Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Asian Goggles by Jenny Yang

Howdy and welcome back to Monologue Mondays!

As this blog has pointed out (again and again [and again]) Roles writing gigs directing gigs monologues opportunities are hard to come by in American theatre if you’re not super mega white and male.

Fortunately, there are strong, funny monologues written by funny folks like Jenny Yang.

The monologue is about how she was offered “Asian goggles” at a ski resort by someone named Skyler.

Judging from the racism, ski resortiness and name, my money’s on Park City, Utah as the location of said monologue. Park City is as racist a town as any I’ve seen.

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Wobbly graffiti from 1916 survives in the old Park City jail. Pretty much the coolest thing that town has to offer.

Speaking of Wobblies, Jenny Yang’s career has gone from badass labor organizer to badass comedian. Highlights include: making videos for Cracked and performing at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Her commentary has been covered by the BBC, New York Times and a bunch of other places. She also wrote for Last Man Standing, but since that was a vehicle for human turd-goblin Tim Allen, I wouldn’t call it a highlight.

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8/03: Literally the question nobody asked nor cared about.
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9/13: And there’s the answer!!! I’m sure Tim Allen painted lots of IWW graffiti whilst in the hoosegow.

Too bad Ms. Yang can’t get her own sitcom. If you want to know more about her and her accomplishments, please check her site out. The monologue can be found in this wonderful collection.

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Asian goggles are more than a monologue – they exist!!!

Now, let’s check out some videos of this monologue, including by the writer herself!

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Thank you so much for reading this blog and thanks to Ms. Yang for writing such amazing material.

For another Asian-centric monologue, please check here .

Can you stomach Theatre Horror Stories?

Until next time…

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Grace & Dale in FOB by David Henry Hwang

Howdy all! Welcome back to our site and welcome back especially to Monologue Monday. This week takes us to legendary playwright David Henry Hwang‘s FOB. The play premiered in 1980 when Hwang was only 22. It featured John Lone and Tzi Ma, among others and was directed by Mako.

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Still from the 1980 production. So theatrical!

Here is the synopsis straight from stageagent.com:

“F.O.B. (fresh off the boat) is another of David Henry Hwang’s explorations of what it is like to be Chinese in America. Dale is second-generation Chinese and very Americanized. He introduces the notion of F.O.B. to the audience in a monologue, mocking new Chinese immigrants for their pitiful attempts at assimilation while refusing to give up their traditional ways. Grace, his cousin, is first-generation, although she has been in America for a while. She is more Chinese in that she maintains many traditional customs, unlike Dale. Their relationship is upset by the arrival of Steve, a wealthy, arrogant new immigrant. Dale and Grace both resent his arrogance but react to it differently. Dale becomes competitive with Steve, while Grace uses traditional Chinese culture to win him over. In the end, Steve and Grace leave together, and Dale is alone, still resenting the F.O.B.’s. In the middle section of the play, Hwang has the characters play out their roles through Chinese myth.”

As you can see, Hwang uses culture as conflict, pitting a Chinese American guy (Dale) born and raised in the US against Grace (part of the 1.5 generation) and Steve, someone who just showed up, fresh off the boat.

It might be worth exploring why these three should be in conflict anyways. I guess a play without conflict would be boring.

The play provides strong roles for three Asian American actors.

Hwang would go on to win some Obies, work for Disney and get stabbed in the neck by some random jerkass. The attacker was never caught. Weird, huh?

For our first monologue, Dale will explain some things.

Dale

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Grace

And now it’s Grace’s turn to complain about Torrance. And talking about the wonders of bleach. Loneliness. And other stuff.

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F

 

That’s it for this edition of Monologue Monday. Don’t forget to check back on Thursday for an uknown playwright and next Monday for a new monologue.

For a complete list of Monologue Mondays, please stop by here.

Ciao.