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: 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: 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: It Came from Texas by Josh Weckesser

Howdy and welcome back to Unknown Playwrights and Monologue Monday!

This is our second monologue from Josh Weckesser. The previous one is here.

This monologue is from a one-act play entitled It Came from Texas. The summary comes straight from the playwright’s site:

SUMMARY:

It Came From Texas is the story of a monster that rampages the country side, eating all in it’s path. This intrepid group of gamblers take refuge in a basement, where they do their best to ignore the world. This succeeds only in so much as the Hate Music will allow, not to mention the Female Overmind. A sci-fi fantasy western with a twist (NOTE: The previous statement is false). Really, it’s about a bunch of people pissing a day away, languishing in each other in the way that only a group of people that knows each other too well can languish.

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Best $4.99 you’ll ever spend!

The monologue itself features neurotic Tim dealing with a super-clingy Beth, who still loves her ex, Jonas.

You can find the monologue on the author’s site.

For more about Mr. Weckesser, please check out our other monologue from him.

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These are two very different takes on the same material. Hopefully we’ll see more folks using this one.

Thanks!

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: The Best Marriage Advice from “Black and White and Red All Over” by Tara Meddaugh

Hello dear readers! We’re back with yet another Monologue Monday – this week we are featuring Tara Meddaugh’s monologue The Best Marriage Advice taken from the full-length play Black and White and Red All Over.

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You might be thinking that Meddaugh has become Unknown Playwrights’ resident monologuer. Not quite, but her monologues are pretty dang good. This monologue is classic Meddaugh, written in 1998 and brimming with her unique brand of humor.

The synopsis, taken from her site, is…

A frivolous couple passes the time by hiring and firing servants, and reading old newspapers they deem to be the current. But when the Wife wants more out of her life, she charges her Husband with a perilous task… Meanwhile, four eclectic strangers wind up secretly waiting together in this couple’s bathroom. When they discover the reasons they have all been put together, the absurdities and danger of their situation become alarmingly clear.

The monologue itself extols the virtues of keeping things on leashes, so they don’t run into the street and get squashed by cars. Meddaugh even has a neat Q & A about the play on her site.

As the monologue setup describes it:

Scene: Georgia is speaking to a young man and woman who have just met in this encounter. The couple is in the bathtub, shower curtain pulled so Georgia cannot see them, but they are presumably making love, as they both have admitted they are young and attractive, and this should be the natural course of events. Georgia is a make-up artist, and older, believing she has much wisdom to impart.

I could put the monologue right hee, but you should run over to Ms. Meddaugh’s site and get it (for free).

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Though written for a female character, I’m pretty sure a male performer could do this, no problem.

For more of Meddaugh’s monologues, please check here.. If you want to read some Theatre Horror Stories, here they are.

Join us next week for another rip-roarin’ monologue!

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Segismundo in Life is a Dream/La vida es sueño (Calderón de la Barca) – in 4 languages!!!

Howdy! This week’s monologue takes us to the Golden Age of Spanish Drama. We’ve covered this era before in Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna. Now, time for Calderón de la Barca‘s seminal allegory Life Is a Dream. The following plot description is taken from a drama book from the 1930s.

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The 1640 edition.

THE horoscope of the infant Prince, Segismund, convinces the Polish King, Basilio, that Segismund is destined to bring dishonor on Poland and downfall to his father, Basilio. He therefore announces that Segismund has died with his mother in birth. Confined in a tower, deep in the rocky fastnesses of the frontier, Segismund grows to manhood chained like an animal to a ring in the floor, guarded under direction of Basilio’s confidential general, Clotaldo.

[I’m not really liking the king and I’m pretty sure Clotaldo didn’t plan on guarding one dude for decades when he made general]

As the play opens two strangers whose storm-frighted horses have bolted, stumble on Segismund’s prison. One of them confesses in a voice all too gentle for her masculine attire that she has come from Muscovy on a matter of vengeance and Segismund, for the moment unguarded, confesses that he too, thinks often on revenge. Clotaldo’s appearance is about to result in death for the newcomers when the general recognizes the stranger’s sword as one he had left years before in Muscovy as pledge for favor owed. The stranger identifies herself as Rosaura, daughter of Clotaldo’s quondam benefactor, and is proffered safe conduct to Warsaw.

[That’s convenient]

Meanwhile the King has Segismund brought to court while in a drugged sleep, to wake to all the appearances of royal splendor. His tragic story is related to him, he meets his cousins, Astolfo and Estrella, and falls promptly in love with the latter. When, however, his father, the King, appears, his desire for revenge on an unnatural father is too strong and he would have attacked the King had not the guards prevented. For this action he is returned in a drugged sleep to his prison and the King prepares to carry out his plans to marry his nephew, Duke Astolfo of Muscovy, to his niece, Estrella, and turn over his kingdom to them.

[Nobody: How much incest do you want? This play: YASSS]

Meanwhile, back in the prison, Segismund is convinced by Clotaldo that the entire day’s happenings are but a dream. Clotaldo nevertheless chides him for his unprincelike lack of self-control so effectively that when later in the day he is rescued by revolting Polish troops directed to his prison by Rosaura, he treats the vanquished King with great nobility and returns to him his forfeit crown. When he discovers that Astolfo has broken his engagement to Rosaura in hopes of gaining the Polish crown through marriage to Estrella, he dissolves the new bond, returning Astolfo to Rosaura and claims Estrella for himself.

[Unprincelike lack of self-control? You try being brought up chained to a castle with some creepy old general watching you your entire life and see how much self-control you have. And of course what happy ending doesn’t include cousin marriage?]

If you want the plot explained by Lego characters in German, look no further than here.

All joking aside, Life is a Dream is often considered the greatest Golden Age play. The themes of fate and free will are relevant today and so are the related themes of uncertainty vs. certainty.

I couldn’t find an English video of what is generally called “Segismundo’s first monologue.” So, let’s focus on Segismundo’s 2nd monologue.

Segismundo: I must control this savagery.

The English version of the monologue is indeed savage.

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Translation by Gwynne Edwards.

Now in the original Spanish:

Es verdad. Pues reprimamos
esta fiera condicion,
esta furia, esta ambicion,
por si alguna ve soñamos:
Y sí haremos, pues estamos
en mundo tan singular,
que el vivir sólo es soñar;
y la experiencia me enseña
que el hombre que vive, sueña
lo que es, hasta dispertar.
Sueña el Rey que es rey

Sueña el rey que es rey, y vive
con este engaño mandando,
disponiendo y gobernando;
y este aplauso, que recibe
prestado, en el viento escribe,
y en cenizas le convierte
la muerte, ¡desdicha fuerte!
¿Que hay quien intente reinar,
viendo que ha de despertar
en el sueño de la muerte?

Sueña el rico en su riqueza,
que más cuidados le ofrece;
sueña el pobre que padece
su miseria y su pobreza;
sueña el que á medrar empieza,
sueña el que afana y pretende,
sueña el que agravia y ofende,
y en el mundo, en conclusión,
todos sueñan lo que son,
aunque ninguno lo entiende.

Yo sueño que estoy aquí
destas prisiones cargado,
y soñé que en otro estado
más lisonjero me ví.
¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí.
¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión,
una sombra, una ficción,
y el mayor bien es pequeño:
que toda la vida es sueño,
y los sueños, sueños son.

Dream vs. reality. Lovely. Let’s see what these monologues look like. We were lucky enough to find them in several languages. The first one is in English.

Even though the monologue is listed as a “male” monologue, please note several women performing it.

English

 

Spanish A

 

Spanish B

 

Spanish C

 

Spanish D

 

Spanish E

 

Spanish F

 

German (!)

 

Here it is in Portuguese:

É certo; então reprimamos
esta fera condição,
esta fúria, esta ambição,
pois pode ser que sonhemos;
e o faremos, pois estamos
em mundo tão singular
que o viver é só sonhar
e a vida ao fim nos imponha
que o homem que vive, sonha
o que é, até despertar.
Sonha o rei que é rei, e segue
com esse engano mandando,
resolvendo e governando.
E os aplausos que recebe,
Vazios, no vento escreve;
e em cinzas a sua sorte
a morte talha de um corte.
E há quem queira reinar
vendo que há de despertar
no negro sonho da morte?
Sonha o rico sua riqueza
que trabalhos lhe oferece;
sonha o pobre que padece
sua miséria e pobreza;
sonha o que o triunfo preza,
sonha o que luta e pretende,
sonha o que agrava e ofende
e no mundo, em conclusão,
todos sonham o que são,
no entanto ninguém entende.
Eu sonho que estou aqui
de correntes carregado
e sonhei que em outro estado
mais lisonjeiro me vi.
Que é a vida? Um frenesi.
Que é a vida? Uma ilusão,
uma sombra, uma ficção;
o maior bem é tristonho,
porque toda a vida é sonho
e os sonhos, sonhos são.

Portuguese A

 

Portuguese B

 

This play may be worth mining for other monologues in the future.

Don’t forget to check out more monologues and our new theatre horror stories.

Have a good one!

 

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Thomas More in Sir Thomas More (Anthony Munday, Henry Chettle, Thomas Heywood, Thomas Dekker & Shakespeare)

Things get interesting on this Monologue Monday. I was originally going to profile A Man for All Seasons about Thomas More (Catholic saint and proto-Communist). Sadly, not many monologues are available online from this wonderful play. But there is another play entitled Sir Thomas More and one monologue from this play has picked up steam in recent years.

The play is unusual in that it’s divided into thirds and depicts three distinct portions of More’s life with little overlap. 1. Thomas More stops a riot in 1517 when he was under-sherif of London. 2. His private family life showing how kind and funny he was. 3. His time as Privy Councilor and Lord Chamberlain and opposition to king Henry VIII, resulting in More’s execution.

The play is also unusual because a whole lot of dudes [sorry ladies] wrote it. Apparently, Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle produced the first draft. Then several years later, Thomas Heywood, Thomas Dekker and old Bill Shakespeare hammered out another draft. Naturally the monologue is attributed to Shakespeare (this may be some PR at work). If you’re interested, we’ve profiled other Shakespeare monologues before. Check Aaron in Titus Andronicus, Rumor in Henry V, part 2, The Jailer’s Daughter in Two Noble KInsmen and Imogen/Innogen in Cymbeline.

Back to our monologue. Ill May Day (aka Evil May Day) was a real thing. Normally, May Day = Party Day. But not in 1517. In recent years, wealthy merchants and bankers had been immigrating to London but also laborers had immigrated as well. Most of the immigrants were French-speaking Protestants fleeing persecution or Flemish immigrants. They only made up about 2% of London’s population, but for some people that was two percent too much. 

A fortnight before May Day, people started making anti-immigrant speeches and rumors started that “on May Day next the city would rebel and slay all aliens.” And true to the rumors, gangs of folks tried to do just that. To Henry VIII’s credit, he was not a fan and tried to stop the riot, ordering his right hand man Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to end it. Thomas More, as under-sheriff of London, made an appeal to the rioters. Apparently, it stalled them but didn’t stop the riots, though some foreigners thought it helped in some way. The irony behind these riots is that the only perople killed were twelve rioters who executed afterwards (hehe). One final irony is that hundreds of people were arrested for treason and could have been executed, but Henry’s wife Queen Catherine of Aragon (a foreigner herself) convinced her husband to pardon and release them.

As you probably know, More eventually wrote Utopia, became Lord Chamberlain and got his head whacked off. There’s a play about all that (and a movie….and another movie).

The monologue that’s speading these days is from Sir Thomas More, Act II, Scene 2 when More confronts the rioters. In the play, he talks them down.

SIR THOMAS MORE

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise

Hath chid down all the majesty of England;

Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,

Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,

Plodding tooth ports and costs for transportation,

And that you sit as kings in your desires,

Authority quite silent by your brawl,

And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;

What had you got? I’ll tell you. You had taught

How insolence and strong hand should prevail,

How order should be quelled; and by this pattern

Not one of you should live an aged man,

For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,

With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,

Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes

Would feed on one another.

shakespeare-handwriting2-666x1024
Happy to know I’m not the only playwright who failed penmanship class.
THomasMore.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge
From here.

I know what you’re thinking: thank God we don’t live in 1517 where everyone’s a racist xenophobic prick. Just kidding. Xenophobia, fascism and racism is still totally a thing and I’m not talking about if a dumpster fire cosnisting of fecal matter and racism were human President Trump  but other countries as well, including, but not limited to, Indonesia, South Africa, Singapore, Poland, South Korea, Germany (but no surprise there), the Netherlands (let me introduce you to South Africa and Indo- oh, never mind), Brazil and speaking of Brazil, here’s Portugal.

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 3.19.34 PM

I’d never want to forget the UK and their whole Brexit boner. Perhaps Antarctica is free of xenophobia.
When written, the play was never performed (it was banned), but the Royal Shakespeare Company did a performance in 2006.
Anyways, here’s the monologue being performed, even by Ian McKellen.

 

 

 

For more information about “Evil May Day” please check these links:

Site 1

Site 2

Site 3

For more about the play Sir Thomas More, please check these links:

Site 1

Site 2 (the whole dang play)

Site 3 (a video of [maybe] the whole play)

For more about xenophobia, just look out your window.

We’ll be back on Monday with more monologues!!! Hooray!!!