In a screenplay, if you have a single character whose appearance and significance changes at some point - how do you note/explain that it's the same character?

For example, I might have a MASKED ASSASSIN in an early scene, and then in a later scene she appears as MARTHA MARIGOLD, without the Assassin Get-up. How should I describe this in the script?

  • 1
    You need to put more content into your questions. Are you writing a screenplay? Can you describe the context in more detail, maybe explain what the scene is?
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Oct 9, 2014 at 15:22
  • Who are Masked Assassin and Martha Marigold? Are they are your character names or something we should recognize? Oct 9, 2014 at 16:23
  • Placing this on hold until this can be clarified; it's not answerable in its current form. D.R., please edit this and we'll reopen once the question is clear. Oct 9, 2014 at 16:45
  • I think I understood this clearly, particularly given the screenwriting tag. D.R., if I've made a mistake, please comment or edit :-)
    – Standback
    Oct 9, 2014 at 17:11
  • @Standback Nice edit! Have reversed my downvote. Oct 9, 2014 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


A screenplay is written primarily for the production crew, not for the audience, so you don't have to be afraid of spoiling any plot points by mentioning that two apparently different persons are in fact the same character.

When you want both the MASKED ASSASSIN and MARTHA MARIGOLD to be portrayed by the same actress, you would refer to both under the same name, so nobody gets confused about how many actors need to be cast and which actors need to be present for the scene.

To make clear in which identity the character appears, you would mention the current identity in the stage direction when they appear.

MARTHA MARIGOLD dressed in the MASKED ASSASSIN DISGUISE enters the room through the window

                 MARTHA MARIGOLD: 
             Time for you to die, fool!

Martha Marigold stabs the man with a DAGGER. He falls to the ground and dies. Martha Marigold jumps out of the window.

Martha Marigold, now without disguise, enters the room through the door.

                 MARTHA MARIGOLD: 
       Oh no! Someone murdered him! Help! Police!

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