skepticism from loved ones. However, his new-found motivation to ”not let his mistakes define his future” gets him to the goal.
Let your playscript take the audience on the raw and emotional journey of addiction and recovery. Address the stigma associated with addiction while emphasizing the value of compassion, understanding, and having a supportive community in the rehabilitation process. You want Alex to be a beacon of hope and show that everyone deserves a second chance.
7. Homeless Youth
As you put together your list of scenario prompts for your next play script, consider adding homeless young people. They go through a lot to survive on the bustling streets. Imagine not knowing where your next meal will come from, or if you’ll get anything at all, having no roof over your head protecting you from the harsh weather elements. Being in such a situation can make you even lose the ability to picture the future.
There are many angles to take when you base your playscript on this prompt. For example, you can focus on a community of homeless young people whose shared situation has led them to form a makeshift family. Pick one of them, for example, Cindy, and make them the start of your story. Dive into how she navigates the challenges of living on the street and in shelters and still hopes for a better future for herself and her new family. Use this as inspiration to create your unique playscript. Make it as original to you as possible.
8. Angsty Teenagers
If there’s one thing that everyone around the world can agree on regardless of race, gender, and orientation, it’s that the world of teenagers can be chaotic. You probably don’t need anyone to tell you this; you were once there. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, and you start to embrace your individuality while dealing with heightened self-consciousness.
Use your teenage experiences to develop a playscript from this scenario prompt. For example, if you had to undergo braces treatment to correct misaligned or crooked teeth, significantly affecting your self-confidence, use it as your theme. Explore things like the pressure to conform, the fear of judgment, and how to navigate the journey toward self-acceptance. Talk about everything from heartbreaks to personal growth. Don’t shy away from using humor, especially after sad scenes, to make things light for the audience.
9. A Trailblazing Professional
A trailblazing professional is among the most popular scenario prompts. It’s relatable in many ways. We live in a world where not everyone can access the same opportunities. Some people do have it better than others.
You can approach this in several ways. Here’s an example. Meet Tyrone, one of the few black attorneys in a prestigious law firm known for winning some of the most difficult cases. He strives to shatter the glass ceilings while trying to find the delicate balance between prioritizing professional and personal aspirations.
In your playscript, describe how he deals with the stereotypes he encounters in a predominantly white-dominated environment. Explore the intricacies of racial bias, microaggressions and how representation will benefit future generations. While it may not initially seem like it, such a play can contribute to transforming the workplace culture for the better, even in a small way. Don’t worry about other people not doing their part, do yours and let the rest fall into place.
A lot of people face similar challenges in the workplace. You’d be surprised by how many. Do your best to make the character as relatable as you can. A great way to achieve this is by using personal experiences as reference.
10. The Master Sommelier
The master sommelier makes for a great scenario prompt. Wine is one of the most timeless drinks. It cuts across all generations. The longer a wine bottle sits, the more valuable it’s considered.
If you need inspiration, here’s a great example. Robert Fox is a seasoned and famous master sommelier who knows everything about the elegant world of wine. Have the playscript develop as he shares his secrets with young wine enthusiasts. Amidst the swirling to get the aromas and complex flavors, explore their unique experiences united by the love and enjoyment of wine.
You’d be surprised how deep of a connection there is between the taste of a specific wine and a personal experience in people’s lives. Don’t be afraid to use people you know for inspiration. However, let them know if you think it might be an issue.
You probably already know how challenging writing a playscript can be, especially when you lack inspiration. Using scenario prompts helps to get your creative juices flowing. Who knows, you could be on the verge of ushering in the next blockbuster! These ten interesting scenario prompts should give you a head start.