If you don’t have a great audition piece of your own, feel free to use one or more of the monologues below!
Contemporary Monologue for a Woman
MARY ANN: Is this family doomed. I used to ask myself that question all the time. Are we forever doomed. Forever on the brink of destruction. Under some enormous shadow. Has God constructed a gigantic, mean-spirited shadow full of noxious, evil vibrations, emanating poisonous soul-killing rays, that has one job and one job only. To hover over this family and keep us doomed. And then one day I asked myself, why would God single out this family. And I knew right away that God wouldn’t. God just made the shadow. And like everything else that God made, the shadow has a mind of its own. The shadow picked this family to hover over. I figured all this out a while ago, and it came as a great relief. You see, I didn’t have to wonder anymore how we’d displeased God. I could forget about God for a while–which is always a great relief for me, seeing how I feel basically that God hates me.
So I figure we have to appease the shadow — make amends, make some kind of huge, almost mythic, apology. So, right now I’m making a chocolate cake, but inside what I’m really doing is apologizing. This cake is an apology for all the times I know that people I loved or people I hardly knew needed some special little treat, and I didn’t have the energy to make them one. Just a little thing. But you see this huge, symbolic apology will actually be made from thousands and thousands of little things just like this … This cake … This chocolate cake, and oatmeal cookies, and blueberry pancakes, fudge, a nicely pressed pair of slacks, a bit of change to someone in need, taking care of a friend’s cat, smiling on the subway. These are the things that are going to save this family.
Note: Mary Ann is a bit “out there” in her thinking, but she’s really quite sweet, and here she’s trying to sort out what to do about some difficulties that have befallen her family. The play is a comedy by George F. Walker called Escape from Happiness.
Contemporary Monologue for a Man
JOHN: I left the party cause I felt like everything I wanted was outside the party . . . out here. There’s a breeze out here, and the moon . . . look at the way the moon is . . . and I knew you were outside somewhere, too! So I came out and sat on the steps here and I thought that maybe you’d come and I would be here . . . outside the party, on the steps, in the moonlight . . . and those other people . . . the ones at the party . . . wouldn’t be here . . . but the night would be here . . . and you and me would be talking on the steps in the moonlight and I could tell you . . . how I feel!
I don’t know. I was looking out the window at the party and I drank some wine . . . and I was looking out the window at the moon and I thought of you . . . and I could feel my heart . . . breaking. I felt that wine and the moon and your face all pushing in my heart and I left the party and I came out here looking for the moon and I saw that street light shining down through the leaves of that tree. I didn’t know a street light could be beautiful. I always thought of them as being cold and blue, you know? But this one’s yellow . . . and it comes down through the leaves and the leaves are so green!
Mary, I love you!
Oh, I shouldn’t’ve said it! I shouldn’t’ve said it! My hearts breaking. You must think I’m so stupid . . . but I can feel it breaking. I wish I could stop talking. I can’t. I can’t.
I love you Mary!
Note: John is speaking to a girl outside a party and trying to let her know that he loves her. They have never officially met and he has held this affection in for a long time. He’s a little tipsy and maybe feeling expansive and certainly more vocal than usual. From John Patrick Shanley’s The Red Coat.
Gender Neutral Contemporary Monologue
PERSON AT A PARTY: I mean, sometimes a person can have some feeling that they think is a feeling of liking some person, but it may actually be some other kind of feeling, but they think they ought to be feeling some kind of affection for that person, so they think that they feel it, when actually what they feel is something completely different – I mean they might feel resentment or even anger towards that person, but they think that they ought to feel affection, so they think that they do, but actually they don’t – I mean like when someone gives you a present, and you’re supposed to feel pleased, but actually you don’t, because the thing is actually something that you hate or you actually already have the thing. Well then, you’re not supposed to say, Well, I really hate this, you’re supposed to say, Oh boy, that’s great, I really like it. I mean, that’s not really an example of when you think you feel something but you really don’t feel it, but it shows how sometimes you can actually be feeling two completely different feeling at once, because on the one hand you don’t like the thing that you got, but on the other hand you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings, particularly if they’re someone you like and they tried to get you something you’d enjoy, but actually it’s something that you hate or you already have.
Note: Here, a person at a party is explaining how it is possible to not feel what they actually do feel. This comes from Wallace Shawn’s Marie & Bruce. This writer enjoys overheard conversations when people are being overly intellectual or self-indulgent – people who are really into therapy or self-help books! The play is mostly comedic.