Formats & Formulas

Eugene Scribe and The Well Made Play (c. 1825)

Gustav Freytag and his Pyramid (1863)

Brockett’s “Analyzing Scripts”: Brockett Play Analysis


  • plot vs. story
  • unities of time, place, and action
  • dramatic question
  • point of attack
  • inciting incident
  • given circumstances
  • exposition
  • complication
  • climax
  • denouement
  • act, scene, French scenes
  • deus ex machina


Application: How can we map out/diagram/illustrate the structure in either of these short films?

Call Back from SIDE FILMS on Vimeo.

Exposition: Let’s read the opening page of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles to dig out the exposition.