MALE MONOLOGUES - The Ultimate Scene and Monologue Sourcebook: An Actor's Guide to over 1000 Monologues and Dialogues from More Than 300 Contemporary Plays - Ed Hooks

The Ultimate Scene and Monologue Sourcebook: An Actor's Guide to over 1000 Monologues and Dialogues from More Than 300 Contemporary Plays - Ed Hooks (2007)



by Alan Ayckbourn (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act I, p. 29, Colin (30s)

Colin’s former friends have invited him to a tea party to cheer him up after the untimely death of his fiancée. At the very end of Act I, he delivers this exquisitely sensitive and touching speech about how much he loved the woman, how much he cherishes her memory, and how much he appreciates this group of good friends. As they listen to him, they descend into abject depression and tears. Fun for workshops, but less suitable for auditions. Depending on the delivery, this monologue is either very funny or very sad. Start: “It’s a funny thing about somebody dying—you never know, till it actually happens, how it’s going to affect you.” End: “I just want you to know that, despite everything that happened, in a funny sort of way, I too am very happy.”


by Alan Ayckbourn (Samuel French)

Comedy-Drama: Act II, pp. 41-44, Geoffrey (30s)

Oblivious to the fact that his wife, Eva, is trying to commit suicide at the precise moment he is talking to her, Geoffrey, an unrepentant womanizer, suggests that they legally separate. She sits at the kitchen table, clinging to her partially written suicide note and staring blankly at him the whole time. For audition use, excerpt the section that deals specifically with the separation. For workshops, it is probably more interesting to work on Geoffrey’s transitions, starting with his entrance and initial complaints about his job, then moving to the couple’s marriage trouble, and finally getting into the imminent arrival of their Christmas-party guests. Written in the British vernacular. Start: “God, I think I need a drink. You want a drink?” End: “What I lack in morals, I make up in ethics.”

Comedy-Drama: Act III, pp. 79-80, Ronald (40s)

On the surface, this monologue doesn’t look like much, just a man explaining to his friends that he doesn’t understand women. To do it justice, an actor needs to address issues of mortality, life changes, and shifting expectations. As Ronald speaks on this apparently cheerful Christmas Eve, his second wife is sitting upstairs in alcoholic isolation, and his business has fallen apart. Written in the British vernacular. Eliminate Geoffrey’s lines here. Start: “You seem to have got things pretty well organized on the home front.” End: “Couldn’t do without them, could we, I suppose….”


by Arthur Miller (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, pp. 38-39, Quentin (40s)

Quentin tells Louise about meeting a young woman in the park. He was fascinated by her because she “wasn’t defending anything, upholding everything, or accusing—she was just there.” Start: “I sat by the park for a while.” End: “This city is full of lovers.”


by Eugene O’Neill (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act III, Scene 2, pp. 106-108, Richard (16)

As Richard waits on a moonlit beach for his true love to sneak out of her home and join him, he carries on a dialogue with himself. He kicks himself for stupidities, recites some poetry, and declares his most ecstatic love. Probably not the best choice for auditions, but this is a charming theatrical moment—excellent workshop material for a young actor working on self-stimulation and the uses of imagination. Start: “Must be nearly nine…I can hear the Town Hall clock strike, it’s so still tonight.” End: “Let her suffer for a change!”

Comedy: Act IV, Scene 3, pp. 124-126, Miller (50)

A father/son lecture about the birds and the bees, circa 1906. Dad bumbles and mumbles his way through it, illuminating nothing. Start: “But listen here, Richard, it’s about time you and I had a serious talk.” End: “I never had anything to do with such women, and it’ll be a hell of a lot better for you if you never do!”


by Arthur Miller (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, pp. 30-31, Chris (32)

Trying to explain why he is having trouble committing himself fully to Annie, Chris recalls his experiences in the war and his dedication to his brother. Omit Annie’s lines at the beginning of Chris’s speech. Start: “You remember, overseas, I was in command of a company?…Well, I lost them…. Just about all of (them).…It takes a little time to toss that off.” End: “I didn’t want to take any of it. And I guess that included you.”


by Peter Shaffer (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, pp. 72-73, Mozart (25-30)

Baron Van Swieten is horrified to learn that Mozart wants to write an opera based on the play The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart blasts the Baron and his contemporaries for their loftiness and artistic pretensions, arguing in favor of “flesh and blood” opera—stories of real people, not gods and goddesses. Start: “I don’t understand you! You’re all up on perches.” End with either: “and turn the audience into God” or “my tongue is stupid. My heart isn’t.”


by James Baldwin (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, p. 52, David (18)

David talks to Luke, his musician father who is on his deathbed. David explains how the prospect of being a professional musician has drawn him away from his mother’s church. The space that used to be filled by God is now filled by music. Eliminate Luke’s line. Start: “A few months ago some guys come in the church and they heard me playing piano and they kept coming back all the time. Mama said it was the Holy Ghost drawing them in. But it wasn’t.” End: “And I was trying to find some way of preparing Mama’s mind.”

Drama: Act II, pp. 52-53, Luke (40-50)

Luke, on his deathbed, tells his son that it is okay to be a professional musician. He tells David that it wasn’t music that messed up his life. Start: “you got to wondering all over again if you wanted to be like your daddy and end up like your daddy. Ain’t that right?…Well, son, tell you one thing….” End: “So don’t you think you got to end up like your daddy just because you want to join a band.”

Drama: Act III, p. 88, David (18)

After a traumatic confrontation with his mother, David tells her why he has to leave home and be his own man. Great monologue. Start: “And if I listened—what would happen? What do you think would happen if I listened?” End with either: “Mama—you knew this day was coming” or “I ain’t going to be hanging around the house. I’ll see you before I go.”


by Paul Carter Harrison (Totem Voices: Plays from the Black World Repertory, edited by Paul Carter Harrison, Grove Press)

Drama: Act II, I. W. Harper (mid-30s)

Cass and Harper met in a seedy Memphis motel room yesterday and surprised themselves by making explosive love. In the afterglow, Harper tells Cass that she shouldn’t get the wrong idea about what happened and that he doesn’t intend to stick around. Cass guesses that he is married, and he admits that he used to be but no longer is. She then presses him to talk about his ex-wife. Start: “I did everything in my power to win that woman’s respect, and she showed me no more appreciation than a common whore!” End: “I grabbed her in the throat!…And kissed her!”


by Richard Greenberg (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, Scene 6, pp. 34-35, Nick (20s)

Eva, the mother of Nick’s fiancée, confronts him with the litany of untruths he has told her daughter during their courtship. In this very stark and well-written speech, Nick explains how his father lost his fortune, suffered a nervous breakdown, and committed suicide. At this point in the play, Nick’s homosexuality is still a secret. Start: “After my mother died, my father more or less lost control of things.” End: “Well, this has been a marvelous party, you’ve been a perfect hostess, and I’ve had a splendid time.”


by Saul Levitt (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, Scene 1, p. 69, Chipman (31)

Chipman implores the military court to address questions of moral responsibility, not merely the technical matter of conspiracy. Start: “General, I do not enter that area of my own free will.” End: “Let us have a human victory in this room.”


by A. R. Gurney, Jr. (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: One-act play, pp. 17-18, Henry (40-50)

Outraged that one of his students is persisting in writing an antiwar adaptation of the Greek classic Antigone, Henry defends his opposition and explains his concept of tragedy in this wonderful speech delivered to the dean of Humane Studies. Eliminate Diana’s single line. Start: “Do you know what tragedy is, Diana?…I don’t think you do.” End: “That is just troublemaking. And I cannot give her credit for it.”


by Lillian Hellman (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act III, pp. 93-94, Ned Crossman (46)

Years ago, Ned Crossman would have jumped at the chance to marry Constance Tuckerman, but she was holding a secret flame for her first love, Nick Denery, who married another woman a long time ago. A moment earlier, in sadness and despair, Constance asked if Ned would have her at this late date. Struck speechless at first, this monologue is his answer. The speech comes at the very end of the play and carries a heavy subtext. It could be a rich selection for an actor willing to fully explore it. Cut Constance’s few lines that interrupt the speech. Start: “I live in a room and I go to work and I play a game called getting through the day.” End: “And I’ve never liked liars—least of all those who lie to themselves.”


by Anton Chekhov (The Sneeze, Plays and Stories by Anton Chekhov, translated and adapted by Michael Frayn, Samuel French)

Comedy: One-act play, pp. 52-53, Smirnov (45-55)

Smirnov arrives at the widow Popova’s home in order to collect a debt owed to him by her late husband. When she is unable to pay him, Smirnov goes into a rage but at the same time finds himself attracted to the widow Popova. In this speech, he tells her how awful all women are. Start: “Oh, but this is amazing! How do you want me to talk to you?” End: “Tell me, in all honesty—have you ever in your life seen a woman who could be sincere and constant and true? You haven’t!”


by Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna (Samuel French)

Comedy: “David and Nancy,” pp. 7-8, David (35-45)

David is the nervous father of the bride. In the middle of the night, he wakes Nancy up to tell her that he has changed his mind about allowing her to marry. Although father and daughter embrace at the end, this speech is basically a crazed monologue. For a cute audition-length excerpt, start midspeech. Start: “Look, Nancy, I can’t see how you can really be in love with this guy.” End: “Nancy, I beg you. Don’t marry Melvin.”


Adapted from the William Wharton novel by Naomi Wallace (Broadway Play Publishing)

Drama: Act I, Scene 7, p. 29, Sergeant Al (22)

Sergeant Al tells his uncommunicative friend, Birdy, about the time his mother poisoned all of his pet birds. His purpose in the telling is to snap Birdy out of his mental withdrawal. It doesn’t work. Start, “It doesn’t matter, does it, Birdy?” End, “Are you crazy, Birdy?”

Drama: Act I, Scene 11, pp. 41-42, Young Birdy (16) (Note: This monologue will work for actors in their early to mid-20s)

Birdy talks to his birds about how he came to identify so closely with them. The actor will have a lot of latitude in regard to handling this material for audition purposes. You can crouch like a bird, or maybe not. You can talk to the birds, or maybe not. Whatever you do, the speech is beautifully written and should roll easily off your tongue. Start, “It’s hard to know you’re dreaming.” End: “There’s a feeling of being lifted from the top, of moving up into an emptiness.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 9, p. 62, Dr. White (50)

Dr. White tells Sergeant Al his idea of a real man and a real soldier. The vision is frightening, but White is deadly sincere, and that’s how to play it. Start: “It’s not your friend I hate, Sergeant.” End: “Nor that spiritless, vacated friend of yours you don’t even have the courage to abandon.”


by Howard Korder (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Scene 6, pp. 31-32, Phil (late 20s)

Phil confides in his best friend, Jack, how much he needs this woman he has been seeing for the past few weeks and why he is afraid of being alone. They have a lot in common, hit it off on the first date, and once talked about God for three hours straight. This is the perfect relationship—except she isn’t reciprocating. Even worse, when Phil declared his need for her after a couple of intense weeks, she was repulsed. She claimed that no one should ever need anyone else that much. Start: “I would have destroyed myself for this woman.” End: “Plus, my hair is falling out, that really sucks.”

Comedy: Scene 8, pp. 40-41, Don (late 20s)

Lisa is furious and ready to leave after discovering that Don recently slept with another woman. In an attempt to charm her and calm her down, he tells about this very strange dream. Start: “Okay…okay…now…I was…flying. In a plane. I mean a rocket.” End: “And we died. And the ocean ate our bones.”


by Hugh Whitemore (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 71-72, Knox (60)

Concerned about Turing’s homosexuality and unorthodox work practices, Knox, his boss at the Government Code and Cipher School, admonishes him in this speech. Knox quotes the philosopher Wittgenstein, drawing a comparison between the limits of science and those of humanity. Eliminate Turing’s single line. Start: “All right! Let me give you an example.” End: “the problems of life remain completely unanswered.”


by Lanford Wilson (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy-Drama: Act I, Pale (36)

Pale’s entrance. He is angry about a guy that wanted the same parking space outside. This monologue is full of profanity and is appropriate only for an actor willing to go full-tilt. Definitely not for the timid. Start: “Goddamn this fuckin’ place.” At the end of this passage, pick up again with, “I mean no personal disparagement of the neighborhood in which you have your domicile, honey, but this street’s dying of crotch rot.” End: “Trans Am and go beep-beep, you know?”


by Anton Chekhov (Chekhov, The Major Plays; translated by Ann Dunnigan, Signet Books)

Drama: Act III, Lopakhin (40-50)

Born to serfs, Lopakhin is a self-made man. He surprises everyone by purchasing at auction the very estate that his father and grandfather were slaves on. Start: “I bought it. Kindly wait a moment, ladies and gentlemen, my head is swimming.” End: “Music! Strike up!”


by Mark Medoff (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, pp. 67-68, James (30)

In the final moments of the play, James and his deaf wife, Sarah, have a huge argument over whether or not she is playing a control game by refusing to try to speak; she is willing to communicate only by signing. In this speech, James sums up his position, demanding that she speak. Very powerful material that absolutely must be delivered with love. Start: “You think I’m going to let you change my children into people like you who so cleverly see vanity and cowardice as pride? You’re going nowhere, you’re achieving nothing.” End: “Now come on! I want you to speak to me. Let me hear it. Speak! Speak! Speak!”


by Tina Howe (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 63-65, Leo (28)

Leo the lifeguard tells Holly a humorous, fantastic story about Juanita Wijojac, a girl with six fingers that he knew in school. Start: “I was thirteen and she was eleven.” End: “I’ll tell you one thing—she could have given one hell of a back rub.” For monologue purposes, cut Holly’s lines and Leo’s direct responses to them.


by George C. Wolfe (Grove Press)

Drama: “A Soldier with a Secret,” Junie Robinson (20s)

Junie, a young soldier, tells a horrific story about dying on the battlefield and coming back to life. Since then, he has been able to see the future hurt in people’s faces and so has been giving them the hypodermic needle to prevent their pain. Do the whole speech for classwork; shorten it for audition purposes. Start: “Pst. Pst. Guess what? I know the secret. The secret to your pain.” End: “The secret to yours, and yours. Pst. Pst. Pst. Pst.”


by Susan Sandler (Samuel French)

Comedy-Drama: Act II, pp. 66-67, Sam (early 30s)

Sam is wooing Isabelle and, in this lovely monologue, speaks of the value that exists in simple virtues. He tells her how fortunate she is to have an elderly, wise grandmother like Bubbie. Then Sam tells her that he would like to be with her in an open, honest fashion. His intentions are clear. Not much conflict here and probably not the most dynamic choice for audition purposes, but plenty of mood and texture. Excellent for workshops. Cut and paste at the beginning, eliminating Isabelle’s line. Start: “This is the most wonderful thing you can do for yourself, Isabelle, to be with her like this.” End: “…I want very much to show you the best I got, Isabelle. Please let me do this. Maybe I talked too much—but I been saving up.”


by David Henry Hwang (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy-Drama: Scene 4, pp. 29-30, Ma (18)

Looking for proof of his dedication to be a dancer, Lone has left Ma alone in the woods to crouch and imitate a locust all night. At some point during the night, he delivers this monologue directly to the audience. Ma talks about Second Uncle, whose life was ruined by locusts, and the revenge he took against grasshoppers. Start: “Locusts travel in huge swarms, so large that when they cross the sky, they block out the sun.” End: “But then again, Second Uncle never tortured actual locusts, just weak grasshoppers.” Remember, you’re supposed to deliver this speech while crouching like a locust.


by William Inge (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, pp. 48-49, Sammy (16)

Reenie’s blind date, a Jewish boy from Hollywood, tells her family how he has spent his whole life living in military academies. Although Sammy tries to be cheerful, the audience sees how sad and lonely he really is. Later this evening, Sammy will commit suicide. Cut Reenie’s line at the top of Sammy’s speech. Start: “I’ve never been to many parties, have you?” End: “I guess I’ve bored you enough, telling you about myself.”

Drama: Act III, pp. 72-73, Rubin (36)

Rubin, an uneducated but sincere man, tells his wife, Cora, why he feels like a stranger in his own town, a man out of place and time. Cut Cora’s lines and Rubin’s direct responses to them. Start: “Goddamn it! What have I got to give ’em?” End: “How can I feel I’ve got anything to give my children when the world’s as strange to me as it is to them?”


by Peter Nichols (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, pp. 62-63, Bri (33)

Bri and Sheila’s spastic daughter had a major seizure, and though Bri delayed seeking medical help in the hope that the child would die peacefully, she survived. In this monologue, delivered directly to the audience, Bri describes the hectic trip to the hospital and Joe’s later return home. He says that, at last, his marriage to Sheila is over, that he is leaving. Written in the British vernacular. Start: “Sheila and I went with Joe in the ambulance.” End: “Want a nice slow job—game warden—keeper at Regents Park—better still, Kew Garden. Well, cheers.”


by Arthur Miller (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, pp. 58-59, Willy (over 60)

Willy begs for his job by telling his young boss, Howard, why he has spent his life being a salesman. Cut Howard’s single line. Start: “Business is definitely business, but just listen to me for a minute.” End: “They don’t know me any more.”


by Donald Margulies (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy-Drama: Act I, Scene 3, pp. 37, Tom (40s)

Tom is explaining to his best friend, Gabe, why he is leaving his wife of twelve years for another woman. Stunning monologue, a man trying to justify actions that he well knows are, on some level, a cop-out. Start: “No, Gabe, there were no other women.” End: “…Who would you choose?”

Comedy-Drama: Act II, Scene 3, pp. 64-65, Gabe (40s)

Gabe tells Tom why, even if his relationship with Karen is not as hot as it was when they first dated, he would not break up their marriage. This is another revealing monologue, one of those moments of sudden insight that we all experience from time to time. This is a man getting in touch with his own mortality and the value of relationships. Start: “You don’t get it. I cling to Karen….” End: “I’m taking piano.”


by Steve Tesich (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act I, pp. 26-27, Sal (30s)

Dianah’s Legal Aid lawyer, Sal, tells her how rotten his life has been and how she should show pity by paying romantic attention to him. But she isn’t even listening. Start: “You are looking at a desperate, homeless, friendless creature, Dianah.” End: “This is the single longest uninterrupted speech I have ever made, Dianah, and I hope it moved you.”

Comedy: Act I, pp. 28-29, Chris (37)

Chris tells his ex-wife, Dianah, that he no longer cares about 1960s causes and that he isn’t interested in being a radical leader any longer. Cut Dianah’s lines and Chris’s direct responses to them. Start: “We’re not we, Dianah.” End: “I want it now!”

Comedy: Act I, pp. 37-38, Roger (mid-30s)

Roger tells Chris, a former leader of the 1960s radical movement, how he has sold out and that he is full of shame for deserting the revolution. Omit Chris’s lines and Roger’s direct response to them. Start: “You should spit on me!” End: “If I had an orgasm, I’d give it to them just so they’d leave me alone!”


by Don Petersen (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 64-65, Bickham (20)

A bitter, violent speech in which Bickham tells the staff psychiatrist at the detention center how, after a long search, he found his father—and brutally beat him. Rough material. Start: “I was sick to my stomach. He made me puke…Just like you do. That lousy sonofabitch!” End: “You cured me, doctor, and now I belong to you.”


by Ronald Harwood (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, pp. 13-14, Norman (35-45)

Sir is an elderly actor in the Old School tradition, and his big role is King Lear, which he has played hundreds of times in the provinces. Tonight, however, as curtain time approaches, Sir is confined to a nearby hospital in a state of emotional collapse. It appears that, for the first time, a performance will have to be canceled. In this poignant monologue, Norman, Sir’s longtime dresser, lovingly tells Her Ladyship how he came to be in the actor’s employ. Written in the British vernacular. Start: “Sixteen years. I wish I could remember.” End: “Next day he asked if I’d be his dresser.”

Drama: Act II, pp. 61-62, Sir (about 60)

Tired and increasingly philosophical, Sir explains to Her Ladyship why he identifies with King Lear. Start: “I thought tonight I caught sight of him.” End: “I’ll see a locked door, a sign turned in the window, closed, gone away, and a drawn blind.”

Drama: Act II, p. 68, Norman (35-45)

Norman is concerned that Sir is becoming overly excited by Irene’s flirtations and that this may be bad for his health. Alone with Irene, Norman insists that she tell him precisely what she has been doing with the old actor. She tries to pull away from Norman, threatening to tell Sir if he doesn’t let go of her arm. He scoffs, telling her how very well he knows his boss and how futile it is for her to make such a threat. Start: “Tell Sir? On me? I quake in my boots.” End: “I have to know all he does.”

Drama: Act II, pp. 79-80, Norman (35-45)

The final speech in the play. Norman is drunk and Sir has been dead only a few moments. Norman reflects on his relationship with the actor, bemoaning the fact that it was “always a backseat.” Start: “He never once took me out for a meal.” Continue to the end of the play.


by Sidney Michaels (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, pp. 42-43, Dylan (38)

Midway during his final American lecture tour, Dylan Thomas is tiring of the constant adoration. At a party given in his honor, he retreats to a bedroom where he hears a child crying. Dylan gets the boy to go back to sleep as another poet comes in to discover him sitting quietly by the crib. He explains that he lulled the child to sleep by reciting his favorite poem, “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.” Then he explains what the poem means to him personally. Dylan speaks with a Welsh accent. Start: “…one of my favorite poems and the story of my life.” End as he recites the poem a second time: “And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.


by Arthur Kopit (Samuel French)

Drama: Act III, pp. 87-89, Stone (60s)

Stone recalls what it was like to witness nuclear testing on Christmas Island before World War II. After the explosion, flying birds that were nearby caught on fire. Start: “In any event, there we were on this ship, this battleship, not far from where the detonation was to take place.” End: “And I thought: This is what it will be like at the end of time. And we all felt…the thrill of that idea.”

Drama: Act III, pp. 89-91, Trent (35-45)

Trent remembers picking up his newborn son in his arms and being tempted to throw him from the apartment window. It was a seductive moment, and he was drawn to that window—but he resisted. In telling the story, he makes the point that countries with nuclear power deal with the threat of war the same way. Start: “Now I know where we met!…It was at our place.” End: “if doom comes…it will come in that way.”


by Anton Chekhov (The Sneeze: Plays and Stories by Anton Chekhov, translated and adapted by Michael Frayn, Samuel French)

Comedy: One-act play, pp. 61-66, Nyukhin (50-55)

Nyukhin sets out to lecture young female students on the evils of using tobacco, but he gets off the track easily. The more he talks, the more the girls learn about his private life. Nyukhin has been married for thirty-three years to a domineering woman who has borne him seven daughters who don’t appreciate him. Toward the end of this speech, he hears his wife approach and abruptly brings himself back to the assigned topic. This monologue isn’t good for auditions, but it is wonderful for classwork. For advanced actors. Start: “Ladies and, if I may say so, gentlemen.” End: “That is all I have to say, and I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to get it off my chest.”


by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: pp. 51-52, Delbert (50-60, African-American)

As written, Delbert is sixty years old, but there really is some leeway with his age. I can see an actor even in his late thirties delivering this monologue, which is Delbert’s final speech in the play. In it, he expresses his mixed feelings for the United States of America. Start: “Mahatma Gandhi said that once he discovered who God was, all fears left him…” End: “What’s wrong with it is what we better deal with.”


by August Wilson (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, Scene 1, pp. 16-17, Troy (53)

Troy tells Rose and Bono about the time in 1941 he wrestled with “Mr. Death” and won. Omit Rose and Bono’s lines and Troy’s direct responses to them. Start: “I looked up one day and Death was marching straight at me.” End: “He’s gonna have to fight to get me. I ain’t easy.”

Drama: Act I, Scene 3, pp. 39-40, Troy (53)

In this short monologue, Troy tells his young son, Cory, that it is his responsibility to take care of the boy and that he doesn’t do it because he likes Cory. Start: “Like you? I go outta there every morning…bust my butt.” End: “You understand what I’m saying, boy?”


by Leslie Lee (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, pp. 20-21, Sam (20s)

The setting: the Deep South in the late 1920s. Sam, an African-American, got into a confrontation with a white man at the train station when he came to the defense of an elderly porter who had dropped the man’s bags. Rather than being grateful to Sam, the porter began to apologize to the traveler, thereby humiliating Sam. That was two days ago, and he walked off the job on the spot. Now he is telling his girlfriend, Lucretia, about the event as he prepares to move on to the next town. Begin midway through Sam’s speech. Start: “Colored people weren’t ready for colored doctors, or maybe colored doctors weren’t ready for colored people.” End: “Baby, I’m so miserable, it’s funny…miserable.”


by David Henry Hwang (FOB and The House of Sleeping Beauties: Two Plays, Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act II, p. 35, Dale (20s)

In this short speech at the top of the act, delivered directly to the audience, Dale describes the differences between himself and his very Chinese parents. Start: “I am much better now.” End: “I’m making it in America.”


by Allan Miller (based on D. H. Lawrence’s short novel, Samuel French)

Drama: Act III, Scene 1, p. 61, Henry Grenfel (20s)

Henry Grenfel, a mysterious young soldier, has been a guest at Nellie and Jill’s farm for only one day and has already asked Nellie to marry him. Jill feels threatened by this turn of events and has been warning Nellie to be wary of Henry. He realizes that Jill is his enemy and, in this speech, presses Nellie hard for a commitment. Henry ultimately ends up killing Jill. She was right to be suspicious. You’ll have to cut and paste, eliminating Nellie’s lines. Written in the British vernacular. Start: “What’s holding you in, Nellie, say what’s on your mind!” End: “You want the feel of me. You need it! Say you’ll have me, Nellie. Say it!”


by Terrence McNally (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, p. 60, Johnny (46)

Johnny tells Frankie that he is her Prince Charming. Very nice monologue in which a man who isn’t great with words finds eloquence. Start: “You don’t want to hear anything you don’t already know.” End: “I know this thing, Frankie.”


by Tennessee Williams (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, Scene 3, p. 24, Tom (21)

Tom is furious with his mother, Amanda, for prying into and controlling his life. Start: “I’m going to opium dens.” End: “You ugly—babbling old—witch.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 8, p. 68, Tom (21)

At the end of the play, Tom talks to the audience, revealing that he hasn’t been able to separate himself from his sister, Laura. Start: “I didn’t go to the moon.” End: “Blow out your candles, Laura—and so good-bye.”


by David Mamet (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, Scene 3, pp. 27-29, Roma (40s)

Super salesman Roma sets up a sucker. He is going to sell him some Florida swampland. Cut Lingk’s few lines and Roma’s direct responses to them. Start: “All train compartments smell vaguely of shit.” End: “It’s been a long day.”

Drama: Act II, pp. 43-44, Levene (50s)

Levene made a big sale last night, or so he believes: eight units of property for $82,000 to an unsuspecting couple. Here, he gloats about how he put one over on them. What he doesn’t realize is that this same couple regularly signs contracts to buy property but doesn’t have any money. Cut Roma’s few other lines and Levene’s direct responses to them. Start: “What we have to do is admit to ourselves that we see that opportunity….” End: “…and we toast. In silence.” Roma’s line, “Always be closing…” can be spoken by Levene. Both of these monologues from Glengarry Glen Ross are too long for audition purposes but are very good for workshop.


by Athol Fugard (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, p. 50, Johnny (late 20s)

Johnny tells his sister about the day years ago when he left home to go to railroad school, got as far as the bridge, and turned back to be with his father. Having a career wasn’t important, but being devoted to his father was. Johnny is a white Afrikaner, so an accent is appropriate. Start: “Yes, I wanted to go. They are the most beautiful things in the world!” End: “I sweep, I wash, I wait…it was me. What I wanted.”


by John Guare (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act II, Scene 1, pp. 35-37, Ronnie (18)

Ronnie is building a bomb in order to blow up the Pope while telling the audience about the terrible humiliation he felt when Artie’s Hollywood producer buddy visited six years ago. Start: “My father tell you all about me?” End: “I’ll show you all. I’ll be too big for any of you.”


by José Rivera (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, Scene 1, pp. 14-15, Ramon (49)

Ramon has just returned from Puerto Rico, where he tried to locate Doa Prez, the legal owner of his Long Island home. The family is hanging on Ramon’s every word as he first leads them on, suggesting that Doa Prez is dead, and then delightedly admits that he found her and had the papers signed. You have to piece this monologue together, cutting out the other characters’ responses to Ramon’s story, but it works. Start: “When I landed in San Juan, I took a bus to Adjuntas.” End: “They think she can fly and bring the dead to life! They are always making stories about her!”


by David Rabe (Samuel French)

Comedy-Drama: Act I, Scene 2, pp. 49-50, Mickey (mid-30s)

Feeling caught in a romantic triangle, Mickey tells Eddie and Darlene that they should continue their relationship without him. Start: “You know what I’m going to do?” End: “Am I totally off base here, Eddie, or what?”

Drama: Act I, Scene 3, pp. 67-69, Phil (30s)

Edging close to a nervous breakdown, Phil describes for Eddie how he sees Los Angeles and the world from his moving car. An intense monologue, full of haunting, stark imagery. Start: “Eddie, for God’s sake don’t terrify me.” End: “I got to stay married. I’m lost without her.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 1, pp. 116-117, Eddie (mid-30s)

Eddie, who is very drunk, has been engaging in some truth-telling repartee with his good friend, Phil. Eddie then abruptly announces that he is depressed by the news about the neutron bomb in today’s paper. His speech is a drunken harangue, but there is a sad logic to it. Start: “The aborigine had a lot of problems.” End: “…we have emptied out the heavens and put oblivion in the hands of a bunch of aging insurance salesmen whose jobs are insecure.”


by Patrick Tovatt (Samuel French)

Drama: One-act play, Scene 2, pp. 19-20, Harry (37)

Harry tries to get his wife, Bev, to understand the plight of the American farmer in general and of his parents in particular. Start: “I am absolutely pissed off about…and feeling shit worthless about a whole lot of stuff.” End: “…and there are mysteries, by God, not yet penetrated by Purdue University.”


by Paul Rudnick (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act II, Scene 2, p. 67, Andrew (27-34)

Andrew tells John Barrymore (actually, the ghost of Barrymore) about a brief moment of inspiration during the performance last night, a moment in which he transcended himself and “became” Hamlet. In order to really pull this monologue off, an actor needs to be able to play Shakespeare. He has to perform five lines of the “To be or not to be” soliloquy, and he must do it well so as to make a point. You might want to add even a few more lines of that famous speech, to flesh out the monologue for audition purposes. Start: “Last night, right from the start, I knew I was bombing.” End: “And only eight thousand lines left to go.”


by Robert Anderson (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, p. 62, Gene (40)

This is the final speech in the play, very moving and introspective. Gene summarizes the final years of his father’s life and the complex relationship they had. He discovers that death ends a life but not a relationship. Start: “That night I left my father’s house forever.” End: “But, still, when I hear the word Father…It matters.”


by Neil Simon (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act II, Scene 3, pp. 61-62, Herb (45)

After learning that his daughter, Libby, has a job working as a parking valet and that she is promoting herself as an actress by writing her name and number on the back of the valet-parking tickets, Herb tells her why this is a dumb idea. Cut Libby’s lines and Herb’s direct responses to them. Start: “Libby, can I ask you a serious personal question?” End: “I’ll contact her first thing in the morning and hope and pray that someone else with spareribs in their teeth didn’t get to her before me.”


by August Wilson (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, Scene 4, pp. 72-73, Bynum (60s)

Bynum is a “conjure man” who is pretty wise in the ways of women. Here, he advises young Jeremy Bynum, who is intent on chasing women, to look a little deeper than surface beauty. Good speech. You can probably make two monologues out of this text with some editing. Start: “You just can’t look at it like that. You got to look at the whole thing.” End: “You got to learn how to come to your own time and place with a woman.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 106-107, Bynum (60s)

Another wise speech from the conjure man, having to do with how a man needs to find his own “song” in life. Cut and paste the monologue, eliminating Loomis. Start: “Mr. Loomis done picked some cotton. Ain’t you, Herald Loomis? You done picked a bunch of cotton.” End: “That’s why I can tell you one of Joe Turner’s niggers. ’Cause you forgot how to sing your song.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 108-109, Loomis (32)

Loomis tells Bynum and Seth how he came to be incarcerated on Joe Turner’s chain gang, lost his wife, and came to be traveling these past four years in search of her. Start: “Joe Turner catched me when my little girl was just born. Wasn’t nothing but a little baby sucking on her mama’s titty when he catched me.” End: “When I find my wife that be the making of my own.”


by Catherine Butterfield (Dramatists Play Service) (Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of 1992, Smith and Kraus)

Drama: Act II, pp. 59-60, Jim (late 30s)

Jim addresses the audience for the first time in the play, explaining in calm detail his emotional reactions to his wife’s progressive cancer and her imminent death. This is a crusher of a speech, breathtakingly poignant, and the playwright explicitly advises that actors not give in to maudlin impulses when playing it. Start: “Here’s what you won’t hear from them about me. You won’t hear about the nights I lie awake looking at Maggy.” End: “I just thought you should know.”


by Patrick Meyers (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: One-act play, pp. 21-22, Harold (mid-30s)

After listening to Taylor expound on his rather racist view of the world, Harold levels him with this monologue. Harold describes an American society obsessed with the production and sale of gizmos. Cut Taylor’s lines and Harold’s direct responses to them. Start: “Let me tell you who you really do it for…You do it for the gadgets.” End: “That’s all part of the gizmo plan, baby. It’s all a part of the gizmo plan.”


by Michael Cristofer (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act I, pp. 32-33, Jack (40s)

Jack’s mistress is pressing him to separate from his wife, Marge. In a spasm of self-disclosure, he suddenly acknowledges that he is a stranger in his own life, that he doesn’t recognize himself. You’ll have to cut and paste this speech. Just eliminate Luba’s lines. Start: “I don’t feel anything about them any more. The kids, I look at them—they’re bright.” End: “I’m telling you they’re wrong, because that isn’t me! It isn’t! It isn’t me!”

Comedy: Act I, pp. 35-36, Jack (40s)

Jack finally got up enough nerve to leave his wife. Now he stands in the living room of his astonished girlfriend and gives her a blow-by-blow description of the Grand Farewell. He tells her how Marge helped him pack and how, before that, they got the giggles and made the best love ever. He is still trembling from the excitement of it all, in fact. Start: “Well, I did it. It’s done. Finished. I finished it. I did it. Jesus.” End: “And then, after, we went upstairs, she helped me pack. I packed the suitcase, kissed her good-bye, and here I am.”


by John Guare (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act I, pp. 25-26, Raulito (33-45)

Raulito, an opportunistic and flamboyant Cuban refugee, is the owner/operator of a small New York City travel agency. He tells Betty, the sister of his former employer/lover, how he came to be what he is today—and why he happens to be wearing a gold lamé dress over his business suit. Start: “That is exactly what your sister Rosalie said to me the first time we met.” End: “Then she would let me sleep with her after, and dreams would come out of our heads like little Turkish moons.”


by Neil Simon (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act I, pp. 29-30, Barney (47)

Barney brings Elaine to his mother’s apartment and tells her why he wants to have a one-day fling. The complete monologue is too long for audition purposes and probably too long for class, so I suggest you shorten it. Start: “I started getting the urge about five years ago.” End: “For once, I didn’t just exist—I lived!”


by Christopher Durang (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: One-act play, Scene 2, pp. 21-22, A Man (any age)

The man talks directly to the members of the audience, telling them about a violent encounter he had recently with a strange woman at the supermarket. A short (about one-and-a-half-minute long), intense monologue excerpt from a very long speech. It’s funny because it is outrageous. Start: “I was in the supermarket the other day about to buy some tuna fish when I sensed this very disturbed presence right behind me.” End: “It makes me want to never leave my apartment ever ever again.”


by Eugene O’Neill (Yale University Press)

Drama: Act IV, James Tyrone (65)

James tells his drunk son, Edmund, about his glory days as a young actor and how he sold out his artistic integrity by purchasing a vehicle-play for himself. This role became his trademark, a fate he accepted because of the money. Now he is full of regret. Start: “Yes, maybe life overdid the lesson for me, and made a dollar worth too much.” End: “What the hell was it I wanted to buy, I wonder, that was worth—well, no matter. It’s a late day for regrets.”

Drama: Act IV, Edmund (23)

Edmund tells his very drunk father about some “high spots” in his memory, specifically the times he spent at sea; these were the moments when he came closest to finding God. Start: “You’ve just told me some high spots in your memories.” End: “I will always be a stranger who never feels at home.”


by Jason Miller (Three One-Act Plays by Jason Miller, Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: One-act play, pp. 55-56, Victor (32)

Victor gives a personal treasure, a baseball autographed by Lou Gehrig, to Barbara with instructions that she is to pass it on to her young son. While Victor gives it to her, he recounts how the ball came to be autographed by the great player, how he and his father experienced that particular day at the ballpark so many years ago. Start: “You’re a strong woman…a little strange but strong.” End: “…give this ball to Jeffrey…I’ve had it too long.”


by Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna (Samuel French)

Comedy: “Mike and Susan,” pp. 245-26, He (Mike, 30s)

Four days before his wedding, Mike gets cold feet. He comes to Susan’s apartment at about 4 A.M. to call it off. After Mike delivers an impassioned monologue that she casually ignores, they continue with their wedding plans as before. Start: “What do you expect me to do, carry on a long conversation at four in the morning?” End: “That’s it. It’s all over. Goodbye. I’m sorry. That’s it.” For a shorter version, start: “India’s overpopulated! We’ll all be sterilized soon.” Continue to the same end.


by Romulus Linney (Dramatists Play Service) (one-act version: Seventeen Short Plays, Smith & Kraus)

Drama: Dramatists Play Service, pp. 13-14, Ruggles (45-50)

Ruggles, an old-school, blood-and-guts Army sergeant major, testifies about his in-your-face relationship with the general and the last meeting they had before the general and his wife committed suicide. He is on the stand for a couple of pages, so you can construct monologues from his dialogue in various ways. One choice is to begin toward the end, when Ruggles starts talking about nostalgia. He hits emotional peaks, describing how his son died. The language is graphic, too rough perhaps for audition purposes, but it rings true. Start: “Nostalgia. Maybe he thought that would be safe.” End: “And that was the end of the interview.”

Drama: Dramatists Play Service, pp. 31-34, Roundhouse (50s)

A former university president and now restaurant owner, Roundhouse testifies about his close friendship with the general. He tells how his own homosexuality led to his downfall in the American educational system, and how the general helped him pick up the pieces of his life. This beautifully written speech is too long for most audition purposes but perfect for class. Start: “I was President of two American universities.” End: “In an age where everyone else is innocent, Michael chose the terrible right to be guilty.” For a shorter, audition-length excerpt, start: “So here I am, better off than ever, a closet queen Midwestern college president.” Continue to the same end.


by Murray Schisgal (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act I, pp. 11-12, Harry (late 30s)

Just moments ago, Milt discovered his old classmate, Harry, preparing to jump from a bridge and talked him down. Harry explains that the really big issues in life are troubling him. He believes that everything is summed up in one episode: A dog walked up to him one day in the park and lifted its leg on his pants leg. As he tells it, you can see that Harry is a haunted man and has reached the point where he is seeing significance in absolutely everything around him. You’ll have to cut and paste a lot, completely eliminating Milt’s lines, but it works. Start: “…I’m at the end of the line. Everything’s falling apart.…The world, Milt. People. Life.…” End: I became aware…aware of the whole rotten senseless stinking deal. Nothing mattered to me after that. Nothing.”


by August Wilson (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, Toledo (45-55)

Toledo is the only person in the recording studio who can spell music, so when he wins a dollar from Levee on a wager, no one is impressed. Trying to get the others to see how ludicrous their ignorance is, Toledo tells this story about the Lord’s Prayer. Start: “Alright. Now I’m gonna tell you a story to show just how ridiculous he sound.” End: “Only ’cause I knowed how to spell music, I still got my dollar.”

Drama: Act I, Cutler (35-45)

Cutler tells the other musicians how Slow Drag got his nickname during a dance contest when his dance partner’s boyfriend walked in with a knife. Omit Slow Drag and Levee’s interruptions. Start: “Slow Drag break a woman’s back when he dance.” End: “The women got to hanging around him so bad after that, them fellows in that town ran us out of there.”

Drama: Act I, Toledo (45-55)

Toledo gives the other musicians a brief lesson in black history, humorously comparing black people to leftovers from a stew on a white person’s table. Start: “Now I’m gonna show you how this goes…Where you just a leftover from history.” End: “So go on and get off the plate and let me eat something else.” If you use this selection for an audition, it might be more effective to end the monologue a line earlier in midsentence. End: “He’ll tell you he done ate your black ass.”

Drama: Act I, Levee (32)

Stung because the other musicians believe he is sucking up to the white record producers, Levee launches into this impassioned defense of his independence and integrity. He describes how, as a child, he tried to save his mother from being raped by a gang of white men. Start: “Levee got to be Levee!” End: “You all just leave Levee alone about the white man.” To shorten this monologue for audition purposes, begin halfway through the speech. Start: “My mama was frying up some chicken.”

Drama: Act II, Toledo (45-55)

Toledo starts talking about how many ways he has been a fool during his life, particularly with women. Start: “Now, I married a woman. A good woman.” End: “So yeah, Toledo been a fool about a woman. That’s part of making life.”


by John Guare (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act I, p. 16, Stony (36)

Stony explains that he is sensitive to the needs of plants and can hear their anguished cries. He concludes that people are really plants, not animals. A thoroughly odd and wonderful monologue, good for class. Stony’s twisted logic is an entertaining workout for actors. Start: “Theory? You call scientific fact theory?” End: “My plant nature. I celebrate that.”

Comedy: Act I, p. 27, Stony (36)

Stony shares his very revisionist take on the plot of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. His view is that Nora doesn’t really leave at the end of the play, that her husband keeps building new rooms to contain her. As always, Stony marches to a different drummer; he has a frenetic inner rhythm and sees things that others don’t. A challenging and fun monologue. Start: “Nora never left.” End: “…her closet crammed with clothes, her possessions, her life sat waiting for her in a rocking chair.”


by Thornton Wilder (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act I, pp. 18-19, Horace Vandergelder (60)

Horace Vandergelder is a self-made, blustery old fool who intends to remarry. In this speech to the audience, he outlines his amusingly parental views about the other sex. Remember, this play is set in the 1880s. Start: “Ninety-nine per cent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.” End: “Yes, like all you other fools, I’m willing to risk a little security for a certain amount of adventure. Think it over.”

Comedy: Act II, pp. 47-48, Cornelius (33)

Cornelius is the head clerk in Vandergelder’s Yonkers store. He has snuck out to have some fun and has fallen hard for Miss Molloy, the owner of the hat shop. Cornelius is a very innocent man; at thirty-three, he has never even been kissed. In this speech, delivered to the audience, he is ecstatic about the wonders of women, particularly Miss Molloy. Start: “Isn’t the world full of wonderful things? There we sit cooped up in Yonkers.” End: “Even if I have to dig ditches for the rest of my life. I’ll be a ditch digger who once had a wonderful day.”


by A. R. Gurney, Jr. (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act II, pp. 44-45, Charles (60s)

Charles, a distinguished, upper-class WASP, defends the virtues of a private men’s club, comparing its very civilized service to the treatment men receive in public places. Start: “Barney, I want you to go down to the pool, and ask your friends to put on their clothes.” End: “That’s what Barney wants apparently. And I’m sorry.”


by August Strindberg (Six Plays of Strindberg, translated by Elizabeth Sprigge, Doubleday/Anchor)

Drama: One-act play, Jean (30)

Jean tells Miss Julie about the time he hid in the Count’s privy on the castle grounds where she lived. Not knowing the purpose of the building, he had snuck in to look at the opulent interior. When people approached, he had only one escape: through the opening used for excrement. Finally safe again, Jean hid in a nearby hedge of raspberry canes and, for the first time, caught sight of Miss Julie, practically the vision of a young angel. He subsequently watched her from afar and, because a romance between them was impossible, he attempted suicide. Keep in mind that Jean might be lying about everything. At this point in the play, he is intent on seducing Julie, and the anecdote may be seen as a device to endear himself to her. Start: “One time I went into the Garden of Eden with my mother to weed the onion beds.” End: “There was no hope of winning you…you were simply a symbol of the hopelessness of ever getting out of the class I was born in.”


by Howard Teichmann (adapted from Nathanael West’s novel, Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, Scene 4, p. 71, Miss Lonelyhearts (26)

In this strong, brief speech, Lonelyhearts speaks of his father, a preacher who brought no love to his own home. Then he tells his employer, the very cynical Mr. Shrike, that he despises him. Start: “My father stood in the pulpit every Sunday.” End: “Two things I don’t want: to be like him, to be like you.”


by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, Scene 6, p. 41, The Captain (40-50)

The up-by-his-own-bootstraps Captain tells Mister Roberts why he hates know-it-all college guys and how much he wants to be a full commander in the Navy. Start: “I think you’re a pretty smart boy.” End: “Now get out of here!”


by Eugene O’Neill (Samuel French)

Drama: Act III, pp. 88-90, Tyrone (early 40s)

Tyrone has a secret. While escorting his mother’s body cross-country a year ago, he spent his time drinking heavily and sleeping with the trashiest whore he could find on the train. In this painful monologue, Tyrone confesses his sins to Josie, seeking her forgiveness. Only experienced actors should attempt this challenging speech. You’ll have to edit this monologue a bit, but it works. Start: “When mama died, I’d been on the wagon for nearly two years. Not even a glass of beer.” End: “I suppose I had some mad idea she could make me forget—what was in the baggage car ahead.”


by Larry Shue (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy: Act II, pp. 49-50, Willum (34)

Burnt out from hassling with Rick, his unwanted houseguest, for a week, Willum tells a horror story about an airplane trip the two of them took together. Start: “Six days. Has it been just six days?” End: “I think he only escaped because the ones who really had the grounds didn’t want to stand up.”


by Alan Ayckbourn (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act I, Scene 2, pp. 21-22, Norman (30s)

Everyone in the family knows that Norman intended to take his wife’s sister, Annie, away for a romantic weekend, so he is being ostracized at breakfast. After making repeated efforts to get someone to talk to him, he resorts to reading their minds. This excerpt, which is written in the British vernacular, begins after Norman reads aloud from the Puffa Puffa Rice cereal box. Start: “Hang on, I’ve got another game. Mind reading. I’ll read your minds.” End: “I knew you wouldn’t come. You didn’t have the guts.”

Comedy: Act I, Scene 2, pp. 22-23, Norman (30s)

This excerpt comes later in the breakfast speech discussed above. Everyone except Reg has left the table at this point, so Norman talks to him as Reg glumly eats his cereal in silence. The speech is touching and funny. Norman describes his marriage, one that is efficient but unromantic. Start: “I suppose you think I’m cruel, too, don’t you? Well, I’ve damn good cause to be, haven’t I?” End: “…The real me. Look at me.…”


by Tom Topor (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, p. 46, Arthur Kirk (60s)

Arthur Kirk is a self-made, no-nonsense millionaire whose stepdaughter, Claudia, has been arrested for prostitution and murder. Testifying on the stand during her sanity hearing, Arthur succinctly puts forth his philosophy on love, marriage, and the propriety of getting “a little something on the side.” Start: “Let me finish would ya.” End: “As far as I’m concerned, a man can chase sheep, just so long as he comes home and takes care of his family. Bill didn’t. Bill took a walk.”

Drama: Act II, p. 53, Arthur Kirk (60s)

Testifying on the stand, Arthur Kirk has just been asked why it is so important to him that his stepdaughter be found incompetent to stand trial. In response, he lashes out at the entire legal system and denies that Claudia is a prostitute. To his way of thinking, that is impossible; she must be mentally ill. Start: “We’re thinking about a trial.” End: “You get that straight.”


by Arthur Kopit (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act I, Scene 2, pp. 19-20, Jonathan (17-25)

Jonathan, a fellow with zero social skills, is smitten with Rosalie, the pretty young woman who babysits for the absentee couple in the penthouse across the way. He has been watching her through his homemade telescope. In this speech, Jonathan haltingly but excitedly tells us how to construct such a telescope. Eliminate Rosalie’s single line. Start: “Well, I made it out of lenses and tubing. The lenses I had because Ma-Ma—Mother gave me a set of lenses so I could see my stamps better.” End: “Even if I didn’t see anything else, I did see you. And—and I’m—very glad.”


by David Mamet (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, pp. 33-34, John (35-45)

John is a college professor facing sexual-harassment charges. As his exasperation grows, he tries to explain to Carol, the student accusing him, what communication really is. You’ll have to cut and paste the dialogue a bit. Start: “Wait a second, will you, just one moment. Nice day today.” End: “I don’t think we can proceed until we accept that each of us is human. And we still can have difficulties.”


by Frank D. Gilroy (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 69-70, Joe (30-35)

Joe asks Fran to marry him. When she hesitates, he levels her with this monologue, accusing her of being afraid to make a deeper commitment. Start: “For two years, I’ve slinked through these corridors as the villain in Apartment 2C.” End: “Do I perceive the hint of a smile—the trace of a tear?…Say it.”


by Lyle Kessler (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, Scene 1, pp. 50-51, Harold (40-50)

Harold gives the boys a lecture on the value of moderation. He tells a story from his boyhood. Cut Treat and Phillip’s lines and Harold’s direct responses to them. Start: “You know who you remind me of, Treat?” End: “…How far a man will go for financial gain.”


by Jerry Sterner (Samuel French)

Comedy-Drama: Act II, pp. 63-64, Garfinkle (40-45)

Kate has just offered Garfinkle twenty dollars per share “greenmail” if he’ll cease his efforts to take over New England Wire and Cable. Garfinkle scoffs at the offer, setting his price at twenty-five dollars per share and claiming that he would rather talk about Kate’s good looks. As it becomes evident that Kate isn’t authorized to pay twenty-five dollars, her mood sinks. He considers her for a moment and then delivers this short, cynical monologue. Cut Kate’s single interruption of the speech. Stage directions indicate that Kate exits in the middle of Garfinkle’s monologue and that he keeps talking, presumably to the audience. For audition/workshop purposes, he should continue speaking directly to Kate; eliminate her exit.

Comedy-Drama: Act II, pp. 86-88, Garfinkle (40-45)

Garfinkle addresses stockholders in the company he is taking over. Start: “You just heard the prayer for the dead, and fellow stuckholders (sic), you didn’t say ‘Amen’ and you didn’t even get to sip the wine.” End: “Now that is a funeral worth having.”


by August Wilson (Plume Drama)

Comedy-Drama: Act I, Scene 1, Doaker Charles (47)

During the twenty-seven years Doaker Charles has worked for the railroad, he has made some keen observations about all the travelers he has seen coming and going. After Boy Willie butters him up by suggesting that women are always waiting for him at every depot down south, Doaker starts talking about what he has seen and learned over the years. You’ll have to cut and paste. Start: “I’m cooking now, but I used to line track.” End: “It’ll come back every time.”

Comedy-Drama: Act I, Scene 1, Avery Brown (38)

Avery Brown migrated north and got a job running the elevator in a skyscraper downtown. He also became a preacher and has been trying to raise the money to start his first church. In this speech, Avery tells a very skeptical Boy Willie, who used to work alongside him picking cotton, how he came to be a preacher in the first place. Start: “It came to me in a dream.” End: “So I became a preacher.”

Comedy-Drama: Act I, Scene 2, Boy Willie (30)

Boy Willie explains that he intends to sell the family’s heirloom piano because he wants to purchase the land his ancestors worked on as slaves. His sister Berniece is adamantly opposed to this plan. Start: “Now, I’m gonna tell you the way I see it.” End: “But that’s why I’m gonna take this piano out of here and sell it.”

Comedy-Drama: Act II, Scene 1, Wining Boy (56)

Wining Boy just sold Lymon his “all-silk” suit for three dollars, as well as a sharp pair of Florsheim shoes for the same price. As Lymon happily goes upstairs to get dressed so that he and Boy Willie can go downtown and find some women, Wining Boy muses about how he almost was Lymon’s daddy; he had that close a relationship with the young man’s mother. Start: “That’s all Lymon thinks about is women.” End: “Fellow walked in and shot him thinking he was someone else.”


by Joanna M. Glass (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, pp. 61-62, Cam (late 50s)

Cam is evidently determined to drink himself to death and to drag his wife and young daughter, Jean, down with him. A few moments ago, Jean came home from school and told him that she longs for a normal life. In this speech, which is tinged with self-pity, Cam defends his life choices. Rather than seeing his stubborn nature as a liability, he considers it an asset. You’ll have to cut and paste a little. Start: “You know what normal is? Normal is where nothing happens.” End: “And when they go to bed at night they say, ‘God, when will you stop me? When will you send someone in to stop me?’”

Drama: Act II, p. 66, Cam (late 50s)

Cam is in the process of rejecting his sponsors from Alcoholics Anonymous. They accuse him of having a superiority complex, and he responds by justifying his behavior, claiming to have higher standards than everyone else. You’ll have to cut and paste, eliminating Ross’s lines. Start: “…I’m trying like hell to hold onto something. And I’ve realized that all I’ve got to hold onto is what I carry around in my head.” End: “The sound of their coats, turning. And I will never recover from that!”


by Craig Lucas (Broadway Play Publishing)

Comedy: Act II, The Old Man (60s)

Rita’s soul is in the Old Man’s body, and she has learned a great deal from the experience. Here, the Old Man (really Rita) tells Peter what life means to him/her in very existential terms. In portraying the Old Man, actors should not make any effort to speak in a woman’s tone or style. Start: “You know…if you think how we’re born and we go through all the struggle.” End: “So we might as well have a good time while we’re here, don’t you think?”


by José Rivera (Broadway Play Publishing)

Comedy-Drama: Act II, Scene 2, Guzman (about 40)

Guzman encourages Hiberto, a sickly, fearful, awkward—but quite possibly wealthy—man to marry his daughter, Lilia. Guzman promises to make a gift of his book, Tales of Marcario, which contains stories of magical happenings in the small Puerto Rican town. It might be effective to precisely mime the book when using this speech for audition purposes. Start: “You marry her, my friend, and tonight you touch her.” End: “This book will come in handy when you liberate Puerto Rico for me.”


by James Kirkwood (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act II, pp. 60-61, Jimmy (38)

Jimmy has let Vito talk him into sharing some marijuana and is completely stoned. Jimmy tells his prisoner about a recent commercial audition that was awful. Start: “Now get this scene: Nine men and three women glued together behind this long conference table.…” End: “No, you see, there was a little speck of shit in the pool—you!”


by N. Richard Nash (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, pp. 41-42, Starbuck (30s)

Starbuck tells the skeptical Curry family precisely how he intends to make it rain. He is a spellbinding orator, and utterly charismatic. Omit Lizzie and Noah’s interruptions. Start: “What do you care how I do it, sister, as long as it’s done!” End: “And me? I’m ridin’ right through the rainbow!—Well, how about it? Is it a deal?”


by Lorraine Hansberry (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 87-88, Walter (35)

When Ruth and Mama discover that Walter hasn’t been at his work for the past three days, they ask him what he has been doing instead. He tells them that, basically, he has been driving around Chicago and getting drunk at the Green Hat. Start: “Mama—you don’t know all the things a man got leisure can find to do in this city.” End: “You can just sit there and drink and listen to them three men play and you realize that don’t nothing matter worth a damn, but just being there.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 90-91, Walter (35)

Walter tells his ten-year-old son, Travis, what life is going to be like in about seven years, at which point he plans to be a big business executive. Start: “You know what, Travis? In seven years you are going to be seventeen years old.” End: “You just name it, son…And I hand you the world.”

Drama: Act III, pp. 123-124, Walter (35)

Walter’s “friend” and would-be business associate has disappeared with all of Walter’s money. As he reflects on the tragic turn of events, he discovers a hard lesson in life. In this short and extremely bitter monologue, Walter tells Mama about the difference between “the takers and the ‘tooken.’” Start: “You all always telling me to see life like it is.” End: “He’s taught me to keep my eye on what counts in this world. Yeah—thanks, Willy!”


by Tom Stoppard (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act II, pp. 54-55, Rosencrantz (20-30)

Up to this point, Rosencrantz has been bewildered about where he is and why he is there. He just wants to go home, but he can’t because he and Guildenstern were “sent for.” Here, Rosencrantz grapples with whether it is possible to conceive of one’s own death. You’ll have to cut and paste this amusing speech a bit. Start: “Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid on it?” End: “Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it going to end?”

Comedy: Act II, pp. 55-56, Rosencrantz (20-30)

This monologue is actually a continuation of the “dead in a box” speech discussed above, but you can treat it as a separate monologue. Rosencrantz tells a couple of bad jokes as he tries to understand the meaning of time, consciousness, and death. He orders someone in the wings to come out, but no one does. Then he orders the person to keep out, and no one enters. In this way, Rosencrantz gains control of the situation. Start: “Two early Christians chanced to meet in Heaven.” End: “Keep out, then! I forbid anyone to enter!…That’s better.”


by Anton Chekhov (version by Jean-Claude Van Itallie, Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, p. 8, Treplev (25)

Treplev, an aspiring playwright and the son of a famous actress, talks about the difference between his view of theater and his mother’s. In this speech, he tells his uncle how frustrating it has been to live in her shadow and how much he disagrees with her conventional attitudes toward the theater and acting. Start: “You see, my mother doesn’t love me. Why should she?” End: “I imagined I could read their thoughts, and I was going through agonies.”

Drama: Act II, pp. 25-27, Trigorin (late 30s)

Trigorin tells Nina, who adores him, how difficult it is to be a famous writer. This long speech is good for classwork. Eliminate Nina’s interruption and Trigorin’s response. Start: “I hear you talk about fame and happiness and a bright interesting life, but to me those are words which if you’ll forgive me are about as meaningful as sugar plums.” End: “Oh how horrible that all was. It was really torture.”


by Edward J. Moore (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, pp. 15-16, Harry (late 30s)

Harry has spent his life as a sailor. In this lovely monologue—which is really a marriage proposal—he tells Gertrude about his dream of a son, a home, and his own boat. Start: “A while back…I get relieved of the midwatch.” End: “And he’ll have a great mom!…Well…what do ya think?”


by Michael Cristofer (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, pp. 68-69, Mark (25-30)

Mark tells Beverly about how he was selling his ass on Market Street when he first met her ex-husband, Brian. Mark’s love for Brian is apparent. Cut Beverly’s lines. Start: “…when I met Brian, I was hustling outside a bar in San Francisco.” End: “And he never stopped talking. Never.”


by Donald Margulies (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, Scene I, pp. 16-17, Jonathan (35-45)

Jonathan tells Patricia about how his father, who died last week, covered an entire wall of the family home with photographs, stapling them right to the wall. Eliminate Patricia’s lines and Jonathan’s direct responses to them. Start: “I went to pack up his house the other day.” End: “That’s all gone now. It’s all gone.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 6, p. 48, Jonathan (35-45)

Trying to answer the question, “What is good art?” Jonathan tells an interviewer why he was disgusted by the huge turnout for the Van Gogh exhibit in New York. Start: “Okay, let me ask you something: When we talk about good art, what are we talking about?” End: “The art was just a backdrop for the real show that was happening. In the gift shop!” You can extend the monologue a bit more. Cut Grete’s lines. End: “…’cause the media told them so!”

Drama: Act II, Scene 6, pp. 49-50, Jonathan (35-45)

Now a famous and wealthy painter, Jonathan tells an interviewer how basically stupid his fame really is. He points out that eight years ago, he was painting houses, not canvas. Start: “What I am today? What am I today?” End: “The work loses its importance, the importance becomes ‘Waxman.’”


by John Guare (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: One-act play, p. 50, Rick (early 20s)

Rick is an aspiring actor in New York City, having recently arrived from Utah with his girlfriend. He falls under Paul’s spell and winds up depleting his bank account for the con man and having sex with him. This monologue, delivered directly to the audience, reveals Rick’s embarrassment, disillusionment, and shame. A short time after this speech, he commits suicide by jumping from a building. Start: “He told me he had some of his own money and he wanted to treat me.” End: “My father said I was a fool and I can’t have him be right. What have I done?”


by Emily Mann (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act III, Scene 6, p. 45, Mark (28)

Mark, a burned-out Vietnam vet, observes that criminals on the evening news go to jail for doing what he did legally during the war. A short, powerful speech. Start: “I don’t know. I just don’t know.” End: “I need to tell them what I did.”

Drama: Act III, Scene 7, pp. 46-47, Mark (28)

In an anguished, deeply introspective confession, Mark reveals how he executed an entire Vietnamese family. He is haunted and tortured by his act. Very difficult material that is compellingly written. Unfortunately, this speech is too long for most audition purposes. Start: “I killed three children, a mother and a father, in cold blood.” End: “I’m shell shocked.”


by Tennessee Williams (The Theater of Tennessee Williams, Volume 6; New Directions)

Drama: Scene 3, Old Man (65-75)

Tennessee Williams describes this character named The Old Man as looking like Walt Whitman. The character is the lonely boardinghouse landlady’s father-in-law, and he visits one of the boarders. In a striking speech, he talks about visiting the plant where he used to work and demanding a job. This short piece is good audition material. Start: “The day before yesterday, I went down to the plant.” End: “The Superintendent…said, ‘Hush up, be still! I’ll send for the wagon!’”


by Jon Robin Baitz (Samuel French)

Drama: Act I, pp. 32-33, Martin (late 20s)

Martin tells his family how books have ruined his life. The challenge for the actor is to avoid a one-note harangue. Martin is angry—he is summing up the frustration of a lifetime spent with his too literary family. Start: “Poison! You want to talk about poison?” End: “I hear the book chains are now selling preemptive strike video games, so why bother anyway? I’m out.”

Drama: Act II, pp. 64-65, Isaac (60s)

Isaac tells Marge, a psychiatric social worker sent by his sons to determine his mental competence, about the memories he has of his family apartment. Start: “Listen to me. You come here with an agenda.” End: “The silence, Miss Hackett. The silence. Pointless.”


by Anton Chekhov (The Sneeze: Plays and Stories by Anton Chekhov, translated and adapted by Michael Frayn, Samuel French)

Comedy: One-act play, pp. 73-75, Svetlovidov (68)

An elderly comic actor wearing a clown costume wakes from a liquor-induced nap to discover that everyone has left the theater except Nikita the prompter and himself. Before Svetlovidov realizes that anyone else is there, he talks to himself. Start: “Well, here’s a fine how-do-you-do! Here’s a fine state of affairs!” End: “I’m not fit to be seen! Better go and get dressed.”

Comedy: One-act play, pp. 77-78, Svetlovidov (68)

Svetlovidov tells Nikita how actors are consistently ostracized by the public, remembering a romance that ended years ago when he refused to give up his profession. This is a very touching speech. Start: “When I was a young actor, when I was just starting to get my teeth into it, I remember there was a woman who loved me for my art.” End: “Don’t trust them an inch!”


by Tennessee Williams (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, Scene 2, pp. 28-30, Chance (29)

Chance is an aging Adonis with a good body. He is still clinging to the hope of Hollywood success, but he makes his money by sleeping with wealthy women. In this frank speech, Chance tells one of them about his life and aspirations. Cut Princess’s lines and Chance’s direct responses to them. Start: “Here is the town I was born in.” End: “And that was when Heavenly became more important to me than anything else.” For a shorter audition version, start with: “I’m talking about the parade.”


by Richard Greenberg (Dramatists Play Service)

Comedy-Drama: Act I, pp. 25-27, Mason (30-50)

Mason is a rather uptight gay man, a financial advisor by trade. He gains a new client, one of the young superstars of baseball. As a result, he begins to follow the game and falls in love with it. This is a terrific monologue, a true ode to baseball. It is a little long for an audition, but there are several places to shorten it. Start: “So I’ve done what was suggested. I continued to watch and I have come (with no little excitement) to understand that baseball is a perfect metaphor for hope in a democratic society.” End: “…well, does any other game do that?”


by Paddy Chayefsky (Samuel French)

Comedy-Drama: Act I, pp. 13-14, Foreman (60s)

Foreman has surprised the other elderly Jews who are gathered in the tiny synagogue for morning prayers by showing up with Evelyn, his schizophrenic granddaughter, who is currently waiting in the rabbi’s office. Clearly in a state of high anxiety, he composes himself and then tells the amazed men that his granddaughter is possessed by a dybbuk, a spirit, and that the voice of a woman he dishonored years ago has come out of her throat. Start: “She is possessed, Alper. She has a dybbuk in her.” End: “May God strike me down on this spot, Alper, if every word I tell you is not true.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 1, pp. 45-46, Arthur (30s)

During a moment of lucidity between schizophrenic departures, Evelyn has been talking to Arthur about her illness. Then, in a remarkably introspective speech, he tells her about himself, explaining why life is unsatisfactory for him, why he’ll probably commit suicide one day even though he has enjoyed all the accoutrements of success. Toward the end of the speech, Arthur is on the verge of tears. Start: “Life is merely dreary if you’re sane, and unbearable if you are sensitive.” End: “As you see, I have quite a theatrical way when I want to.”


by Jason Miller (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act II, p. 26, Coach (60s)

The coach implores his boys to stop squabbling, not to fall apart on him now. He says he never got married because coaching basketball was more than a profession—it was a vocation. A strong monologue. Start: “Booze and women. I tried to protect you from it.” End: “You, boys, are my real trophies, never forget that. Never.”

Drama: Act III, pp. 46-47, Coach (60s)

In one devastating speech in the final moments of the play, the coach sums up his life, remembering the innocent optimism of childhood and the agony of the stock-market crash, and blaming the Jews. His team, his pathetically glorious championship high-school basketball team, is his life, but a memory of greatness is all that is left. This monologue is long but stunning. Start: “We don’t need them, boys…It’s history now.” End: “I made you winners. I made you winners.” For audition purposes, start: “Jesus, I can still see buckets of ice cream. Great red slabs of beef.”


by William Saroyan (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act II, p. 68, Harry (20s)

Harry is an energetic comic and dancer whom most people don’t find funny. Here, he tries one of his routines on a patron of Nick’s Saloon. Start: “This is it. I’m up at Sharkey’s on Turn Street. It’s a quarter to nine.” End: “I turn around. Everybody’s behind the eight ball.”

Comedy: Act II, pp. 74-76, Kit Carson (58)

Probably the most colorful character in the play, Kit Carson is a throwback to the American West, and tells fantastic tales, most of which aren’t true. In the end, he does something very heroic. This particular anecdote, which you’ll have to cut and paste, deals with his outrageous adventures in Gallup. Start: “I don’t suppose you ever fell in love with a midget weighing thirty-nine pounds?” End: “I don’t suppose you ever had to put a dress on to save your skin, did you?”

Drama: Act V, pp. 99-100 (Joe 25-35)

Joe tells his friend Tom about money, where it comes from and what it does to people. Start: “Now don’t be a fool, Tom. Listen carefully.” End: “Now, don’t ever bother me about it again.”


by Suzan-Lori Parks (Theatre Communications Group)

Comedy-Drama: Scene 3, p. 47, Lincoln (mid-20s, African-American)

Lincoln describes his daily work at the arcade where, in whiteface, he pretends to be Abe Lincoln. People come in and pay to go through a mock assassination, shooting Lincoln at the theater. Start: “It’s pretty dark. To keep thuh illusion of thuh whole thing.” End, “It’ll cut costs.”

Comedy-Drama: Scene 4, p. 54-55, Lincoln (mid-20s, African-American)

Lincoln recalls what a good street hustler he used to be, a master at Three-Card Monty. Start, “Hustling. Shit, I was good. I was great.…” End: “…But I was good.”


by John Bishop (Samuel French)

Comedy: Act II, pp. 75-76, Chuck (24)

Chuck has a big case of hero worship and is beside himself when he gets a chance to talk to stock-car driver Bobby Horvath. Excited, Chuck describes in detail the very first time he saw Bobby race. You’ll have to eliminate the other characters’ lines and piece this speech together, but it works well. Start: “You know you was in the first stock car race I ever saw.” End: “Man, what a race.”


by Jeffrey Sweet (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: One-act play, p. 41, Leo (late 60s)

Late in this one-act play, Leo complains about how everyone wants him to prove he is repentant for having named names before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Although he considers what he did to be wrong, he doesn’t think public apologies will help anything. Start: “Look, I’ve been through this before.” End: “And believe me, you’re about the only reason I’d think of doing it.”


by Tennessee Williams (New Directions)

Drama: Part 1, Scene 2, Writer (28)

In the preceding scene, Nightingale goes to the writer’s rooming-house cubicle to comfort him after hearing sobs. They talk of loneliness, death, and love and then they have sex. As the lights fade on that scene, the writer steps out and speaks to the audience as the play’s narrator. In an extraordinarily poetic speech, he says that, as he lay in his bed with Nightingale, a vision of his grandmother as a saint appeared to him. He muses about her reaction to the two entwined men. Start: “When I was alone in the room, the visitor having retreated beyond the plywood partition between his cubicle and mine…” End: “An almost invisible gesture of…forgiveness?…through understanding?…before she dissolved into sleep.…”


by Clifford Odets (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Scene 3, “The Young Hack and His Girl,” Sid (25-35)

Sid tells his girlfriend, Florrie, why he is disgusted with the 1935 American system of government and economics. He claims that the cards are stacked against the little guy and that, in the end, the big guys with the money just want those on the bottom to go fight wars. A speech full of moral outrage and passion. Start: “We worked like hell to send him to college—my kid brother, Sam, I mean—and look what he done—joined the navy!” End: “They’ll teach Sam to point the guns the wrong way, the dumb basketball player!”


by Philip Kan Gotanda (Dramatists Play Service)

Drama: Act I, Scene 3, p. 12, Sadao (65)

Sadao, a widower, is seeing Masi, who is recently separated after forty-two years of marriage. She is making coffee for them when he suddenly tells this very personal story. During a visit with a group of widows, one of them asked Sadao why he was still wearing a wedding ring, seeing his wife was dead and he was actively trying to meet a new woman. He broke down and cried, and then took off the ring. Start: “We were all sitting around in somebody’s living room, when someone said, ‘How come you’re still wearing your wedding ring?’” End: “Because you’re not married any more.”

Drama: Act II, Scene 2, pp. 35-36, Sadao (65)

Sadao and Masi lie in bed together. He speaks of his deceased wife, the challenges of aging, and how fortunate he is to have a second chance at romance. Start: “She just slept all the time.” End: “Can you imagine what the kids are thinking?”


by Michael Frayn (adapted from an early, untitled play by Anton Chekhov; Samuel French)

Comedy: Act I, Scene 2, pp. 44-45, Platonov (28-32)

Back in their university days, Sofya and Platanov were idealistic lovers. Today, married to different partners, they meet unexpectedly, and the old flame still burns. But Sofya wounds Platonov when she asks why he hasn’t done more with his life. In this speech, he responds and then attacks her choice of a husband. Eliminate Sofya’s lines. Start: “Is every man you meet really such a threat to your Sergey?” End: “What in all the wide world made you marry that man?” For an audition-length excerpt, start: “Why haven’t I done better? The first thing you asked me!”


by William Mastrosimone (Samuel French)

Comedy-Drama: Act I, pp. 36-37, Cliff (25-35)

Cliff tells Rosie about the awful life of a trucker. This long monologue runs four-and-a-half pages. For audition purposes, begin about three pages into the speech with Cliff. Start: “You swear this is your last run.” End: “Lose touch. Lose yourself in the road.”


by Charles Fuller (Samuel French)

Drama: Act II, pp. 46-48, Zooman (18)

Zooman, the inner-city gang member who accidentally killed Jinny, has been hiding from the police ever since. Throughout the play, he represents a street-level counterpart to the civility and basic decency of the victim’s family. He delivers all five of his monologues directly to the audience; these are rough stuff, full of violent, graphic images. The following excerpt is fine for special audition purposes. In it, Zooman talks about what it is like to be on the run. Start: “It kin be fun being on the run.” End: “Niggahs can’t be heroes, don’t he know nothin’?”

Drama: Act II, p. 58, Victor (15)

Victor’s twelve-year-old sister, Jinny, was accidentally killed three days ago when caught in inner-city-gang crossfire. In this short speech, he tells the audience about the special relationship they shared. Start: “They always tell me that I’ve got a better education than they had.” End: “I know it, but I’ll never tell them!”