Writing a Play using PASTO

For this assignment, you are the playwright!


You will write a three-page play with the following criteria:

  1. Use only two characters. Make sure the protagonist/antagonist relationship is clear. With only two characters, this should be easy to do.
  2. Follow PASTO. Make sure every element is represented.
  3. Use 12-point font, one inch margins on all sides, and double-space (publisher’s format, like the plays in your text).

P – Preparation

A – Attack (Initial Incident)

S – Struggle (Rising action)

T – Turn (Climax)

O – Outcome (Resolution)



The Protagonist


Our hero


The good guy


A shining beacon of virtue


A one man army


This guy.


This is often what people think of when they think of a protagonist: Superman, Frodo, Luke Skywalker, or Dudley Do- Right.


While the hero is often the protagonist in melodramatic structure, the definition of a protagonist is broader.


The protagonist is the character who makes the most choices. It is his/her story, the character through whose eyes we experience the play. Take Shakespeare’s Richard III – not a good guy, but it is his story, or Iago – also not a good guy but we see the drama unfold through his eyes, not Othello’s.


The Antagonist


You may think of someone like this when you envision an antagonist: a villain, the bad guy, or someone lurking in a doorway or in an alley. While this can be true, it is not always the case. The antagonist in drama is the character who places obstacles before the protagonist.


If we think about Water by the Spoonful, who comes to mind as the villain?


While there are a lot of characters in the play who pose obstacles to Odessa, there really isn’t a villain to the story.


Who is the person who poses the biggest obstacle to Odessa’s recovery? While Elliot is shocked when his mother overdoses, he puts the most negative pressure on Odessa. He isn’t a villain. He’s acting out of his own pain and disillussionment.


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