Contemporary Monologues —
Gender Neutral (Last 100 Years)

Scroll down for Light and Dra­mat­ic cat­egor­ies — click each box to view and down­load the speech then click box again to close speeches

 

Worker — THE WORKER

 

Char­ac­ter: Worker

Age: 30s-50s

Play: THE WORKER

Author: Walter Wykes (pub­lished 2007)

Brief Syn­op­sis: Comic and absurd, The Worker explores the life of a young woman who fash­ions a fake child to help her cope with the loneli­ness she endures each day while her hus­band is away at work.This extract below can be per­formed by any gender.

Speech:

All right, look.  I didn’t want to tell you, but I’ve fallen behind. At work.  I can’t keep up.  Recently, they’ve …ahh…. they’ve let a few people go.  Every day there are fewer and fewer people doing the same amount of work.  They have me run­ning the account­ing depart­ment entirely by myself! Not man­age­ment, no.  I haven’t been pro­moted.  It’s just me- there’s no one to manage!  I do everything!  The whole depart­ment! And that’s not all! I’m also expec­ted to take incom­ing calls because there’s no recep­tion­ist, fix the com­puters because there’s no tech depart­ment, field cus­tom­er com­plaints because there’s no cus­tom­er ser­vice.  I’m in charge of the mail room, the cafet­er­ia, jan­it­ori­al ser­vices, research and devel­op­ment! Last week, human resources was let go, the whole depart­ment, and I received a memo- which I’d actu­ally typed myself because there’s no sec­ret­ary- instruct­ing me to famil­i­ar­ize myself with all applic­able state and fed­er­al guidelines! Tomor­row, I’m sup­posed to start medi­at­ing all employ­ee dis­putes! I have no idea what I’m doing!  I’d ask the legal depart­ment for advice, but I’ve never stud­ied law so I wouldn’t know what to tell myself!  And to top it all off, I have to take the CEO’s dog out to poop four times a day. At reg­u­lar inter­vals.  He has stom­ach prob­lems and he’s on a very strict schedule!

 

Unnamed — BEATING (from THIRTY MONOLOGUES FOR TEENS)

Char­ac­ter: (Char­ac­ters in this series of stand-alone mono­logues are unnamed)

Age: Teen­ager

Play: BEATING (from THIRTY MONOLOGUES FOR TEENS)

Author:  Jim Che­val­li­er (Pub­lished 2009)

Brief Syn­op­sis: Thirty teen voices — flirt­ing, mock­ing, musing, some fun, some ser­i­ous, some col­or­ful, some plain, on sub­jects as dif­fer­ent as loss, tex­ting and (yes) spaceships.

Speech:

I got beaten up pretty bad. I feel great. Ricky kept push­ing me around, kind of half-slap­ping me. Just for fun. Like kids have been doing for years. And you know I can’t fight. Only, this time I thought: “If I don’t do some­thing, this will never end. This will be my life.” So I hit him back. That is, I tried; it’s not like I hurt him. In fact, he punched me. Hard. So I punched him back. And he hit me again. A few times. But each time I hit him back. He kept saying, “C’mon, man. You’re gonna get hurt.” I didn’t say a word. Just kept hit­ting him, every time he hit me. Not hurt­ing him. Don’t get me wrong. Just hit­ting him. Finally he stepped back. “You’re crazy, man. You’re just crazy.” And he took anoth­er step back. Then I real­ized: “He’s afraid. He’s afraid of me.” And he was. Can you believe it? He walked away, just turned around and walked away. How do you like that? All because I fought back. I finally fought back. I fought back, and I won.

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Brit in New York (Any gender/non-binary) — STUFF HAPPENS

Char­ac­ter: BRIT IN NEW YORK (Any gender­/non-binary)

Age: 18+

Play:  STUFF HAPPENS

Author: David Hare (pub­lished 2004)

Brief Syn­op­sis: The famous response of Amer­ic­an Sec­ret­ary of Defense Donald Rums­feld to the loot­ing of Bagh­dad at a press con­fer­ence in 2003 provides the title for David Hare’s play about the extraordin­ary pro­cess lead­ing up to the inva­sion of Iraq.

Speech:

 ‘Amer­ica changed.’ That’s what we’re told. ‘On Septem­ber 11th everything changed.’ ‘If you’re not Amer­ic­an, you can’t under­stand.’ The infant­ile psycho-babble of pop­u­lar cul­ture is graf­ted oppor­tun­ist­ic­ally onto Amer­ica’s polit­ics. The lan­guage of child­ish enti­tle­ment becomes the lethal rhet­or­ic of global wealth and priv­ilege. Asked how you are as Pres­id­ent, on the first day of a war which will kill around thirty thou­sand people: ‘I feel good.’ I was in Saks Fifth Avenue the morn­ing they bombed Bagh­dad. ‘Isn’t it won­der­ful?’ says the sales­wo­man. ‘At last we’re hit­ting back.’ ‘Yes,’ I reply. ‘At the wrong people. Some­body steals your hand­bag, so you kill their second cousin, on the grounds they live close. Explain to me,’ I say, ‘Saudi Arabia is fin­an­cing Al Qaeda. Iran, Leban­on and Syria are known to shel­ter ter­ror­ists. North Korea is devel­op­ing a nuc­le­ar weapons pro­gramme. All these you leave alone. No, you go to war with the one place in the region admit­ted to have no con­nec­tion with ter­ror­ism.’ ‘You’re not Amer­ic­an,’ says the sales­wo­man. ‘You don’t under­stand.’ Oh, a ques­tion, then. If ‘You’re not Amer­ic­an. You don’t under­stand’ is the new dis­pens­a­tion, then why not ‘You’re not Chechen’? Are the Chechens also now licensed? Are Basques? Theatres, res­taur­ants, public squares? Do Israeli milk-bars filled with women and chil­dren become fair game on the grounds that ‘You don’t under­stand. We’re Palestini­an, we’re Chechen, we’re Irish, we’re Basque’? If the prin­ciple of inter­na­tion­al con­duct is now to be that you may go against anyone you like on the grounds that you’ve been hurt by some­body else, does that apply to every­one? Or just to Amer­ica? On Septem­ber 11th, Amer­ica changed. Yes. It got much stupider.