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Format Guidelines – illustrated and explained


Comprehensive, annotated guidelines for formatting musical theatre scripts and scores, for rehearsals OR professional submission.  (140 pages)




In this document you will find description and examples of formatting for scripts and scores for musical theatre. There are several “standard” formats out there. ANMT’s standards are based on the very traditional guidelines formulated by Samuel French. We do not recommend using the musical theatre templates which come with various word processing softwares, as they tend to be incomplete and flag the user as not-professional.

A manuscript prepared according to these guidelines will look professional when you submit it to producers and theatres, and it will enable actors, directors, music directors (etc.) to be able to rehearse your show efficiently and accurately.

The first section is dedicated to the preparation of a piano/vocal score.

The second section is dedicated to the preparation of a script and lyric pages.

At the conclusion of the document you will find a sample of an “integrated script” which ANMT requires for readings and workshops, in which the score is collated within the script itself. A submission to producers and theatres typically does not integrate the score with the script; the integration is useful for rehearsals and minimal page-turning.

There are many many details included here, and the reality is that you really must be responsible for all of them. As you prepare more and more manuscripts, these details will become familiar and ultimately second nature to you. In the interim, however, we hope this document helps point out by illustration and description formatting standards which will ensure that your script is professional submission.

Here are some sample excerpts:

Format Guidelines excerpt

Sample score excerpt

Sample script excerpt