Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Catherine from Nice People Dancing To Good Country Music by Lee Blessing

Howdy folks. We’re back with another exciting edition of Monologue Monday.

Today’s monologue comes to us from a play with a great title: Nice People Dancing To Good Country Music. This play dates from 1982. The following synopsis comes from a 2016 production:

Eve Wilfong, who lives over the “Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music Bar,” is paid a visit by her niece Catherine Empanger, a novice nun who’s been asked to leave her convent. It seems Catherine suffers from a curious compulsion to yell obscenities at the wrong moment, and even, on occasion, bark like a dog. Roy, an honest if simple fellow from the bar downstairs, wants to court Catherine whether she’s a nun or not. Eve feels she should give her niece the benefit of her experiences with men before allowing her to venture back into the mad modern country world. What follows is not simply comic and well-observed, but romantic and affecting as well.

ASUT~Nicepeopledancing2010.11_small1
From a university production.

Given Catherine’s predisposition to bark like a dog – and the fact Roy wants to romance her…comedic conflict arises by the manure truckload.

34e1de40719613.578a67b111ae6

5a809c40719613.578a67b11236e
Every production has a beat-up truck. Oh, and love the tire iron.

Lee Blessing has gone on to have a great playwriting career, including winning many awards.

Here’s a 2009 production talking about the play:

 

Here is a trailer from 2009 college production:

 

This is Catherine’s monologue, taken from this miraculous site.

 I noticed it one day a few months ago. I was going to breakfast one morning — a morning like any other morning—and I passed one of the sisters in the hallway. She∗s a woman I saw every day, someone I’d never harbored an evil thought about. She smiled as she went by, looking serene, and I smiled back at her and said, “Isn’t this a lovely morning, Sister Shit?”. I don’t know where it came from. It’s one of my clearest memories, though: the look on her face, the way she recovered almost at once, and asked me to excuse her, but she hadn’t quite heard . . . And even I wasn’t sure at that moment, just what I’d said. I couldn’t have said what I thought I’d . . . So anyway, I smiled pleasantly and apologetically, and took a deep breath, and said, “You heard me, Fart-face,” and walked on. I did. I swear I didn’t mean to. Sister Beatrice never hurt me in her life. She was one of the ones I liked best. And it‘s not even a matter of that. We’re in the same holy order, we’re children of God. It just came out of me. Like speaking in tongues or something. The words just leaped out of me. They had to be spoken. That’s what my psychologist said. Wouldn’t you see a psychologist? I saw everybody. I saw lots of people in the Church: priests, nuns, bishops — everyone. I cussed them out. All of them. Except God and my psychologist. Eve, I never meant to say any of those things. But I couldn’t help it. I started swearing like a linebacker every time I saw the convent. And I’d say other things, too. Irrational things. I’d recite the backs of Wheaties boxes. Not at breakfast — other times: during devotions, working in the garden. I didn∗t even know I read the backs of Wheaties boxes. It was just there, suddenly, word for word. I don’t know why Wheaties, it’s what we ate. But other things, too. Things I∗d heard on the radio, rules from games I played as a kid, bird calls, sounds from comic books: Bam! Rat-a-tat-tat! Ka-boom! Usually during meditation. The psychologist said that I wasn∗t cut out to be a nun. He said I was unconsciously trying to break out of the constraints of convent life. It’s not the obscenity. I got no bigger thrill saying fart-face than yelling “red light green light” or barking like a dog. It was the impropriety of it. That’s all I wanted. To shock people. To shock myself. I’ve been numb for months. I mean, there I was — I had everything planned out. I was committed to a life of service in the Church, and suddenly it was . . . Sister Shit. My parents didn’t say anything. Nothing helpful. I went home to explain — you know, maybe stay a week? I was there three days. They couldn’t believe I’d failed at ‘my life’s mission.’ They spent the whole time whimpering like a pair of lost puppies. (Sighs.) Finally, Mom accused me of wanting to have children, and I left. So, I came down here. I didn’t know where to go. Nobody up there would talk to me. And I didn’t want to go see Aunt Margaret. I don’t know what I’ll do now. Live a normal life, I guess. I always thought I’d be special, a little more . . . something than the usual person. But I’m just the usual person.

A

 

B

 

Thanks so much for reading. Be sure to check out other monologues as well as our theatre horror stories.

And as an unusual treat – did you know an Indonesian country singer teamed up with a Dutch country singer on a song about Mississippi?

Well, now you know. And you can try to dance to it.

 

Oh and here’s Johnny Cash singing in German.

2 thoughts on “Monologue Monday: Catherine from Nice People Dancing To Good Country Music by Lee Blessing”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s