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: 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.

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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:

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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.)

ELISE

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…

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“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:

“ELISE

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.”

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“I’m just saying…”

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

The monologue is also available here:

“ELISE

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.”

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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.

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Allegra in Pretty Theft by Adam Szymkowicz

Hello everyone and welcome back to Monologue Monday.

This week we bring you Allegra in Pretty Theft by Adam Szymkowicz. In the playwriting community I think Mr. Szymkowicz is most famous for his blog where he has interviewed more than 1,000 playwrights.

The play’s synopsis is as follows (from backstage.com):

“Pretty Theft is a play about ballerinas, boxes and the dangers of beauty. After losing her father, Allegra falls under the wing of bad girl Suzy, only to find an unexpected friendship with Joe, an autistic savant. When things take a violent turn, Allegra and Suzy escape cross country and befriend Marco, a mysterious thief who claims he cannot be caught.”

For reviews of the 2009 production, please check here.

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A college production in Wisconsin. Looks intense.

 

Allegra leaving her mother

In this scene, Allegra is leaving her mom after her dad’s funeral and has a lot to say before she goes. The monologue itself can be found right here.

Allegra’s other monologue can be found below after these.

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Allegra talking to dad

Of course there’s more than one monologue in this play. This next monologue is Allegra talking to her unconscious and dying father about how life is going.

This monologue can be found here.

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I hope you enjoyed this monologue offering. We’ll be back on Thursday with another unknown playwright. Check in next Monday with another thrilling monologue…

Cheers!