Screenwriting Structure from Alternative Scriptwriting
last revised 1/23/08
I like the Dancyger and Rush summary for thinking about a screenplay (which could certainly fit with a play; p. 14)):
As far as traditional screenplay structure, which could certainly translate into a full-length play structure, is presented as the "restorative three act play" which is yet another take on Freytag's triangle, or what they call the "action line" (p. 5-6).
This action line has:
See my attempt to do a grid of these elements for Six Degrees of Separation...
Of course, the high concept film or play will focus on action (like an action film). To make something alternative, according to these authors, you can focus on the low concept or struggles within characters. Oh, and you can also just have two acts instead of three, or avoid the safe ending or any heavy ending at all, or mix genres in new ways, or you can have the protagonist be a black hat, or an ironic character (aren't many of these ideas things the Postmodernists do all the time? pp. 7-10).
Here's a gamer's analysis page that talks about three act restorative narrative structures: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2796/game_taxonomies_a_high_level_.php