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Mary Anna's Monologues

Mary AnnaMary Anna - Posts: 541 Member
edited November 2006 in Musical Theater Major
Months ago, I promised some students here on CC that I would share my students' monologues choices towards the end of the audition season. Well, here we are and here I go.

Let me preface this by saying that these are all well written plays by respected playwrights. This week, my students and I continued to get the highest praise from college auditors and faculty on choice of material. So I feel confident in sharing these with you as being excellent choices of material, However, these may not be the right choices for everyone. These were carefully chosen for each individual student. That doesn't mean that each of you or even any of you will resonate with them.

Having said that, here is my list of this years monologue choices:

All My Sons, by Arthur Miller
Romantic Comedy, by Bernard Slade
Ring 'Round The Moon, by Jean Anouilh
Conduct of Life, by Maria Irene Fornes
Food Chain, by Nicky Silver
Bus Riley's Back In Town, by William Inge
Landscape Of The Body, by John Guare
Sylvia, by A.R. Gurney
Marie and Bruce, by Wally Shawn
Blue Window, by Craig Lucas
The Aristicrats, by Brian Friel
Fat Pig, by Neil LaButte
Substance Of Fire, By John Robin Baitz
Pterodactyls, by Nicky Silver
Look Back In Anger, by John Osborne
Picasso At The Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin
Slaughter City, by Naomi Wallace
Desdemona, by Paula Vogel

Phebe, As You Like It
Joan Of Arc, Henry Vl, part 2
Jailers Daughter,Two Nobel Kinsmen
Isabel, Measure For Measure
Son, Henry Vl, part 3
Ariel, The Tempest

I hope you find this list interesting and it spurs you on to read more plays.
Best of luck to all students and parents

xxx,Mary Anna
Post edited by Mary Anna on

Replies to: Mary Anna's Monologues

  • DramaPrincessDramaPrincess Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    Cymbeline! I've just done one from that for class. Which speech was it? :)

    A very interesting list Mary Anna. Thanks for sharing.
    (I'm especially interested that there is Friel in there - I'd always got the impression he was unpopular in America)
  • Sporti2005Sporti2005 Registered User Posts: 387 Member
    i'm doing one of ariel's monologues!! which one did your student do?
  • Mary AnnaMary Anna - Posts: 541 Member
    Oh my,
    I think I will stop short of posting exactly which monologues and which cuttings. I hope you understand.

    This list is just a guide to good material and to satisfy the curiousity of those of you who have asked. I am glad to read that some of you are already on the right track. Way to go!!!

    An excellent choice of material speaks volumes about you and will serve you quite well in the audition process. Perhaps more that you know.

    Break a leg

    xxx,Mary Anna
  • CoachCCoachC Registered User Posts: 806 Member
    I want to echo what Mary Anna said about an excellent choice of material being something which "speaks volumes" about a performer! My students also got consistent lauding for their song and monologue choices - and best of all, they had diverse enough singing books that were well-prepared enough that they could pull out an appropriate cut for a walk-in audition at Unifieds (even if the song wasn't their "usual" audition choice) and also have a lot to show schools which said, "do you have a third piece?" or "do you have something in the style of..." (after which the school specified what they wanted to hear from a performer's voice).

    Extremely strong choices that are extremely well-prepared are a huge asset to any auditioner! :)
  • Mary AnnaMary Anna - Posts: 541 Member
    Thanks for the comments.

    I hope my MT students see what you have said about song books.

    Thanks for expecting the best from these kids and for raising the bar. It relects well on all of us.

    xxx,Mary Anna
  • DramaLady415DramaLady415 Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    I did Joan of Arc! haha
  • TomBFACoachTomBFACoach - Posts: 80 Junior Member
    I often work on the monologues in "Spoon River Anthology" by Edgar Lee Masters in my classes with younger actors. It is officially a book of poetry, but many of the monologues were strung together, and turned into a theatrical piece...(a play). The play is still performed every once in a while.

    I love working on the pieces with students, because each monologue is a self contained character, and tells a great story.

    If you don't know the book, here is a very brief description...... Spoon River is a fictional small town. The people who lived in the town are telling personal stories about their lives in Spoon River, and about their relationships with other people who lived in Spoon River. The twist is, they are all dead, and speaking about their lives in retrospect from the grave. There are many fascinating stories and characters.

    I wanted to suggest the monologues because they are so wonderfully written, and there are so many varied characters. I also wanted to ask any of the other coaches here if they thought the monologues qualified as pieces to do for college auditions. I am a little leery to give them out because technically they may not be considered from a "play"

    At any rate, everyone who needs great monologues, or loves wonderful poetry, should read the book.


    I am new to the site.

    I haven't made many posts, but I love the site, and I love reading everyone else's post.
  • homeskulmomhomeskulmom Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    Thank you for posting this list, MaryAnna. My DD, who is a hs soph, always has a tough time finding appropriate and interesting monologues from plays. I printed your list and handed it to her, and she was very grateful.

    Question for you: what is your opinion of audition material that comes from television and films?
  • MusThCCMusThCC Registered User Posts: 586 Member
    homeskul - I'm not MaryAnna, but here is my answer.... some schools are okay with monologues from TV/film -- some aren't. Some that don't want to see them for auditions to get into their programs, actually have some of their kids using them once they are in school, so it's possible they give them guidelines about how/when/what sources.

    My gut would be - pick monologues that you can do at all of your schools, which would most likely mean NOT TV/film at this point.
  • johnnydudejohnnydude Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    may i ask which plays were chosen for males?
  • chrisnoochrisnoo Registered User Posts: 376 Member

    I didn't read any of the above posts, but definatley look at The Chosen, its a great piece where I got my monologue from. Definatley teen/early adult material, and also a wide range of emotion.

  • BreakIntoSongBreakIntoSong Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    This is probably a bit off-topic but do schools seem to favor monologues that are present already in the text over those pieced from a dialogue between two characters? I've pieced together a monologue from "Miss Julie" for my AADA summer program audition (I was accepted). But from experiences is it usually frowned upon to do that or actually praised? Because it seems many times that monologues already present in the text are often overused as audition material since they're right there in front of you.
  • TomBFACoachTomBFACoach - Posts: 80 Junior Member
    Break Into Song

    That is a great question. I will offer my opinion....I think that it is acceptable to piece together dialogue to make a monologue.... of course, you cannot rewrite the play or change the intention of the author. If you can cut out a few lines, and not change the integrity of the play I don't see why not. It's all a matter of degree in this case. I think it depends on the play too.... Obviously you must have been very skillful in cutting the Miss Julie script. It would probably be less dangerous to do it with a modern play rather than a classic... and clearly less dangerous to do it with more obscure play that nobody knows well anyway.

    The fact that you got into the program using the monologue from Miss Julie says a lot. Clearly the people auditioning for you thought it worked.
    This may sound profound but... if a monologue works for you, then it works.
    Results are the best gauge.

    I am coaching a girl now who did just what you are talking about. It is the funniest monologue I have heard in a long time.

    Good Luck with your auditions. You sound like a smart actor to me.
  • WallyWorldWallyWorld - Posts: 255 Junior Member
    Hey, I just wanted to chime in and say what a thoughtful list that is Mary Anna! You must be a great asset to your students.
  • BreakIntoSongBreakIntoSong Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    Wasn't sure exactly where to post this, so I thought I would just put it here.

    I am having such a hard time finding a modern/contemporary comedic monologue and, while I don't usually ask for suggestions, I do need some help. I've read so many plays and a push in the right direction would be a great help.

    I found a comedic shakespeare monologue, but I'd like to find a modern one to add to my group of audition monologues. It's the only one I really still need.

    So if anyone has suggestions of comedic plays from the "classic modern" playwrights: Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, William Inge, Edward Albee, etc. Specifically with a female non-ingenue/character aged around 16-25.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
This discussion has been closed.