REMINDER: Before any monologue from this site may be used – either for audition or performance – you must read and agree to abide by the terms and conditions here.
Monologues collected below by play title, separated by Comedic or Dramatic as appropriate.
All monologues on this page are the exclusive property of the author Copyright © Todd McGinnis
COMEDIC MONOLOGUES from “POINT OF VIEWING” by Todd McGinnis
(scroll down for dramatic monologues)
“THE TWO FACES OF SINCERITY WEEKS” SINCERITY on her cell phone, edited and excepted from ACT 1
SINCERITY: (On her cell phone.) MARLA! (Beat.) Oh, don’t give me “What time is it?”, Marla. I know it’s early. But if I have to be up so do you. (Beat.) Marla? (Beat.) MARLA! (Beat.) You’re doing it again. (Beat.) …Talking. …You were just talking again, weren’t you Marla? (Beat, waiting for an answer.) Weren’t you, Marla? (Beat.) Yes. You were. And we both know that’s not what I pay you for, is it, Marla? (Beat.)…No. It isn’t. Oh, and hey—now that we’re on the subject, Marla—just what is it that I pay you for again? Come on Marla, this is an easy one… (No answer, so, prompting…) I pay you to…? (Beat.) “Listen!” That’s right. Very good. Now let’s just practice that a little shall we? Are you ready Marla? Good. You agent. Me TV Star. THEY very bad people who call TV Star in the wee wee hours of morning and say TV Star must get out of bed early and REDO show she already DONE! And why? Because she do something wrong? No. Because bad people with computers make boo boo. —Are you with me so far, Marla?— (Beat.) Good girl. Now at this point in the story our TV Star is very, very sad. She not want to get up early to redo show she already done. But, as luck would have it, TV Star is also very sweet girl: never say “no”; always willing to pitch in and never asking what’s in it for her. And do you know why she is that way, Marla? (Beat.)That’s right Marla: Because she doesn’t want people to think she’s a bitch. No. …She wants people to think YOU’RE a bitch, Marla. And THAT’S the OTHER THING she pays you WAY TOO MUCH FOR! You follow? Now get out your megaphone and don’t—hang on, I’ve got a beep.
(Sincerity hits a button on her phone to pick up the other line.) (Answering, very sweetly.) Hello? Sincerity Weeks… (Beat.) (Rolls her eyes in annoyance but manages to keep her tone unbelievably sweet and warm.) Oh, hello, Janine. I was so hoping you’d call. I’ve been wanting to call you but I lost your number. My little electronic daytimer-thing—what do you call those again?—(Beat.) Of course! “Palm pilot.” Anyway, mine just went Kaa-PLOOEY! I lost everything! Appointments. Phone numbers. Reminders. Everything. But I do know why you’re calling and I’ve been trying to get an answer for you about my availability to host that benefit dinner of yours. Unfortunately, my agent is right in the middle of trying to set up a really big deal for me that might conflict with your benefit and she won’t give me the go-ahead to commit to you until she’s finished negotiations. You see… (Suddenly, confiding.) Janine? Can you keep a secret? (Beat.)Good. Because I wouldn’t want you to think I was trying to duck out on you. The truth is, the deal my agent’s trying to put together, well, it’s so hush-hush she won’t even tell me much about it. But if I said the words: “Movie” and “Tom” would you have an idea what I’m talking about. (Beat.) SHHH! Ja-nine! You said you could keep a secret! (Suddenly coy.) Besides… I didn’t necessarily say it was that “Tom”, did I? (Beat.) Good girl. So anyway, I hope you understand why my agent’s making it a little difficult for me to push her on this.(Beat.) And you don’t hate me too much? (Beat.) It’s very sweet of you to be so understanding, Janine. (Sincerity rolls her eyes and mimes “gagging” herself by sticking a finger down her throat.) Listen Janine, have you still got my agent’s number? (Beat.) Good. Now, I know it probably seems like I’m just giving you a runaround but—I’m being very honest with you here, Janine—Marla’s honestly more in charge of my schedule than I am. So what I need you to do is give Marla a call and just keep bugging her until she gives you an answer. Will you do that for me, Janine? Because I really want be there for you. But I need you to get me there. Okay hon’? (Beat.) (In a sudden “rush”.) Oh! I’m sorry, hon’. They’re calling me to makeup. I have to go! Promise you’ll call Marla, okay?
(She hits the “hang-up”, then takes a calming breath before getting back to Marla.) Okay, Marla. I have no idea what I was saying. But the bottom line is this: YOU are horribly, horribly offended that these jerks just expected me to come running back in here to cover their mistake without so much as a word about compensation. In fact, you are so outraged that you won’t give them a moment’s peace between now and air-time until they’ve named at least two outrageously high numbers. That clear enough? (Beat.) Good. Oh… And that woman from the hospital is going to be calling you about the benefit. You’re negotiating a big secret deal for me so you can’t possibly free me up unless she can pay full guest-speaker rates. Got it? Oh… and Marla? Find out how she got my number and make sure it doesn’t happen again. (Sincerity hangs up, blows out a breath of tension and slips the cell phone into a pocket.)
TABITHA SMILEY “SHE’S AFTER MY JOB” from Act 1
SMILEY: (To the person offstage right.) Yes, Iris! I see you. I’ll be there in a minute. (Drains her coffee. Then, to Sincerity.) And: No. I’m not bitter. I just don’t see why she got the plumb job of hosting our Tenth Anniversary Pre-show Interview? They couldn’t get somebody a little higher-profile than her? I mean, we are national… Hell, we’re international tv stars! We’ve been Number One in our time slot for almost all of the time we’ve been on the air. What’s the Stick ever done? [Besides…] I don’t “think” she’s after my job. I know it. I keep my eyes and ears open. You know she’s sleeping with Terry. How did you think she got her own show last fall? Talent? [Of course, they pulled it after three episodes but still. That’s all the more reason] why Terry needs to find something else for his love-muffin to do. And why go to all the work of trying to create and sell a new show when you can just make a little room for her on a top-rated show that you already own? Of course, it won’t happen overnight. No. You have to do these things carefully, little by little, you have to make sure that it all happens quietly. That way Britanny can get what she wants, Terry can keep on getting what he wants… for as long as he wants. Everybody’s happy. (Beat, a wicked, musing smile begins to show.) Unless of course, the boys in “post” screw up so badly that you have to put a woman who has nothing to lose—the woman you’re trying to ditch—on the air… in a live TV broadcast over which you have little or no control. Then things might not go quite so according to plan. Maybe I’ll go BALLISTIC on the air!?! Huh? How would that be? Maybe I’ll just go NUTS and tell the whole world what these ungrateful, back-stabbing creeps are up to? HUH!?! HOW ‘BOUT THAT!?! HOW WOULD THAT BE!?! (Beat. (Beat, the fantasy loses its charm, wind goes out of her sails.) Or maybe… I’ll just behave like a professional and get on with things since there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. [If I complain] they can accuse me of trying to poison the working atmosphere and I’m gone. Freak out on the show? Unprofessional conduct and I’m gone. Either way, I’m gone.(Smiley notices the “return” of Iris offstage.) Oh look who’s back? What the matter, Iris? Did you miss me? (Smiley heads for the exit, then stops and turns back, about to say something else but apparently silenced before she can do so by the continued glare from offstage. She turns back to “face” Iris, planting a fist on one hip and glares right back.) Oh you so don’t want to give me that look at this hour of the morning, Iris. (Beat.) I’m warning you, woman: I am only three coffees into a six coffee morning…
SINCERITY’S CONCERN FOR HER ACCOUNTANT’S MENTAL HEALTH, from Act 2
SINCERITY: Suit yourself. (Then, into her phone.) Put Martin on. (Beat. Then suddenly sweet.) Hi Martin. It’s your favourite client. (Beat.) I know this is your home number, Martin but I just couldn’t wait. I was worried about you. (Beat.) Yes Martin. I was worried about that little drug problem of yours and I was just wondering how it’s going? (Beat.) Well, let me try to refresh your memory. Do you remember that invoice you sent me recently? (Beat.) Okay. That’s good. Your memory isn’t totally gone… Now, Martin, do you remember the invoice amount? (Beat.) Oh you do? So I guess you also remember that it was a little high… (Beat.) Well, Martin, when I say “a little high”? I guess what I mean is: You must have been high when you came up with that number. What’re you, on crack? Is that it? (1/2 Beat.) Martin, I’m saying this for your own good: That invoice was clearly a cry for help from a sad pathetic mind in the grip of some terrible addiction. If you thought for one second that I was going to pay your ridiculous hourly rate for work that very clearly wasn’t even done by you… (Beat.) …No it wasn’t. (1/2 beat.) No it wasn’t. (1/2 beat, then suddenly ominous.) Go ahead, Martin… Make me say it just once more… I dare you.
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: At this point in the play, someone passes through the room, distracting Sincerity from her phone call for several long silent beats. For monologue performance purposes… Sincerity now takes a long beat away from the phone call to do something else.—Suggestions: chew some aspirin; take a drink; check her makeup; signal for another drink; telegraph her disgust with the food that’s been brought to her and send it back; blow kisses and mime an enthusiastic greeting to someone she really can’t stand who just happens to be passing by, etc.—When she is done, she returns her attention to the phone.]
Hmmm? (Beat.) No Martin, I didn’t hear a word you said, I wasn’t listening to you. Which is probably the only reason you’re still my accountant. Now, here are the possibilities: One. You got one of your junior chimpanzees to do the work and you signed off on it without checking it thoroughly. Or Two. You did the job yourself five minutes after you became a total mental retard! Now which is it? (Beat.)… Shall I take your stunned silence as an admission of guilt? Okay then. Here’s what you’re going to do Martin: You’re going to go back through that return and you’re going to find all the mistakes that I found and you’re going to correct them. Then you’re going to send me a whole new return with a whole new invoice for a whole lot less money. In exchange, I won’t fire your ass and bad mouth your good name to everyone I know. How’s that sound? (Beat.) I thought you’d like it. You are now free to hang up.
TABITHA SMILEY’S RANT ABOUT TV EXPERTS & POP-PSYCHOLOGISTS, from Act 2
SMILEY: You know what the problem is with you [“Experts”?] You take some totally ordinary, mildly annoying or inconvenient human characteristic and you attach a name to it and suddenly… BOOM! You’ve identified a BIG SPOOKY SYNDROME!!! Like… a fat kid who gets no exercise and spends the whole day eating potato chips and Oreos isn’t just “fat”, is he? Oh no! He’s got “Narco-Lethargic Snack-itus SYNDROME!”. Ooooo! Or a kid who hasn’t been outdoors in a month and won’t sit still doesn’t maybe just need some fresh air and exercise. No way! ‘Cause that kid’s got “Interio-Phobic Hyperactivational SYNDROME” RIGHT? OOOOOOooo! So now we all have to be SCARED of the BIG BAD SYNDROME!!! And why? Because some total nobody, like you were, who’s trying to establish a name for himself so he can build his practice… well… he’s written dozens of articles about this HUGE NEW PROBLEM in some pseudo-credible rag like… I don’t know…
(Smiley pours herself a drink.) Time or People or… Maclean’s. And of course, because this is just ordinary, everyday reality for a lot of people, you have no problem finding lots of “tragic case histories” that you can trot out on shows like this one. And the next thing you know? Everybody’s looking over everybody’s shoulder, wondering if this person has this “syndrome” or that person has that “issue” and what should they do about it? Well, what CAN they do? I guess they have to call the EXPERT, don’t they? And that’s the idiot they read in the paper or saw on TV talking about this thing they never even knew was a LIFE-SHATTERING CRISIS until he told him it was. (Takes a sip of her drink.) (Aside.) OOO! Look! I’ve got I-FELT-LIKE-HAVING-A-FREAKIN’-DRINK SYNDROME! OOOooo! How will I LIVE!?! Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah! So now, our expert has a thriving practice—which he’s never at because he’s too busy attending symposiums and conferences—and the talk shows have something to buzz about between commercials, and the chemical companies have scads of new pink and yellow pills to sell, when all our “Video-game-ADDICTED, Hyperactively-Manic-Depressive, Chronically-Obese case of Attention-Deficit Disorder” really needed was: a piece of fresh fruit; a whack on the ass; twenty minutes of fresh air and movement; and a dictionary so he could look up the meaning of the word “NO”!
DRAMATIC MONOLOGUES from “POINT OF VIEWING” by Todd McGinnis
TABITHA SMILEY, ON-AIR, DEFENDS HER LATE HUSBAND AGAINST A TABLOID SMEAR-STORY, from Act 2
SMILEY: (Picks up the tabloid newspaper.) As most of our viewers probably know, my husband Phil died six years ago. (Trying to stay composed.) He had an inoperable brain tumour. We only had three years together. We married a year after we met and then a little more than a year later we found out… (her control slips a little.) …We found out that he was going to die. (Through tears.) It was… very hard. You have no idea. Watching him… (She literally waves the rest of that thought away, unable to complete it.) And all the while he was so brave and so decent and so… funny and all he would do was worry about me. (Smiley breaks down… It takes several moments to recover and carry on.) Near the end, came the personality changes. The doctors had all warned us. Me. His parents. But then, one night. About a month before he… (Chokes up.) …Anyway, it was really bad. He just went raging around the house like he was possessed and when I tried to stop him he hit me. Several times. Quite hard. Like I said he was… It wasn’t really even him anymore. And then, two minutes later, he was this crying, terrified little boy who couldn’t remember his own name and he needed me to hold him. And I did. I never told him what had happened. Because it wasn’t him. And he couldn’t have lived thinking that he’d hurt me like that. (Holds up the paper.) This story says that my husband was abusive. That he beat me up. And that is a lie! My husband was the best person I ever knew in this world. And it hurts me more than I can tell you that because of this story, planted by (points at Sincerity) my friend, there will be people in the world who will carry my husband’s name in the same thought with the word abuser.
TV-STAR/TALK SHOW HOST SINCERITY WEEKS COMES CLEAN, from Act 2
SINCERITY: [“Why would I deliberately plant a story in the tabloids about my husband and how his many… infidelities have humiliated me?”] Well… Have you read Machiavelli? I suggest you do. The Prince is a great place to start. It has to do with appearances being more important to people than… (Stops herself and cups a hand to her ear.) Oops. Here that, Doc? That’s the sound of nearly a million people changing the channel. Well, we can’t really blame them can we? (In a Southern U.S. drawl) We don’t go in much for that fancy book learnin’ these days! Anyway, blah, blah, blah. I did it so no one would suspect me. Well, that and I was kind of hoping to piss off my husband. [Oh, but that’s still not explanation enough for you is it? Oh no. “Inquiring minds want to know…” What kind of person does something like that in the first place?”] Well, that’s easy. You take an edgy, gutsy, smart, talented, headstrong, ambitious woman and you throw heaps of money at her for pretending to be not quite so smart or gutsy or ambitious but… (Adopts her TV persona for a moment.) ...Really enthusiastic (Back to herself.) instead. And you have her do that five days a week. Oh and don’t forget… (Persona again, dabbing at tears that aren’t there.) …sensitive. Oh yes. So sensitive. (Drops the act.) Make me wanna puke. Anyway, after awhile she gets bored. And worse yet, she starts worrying that she’s turning into this thing she plays on TV. Unfortunately, she’s also quite used to the money and the influence celebrity brings so there’s no way she’s going to just quit and do something meaningful with her life. So she starts looking for something to hold her interest. Turns out, she finds money interesting. She likes making it and making it grow… and given her husband’s lack of interest it’s about the only thing she can make grow. So that’s what she does. She schemes and she plans and she invests and God help the person who gets in her way because she’s a big fan of Darwin. There. How’s that? Everyone feeling enlightened now?
COMEDIC MONOLOGUES from “THUNDERBOLTS and DUNDERHEADS”, by Todd McGinnis.
Iris, Goddess Of Rainbows Reveals Her Ambitions, edited and excerpted from Act 1.
IRIS: (Confiding.) Rainbows aren’t really as fascinating as most people think. (Nodding.) It’s true. Sometimes, it’s even dull. [I mean,] “rainbows” is mostly working “in-the-field” you know… Long periods of time, hanging around on horizons, waiting for rain. And THAT’s the problem! Being “in-the-field” for so long I’ve lost touch with what’s really going on. Anyway, that’s why I asked to see Zeus. I need to be here at “head office”, where the action is! Give my image as a goddess a complete make-over. It’s time I started getting the same respect all the other gods take for granted. I want… (Her eyes widen as she enthusiastically envisions her dream.) I want… Whole cities of people afraid to make a move in case they incur my displeasure and I crush them… [EDIT] That’s why I need Zeus to promote me. I want to take on some new powers, add a whole new dimension to what people think of me. Something cool like Iris, Goddess of Volcanoes! Or Terrible Storms or… Or Exploding Fish! …or something. Well… That would sure put the fear of Me into them, wouldn’t it? I mean there they are, ordinary little mortals home from a nice day at sea, they sit down for dinner, go to take a nice big bite of tasty fish and… POW! That’s the fish exploding. Oh! But don’t worry! I’d still do rainbows. I just want to… you know, add value to what I do. I would never leave Zeus short-handed. Maybe you could mention that when you tell him I’m here?
Hera, Queen Of The Gods Discusses Her Marital Problems , edited and excerpted from Act 2
HERA: (Complimenting Iris, Goddess of Rainbows on her efforts to prevent Zeus —Hera’s husband— from following through on his planned “romantic” conquest / infidelity with a visting goddess.) I must say… you did that rather well …Keeping yourself alive for a little while longer, I mean. (Filling her cup.) After all, there he was, about to stroll off with that… (Can’t find the word, lets it go.) …only moments away from sealing your fate and suddenly… you have him postponing his little “rendezvous” as though it was his idea. Not for long, of course, but still… impressive. You must show me how you do that sometime. I mean you really must. Or I’ll destroy you. (Beat.) Do you want to know what the real problem is? I’m the Goddess of Domestic Bliss! Happy homes and healthy marriages are my territory. And I can’t even make my own work! (Sighs.) One day I’m the happily-married “Queen of Gods”, the envy of earth and heavens, with a perfect, loving, devoted husband. The next? I’m threatening to rip the wings off Hermes when I find out he’s carrying a love note from my husband to some shepherd-girl! Not that it was Hermes’s fault, of course. He just naturally thought the letter was for me. But it was an honest mistake and he felt so bad about it …He’s been really sweet to me ever since, just trying to make it up… so I never told Zeus how I found out. Oh! And if you ever tell anyone… (Makes a threatening gesture suggesting she’ll destroy Iris.) (Sighs.) Anyway, that’s how things are: He cheats… I get angry and accuse him. He denies it… I fill his bathtub with poisonous vipers and scorpions. It’s a vicious circle.
COMEDIC MONOLOGUES from STAGE FRIGHT OR… “LAUGH?” I Thought I’d DIE! by Todd McGinnis
“Back to work!” A tired and bitchy Production Assistant herds a group of extras back into the theater where they’re shooting overnight.
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: O-KAY EVERYONE! Guess what? Break’s over so get your underpaid but over-fed Extra-butts back in the theatre. Let’s go. Let’s go! LET’S GO! After countless setbacks, the crew is apparently all but finished with the exterior stuff and wants to move inside next. Who knows? We’re only three hours behind… you may yet be allowed to go before the sun comes up. Okay… Keep it movin’. Back to your seats… (To a very casually or very formally dressed patron.) Oh excuse me, sweetie… I mean, I KNOW this movie isn’t exactly Oscar-bound… I mean, come on! Who do they think they’re kidding with a title like “Curtains: The Phantom of the Theatre II”?… But still… you are supposed to be at the “theatre”. Are you telling me that’s what you would honestly wear if you were going out to a real play? (Whatever the response) Okay… fine, fine! Yadda Yadda! Keep it moving! Keep it moving. (Shouting after them as they pass.) Just don’t sit in the first row! …or six! (To another patron with similar attire “issues”.) Oh, don’t you even start with me, Mister. You’re not exactly Henry Higgins at the Opera yourself, you know. Henry Higgins? Hel-lo? “Pygmalion”? “Shaw?” Try reading a book sometime. Oh don’t give me that look! It has been far too long a day for that. Just get back to your seat. (Shouting across the lobby at a straggler.) HEY! You there! I think you can afford to abandon the donut table for awhile. It’ll still be there when you get back. Now go! GO! GO!
“WHY AREN’T YOU HERE!?!”: Real Estate Agent Jenna on her cell phone to the man who was supposed to be keeping her company in a big creepy old building
(this lengthy monologue from the play is broken here into 3 parts suggesting some options for breaking or shortening the overall length)
JENNA: (As she struggles through the door.) Yeah… Yeah… Yeah, uh Martin? Could you hold on a sec?… (Turns on the flashlight.) …Okay… I know you’re not here. Even though this is where you said you’d be, where you promised you’d be?… Yeah yeah. Okay. “Meeting ran late” sure… You know it doesn’t matter if you’re lying or not. The point is I’m a gorgeous, sexy, female real estate agent walking around all alone in a big, empty creepy old theater at the exact time in history when the news is reminding us hourly that gorgeous, sexy, female real estate agents should not be walking around all alone in big, empty, creepy old theaters! That’s how you end up one of those people on the Six o’clock news, Martin. You know the ones I mean? The dead ones? The ones who die doing something that in hindsight they had no business doing so everybody figures they got what they deserved. I… Don’t interrupt me when I’m ranting, Martin. The point is: I’m NOT one of those people. I don’t deserve to be raped and killed in some empty old building, not just because nobody deserves that, but also because I actually went to the trouble of arranging a macho-male chaperon to keep me safe…
JENNA: Yes, Martin, that was supposed to be you. Only you’re not here, are you? You’re… Where are you anyway? Are you going to be here soon at least? …Oh god! You’re not even close. (She gets up onto the stage.) …Well at least stay on the phone with me. And don’t bitch to me about your air-time. It’s the least you can do for letting me down like this. …Good. I’m glad you see it my way. …Well, stay on the l… What? …Are you going under hydro lines or something? I… Martin? Martin? (Sighs. Annoyed.) Great! (She hits speed dial and waits.)Ooooh! (Hangs up and tries again.) Get off the phone you idiot… (muttering.) …So I can get you ON the phone and tell you what an idiot you are! (Hangs up again.) Okay! Fine! Desert me in my hour of need. See if I care. Now… where the hell are those lights?
JENNA: (Jenna’s phone rings, startling her.) Jenna Bremmen… Oh. It’s you… No, I’m not alright… You were supposed to be here. That’s what’s wrong… No. Nothing’s happened. I just thought I heard something… NO, I don’t know what it was. I guess I can’t even be sure I heard it. Could’ve been the wind. I don’t know… No, I don’t really think it was the wind. It sounded like a whole bunch of people whispering only it can’t have been because I’m pretty sure even I would notice a whole crowd of people sneaking around here whether they were whispering or not… No… No!… Because it can’t be. There’s no equipment for anyone to be playing around with, that’s why. The techs have spent the last month stripping this place of everything that wasn’t nailed down and of almost everything that was… I guess they plan to install a lot of it in the new thea… Hello? Hell… …Oh. There you are. Is your battery dying?… Well can’t you plug it into the cigarette lighter or something?… I don’t know! So that you can hear me screaming for help so you’ll know when to call the police and tell them where to find the body.
DRAMATIC/HORROR MONOLOGUES from STAGE FRIGHT OR… “LAUGH?” I Thought I’d DIE! by Todd McGinnis
FROZEN MOMENT: In a moment of tragic clarity, Evelyn recalls the best dream and greatest tragedy of her life.
EVELYN: This is a frozen moment. This… it’s a frozen moment. Like in the dream. Frozen moments only happen in dreams… don’t they? Maybe this is a dream…You see that’s where I was when it… I was dreaming, you see, when it… (For a moment she is still, like a puppet whose strings have been cut, her eyes dull. Then suddenly, and with great animation…) DID I EVER SHOW YOU THAT PICTURE OF MY DAUGHTER? (Grabs her purse.) I know it’s in here somewhere. I always have it. I never leave it. I never leave it… Here it is! There she is. That’s Charlotte. So beautiful. Like my mother. (Evelyn shows the picture to the Cigarette Girl who reaches for it.) NO! YOU CAN’T HAVE IT! (Pulls the picture back and stares at it.) It’s all I have of her now… It was an accident. I was dreaming you see. (Remembering, enraptured.) Oh such a beautiful dream! It was beautiful. I was beautiful and I was at a party and there were Hollywood stars everywhere… Lionel Barrymore and Frederic March and Valentino —he’s still very attractive you know… And there was that very handsome newcomer, Clark… somebody… [Gable? Yes Gable.] YES! That’s him! And I was being witty and charming and everyone was hanging on my every word… (A change, becoming agitated.) Of course, Charlotte came into the room and started complaining she’d fallen in a puddle or something …children are always getting into their little scrapes at the worst time, don’t you find?… So I told her it was alright and she could go back out and play. (Suddenly uncertain.) Maybe I should have gone over to her. I don’t know. She seemed fine. A little wet was all. And after all… Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. were offering to fight a duel for my hand! (Laughs fondly, remembering.) I, of course, was very nonchalant about the whole thing but inside I was thrilled. (Suddenly annoyed again.) But then… there she was again! With her “Mama! Mama! MAMA!” and her filthy, wet clothes dripping all over my new carpet and SPOILING EVERYTHING… It wasn’t my fault you see… It was just that… No matter how I tried to hush the child up, she wouldn’t stop calling me. She just kept calling me and calling me… and she was RUINING VALENTINO’s story with her interruptions so I told her to be quiet, Be Quiet, BE QUIET! WHY WON’T YOU BE QUIET!?! (Catches herself screaming and calms herself.) That’s when I had the frozen moment. Everyone, everything at the party stopped. They were all staring at Charlotte and they were all just… frozen. So I turned to her… and that was when I saw… she wasn’t standing on the rug at all. No. She was up to her chest in water and her pretty pink dress was all soiled and floating up around her and the ribbons in her hair …the little bows at the front… they were all torn and soaked in blood because she’d hit her head. And that was when I realized she was sinking. (Beginning to cry.) She was sinking because she’d lost so much blood and the water was so cold down there at the bottom of the well that she was passing out. My little Lotty was going to sleep in the cold and the dark AND ALL I COULD DO WAS STAND THERE…SURROUNDED BY MOVIE STARS WITH A DRINK IN MY HAND… AND WATCH HER SLIPPING LOWER AND LOWER… INTO THE WATER… YOU SEE EVERYTHING WAS FROZEN BUT HER! SHE WAS DROWNING AND I COULDN’T DO ANYTHING… My baby was slipping into the cold black water and crying for her mama and her mama couldn’t do anything because her MAMA WAS TOO DRUNK TO WAKE UP FROM HER STUPID DREAMS!!! TOO DRUNK TO MOVE!!! Too drunk to save her baby from the cold… from the dark… crying out for me… to save her.
DRAMATIC MONOLOGUES from “TRAMMEL THE CULL” A Single Act of Pure Evil by Todd McGinnis.
IT’S A GUY-THING: SHE shares with HE her observations on the narcissism of his gender…
SHE: You can’t help it. It’s a guy-thing. You’d never believe how many hours I’ve spent listening to men blab on and on about how fast their car is, or how much it cost… or how much the next one’s going to cost. And if it isn’t cars it’s how much money they make. It’s like every conversation these guys have with a woman is a job interview. And they’re just dying to let you know that they’re the man for the job. [Oh,] Not all of you[, of course.] Just most of you. I mean, everybody always complains about men not being willing to open up and talk about themselves but I don’t think that’s really the problem. I think the problem is most guys are too willing to talk about themselves… even though they don’t have anything interesting to say.
WOMEN ARE JUST AS DEADLY AS MEN: SHE disputes the claim that men are the deadlier gender.
SHE: Well, if he doesn’t think women are every bit as likely to kill as men are he hasn’t really known many women.
So what [if there are way more men in prison for murder than women]? What does that prove? Just that men are easier to catch, that’s all. (Takes another sip of her drink.) Think about it. There are lots of ways to kill someone. It doesn’t have to be done quickly. That’s just the way men do it. That’s just the way we see it being done in stories, in books and movies and so on, and usually by men. I think Mr. Leyton is overlooking two very important female traits: their patience… and their capacity for suffering. Well, like I said, there are lots of ways to kill someone. You don’t even have to break the law to do it. In fact, the best ways, the foolproof ways are legal… or at least undetectable. Unfortunately though, the best ways are also the slowest. You can’t rush them. You have to do them gradually, over time, to make it look as though nature just took its course. Now that takes guts. That takes stamina. And if the person being disposed of is being gotten rid of because they’re dangerous or abusive, then to do it the foolproof way takes the ability to absorb suffering as well. [Now which gender do you think is better suited to handle all that?] Do men have to deal with major monthly discomfort, if not outright agony, thanks to their biology? Do eight-out-of-ten men have to endure at least one sexual assault by the time they’re sixteen? Would the world be this populated if it hurt men to lose their Virginity? I doubt it. But women are built to take all that stuff. Women soon learn that pain will always be a part of their existence. There’s no quick escape. In fact, there’s no escape at all. A woman knows she’s going to have a lot of pain in her life, and she’s going to have to put up with it for a long time. So she develops patience. So she doesn’t really have to hurry if she wants to kill hubby, does she? Hubby likes to eat? Fine: “Honey… I made your favourite again: Fried chicken and deep-fried ice cream for dessert.” Daddy likes to drink? “Here’s another rum and coke, daddy. Oh, by the way, could you just drive over to the mall and pick up a few things?” It might take years but who’s to say that most of those “he died before his time” stories aren’t really just evidence that some woman has signed her own release?
“WHY ASK ‘WHY?'”: SHE taunts her next victim.
SHE: I already told you: Christ can’t help you now… Sweetheart! But I think we both know what your problem is. So why don’t you just lie back like a good little boy and I’ll just… remove the cause of all your troubles. (She advances on him slowly, opening and closing the scissors as she does. He tries to crawl away from her, towards the kitchen.) [What’s that?] “Why?” Why ask why? What difference is it going to make to you? Maybe my daddy used to touch me in the car on the way to school. Or maybe my older brother would sell me to his friends for drug money. I could be a repressed lesbian whose self-loathing can only be expressed in violent acts of mutilation directed against the sex I’m socially-conditioned to find attractive but don’t. You want reasons? Watch Jerry Springer. Watch Oprah. The world’s a pretty screwed-up place, Sweetheart! Oh, it’s full of reasons. But how are any of those reasons going to help you? When the drug I gave you has you in its grip? When you can’t move, can’t even cry out in protest as I unzip your fly, take out that little fella you got tucked down there and… (snips the scissors a couple of times, suggestive.) …Cut him down to size? Hmm? Will it make you feel better to know why when I’m holding it up in front of your eyes? Or when I stick it in your mouth and sew your lips shut? Tell me… what difference will knowing “Why” possibly make to you then?
CRUEL BULLSHIT: GIRL shares with HE her feelings about apologies and his controversial theories about serial killers.
GIRL: (With a derisive edge to her tone.) So basically, your theory on serial killers is that they are highly-evolved, super-smart people who are doing the rest of us a favour by killing us off one at a time. Wow. (Shakes her head and takes a drink.)
(Fixing Guy with a glare.) Don’t tell me what he meant. I understood him. I mean, just because most of the conversations I have are with you, that doesn’t mean I don’t understand big words. (Beat.) It just means I don’t hear them very often. (To He.) [Look…]I accept your apology. But I’m afraid you’ll have to forgive me for telling you that I not only find your theory offensive, but I also think it’s a load of crap. I know [I know]… you’re sorry. You didn’t mean any harm. You were just talking about how highly-evolved someone would have to be to realize that raping and torturing other human beings isn’t just fun, it’s the right thing to do!
[But of course you’re “sorry”] sorry so that’s fine isn’t it? [You’re] sorry so what’s to worry about? It’s over, right? We wouldn’t want to waste any time “judging” the right or wrong of it, would we? I guess that’s why everybody’s “sorry” these days. It’s convenient isn’t it? It’s much easier just to be sorry for all the thoughtless things we do or say than it is to just not do them or say them in the first place. It’s also easier to apologize for all the nice things we could have done but didn’t bother to do. But I don’t see how just saying “I’m sorry” all the time is supposed to make everything okay. What’s so “okay” about only ever thinking about things after we’ve already hurt somebody’s feelings[?], or made somebody’s day a little worse or somebody’s life a little harder with whatever self-serving attitude we’re throwing around at the moment. Why is it all “okay” just because we say we’re sorry? Does anyone really think that makes it alright? Well, it’s not alright with me. It’s not alright that you just talk about people being deliberately cruel and vicious and… and evil to other people as though it’s no big deal, like it’s a good thing. You should be ashamed of yourself. Talking like that, thinking about it like that might make you feel all cool and superior and maybe there are people who’ll think you are too. But I’m not one of them. As far as I’m concerned your little theory is just… Cruel bullshit.
COMEDIC MONOLOGUES from KNAVE OF HEARTS by Todd McGinnis.
Lady Bannigan Prattles At Light Speed About The Rescue Of Her Nieces And Their Possible Betrothal To Their Hero Captain Hawkins, edited and excerpted from Act 1
LADY BANNIGAN: (Unaware of Jack’s presence and prattling a mile-a-minute.) HENRY! What’s this I hear about your having offered your daughters in marriage to some strange soldier? (Prattling, very quickly.) At first when Katherine told me how you were attacked on the road I almost fainted dead away with worry. But then when she told me that either she or Mary are to be given in marriage to some common soldier, and that the arrangement with the young lords Dunstable is broken… well, I just had to come and see if you had suffered some sort of injury. (She begins inspecting him, searching for evidence of a head wound.) Were you hurt, dear Henry? Did you bravely mask the injury from your daughters to spare their feelings, knowing all the while that the injury done you would soon rob you of your senses? Oh, my poor, brave, noble, dear, broken-headed Henry! I don’t know what I shall do now that you are lost to me…(Begins to sob hysterically, then turning away from Henry suddenly notices Jack for the first time. She stops crying and is immediately composed.) [EDIT] Oh, Captain Hawkins. Thou hast my eternal gratitude for thy valorous deed and more if thou should forgive my ill manners. (Suddenly reliving the shock.) I suppose my fear that something horrible had happened to my dear Henry must have blotted all sensible thinking from my mind. How else can one explain that I did not weep with joy when Katherine and Mary told me the great news: that one of them will soon become the bride of the brave hero who saved them both. (A big, gushy sigh.) Imagine! One of my sweet babes will take the hand of her very own Galahad! Hast thou decided which thou wilt marry? …Not that thou couldst go wrong with either one of course. They’re both so bright and beautiful, and dutiful… in their own special ways. (To herself, thinking it through.)Of course, Katherine is the elder and naturally the more headstrong of the two. (To Jack, concerned she’s given a bad impression.) Did I say “headstrong”? I meant “spirited”. But she can run a household and will make the great man fortunate enough to marry her even greater still. Not that Mary wouldn’t be just as good a choice. Don’t be deceived by her meek nature. She can accomplish much with few words. Oh, forgive my prattling on. I’m just so excited.
Lady Bannigan Seductively Proposes A Unique Wager In Order To Teach Jack Hawkins A Lesson, edited and excerpted from Act 1
LADY BANNIGAN: (Suggestively to Jack.) I am certain that if anyone can guide my gentle brother to a deeper understanding of the feminine heart, it would be thee Captain Hawkins.(Edit) What a pity thou art so reluctant to wed. I can think of a woman who would be a perfect match for thee… (Edit) Indeed, this nature of thine makes me sad for thee, Captain Hawkins: To make great… study of feminine virtue while resisting the embrace of its substance. [Still… Captain Hawkins…] (Tantalizing.) It may be the key to thy great good fortune… (She edges closer, deliberately flirtatious.) Well, Captain Hawkins, if I may appeal to thee… to thy gaming nature… I would make thee a wager as well. Come Captain Hawkins… thou art a gaming man… art thou not game enough for a simple wager with a simple woman? I do but wager for a good cause as you have. And as I am widowed and not without means, I find this gaming has a certain thrill to it. Well, Captain Hawkins? Wilt thou hear my wager? There is a pouch of gold attached… ‘Tis simple enough as I said. As thou hast claimed an understanding of the feminine nature, so do I claim that the course of male desire is as predictable to me as that a mountain stream will flow downhill. From this knowledge, it is my wager that before thou dost take thy leave of us… (suggestively) …a certain woman of the Bannigan household will have possession of thy heart, freely given. Thou shalt be wed. And… (edges closer to Jack.) A certain woman shall be wed in accordance with the desires of her simple and whimsical heart. That is all. Have we a wager?
Monologue from EVERYBODY DIES, A Black Comedy in One Act, by Todd McGinnis.
DRAMA / COMEDY
HAPPILY EVER AFTER (The Bitch Version)
SARAH: (Sighs.) Teddy… Teddy… Teddy. You really have lost touch, haven’t you? Allow me to be the one to enlighten you. Once upon a time, three guys put together a production company. One was a talented actor. One was a gifted money-man. And one was a pathetic loser of a writer who had somehow managed to get lucky with a bankable idea and the assistance of a group of people who actually had talent. Now these three boys all owned equal shares in the show. That is they did until one magical day, when the money-man was convinced to sell his interest in the company to the talented actor and his devastatingly gorgeous lady love. That meant that suddenly, together, the two lovebirds now controlled the majority interest in the company. And they decided the wonderful actress needed a much bigger part on the show, one more worthy of her many talents. And so, they lived happily ever after, in complete control of their show, season after season, and there was nothing the loud-mouthed HACK… (Takes a moment to recover her poise) …could do about it.
Dramatic Monologue from “SELF-HELP BY DUMMIEZ” by T. Gregory Argall and Todd McGinnis
(Previously “Self-Help For Dummies)
Chastity Tells The Story Of Her “One & Only”(Part 1), edited and excerpted from Act 2
CHASTITY: When I was twelve years old, I had to walk through this little park every day on my way home from school… [And] there were these mean kids who had started hanging out in the park. They’d been giving me a bit of a hard time. Calling me names. Chasing me. Knocking my books out of my hands. So, I started taking a longer way home. But this one day it didn’t help. I was taking a cut-through between two streets. I was only a couple blocks from home and suddenly, there they were at the other end of the path. I remember thinking, actually thinking about turning around and going all the way back to my old route. But that would have taken so long and my Mom would have been mad at me if I got home that late. So I decided, “No, I’m going this way. Maybe they’ll just leave me alone this time.” Of course, they didn’t. They pushed me into the mud at the edge of the sidewalk, they kicked my books around. And then one of them grabbed my charm bracelet. I tried to stop him …it was a Christmas present from my Grandmother… but of course, it broke. And that was it. I started to cry. I sat there in the mud and covered my head and started to cry. And then, all of a sudden I heard this other voice. I looked up, and there’s this boy, standing between me and the bullies. He’s not as big as they are but he’s standing in their way and he won’t move. I couldn’t hear what he was saying over my own crying but the next thing I knew the bullies were running away and he was helping me to my feet. He picked up my books while I picked up the pieces of my charm bracelet. Then he did the sweetest thing, he walked me all the way home to make sure I got there safely. I know it sounds corny, but all the way home I just couldn’t stop looking at him. I mean, here was this boy, he’d rescued me and now he was walking me home, making sure I was safe, like my own knight in shining armour. And that was when I realized he was my “one”. I just knew it somehow. I was sure of it. (Beat.) [Anyway], a week later there was going to be a school dance… And I just knew I’d see him there. I spent the whole week worrying about what I should wear. My Mom finally helped me to pick out this really nice blue dress. But then, on the night of the dance, I ripped one of the seams when I was putting it on. My Mom had to get out the sewing machine to fix it. So I was a little late getting to the dance. I couldn’t wait for him to see me, in my new dress. ‘Cause I knew that when he saw me, I mean really saw me, he’d know that I was the “one” for him just the same as he was the “one” for me. (Beat.) He never showed up. And I never saw him again.
Chastity Tells The Story Of Her “One & Only” (Part 2), edited and excerpted from Act 2
CHASTITY: …he was my “one”. I just knew it somehow. I was sure of it. (Beat.) [Anyway], a week later there was going to be a school dance… And I just knew I’d see him there. I spent the whole week worrying about what I should wear. My Mom finally helped me to pick out this really nice blue dress. But then, on the night of the dance, I ripped one of the seams when I was putting it on. My Mom had to get out the sewing machine to fix it. So I was a little late getting to the dance. I couldn’t wait for him to see me, in my new dress. ‘Cause I knew that when he saw me, I mean really saw me, he’d know that I was the “one” for him just the same as he was the “one” for me. (Beat.) He never showed up. And I never saw him again. Over the next couple of weeks I looked for him in the halls at school. But I never saw him. I asked around until I found out that his family had moved. I was never able to find out where. …Ever since then… I’ve had this problem. No matter how attractive I find a man, as soon as we start to… get close, I start to panic. What if I met my “one” when I was twelve? Who knows? He could walk back into my life tomorrow. Then again, what if he wasn’t the “one”? What if waiting for the wrong “one” keeps me from being able to recognize my real “one” when he does come along? (To Jerry.) You at least had time with the person you thought was your “one”. You got to find out that she wasn’t. I found the person I thought was my “one” but then I lost him. I never had the chance to find out if I was right.