Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Cactus and Karma by David Hansen

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special pandemic edition of Monologue Monday! Today we bring you two pieces of Quarantine Theatre.

These are monologues written by playwright David Hansen and performed by actors under quarantine. How claustrophobic is that?

Playwright Hansen and his gang of thespians have created something called The Short Play Project where they perform Hansen’s plays from the comfort of their very own quarantine.

CACTUS

The first play we’re profiling is about cactus sex. Kinda.

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OH YEAH!!!!

It’s actually about vulnerability and is more of a metaphor. I know, I was kinda crushed, too.

This monologue can be used by any gender.

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The guys, at work. They call me the cactus. Not “Cactus,” that would feel like a

nickname. “What’s up, Cactus?” That would be cute. No, that’s what they say behind

my back. [concerned, under the breath] “Don’t fuck up today, the Cactus is out for

blood.”[normal voice] Which is fine. I’m not there to have fun or be liked. I have work to

do and so do they, I don’t care if they are afraid to deal with me, they have to and that’s

it.

I do hate when I am referred to as prickly. That bothers me. But tough? Okay. Yes. Call

me tough. Is it because I am aggressive? No, it’s not. A cactus isn’t aggressive. A cactus

doesn’t leap out at you from a dark alley and murder you. That would be funny right.

[hard stare] No, you have to mess with it. Then you get hurt. That was a warning. To

you. I guess.

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Look, but don’t touch.

I am a seed that fell in a stony place, with no roots and little hope for survival. But when

the sun rose up I was not scorched, I said, “up yours, sun,” and grew anyway. That was

a biblical reference.

My toughness is my defense. My thorns are a defense. My just coming out and telling

you these things. That doesn’t mean I’m “letting you in.” I am stating the obvious so you

can’t tell me later that you didn’t know.

But I’d like to have sex with you, which means one of two things are going to happen.

You get close and I hurt you, or I let you cut me open to experience all the sweetness I

have hidden inside of me and then I die. I am no longer a cactus.

So ask yourself. Which outcome is more likely to happen?

“The guys at work” always seemed to be assholes, so I wouldn’t put much stock in what they say.

However, this is an interesting play about perception, vulnerability and human nature.

To download the monologue, just click here.

KARMA

The second play is about that age old concept of karma. The play is about a millipede.

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I like to pretend it’s this millipede.

We’re not really told why/how this millipede ended up at its karmic destination, but we don’t really need to be, either.

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I live. I live. I eat. I live. I hunt. I eat. Eat what is in front of me. Navigate the surface. Always moving forward. Across the surface. Surface down. Surface across. Surface up. This is up, I am up, I live, I move, move unencumbered up. Vast plane of nothing, no food, no dark, but safe. Safe, I am, from beings, impossibly large beings, gigantic meatsticks, the great dangers. Also giant, but less so, the beasts who torture, crush, consume. Up surface they cannot go. But no food, I live. I eat, must eat. So, to the surface, with obstacles, surfaces smooth, surfaces nubbly, moving to catch, consume, sate, moving on. I was. I was. I recall. A meatstick once, once giant, a giant meatstick, with, I had, my, the way the world was, to me, mine, I understood. Understood. Understood me. A youth, young for meatstick, very old for me, turns of dark, numbering in the hundreds. A child? A child, curious, thoughts, ideas, catching, hunting, pinching, one like me, separating me, part by part, separated, causing chaos, call it pain. Ending life. I was. I was not. No longer child, now me. To learn. To truly understand.

That’s it. I’ve known several meatsticks in my life and many of them would be better off as millipedes.

You can download the play here.

To see all the plays of Hansen’s noble experiment, please check out the YouTube playlist.

Also, please check out Mr. Hensen’s website where he maintains a blog and other goodies. If you have access to the New Play Exchange, dude is on there, too.

This concludes our very special pandemic Monologue Monday. Everyone be safe. See you soon!

 

 

 

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Laundry and Bourbon (Elizabeth & Hattie) by James McLure

Howdy and welcome back to Monologue Monday. This week’s monologues come from a play entitled Laundry and Bourbon (aka Southern women drinking and gossiping).

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In Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

The play claims to have a plot. I stole this one from playdatabase:

The setting is the front porch of Roy and Elizabeth’s home in Maynard, Texas, on a hot summer afternoon. Elizabeth and her friend Hattie are whiling away the time folding laundry, watching TV, sipping bourbon and Coke, and gossiping about the many open secrets which are so much a part of small-town life. They are joined by the self-righteous Amy Lee who, among other tidbits, can’t resist blurting out that Roy has been seen around town with another woman. While the ensuing conversation is increasingly edged with bitter humor, from it emerges a sense of Elizabeth’s inner strength and her quiet understanding of the turmoil which has beset her husband since his return from Vietnam. He is wild, and he is unfaithful, but he needs her and she loves him. And she’ll be waiting for him when he comes home–no matter what others may say or think.

Admittedly, this isn’t my cup of tea. The Southern-fried genre of theatre has been done much better (think Tennessee Williams) and the small-town village mentality and escape thereof has been better portrayed by Inge. As for comedy, I know real-life Southerners 10 times funnier than this play.

However, on the plus side, it does provide three female roles, some strong. It also provides decent audition monologue material.

Let’s take a look at the character breakdown:

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Two of these characters have monologues we can explore.

Elizabeth: I remember the first day he drove into town in that car.

So these people like to talk about the past. Elizabeth is remembering when she saw Roy with his car.

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Elizabeth: Wish tonight was 10 years ago.

Elizabeth has reached a point in her life and relationship when she wishes she could go into the back seat of a Ford Thunderbird 10 years ago. Also, in fiction, why does it seem men need to teach women about their bodies?

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Hattie: Figure I better check on the kids.

Hattie complains about her kids. The monologue is here.

Hattie: Figure I better check on the kids. No telling what devilment they’ve gotten up to. (Dialing.) Everything gonna turn out fine you’ll see. (On the phone.) Hello? Cheryl? Cheryl dear, this is Mommy. . . Mommy. . . your mother. (Aside.) Child needs a hearing aid. What’s that dear? Vernon Jr. threw a rock at you? Well, throw one back at him, honey. Show him who’s boss. Cheryl, sweetheart, put Grandma on the phone. . . Cheryl this week! (Pause.) Sounds -like they’re running her ragged. Hello? Little Roger. Is that you. I don’t want to talk to you right now punkin, I want to talk to Grandma. . . ’cause I want to talk to Grandma . . . yes Grandma does have baggy elbows. Now lemme talk to her. . . what’s that? Honey of course Mommy loves you. . . I love you all the same. . . Do I love you more than who? Fred Flintstone. Yes. More than Paul Newman no, but Fred Flintstone yes. . . It’s a grown-up joke honey. Now put Grandma on . . . She’s what? Tied up! You untie her you hear me? You want a switchin’? . . . Then you untie her, right now. . . Marion? That you. . . Oh, you were playin’ . . . Oh good I thought they had you tied up for real. . . How they doing. . . yes . . . yes. . . yes I agree there is too much violence on TV. . . yes I’ll pick them up at five. . . No I won’t be late. . . You have my solemn word. . . Goodbye. What’s that? Little Roger? . . . Yes it’s nice to hear your voice again too . . . You’re playing what? Sniper? Vernon Jr. has climbed a tree in the backyard and he has a brick? Well, little Roger, listen and listen carefully, under no circumstances go under that tree. . . He’s gonna drop the brick on your head, sweetheart. . . So don’t go under the tree. That’s just what he wants. . . OK . . . OK . . . “Yabba dabb doo” to you too. (She hangs up.) He’ll walk right under that tree. The child has no more sense than God gave a screwdriver.

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Hattie: Today I went through living hell.

She also goes shopping with said kids. The monologue is here.
HATTIE
Today I went through living hell. I went shopping with my children. Disastrous. When my kids hit a department store, they go berserk. I think it activates something in their glands. We hadn’t been in J.C. Penney’s five minutes before they scattered in all direction. Now you take my little Cheryl. She’s a sweet little thing but bless her heart she’s a thief. It’s time I faced facts, ‘Lizabeth. My daughter is a kleptomaniac. As soon as we got into that store, she started stuffing her pockets. Stuffing her clothing. She ran away from me and ten minutes later I saw her. I barely recognized my only daughter. She looked like a beach ball with legs. Telling her to put it back is no good. Thieving is in her blood. She gets it from Vernon Jr. Now he was in the hardware department chasing his brother with a hammer. And all little Roger was doing was screaming. Somehow Vernon Jr. broke a solid steel J.C. Penney hammer. When it comes to destruction, Vernon Jr. is a genius. But I tell you, it’s the last time I go shopping with those kids. I took the little darlings over to Vern’s mother’s place. She has a nice big house. They ought to have it leveled in about an hour or so.

 

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Hattie: Elizabeth you’re getting all sentimental and romantic.

Of course Hattie has some advice for her yearning-for-the-past friend Elizabeth.

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And there you have it, some monologues. For quality female contemporary monologues, please check out Adam Szymkowicz’ Pretty Theft and Rare Birds as well as Incendiary. There’s also My Name is Tania Head by Alexandra Wood.

PS if you ever wondered what Laundry and Bourbon being rehearsed in Indonesian looks like, now is your chance. And yeah, the director is kind of a dick (like a lot of American directors I’ve known).

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: My Name is Tania Head by Alexandra Wood

Hello and welcome back to Monologue Monday! I hope this Monday finds you happy and healthy.

The story behind this monologue is pretty interesting.

Tania Head is a real person. Her actual name is Alicia Esteve Head. She was born in 1973 in Barcelona with a Spanish dad and English mum. Her dad and brother spent time in prison for bank fraud.

In 2003 she moved to the US. Here she started an online group for 9/11 survivors. She claimed to have been on the 78th floor of the South Tower. She would have been one of very few people to have survived from above the impact. She eventually became the head of a 9/11 survivors’ group. She ended up having her picture taken with real-life Bond villain henchman  former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, the evil racist, sexist man buying the presidency former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg and New York governor George Pataki.

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There are three evil scumbags in this photo. Can you find them?

That’s all fine and dandy. Except she totally made it all up. She made it up so bad that a documentary was made about her. More on that later.

Playwright Alexandra Wood wrote a monologue based upon the testimony Head gave. You can totally buy it here.

I think this is an interesting monologue because the person it’s about is still alive. The actor knows the character is completely lying. Do you shade that with subtlety? Hopefully more female performers pick up this fascinating monologue. Let’s check out a couple of performances:

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(this one starts later in the monologue)

 

Here is a documentary about her story:

 

Thanks for reading and remember, if you’re gonna be a survivor, don’t be a fake survivor.

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: When It Rains Gasoline (Paul, Alysa, Emily, Jody) by Jason D. Martin

Howdy all! Welcome back to Unknown Playwrights and Monologue Monday! This week’s monologue has the winsome title of When It Rains Gasoline.

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I couldn’t find any art for this play, so I borrowed something from Maiyal.

According to the review on TheatreMania, “Jason D. Martin’s When It Rains Gasoline chronicles the massive emotional insecurities and social compromises of a group of Columbine-generation teens, navigating the treacherous waters of adolescence.”

The play premiered in 2010.

Paul: I get along with pretty much all the kids.

Even the play’s description of Paul is none-too-flattering:

Paul: A heavy-set stereotypical “loser.” The other kids avoid Paul or make fun of him.

 

Ouch.

This scene is basically Paul’s social media video diary. Paul isn’t feeling too well and lets the world know.

I get along with pretty much all the kids. I know there are a lotta’ girls that really like me, they’re just shy. I’m kinda’ shy too. I know what they’re going through. I don’t expect them to jump out and tell me how they feel, especially with Chris and… Well, you know. This one group of girls – really popular girls – invited me to a party. I got all dressed up. I was the only boy there. We played a game where they giggled and dared each other to kiss me. None did… I’m sure they were just shy. I… I can really get people to laugh when I do things sometimes. I’m… I’m not always sure what those things are… I mean, I get up from eating lunch and a whole group of kids at the next table starts to laugh. I’ve thought about maybe being a comedian… Especially since I’m so good at making people laugh. Chris and Angus and… I don’t like making those guys laugh. Not really. Sometimes they’re… I… It’s not fun to make them laugh, they… (A painful pregnant pause.) Sometimes I wish that their little hearts would just freeze. I have fantasies about that. Sometimes in my dreams I see people like Chris choking on something. He’s motioning for me to help him. He wants me to give him the Hiemlick maneuver or something, but I just stand there. I watch him fall to his knees, holding his throat, his face turning blue… For some reason blood starts to come out of his nose and ears. His eyes pop out and blood starts to come from there too. The whole time I know that I can save him, but I don’t do anything. I watch him die. He’s lying there, not moving, not doing anything. And suddenly… Suddenly his skin splits open. I expect to see muscles and bones, but… But instead, maggots and spiders and worms start to crawl out of his ravaged body. And then… And then I know what he was… Nothing. He wasn’t worth anything to anyone but insects and maggots… Sometimes… Sometimes, I think about ending it. It would be so easy to make a statement, to show the world that people like me aren’t gonna’] take it anymore. Put a gun to his head… Pull the trigger… See if I’m right about his insides…

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Poor Paul. Now we’re onto Alysa’s monologue.

Alysa: Do you realize that tonight….

Alysa: One of the most popular girls at the school. The head cheerleader. She is both a stereotypical “mean girl” and an airhead.

Her monologue is about the troubles of a stereotypical rich girl:

Do you realize that tonight is the most important night of my life? Oh my God! Do you? It’s like way more important than cheer tryouts. It’s way more important than my first kiss, the first day of middle school, the first day of high school, the first day of drivers ed, more important than my driver’s license, more important than any of my ex-boyfriends, more important than my current boyfriends—I mean friend. It is the pinnacle of the high school experience. The prom. Prom night. The night that I will remember for the rest of my life. I spent six-hundred dollars on my dress. Anyway, Jane Hickman spent a thousand… She’s a total daddy’s girl. For her sixteenth birthday, her dad got her a brand new Ford Mustang. For my sixteenth birthday, I got a two-year old Prius. Whatev. Some girls are just born with a silver spoon in their mouth. She’s such a snobby little rich girl. A little rich girl who’s parents buy her anything she wants. Her parents have a swimming pool and a tennis court. All we have is a Jacuzzi. One time she told me she, (Make quote signs with her fingers.) liked my outfit. She’s such a snob. I know what she meant. She was making fun of my new designer jeans. She thinks they’re out of fashion already. Slut. Oh well, I’m not gonna’ let Jane Hickman ruin the most important day of my life. My six-hundred dollar dress is way more stylish than the over-priced rag she’s gonna’ wear. That little bitch. That little slut. I’m gonna’ be homecoming royalty for sure. Homecoming queen! I hate Jane Hickman. Hicky Hickman, ‘cause she’s always got a hicky. That little hootchie-mamma better not be gettin’on the royal court. I’d just kill myself if she was homecoming queen. I’d kill myself! It’s bad enough that her dress costs more. It’s bad enough she’s got a newer car. It’s bad enough she’s got a pool and a tennis court. I hate my parents. Why don’t we have a pool and a tennis court? My Mom is so lazy. All she does is sit around at the computer. And my Dad… My Dad’s never around. He’s always (Makes quote signs again.) at the office. Whatever that means. Like if he was (Makes quotes a last time.) at the office, he’d be making money, right? Well maybe he needs to get his butt in gear and get his daughter a fifteen-hundred dollar dress so she doesn’t look like a bag lady at the prom. That’s what I’m gonna’ look like. A bag lady! Jane Hickman’s gonna’ be prom queen for sure! This is the worst day of my life!

 

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And now we leave popular rich girl angst to bring you…

Emily: Pink Bunnies monologue

Popular pregnant girl angst by way of Emily.  Here is her character description:

Emily: A popular cheerleader who has just found out that she’s pregnant.

Whoops. Here is the monologue:

“Sometimes I just wish the world was full of pink bunny rabbits. There would be a beautiful lush forest, green grass, a sparkling brook, and it would always be warm. And all that would live there would be pink bunny rabbits. Hundreds of pink bunny rabbits. They would eat the grass and the leaves and there wouldn’t be any wolves to hurt them. Every rabbit’s Mom and Dad would love them no matter what… And all the rabbits would be in love… They would all have the perfect mate that would never ever hurt them in any way. They would all be able to trust each other and know that if something bad happened, no one would run away. I know it’s a weird dream, but I’ve heard weirder. My boyfriend used to tell me how cool it would be if there were a one-way mirror into the girls locker room. That’s kind of strange… Then again, he is a guy. I had another friend who thought that rocks were alive and that if you touched them, the grease on your fingers would kill them. A little weirder. Someone once told me that he had a premonition that one day we would all have flying waffles for cars… That almost takes the cake for weirdness. No, I’ll tell you the weirdest thing I ever heard was when my doctor told me that I was pregnant… There is no doubt that that’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. I never knew a fifteen-year old girl would… Well, I suppose I’ve heard about it happening. I guess I just never thought that it could happen to me. I wish the world were full of pink bunny rabbits…”

Her boyfriend sounds like a creepy loser. Here are the videos:

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That was all very thrilling. Now we come to Jody.

Jody: I’m scared.

It seems there’s only one video of Jody. Here is his character description:

Jody: A young man who is trying to deal with his sexual identity.

JODY
I’m scared. I mean, I’m not just a little bit frightened… I’m actually scared—really scared. I can put ‘em on a bit. Act cocky. But they know. They know what I really am. These kids here… They… Well, they don’t understand. Most of ‘em live in a dream world. They think about football and prom and hanging out at the mall. I guess that’s pretty normal. Problem is… I don’t fit the norm. It’s not easy being what I am here. People say it’s not an easy thing to be anywhere, but… It’s really not an easy thing to be here. And it’s not like I got a whole lotta’ support. My Mom—well that didn’t go over well. Locked herself in the bathroom all night. And my Dad… Let’s just say he’s not very open-minded. We don’t talk about it at home. We pretend like it, never came up. It is not a subject that is open for discussion. I know that a lot of queer teenagers are suicidal. They just can’t take it. But that’s not me. That’s not me. I don’t think about that stuff… Mostly, I don’t think about that stuff. Okay, sometimes it comes into my head, but there is no way I’d ever do anything to myself. There’s no way. I mean, look at me. I’m not scared of what I’m gonna’ do. I’m scared of what other kids are going to do to me if they ever really find out. I mean, I’m worried about my friends. I’m worried that they won’t want to be around me. I’m worried that they’ll think I’m somehow different, diseased, inferior… But that’s only part of what I’m scared of. Only part… I’m also worried about the others, the ones who aren’t my friends. The others…the ones who hate. The ones who sit in the back of the classroom and talk about Mexicans taking their jobs. The ones who thought Obama was born in Kenya. The ones who think we’re all pedophiles with AIDS who made a choice to be like this. (Laughs.) If only they knew. I don’t think anyone anywhere would ever make a choice to be like this. It’s too hard…Yeah, the ones who hate…they’re stupid. But you know what? Stupid people are dangerous, really dangerous. I mean, I’m just a guy. I’m just a person. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m not going to hit on some insecure jock. I mean, give me a break. I don’t even have the self-esteem to hit on another gay guy. So I don’t know what they’re problem is. I don’t know what it is. But it doesn’t matter. If the others—the ones who hate—if they find out about me, they’ll come after me. And they’ll hurt me. And they’ll laugh when they do it. I’m afraid. Scared. What will people think of me when I’m out? What will people do to me? Everything’s gonna’ change. Everything.

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The entire play is available from the author’s website.

Also, you are having negative thoughts, you can reach out here (USA), here (UK) or here (Canada). You can even message this blog.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Laughing Wild (Tuna fish monologue) by Christopher Durang

Hello and welcome back to Monologue Monday. Today we have a monologue from Christopher Durang‘s 1987 play Laughing Wild. The monologue is commonly called the Tuna Fish Monologue.

Durang has had a pretty stellar career in drama. He has won three Obies and a Tony.

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OMG they even used a tuna in a “pay-what-you-can” production. Har har har.

This plot synopsis is taken from the Wikipedia page:

The show is written for one actor and one actress. The woman’s character is emotional and unstable, and talks about hitting someone in the supermarket who wouldn’t get out of the way of the tuna fish she wanted to buy. The man’s character is giving a speech about positive thinking, but keeps spiraling into negativity. He also, it turns out, is the man the woman hit in the supermarket. The show consists of two 30-minute monologues (and then a 30 minute second act, some of it monologue, some of it scenes between the two characters). The characters do not have official names.

And of course the monologue is the one where The Woman talks about attacking someone blocking a can of tuna. The monologue can be found here. Or below.

WOMAN: I want to talk to you about life. It’s just too difficult to be alive, isn’t it, and try to function? There are all these people to deal with. I tried to buy a can of tuna fish in the supermarket, and there was this person standing right in front of where I wanted to reach out to get the tuna fish, and I waited a while, to see if they’d move, and they didn’t—they were looking at tuna fish too, but they were taking a real long time on it, reading the ingredients on each can like they were a book, a pretty boring book if you ask me, but nobody has; so I waited a long while, and they didn’t move, and I couldn’t get to the tuna fish cans; and I thought about asking them to move, but then they seemed so stupid not to have sensed that I needed to get by them that I had this awful fear that it would do no good, no good at all, to ask them, they’d probably say something like, “We’ll move when we’re goddam ready you nagging bitch” and then what would I do? And so then I started to cry out of frustration, quietly, so as not to disturb anyone, and still, even though I was softly sobbing, this stupid person didn’t grasp that I needed to get by them, and so I reached over with my fist, and I brought it down real hard on his head and screamed: “Would you kindly move asshole!!!”

And the person fell to the ground, and looked totally startled, and some child nearby started to cry, and I was still crying, and I couldn’t imagine making use of the tuna fish now anyway, and so I shouted at the child to stop crying—I mean, it was drawing too much attention to me—and I ran out of the supermarket, and I thought, I’ll take a taxi to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I need to be surrounded with culture right now, not tuna fish.

Let’s see how YouTubers did on this one:

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LA production

 

Wow, we made it from the A to Z of Tuna Fish Monologue but we’re not through yet. Oh, no, kiddos. For some reason the monologue is also popular amongst German YouTubers so you get to see the same thing, except in German. The German is here. Some of the German versions start with the tuna mention instead of “Let’s talk about life” stuff.

Ich möchte mit Ihnen über das Leben sprechen. ’s einfach viel zu kompliziert, am Leben zu sein, finden Sie nicht auch? Dieses dauernde Sich-bemühen- Müssen, lebenstüchtig zu sein… All diese Leute, mit denen man’s zu tun bekommt! Ich hab versucht, mir eine Dose Thunfisch zu kaufen, im Supermarkt, da stand dieser Mensch genau da, wo ich hingreifen wollte, um mir die Thunfischdose zu nehmen, also wartete ich einen Moment, wollte sehn, ob die Leute zur Seite gehn würden, aber keine Spur – die glotzten, wie ich, auf die Thunfischdosen… nahmen sich allerdings endlos viel Zeit, lasen die genaue Zusammensetzung der Zutaten auf jeder einzelnen Dose, als wär’s ein Buch, ein ganz schön langweiliges Buch, wenn Sie mich fragen, aber mich fragt ja keiner; jedenfalls wartete ich ziemlich lange, und kein Mensch ging weiter, ich kam an diese Thunfischdosen einfach nicht ran, wollte die schon bitten, etwas zur Seite zu gehn, aber die schienen mir derartig verblödet zu sein, wenn sie schon nicht s p ü r t e n, daß ich an ihnen vorbei wollte, daß ich diese gräßliche Angst bekam, daß das auch nichts bringen würde, überhaupt nichts bringen würde, die zu bitten, die würden wahrscheinlich so was rauslassen wie: “Wir gehen weiter, wann’s uns paßt, verdammt noch mal, du Miststück!“ und was würde ich dann tun. Also hab ich vor lauter Frust zu weinen angefangen, still vor mich hin, um nur ja keinen zu stören, und trotzdem: Obwohl ich leise schluchzte, b e g r i f f dieser idiotische Mensch immer noch nicht, daß ich an denen vorbei mußte, um an den gottverdammten Thunfisch ranzukommen, die Leute sind ja derartig unsensibel, ich hasse sie einfach, also langte ich mit meiner Faust rüber und schlug sie dem einen Kerl mit aller Wucht auf seinen Schädel und brüllte: “Wären Sie so nett, beiseite zu gehen, Sie Arschloch!!!“ Und der Mensch fiel zu Boden und sah total verblüfft aus, und irgendein Kind fing in der Nähe zu weinen an, und ich weinte immer noch und konnte mir überhaupt nicht vorstellen, jetzt noch das Geringste mit diesem Thunfisch anzufangen,

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In German theatre, the director is king. I’ve noticed German monologists will modify the words and settings much more than their Anglophone counterparts.

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In Croatia, the poster is better than the play.

Thanks again for checking out Monologue Monday on Unknown Playwrights!

Monologue Monday

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

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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.

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

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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:

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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!

 

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Vicky from Cinema Limbo by Wade Bradford

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Audio here.

Hello everyone and welcome back for a brand-new Monologue Monday! Today’s author is Wade Bradford. A bit about Wade in his own words (taken from his site):

Wade Bradford was born and raised in the often wet and sometimes windy state of Washington. At the age of 19, Wade fell in love with a girl who lived out-of-state, so he moved to the often sunny and sometimes shaky state of California.

He earned a Masters in Literature from CSUN. Wade currently teaches English at Moorpark College. In 2011, his first picture book, Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?(edited by Red Fox Literary agent Abigail Samoun) was published by Tricycle Press/Random House. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said of the book: “This book deserves a place on the shelves next to the Magic School Bus series.”

He’s also published several other books and has written quite a few plays, some of which are available royalty-free, including Cinema Limbo. This play takes place in a movie box office on December 24th and veers from getting-to-know-you to kissing within 10 minutes. The full play is available here.

Here is Vicky’s monologue:

VICKY: Well, you have to understand. I’m the kind of girl who takes pity on poor pathetic geeks who have never kissed a girl. Let’s just say that I like someone who is easily trainable – someone who will truly appreciate me. It’s sad, I know. But hey, I’ll take an ego boost wherever I can get it. Unfortunately, these adorably nerdy boyfriends get boring after a while. I mean, I can only listen to their computer games and mathematic equations for so long. Of course, Stuart’s different in a lot ways. He’s terrible at math, for one. And he’s pretty clueless about technology. But he’s a comic book sort of geek. And a hopeless romantic. He’s pre-occupied with holding my hand. Everywhere we go, he wants to hold hands. Even when we’re driving. And he’s got this new pastime. He keeps saying “I love you.” It was so sweet and wonderful the first time he said it. I almost cried, and I’m not the kind of girl who cries easily. But by the end of the week, he must have said “I love you” about five hundred times. And then he starts adding pet names. “I love you, honey bunch.” “I love you sweet-heart.” “I love you my little smoochy-woochy-coochi-koo.” I don’t even know what that last one means. It’s like he’s speaking in some brand-new, love-infected language. Who would have thought romance could be so boring?

You can also find  it here. For a same-sex audio version of the full play, click here.

There’s flexibility in how one can play this. Is Vicky more of an ingénue who fears committed relationships and does this to escape them? Or is she some femme fatale preying upon naïve and desperate guys? Is she simply coquettish? Or none of the above? Is this character an archetype or a person? Let’s see:

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Well, I hope you enjoyed this monologue. You can check out Mr. Bradford’s blog here.

Also, this blog is full of unknown playwrights,  Monologue Mondays, and Theatre Horror Stories. Have a good one!