The Difference Between Writing for the Stage and for Television

The difference between writing for stage and for television is almost an optical one. Language on the stage has to be slightly larger than life because it is being heard in a much larger space. Plot counts for less on the television screen because one is seeing the characters at closer quarters than in the theatre. The shape and plot of a stage play count for more in consequence of the distance between the audience and the action. A theatre audience has a perspective on a play as a television audience does not. The audience in a theatre is an entity as a television audience is not. On television the playwright is conversing. In the theatre he is (even when conversing) addressing a meeting. The stage aspires to the condition of art as television seldom does (which is not to say that it shouldn't). The most that can be said for these plays in that respect is that occasionally they stray into literature.