|NOTE: These monologues are only suggestions. You may select one of these monologues or choose one from any theatrical script.
“So I’m going out with this girl for the first time and we’re going to the movies and as usual, I’m throwing out my bread crumbs. And she asks me what it is that I’m doing and I tell her that I’m throwing out my bread crumbs so I can find my way home because I have a terrible sense of direction. So she laughs like it is a big joke and I say I don’t see why my personal troubles should make such a big joke. And she said, ‘Loodon’t worryI’ll take you home!’ So I got mad. I said, ‘Lookwe each have our own way of finding ourselves. Who is it to say yours is better than mine?’ And she said, “You can’t make a whole philosophy out of bread crumbs.’ So right out on the street we had a fight. And I got so mad I walked away and completely forgot to follow my bread crumbs. And an amazing thing happenedI had no trouble getting home. It seems to make my whole life invalid.”
“Now don’t ask me no questions… What do you care how I’ll do it, sister, as long as it’s done! But I’ll tell you how I’ll do it! I’ll lift this stick and take a long swipe at the sky and let down a shower of hailstones as big as cantaloupes! I’ll shout out some good old Nebraska cusswords and you turn around and there’s a lake where your corral used to be! Or I’ll sing a little tune maybe and it’ll sound so pretty and sound so sad you’ll weep and your old man will weep and the sky will get all misty-like and shed the prettiest tears you ever did see! How’ll I do it? Girl, I’ll just do it!… Sister the place I brought rain is now called Starbuck they named it after me! Dry? I tell you, those people didn’t have enough damp to blink their eyes! So I get out my big wheel and my rolling drum and my yella hat with three feathers in it! I look up at the sky and I say: ‘Cumulus!’ I say: ‘Cumulonimbus! Nimimbululo-cumulus!’ And pretty soon way up there there’s a tiny cloud like the size of a mare’s tail and then over there there’s another cloud lookin’ like a white-wash chicken house! And then I look up and all of a sudden there’s a herd of white buffalo stampedin’ across the sky! And then, sister-of-all-good-people, down comes the rain! (Crosses to door.) Rain in buckets, rain in barrels, fillin’ the lowlands, floodin’ the gullies! And the land is green as the valley of Adam! And when I rode out of there, I looked behind me and I see the prettiest colors in the sky green, blue, purple, gold colors to make you cry! And me? I’m ridin’ right through the rainbow!”
“I think lunchtime is about the worst time of the day for me. Always having to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes mornings aren’t so pleasing, either…waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then, there’s the night, too lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I’ve done during the day. And all those hours in between when I do all those stupid things … Well, lunchtime is among the worst times for me. Well, I guessI better see what I got. (He opens bag, unwraps a sandwich, and looks inside.) Peanut Butter. (He bites and chews.) Some psychiatrists say people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely. I guess they’re right. And if you’re really right the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. (He munches quietly, idly fingering the bench.) Boy the PTA did a good job of painting these benches. (He looks off to one side.) There’s that cute little redheaded girl eating her lunch over there. I wonder what she’d do if I went over and asked her if I could sit and have lunch with her. She’d probably laugh right in my face. It’s hard on a face when it gets laughed in. There’s an empty place next to her on the bench. There’s no reason why I couldn’t just go over there and sit there. I could do that right now. All I have to do is stand up. (He stands.) I’m standing up. (He sits.) I’m sitting down. I’m a coward. I’m so much a coward she wouldn’t even think of looking at me. She hardly ever does look at me. In fact, I can’t remember her ever looking at me. Why shouldn’t she look at me? Is there any reason in the world why she shouldn’t look at me? IS she so great and I’m so small that she couldn’t spare one little moment just to…(He freezes.) She’s looking at me. (In terror, he looks one way, then another.) She’s looking at me. (His head looks all around frantically trying to find something to notice.)”
“(Opening his eyes, his voice flat)…I tried to kill myself.
(Explosively) It’s not an old turkey. I locked myself in the bathroom to do it. (The lights begin to turn a bluish color.) I locked myself in the bathroom… and I sat down on the floor…it’s cold. The tiles are so damn cold. I’m holding the blade…an accident, you know. I’m cut. Inside, I’m burning up. Outside, all I can feel is the cold tile. And my chest feels so tight…it hurts, everything hurts…so I hold out my hand and close my eyes… and I slice, one quick cut, deep cut. And then I switch can you believe that right away I switch and pull the blade again. (He breathes heavily and rocks slightly, back and forth, as he tries to compose himself enough to go on.) And then I stop. And I open my eyes…and there it is…Oh, God, I’m thinking this place is full of blood. It’s everywhere, spilling all over her good towels and the walls, the floor, everywhere. I feel sick to my stomach. All of a sudden everything going around…and I know downstairs in the den…watching television…they don’t know anything. (He hunches his shoulders and lowers his head. He cries softly for a moment, then calms himself.) I feel so bad…that they don’t know…that they’re gonna come upstairs…and find this…this mess!”
“Emily, I’m glad you spoke to me about that that fault in my character. What you said was right; but there was one thing wrong with it. That’s where you said I wasn’t noticing people and you, for instance why, you say you were watchin’ me when I did everything Why, I was doing the same about you all the time. Why, sure I always thought of you as one of the chief people I thought about. I always made sure where you were sitting on the bleachers, and who you were talking with, and for three days now I’ve tried to walk home with you; but something always got in the way. Yesterday, I was standing over by the wall waiting for you, and you walked home with Miss Corcoran.
Listen, Emily, I’m going to tell you why I’m not going to Agricultural School. I think once you’ve found a person you’re very fond of I mean a person who’s fond of you, too, and who likes you well enough to be interested in your character Well, I think that’s just as important as collegeis, and even more so. That’s what I think:
(His head down. Squirming.) Emily, if I do improve, and make a big change, - would you be I mean, could you be?”
“I was twelve years old and all the newspapers had headlines on my twelfth birthday that Billy was coming to town. And Life was doing stories on him and Look and the newsreels because Billy was searching America to find the Ideal American Boy to play Huckleberry Finn. And Billy came to New York and called my father and asked him if he could stay here Billy needed a hideout. All America wants to meet Billy and he’ll be hiding out in your house. I came home went in there into my room and packed my bag… I knew Billy would see me and take me back to California with him that very day.
The doorbell rang. And then my father calls out: ‘Ronnie, guess who? Billy, we named him after your father. Ronnie, guess who?’
I picked up my bag and said goodbye to myself in the mirror. Came out. Billy there. Smiling.
It suddenly dawned on me. You had to do things to get parts. I began dancing. Immediately. Things I have never done in my life before or since. I stood on my head and skipped and whirled (He does a cartwheel.) spectacular leaps into the air so I could see veins in the ceiling and began laughing and crying soft and loud to show all my emotions. And I heard music and drums that I couldn’t keep up with. And then cut off my emotions just like that. Instantly. And took a deep bow like the Dying Swan I saw on Ed Sullivan. I picked up my suitcase and waited at the door.
Billy turned to my parents, whose jaws were down to about there, and Billy said, ‘You never told me I had an idiot for a godchild,’ and I picked up my bag and went to my room and shut the door and never came out the whole time he was here.
My only triumph was he could never find a Huckleberry Finn. Another company made the picture a few years later, but it flopped.”
“This morning a bird woke me up. It was a lark or a peacock. Or something like that. Some strange sort of bird that I’d not heard. And I said, ‘hello.’ And it vanished: flew away. The very minute I said ‘hello.’ It was mysterious, so do you know what I did? I went over to the mirror and brushed my hair two hundred times without stopping. And as I was brushing it, my hair turned gold! No, honestly! Gold! And then red. And then sort of a deep blue when the sun hit it. I’m sixteen years old, and every day something happens to me. I don’t know what to make of it. When I get up in the morning to get dressed, I can tell: something’s different. I like to touch my eyelids because they’re never quite the same. Oh! Oh! Oh! I hug myself till my arms are blue, then I sloce my eyes and I cry and cry till the tears come down, and I taste them. Ah! I love to taste my tears. I am special. I am special. Please God, please don’t let me be normal.”
“(Quietly determined.) I’m going to be the greatest artist Missouri ahs ever produced. No the entire Midwest. There have been very famous people world famous people Tennessee Williams grew up in Missouri. He grew up not three blocks from where I live now! All his formative years. And Mark Twain. And Dreiser! And Vincent Price and Harry Truman! And Betty Grable! But me! Oh God! Me! Me! Me! Me! I am going to be so great! Unqualified! The greatest single artist the Midwest has ever known!
A painter. Or a sculptor. Or a dancer! A writer! A conductor! A composer! An actress! One of the arts! People will die. Certain people will literally have cardiac arrests at the magnitude of my achievements. Doing something astonishing! Just astonishing!
I will have you know that I intend to study for ten years, and then burst forth on the world. And people will be abashed! Amazed! Astonished! At the magnitude.
Oh, God! Look! Is that she? Is that she? Is it? IT IS! IT IS SHE! IT IS SHE! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (She collapses on the floor. Slowly getting to a sitting position; with great dignity) She died of cardiac arrest and astonishment at the magnificence of my achievement in my chosen field. Only Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Frank Lloyd Wright have raised to my heights before me!”
“…(writing in diary)The air raids are getting worse. They come over day and night. The noise is terrifying. Pim says it should be music to our ears. The more planes, the sooner will come the end of the war. Mrs. Van Daan pretends to be a fatalist. What will be will be. But when the planes come over, who is the most frightened? No one else but Petronella!…Monday, the ninth of November, nineteen forty-two. Wonderful news. Allies have landed in Africa. Pim says we can look for an early finish to the war. Just for fun he asked each of us what was the first thing we wanted to do when we got out of here. Mrs. Van Daan longs to be home with her own things, her needlepoint chairs, the Beckstein piano her father gave her…the best money could buy. Peter would like to go to a movie. Mr. Dussel wants to get back to his dentist’s drill. He’s afraid he is losing his touch. For myself, there are so many things…to ride a bike again…to laugh till my belly aches…to have new clothes from the skin out…to have a hot tub filled to overflowing and wallow in it for hours…to be back in school with my friends.”
(Brooklynese Accent) Hey guys, hi Rusty. How ya doin’? Slap me five. Sally, Sally you look gorgeous. Let me see this dress. Hey, who’s the squirt at my machine? Looks right for you Sal, about nine or ten years old. Hi Pee Wee. How ya doin’? Oh boy, 500 points, I don’t believe it. Better watch out; you’re going to get eaten. Better watch out. Told you. You’re history. O.K. the champ is here. (Makes the sound of Pac Man) See, I do this game better than I know anything else. See. All these people are going to gather round me now. Watch. Here comes that Reggie guy. He’s cute, but obnoxious. Hi Reggie. I cut last period. School is boring. Yeah, I got 50,000 points, and I’ve only been here 30 seconds. O.K. I’ll see you around. Creep. People say I could go pro at this game. Then I quit school. What do I have to know about the Boston Tea Party? I don’t even drink tea.”
“Oh, God, he was so handsome. Always dressed so dapper, his shoes always shined. I always thought he should have been a movie star…like Gary Cooper… only very short. Mostly, I remember his pockets.
When I was six or seven, he always brought me home a little surprise. Like a Hershey or a top. He’d tell me to go get it in his coat pocket. So I’d run to the closet and put my hand in and it felt as big as a tent. I wanted to crawl in there and go to sleep. And there were all these terrific things in there, like Juicy Fruit gum or Spearmint Life Savers and bits of cellophane and crumbled pieces of tobacco and movie stubs and nickels and pennies and rubber bands and paper clips and gray suede gloves that he wore in the wintertime.
Then I found his coat in Mom’s closet and I put my hand in his pocket. And everything was gone. It was emptied and dry-cleaned and it felt cold…And that’s when I knew he was really dead.”
“(Defensive.) I’m not mad at you. (Dreading to face the issue.) But, since you ask me, I might as well say is right out, George (turns to him, catches sight of TEACHER, who has passed above to their right.) Oh goodbye, Mrs. Corcoran. (Faces down again. Then finding it hard to say) I don’t like the whole change that’s come over you in the last year. (She glances at him.) I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings; but I’ve just got to tell the truth and shame the devil.
(Facing mostly out, on the verge of tears.) Well up to a year ago, I used to like you a lot. And I used to watch you while you did everything because we’d been friends so long. And then you began spending all your time at baseball. (She bites the word.) And you never stopped to speak to anyone anymore not to really speak not even to your own family, you didn’t. And George, it’s a fact ever since you’ve been elected Captain, you’ve got awful stuck up and conceited, and all the girls say so. And it hurts me to hear ‘em say it; but I got to agree with ‘em a little, because it’s true. I always expect a man to be perfect and I think he should be. (All innocence, yet firm.) Well, my father is. And as far as I can see, your father is. There’s no reason on earth why you shouldn’t be too.
But you might as well know right now that I’m not perfect It’s not easy for a girl to be perfect as a man, because, well, we girls are more nervous. Now, I’m sorry I said all that about you. I don’t know what made me say it. (Cries.) Now I can see it’s not true at all. And I suddenly feel that it’s not important, anyway. (Cries.)”
“Dear, dear! How queer everything is today! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I am not the same, the next question is, “’Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle. I’m sure I’m not Ada, for her hair goes in such ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at all.; and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! She knows such a very little! Besides, she’s she, and I’m I, and oh dear, how puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn’t signify: let’s get geography: London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome no, that’s wrong, I’m certain.
I must have been changed into Mabel! I must be Mabel, after all, and I shall have to live in this pokey little house, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh, ever so many lessons to learn! No, I’ve made up my mind about it: if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here! It’ll be no use their putting their heads down and saying ‘Come up again, dear!’ I shall only look up and say ‘Who am I then?’ Tell me first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else.”
“I talk too much. I’m quite bright, so it’s interesting, but nevertheless, I talk too much. You see, already I’m saying much more than I should say. Men hate it for a woman to blurt out, ‘I’m bright.’ They think she’s really saying, I’m brighter than you are.’ As a matter of fact, that is what I am saying. I’m brighter than even the brightest men I know. That’s why it’s a mistake to talk too much. Men fall behind and feel challenged and grow hostile. So when I’m very attracted to a man I make a point to talk more slowly than I would to one of my woman friends. And because I guide him along from insight he ends up being terribly impressed with his own brilliance. And with mine for being able to keep up with him. And he tells me I’m the first woman he’s ever met who’s as interesting as one of his boy friends. That’s love.”