Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Rare Birds (Evan & Janet) by Adam Szymkowicz

Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 3.56.50 PM
Poster for the premiere.

Hello everyone and we’re back with some new monologues from Adam Szymkowicz’ play Rare Birds. Let’s take a look at the plot outline (from here):

“Sixteen-year-old Evan Wills is an avid bird watcher who wears colorful songbird shirts to school despite the constant antagonism it brings him. Evan’s mother just wants Evan to be normal, and happy—and normal—and get along with her new boyfriend. While Evan summons the courage to talk to Jenny Monroe (whose locker is next to his), troubled bully Dylan has something darker in mind. After some stupid choices and unexpected results, Evan learns that the worst thing you can do in high school is admit you love something.”

Sounds like Evan hit a bit of a learning curve. You can read a review of the play from 2017.

There are quite a few monologues on YouTube from this play. Let’s explore them.

Evan has a pretty tough monologue where he makes a suicide video note.

Evan: Okay. So I guess this is it.

Here is Evan’s monologue (available from here):

Okay. So I guess this is it. I always thought—well that doesn’t matter. I always thought somehow someday I would figure out what I’m good for. But . . . now . . . it’s clear I’m not good for anything.

I guess I should say don’t blame yourself. This isn’t your fault. No, fuck it. If you feel a little bit sorry for me at all, it is your fault. It’s everyone’s fault. It’s my father’s fault. Mom, this is your fault. Everyone at school, all the students, all the teachers, the principal, this is all your fault. I want the guilt to eat you up. I want you to wonder what you should have done for the rest of your life. (pause) What am I talking about? No one will miss me. No one will care. No one will feel bad. You will all be happier.

I could never fit in. I’m too weird. And that’s not going to change. I can’t not be who I am. I wouldn’t know how.

So, I guess I’ll never get to kiss a girl. I will never see a Red-Crowned Crane in the wild. But what’s the point of that anyway? It’s just a fucking bird, right? No one cares about fucking birds.

I’m sorry for being in your lives, for wasting your time.

Okay. This is it. Goodbye. In my next life, I would like to be a bird. If requests are allowed. So long.

(EVAN raises the gun to his head. A beat. Another beat. A tap on the window. He looks up. JENNY is outside. He speaks to the screen.)

Okay. Hold on a second. I may be hallucinating.

Not all the YouTube videos do the full monologue. Some paraphrase.

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

F

 

G

 

H

 

I

 

J

 

When Evan barricades himself in his room, his mother Janet has something to say…

SUplay
From a Michigan production

Janet: It’s not easy.

Janet’s monologue is available here.

It’s not easy. I’m not saying I thought it would be easy. I don’t know. I could use some help. It’s been the two of us and that has worked sort of but also it’s not working at all. If only your father was here. The way he had with people. He was amazing, wasn’t he, in his interactions. He would know how to talk to you. He made people feel good about themselves. It didn’t matter if he was talking to a mechanic or a doctor. Everyone liked him. That’s who he was. I don’t know who he was.

Do you remember his funeral? The whole town came. They said it was the biggest turnout they ever had. For weeks people came by with dinners they made, cakes, breads. But then, eventually, they stopped coming and they forgot about me. It was him they liked, not me. I was just a reminder he was gone. And now I go into the grocery store and there’s no recognition in anyone’s eyes. Maybe they don’t want to remember him. Or maybe they were never really his friends anyway. I don’t know. Or maybe too much time has passed. Or maybe they found out. Some of them must have known. In a small town like this –You don’t remember, do you? I hope you don’t remember. I tried to keep it away from you. What he did. And how he did it. I thought I knew him. And then with one quick action he made it clear I didn’t know him at all.

I don’t know why he left us. He was just lost. I could see it sometimes in the way he looked off in the distance. He wasn’t there, wouldn’t let me see. So charismatic all the time and then moments where he wasn’t there. The darkness. Still. I never thought—Which is why it scares me so much that you’re having such trouble. A man like him could do that, then you with all the problems you’re having. Evan? Evan, baby?

Evan? Evan, honey, are you there? Evan? Can you let me in?

Should I be worried? Is this something to worry about?

(pause)

Evan? I’m going to break the door down. I’ll get the sledgehammer. I’ll get the axe. I’ll knock it down.

(Beat)

Evan—You’re not like him, are you?

Let’s see how the Janet monologues are:

A

 

B

 

For other monologues by Szymkowicz, we have Incendiary here and Pretty Theft here.

Also, if you are considering anything similar to what Evan is considering, please don’t. The US suicide hotline is here, the UK hotline here and the Canadian one here. You can even reach out to this blog if you want.

For more Monologue Monday, just go here. Thank you very much!

 

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