Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Elise in Incendiary (Adam Szymkowicz)

Hello everyone!!! Welcome to a new Monologue Monday. This week we’ll visit the character of Elise in Adam Szymkowicz’ Incendiary.

From here.

For another Szymkowicz monologue we’ve profiled, please check here.

This certainly sounds like a fun play. Let’s get the synopsis from the New Play Exchange page:

“Elise is a pyromaniac fire chief who falls in love with Jake, the detective investigating her fires. Carrie, Elise’s therapist, is trying to get her to stop lighting fires and Carrie’s husband, Gary, is leading the life of a somewhat ineffective corporate spy.”

This sounds like one of those plays I wish I’d written.

Here’s a review from Chicago.

Of course these are Elise’s monologue…there’s a character breakdown for her:

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 9.37.46 AM

I could stay…

The first monologue’s set up is pretty ingenious/funny:

“Elise tries to decide if she should stay in bed with the detective she loves or go and start a fire.”

The actual monologue is right here.

“Bedroom.  Night.  JAKE snores in bed.  ELISE is partially dressed.)


I could stay.  I could stay.  Oh, but the light and the heat and the smell, oh the smell.  But I could stay.  He has smells.  He has heat.  He has other fine attributes.

The light. The sound of a scraping match.  Acetone.  Gasoline.  Kerosene.  The dripping. The pain in the eyes.  The light.  The heat.  The billows of smoke.  We have too many buildings, don’t you think?  Too many construction sites, empty warehouses, all so much fuel.  It’s a service to take away these extra dangerous buildings.  They are in the way, they are dry and cracked and falling down and they need a good match, a good flame a cleansing of the palate, a cleansing of the city.

But I could stay and climb into his arms and breathe his foul comfort of a breath.  I could cling to his beliefs in right and wrong and the law.  I could give up firestarting right now for good.  I could climb back into his bed, dive under the covers.  I could warm myself on his broad back, lick the back of his neck, put my small hand around his trigger finger.

But there’s the light.  There’s the heat.  There is love and there is love and there are things that I need.  And I  . . .

(ELISE folds JAKE’s, puts it with care on his bed, then kisses him on the forehead.)”

Let’s see what brave performers have chosen this monologue…




“I want to stop…”

Here Elise tells her therapist how hard it is for her to stop lighting fires. You can find the monologue here:


I want to stop.  I really do.  I’m trying.  I really am.  But I don’t think you understand.  A fire is the most beautiful thing ever created.  I dare you to show me a work of art that can rival a five alarm fire.  You couldn’t do it.  You just couldn’t.  And I like art as much as the next person but I wonder always when I see a Van Gogh or a Rembrant–I imagine, as I’m sure you do, what it would look like on fire.  That second before the painting caves in, that would be . . . it would be . . . incomparable.  But sadly, I don’t think any of us will live to see it.  We could burn prints, I suppose, cheap gift store prints, but it would just be paper.  No melting paint, no disintegrating wood.  It’s a waste.

There is nothing in this world like fire.  At first it’s just a match, an idea, a spark, a little yellow flame, and it need nurturing to grow to an inferno.  Those oranges, those yellows, those cores of blue don’t just happen by themselves.  They take planning.  They take skill.  They take love.  I am not some Zippo-flicking fourteen year old—no.  I am an artist.  I can light a fire so precise all that’s left of the building is dust while the rest of the block is miraculously untouched.  And of course, me and the boys are always around to come and put it out in case anything should happen.”






“I’m just saying…”

Would a pyromaniac fire chief threaten somebody? This pyromaniac fire chief would.

The monologue is also available here:


I’m just saying you better not.  Things can catch on fire sometimes I can’t control.  Like your house.  Or your husband.  And maybe the firefighters will get bad directions and arrive much much too late to do anything about it and then your house or your husband will be unrecognizable.  Things like that can happen.  I mean you do what you want, I’m just saying if you like your house and your husband you might want to reconsider your position on whether or not you should mention my firestarting career to anyone.  Because I’m really good at eluding cops at least long enough to set everything you love on fire.”





Ya kinda want her to keep on lighting fires.

ALL of the monologues are available on Mr. Syzmkowicz’ site.

Anyways, this week we’ll have another Unknown Playwright on Thursday AND we’ll feature a new monologue on Monday.

Peace out.

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