Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Rena from Jitney (August Wilson)

[EDIT: We have recently added Becker’s monologue from this play, too]

Ah yes, August Wilson’s seminal work Jitney brings us our next monologue.

Here’s Wikipedia’s lovely Jitney synopsis:

Regular taxi cabs will not travel to the Pittsburgh Hill District of the 1970s, and so the residents turn to jitneys—unofficial, unlicensed taxi cabs—that operate in the community. This play portrays the lives of the jitney drivers at the station owned by Jim Becker.

Poster from a Yale production. Graphic designer Rasean Davonte Johnson’s site.

This is a highly entertaining play. However, it’s also bathed in testosterone, having one female character and eight male characters. Which was about par for the course even with Shakespeare. If you click on the link, you’ll learn Shakespeare’s female roles averaged a non-whopping 16%. Granted that all female roles were played by boys, that’s still a lousy number, Bill.

Wilson seems to be keeping up with tradition here. The lone female, Rena, is the mature, intelligent foil to her hotheaded, still-growing-up boyfriend Darnell aka Youngblood. While some of the guys at the station tolerate Darnell’s inexperience-based talk, she won’t take it at all. Good for Rena. She tells him exactly what is up and it makes a good monologue.

One cool  thing about August Wilson is that there is a monologue competition bearing his name for high school kids.

I want to point out that every female monologue so far (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Picnic, Jitney) focuses on the female character’s relationship to a man. Can anyone recommend female monologues not based on this? Next week’s monologue will also be more of the same, except from like 1613.

Rena has two main monologues. Both have become quite popular on Youtube.  All these women are so brave for putting themselves out there.

This is Rena mad at Darnell because he bought them a house without asking her. Who do you like?







And here is Rena reminding Darnell how much she tries and how little she thinks he tries. Who brought it?









If you enjoyed this monologue, you may also enjoy this one from Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.

For a complete list of monologues, click here.

Thanks for reading/watching and we’ll see you on Thursday with a brand new unknown playwright!