20 Best Contemporary Comedic Female Monologues From Plays

women-in-theatre-watching-comedy- contemporary comedy monologues for women

MONOLOGUE COLLECTION

DEAD SPECIAL CRABS (KATHY)LAMP POST (BRITTANY)
HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES (BUNNY)LAUNDRY AND BOURBON (HATTIE)
FADE (LUCIA)THE GODDESS OF MURDEROUS RAIN (PARKER)
SEX CURVE (ROBYN)THE TUTOR (MEREDITH)
THE ELECTRIC BABY (NATALIA)A GIRLS GUIDE TO COFFEE (ALEX)
TOLSTOY IN NEW JERSEY (GLENDA)TURN! TURN! TURN! (DIANE)
A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY ( ZILLAH) PAINTING CHURCHES (MAGS)
THE NORWEGIANS (BETTY)THE NORWEGIANS (BETTY – 2)
PARAFFIN (DENA)RX (ALLISON)
TAKING BACK HALLOWEEN (WITCH)PRINCIPIA (ERIS)
ACT A LADY (LORNA)ARE WE THERE YET? (AMANDA)
A TIME FOR EVERYTHING (OLIVE)VAUDEVILLE (YVETTE)
LOVE AND MARRIAGE AND ALL THAT STUFF (SHERRY)THE MOTHERFU**ER WITH THE HAT (VERONICA)
LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS (JEANETTE)CLOUD NINE (BETTY)
THE LACY PROJECT (CHARLOTTE)THE LACY PROJECT (GISELLE)
WILD WITH HAPPY (AUNT GLO – 2)YOU FOR ME FOR YOU (TIFFANY)
MORNING AFTER GRACE (ABIGAIL)STATE OF THE ART (CHLOE)
THE TINKER’S WEDDING (MARY)WATCH YOUR HEAD (ACTRESS)
DEAD AND BREATHING (VERONIKA)DETROIT ’67 (BUNNY)
LIVE BROADCAST (JANE)LUCY LOVES ME (LUCY)
ROUGH SKETCH (BARBARA)SCAB (ANIMA)
IN THE DAYLIGHT (CHARLOTTE)GOD GAVE US AUNTS (AUNT KELLY)
THE UNDERSTUDY (ROXANNE)RAT WIVES (JANET)
BUMS (EVELYN)COURTSHIP (LAURA)
DARN IT! DARLA! (PORTIA)THE LOVEBIRDS (MARNIE)
WHERE’S MY MONEY? (CELESTE)DON’T TALK TO THE ACTORS (BEATRICE)
HAPPY HOUR OUTING (JESSE)SUN DRIED (MARY LOUISE)
UNUSUAL ACTS OF DEVOTION (JOSIE)SINGLE BLACK FEMALE (SBF2)
TRANSATLANTIC (FIONA)U.S. DRAG (ALLISON)
THE OTHER GENIUS (FIONA)SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER (KATE)
BUNNY (KATIE) MY FAIR LADY (ELIZA)
IN SERVICE OF VENUS (BACK OF HOUSE)KITCHEN SINK DRAMA (JOY)
FOURTEEN (MRS. PRINGLE)SIXTY YEARS, TO LIFE (GWEN)
MONTHS ON END (HEIDI)NOVEMBER (MRS. PRIKOSOVITS)
ALL-AMERICAN (BETH)BRIDGE AND TUNNEL (NIKKI)
FABULATION, OR THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE (UNDINE)POETIC LICENCE (DIANE)
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED... (KARLA)GORGONS (MILDRED)
HOMECOMING (LAUREN)LOOKING FOR NORMAL (PATTY ANN)
THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES (BANANAS)THE VERI**ON PLAY (CAROL)
THE BELLE OF BELMAR (LORNA)SUBURBAN NIGHTMARES (KAREN)
BOOK OF DAYS (MARTHA)CONTROL FREAKS (SISTER)
AFTER (SUSIE)ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (DOLLY)
MR. PERFECT (ZOOEY)TWO-PIECE (ELLIE)
BLACK SHEEP (ELLE)BLOWN SIDEWAYS THROUGH LIFE (CLAUDIA)
LIVE AND IN COLOR (FLOTILDA)YOO HOO AND HANK WILLIAMS (AMY)
IMMEDIATE FAMILY (NINA)JIHAD JONES AND THE KALASHNIKOV BABES (CASSANDRA)
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL (HELEN)ALTER EGOS (LERLENE)
WILD WITH HAPPY (ADELAIDE)WILD WITH HAPPY (AUNT GLO)
YIDDISH LOVE (MRS. RATUN-SKY)ANTON IN SHOW BUSINESS (CASEY)
THE SECRET OF LIFE (CARLA) THE MAN WHO LIKED D*CK (FELICITY)
SAVED OR DESTROYED (LUCILLE)THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (PATTY)
DEAD ACCOUNTS (JENNY)DETROIT (MARY)
GOD OF CARNAGE (ANNETTE)THE FOOD CHAIN (AMANDA)
THE EXPLORERS CLUB (PHYLLIDA)TOO TOO SOLID FLESH (CHLOE)
THE FUTURE IS NOT WHAT IT WAS (GRETE)THE TIGER AMONG US (LIA)
WILLIE, THE ANGELIC CHILD (MOTHER)MINNIE AT THE SKATING RINK (MINNIE)
FLYING LEAP (AUNT CRYSTAL)ENFRASCADA (CAT)
WELCOME TO MY HEAD (ERIN)THE WHY OVERHEAD (KAREN)
FEDRA (FEDRA)MRS. GILHOOLEY’S BUNGALOO (MRS. GILHOOLEY)
THE BEARD OF AVON (ANNE)THE CRAZY TIME (KATE)
AMY AND THE ORPHANS (KATHY)ANIMAL (RACHEL)
BY FAITH ALONE (MRS. FREDERICK BELMONT-TOWERS)NO SMOKING (LADY)
THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT (SAINT MONICA)PASSIVE BELLIGERENCE (GAIL)
WASHER/DRYER (SONYA)VINO VERITAS (CLAIRE)
AND HER HAIR WENT WITH HER (KEISHA)AND HER HAIR WENT WITH HER (DENISE)
OHIO (JANICE)CHARGE (MARTHA)
THE BUTCHER OF BARABOO (GAIL)CHRISTMAS BELLES (GENEVA)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM (SARAH)
HIPPOPOTAMUS (GLORY)
REGRETS ONLY (SPENCER)BAD DATES (HALEY)
THE PROFESSION (ROSETTA)THE ROMANTIC YOUNG LADY (DONA BARBARITA)
THE HOMELESS SECRETARY (PAT)HUNGRY (BARB)
EVE’S DIARY (EVE)SCUBA LESSONS (KELLY)
MAIDS OF HONOR (IZZY)MAIDS OF HONOR (MONICA)
A LEAP YEAR LEAP (MARTHA)LUCK (MRS. FULSOM)
EVE’S DIARY (EVE 2)SIS HOPKINS’ AUDITION (SIS HOPKINS)
RADIANCE (MAY)SEED (RASHAWN)
KURU (MARY LOU)LETTICE & LOVAGE (LETTICE)
HER FIRST SCREEN TEST (GIRL)JUMP/CUT (KAREN)
GOD’S COUNTRY (ACTOR SIX)IMAGINING BRAD (DANA)
OFFICE SONATA (MARISA)PALESTRINA (BECKY)
DEMON WINE (MARY)Florida Girls (Eulene)
THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS (EPPIE)LARRY AND THE WEREWOLF (SPIKE)
LOOKING (VAL)MAKE ME A MATCH (STEVIE)
BLINK OF AN EYE (CELESTE)BELLES (PEGGY)
WHITE ELEPHANTS (GISELLE)BY THE SEA: DUSK (DANA)
MY DEAH (MY DEAH)MARTIAN GOTHIC (SONIA)
HOLD PLEASE (JESSICA)SEEING STARS IN DIXIE (MARJORIE)
SHOUT (RED GIRL)SHOUT (GREEN GIRL)
THE ALTRUISTS (SYDNEY)DOWN FOR THE COUNT (WENDY)
POST MORTEM (BETSY)

20 Funny Contemporary Comedic Monologues For Women From Plays

1. A Bright Room Called Day

A monologue from the play by Tony Kushner

Zillah

Dear Mr. President,

I know you will never read this letter. I’m fully aware of the fact that letters to you don’t even make it to the White House,

that they’re brought to an office building in Maryland where civil-servant types are paid to answer the sane ones.

Crazy, hostile letters—like mine—the ones written in crayon on butcher paper, the ones made of letters cut out of magazines—

these get sent to the FBI, analyzed, Xeroxed and burned. But I send them anyway, once a day, and do you know why?

Because the loathing I pour into these pages is so ripe, so full-to-bursting, that it is my firm belief that anyone touching them will absorb into their hands some of the toxic energy contained therein.

This toxin will be passed upwards—it is the nature of bureaucracies to pass things vertically—till eventually,

through a network of handshakes, the Under-Secretary of Outrageous Falsehoods will shake hands with the Secretary for Pernicious Behavior under the Cloak of Night,

who will, on a weekly basis in Cabinet meetings, shake hands with you before you nod off to sleep.

In this way, through osmosis, little droplets of contagion are being rubbed into your leathery flesh every day—

in this great country of ours there must be thousands of people who are sending you poisoned post.

We wait for the day when all the grams and drams and dollops of detestation will destroy you. We attack from below.

Our day will come. You can try to stop me. You can raise the price of stamps again. I’ll continue to write.

I’m saving up for a word processor. For me and my cause, money is no object.

Love,

Zillah.

Read the play here

2. Last Of The Red Hot Lovers

A monologue from the play by Neil Simon

JEANETTE

Do you know Charlotte Korman, big, red-headed, buxom woman, her husband is the Mercedes-Benz dealer in Wantagh?

Mel doesn’t like her. He doesn’t want me to see her. He doesn’t want her to be my friend, doesn’t want her to come to our house; he can’t stand Charlotte Korman.

He’s been having an affair with her for eight months!

I had to stop seeing her three times a week so he could see her four times a week. These are the times we live in, Barney.

You know what my proof is? He told me. Two o’clock in the morning, he leans over, taps me on the shoulder and says,

“I’ve had an affair with Charlotte Korman.” Who asked him? When he tapped me on the shoulder in the middle of the night I thought he wanted me!

You know what it is to wake up from a sound sleep with no eyelashes and a dry mouth and hear that your husband is getting it from a woman you’re not allowed to see for lunch?

And you know why he told me, Barney? He explained it to me. We’re living in a new guiltless society. You can do anything you want as long as you’re honest about it.

Aren’t we lucky to be living in such a civilised age?

In the old days I would have gone to my grave ignorant of the wonderful and beautiful knowledge that my husband was spending his afternoons humping Charlotte Korman!…

When he told me, I didn’t say a word. I went down to the kitchen and made myself a cream cheese and jelly sandwich on date-nut bread.

And that was the last time in eight months that I tasted food… I estimate, going four times a week, I should be through with Doctor Margolies in another year.

And then, when we both think I’m ready, I’m going to get in my car and drive off the Verrazano Bridge. In the meantime, I’m very depressed.

Excuse me, Barney. Nothing personal, but I don’t think we’re going to have our affair.

Read the play here

3. Painting Churches

A monologue from the play by Tina Howe

MAGS

It was wintertime, because I noticed I’d left some crayons on top of my radiator and they’d melted down into these beautiful shimmering globs, like spilled jello, trembling and pulsing.

Naturally, I wanted to try it myself, so I grabbed a red one and pressed it down against the hissing lid. It oozed and bubbled like raspberry jam!

I mean, that radiator was really hot!

It took incredible will power not to let go, but I held on, whispering, “Mags, if you let go of this crayon, you’ll be run over by a truck on Newberry Street, so help you God!” . . .

So I pressed down harder, my fingers steaming and blistering. Once I’d melted one, I was hooked!

I finished off my entire supply in one night, mixing color over color until my head swam!

. . . The heat, the smell, the brilliance that sank and rose . . . I’d never felt such exhilaration! . . . Every week I spent my allowance on crayons.

I must have cleared out every box of Crayolas in the city!

AFTER THREE MONTHS THAT RADIATOR WAS . . . SPECTACULAR! I MEAN, IT LOOKED LIKE SOME COLOSSAL FRUITCAKE, FIVE FEET TALL . . .!

It was a knockout; shimmering with pinks and blues, lavenders and maroons, turquoise and golds, oranges and creams. . . . For every color, I imagined a taste . . .

YELLOW: lemon curls dipped in sugar . . . RED: glazed cherries laced with rum . . . GREEN: tiny peppermint leaves veined with chocolate . . . PURPLE:— And then the frosting . . .

ahhhh, the frosting! A satiny mix of white and silver . . . I kept it hidden under blankets during the day. . . . My huge . . . (She starts laughing) looming . . . teetering sweet—

I was so . . . hungry. . . losing weight every week. I looked like a scarecrow what with the bags under my eyes and bits of crayon wrapper leaking out of my clothes.

It’s a wonder you didn’t notice. But finally you came to my rescue . . . if you could call what happened a rescue.

It was more like a rout! The winter was almost over. . . .

It was very late at night. . . . I must have been having a nightmare because suddenly you and Daddy were at my bed, shaking me. . . .

I quickly glanced towards the radiator to see if it was covered. . . .It wasn’t! It glittered and towered in the moonlight like some . . . gigantic Viennese pastry!

You followed my gaze and saw it. Mummy screamed . . . “WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN HERE? . . .MAGS, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?” . . .

She crept forward and touched it, and then jumped back. “IT’S FOOD!” she cried. . . “IT’S ALL THE FOOD SHE’S BEEN SPITTING OUT!

OH, GARDNER, IT’S A MOUNTAIN OF ROTTING GARBAGE!” Of course, in a sense you were right. It was a monument of my castoff dinners, only I hadn’t built it with food. . . .

I found my own materials. I was languishing with hunger, but oh, dear Mother . . . I FOUND MY OWN MATERIALS . . . !

Read the play here

4. In The Daylight

A monologue from the play by Tony Glazer

CHARLOTTE

Unfortunately, I’ve come to in New Jersey to confront my sister Scarlet about some recent credit-card purchases she made without my knowledge.

You see, she stole my identity last month and racked up about three thousand dollars worth of colored rocks

on my credit card on account of her psychic, Maggie, told her that she was a stone in a past life.

It’s actually not that hard to believe if you’ve ever tried to have a conversation with her. What’s that? Oh sure, you can come back as all sorts of things.

Trees, grapes, most garden equipment, and hair product — a good friend of the family, Emily, is convinced that her little baby,

Shawna, who was delivered stillborn just last spring, has come back to life as a George Foreman Grill.

Sadly, the grill was ours. She borrowed it and now . . . well, kinda hard to interfere with family, if you see my point.

Anyhow, Maggie told Scarlet that the reason why she was feeling so lonely was not because she hadn’t had a real date since

Bill Clinton was impeached but because she needed to be surrounded by more objects that she could relate to on a “past life” level.

So she bought three thousands dollars worth of rocks. Prada handbags, too. Although I don’t know where those fit in, metaphysically speaking.

My first instinct was to turn it over to the police and let them sort her out.

But she’s family and turning her out to the cops would have kicked up more dust with my mom, and then my dad

would have had a reason to come out of witness protection to put his two cents in — it would have been even more of a mess than it needed to be.

I thought about the lessons of family provided in Martin’s book and had to admit that since buying those stones,

Scarlet has been doing better — she met Jorge at the Olive Garden where he oversees “dish management,” and she’s, overall, developed a real positive outlook on life.

So, instead of finger-flicking that row of dominoes like I wanted, like my gut told me I should, I just counted back from ten and let a “cooler being” prevail,

decided to come on out to the Garden State and handle it like a sister instead of a plaintiff. She is my sister and family is sacred.

All you really have is family in the end. When that’s gone, what have you got?

Read the play here

5. Cloud Nine

A monologue from the play by Caryl Churchill

Act 2, Scene 4

Betty

I used to think Clive was the one who liked sex. But then I found I missed it. I used to touch myself when I was very little, I thought I’d invented something wonderful.

I used to do it to go to sleep with or to cheer myself up, and one day it was raining and I was under the kitchen table,

and my mother saw me with my hand under my dress rubbing away, and she dragged me out so quickly I hit my head and it bled and I was sick,

and nothing was said, and I never did it again till this year. I thought if Clive wasn’t looking at me there wasn’t a person there.

And one night in bed in my flat I was so frightened I started touching myself. I thought my hand might go through into space.

I touch my face, it was there, my arm, my breast, and my hand sent down where I thought it shouldn’t, and I thought well there is somebody there.

It felt very sweet, it was a feeling from very long ago, it was very soft,

just barely touching and I felt myself gathering together more and more and I felt angry with Clive and angry with my mother and I went on and on defying them,

and there was this vast feeling growing in me and all around me and they couldn’t stop me and no one could stop me and I was there and coming and coming.

Afterwards I thought I’d betrayed Clive. My mother would kill me. But I felt triumphant because I was a separate person from them.

And I cried because I didn’t want to be. But I don’t cry about it any more. Sometimes I do it three times in one night and it really is great fun.

Read the play here

6. God Gave Us Aunts

A monologue from the play by Idris Goodwin

AUNT KELLY

I’ve got something to show you. Don’t be shy. Come on. But be quiet. Your mama’s asleep. We don’t want to wake her up. (Pats around for something. Finds it—a folded 8 × 10 sheet of paper.)

This is for you. It’s a list. I wanna give this to you—but I have to kind of explain it to you first. I see how your mother talks to you and don’t get me wrong.

She is my sister and everything but—Don’t get me wrong. But I don’t see a little girl when I see you. I see a young woman. Yeah—an older girl.

You are a . . . a viper, like your Aunt Kelly. And these are all the things you gotta know.

  1. Everybody is going to tell you what they know, but nobody knows—except your Aunt K elly.
  2. That movie The Bodyguard is a lie. Nobody is coming to save you.
  3. Looks like I crossed that one out. What is that? Oh, (chuckles into her hand ) stupid Frank wrote this. Such a—Why don’t we just save 3 until your 18th birthday?
  4. Your friends are not your friends.
  5. It’s going to hurt the first time. It’s always going to hurt the first time.
  6. But it gets better, for a while at least, until it gets worse.

Your mom and dad take you to church and they’ll teach you about thy neighbors and love and thy and don’t and do. That’s—great—that’s positive but positive is overrated.

  1. Positivity is something losers who don’t know that they’re losers say when crap is hitting the fan.
  2. Learn how to cook—but not for that reason.
  3. The monsters and wolves in your fairy book are real—
    I wouldn’t tell you this if it wasn’t true. This is why you have an aunt. Your mom and dad, they can’t tell you this stuff. It’s against the rules I guess.

I was 18 before I knew it, and my aunt, your great aunt Sandra—she waited until I was 18 to give me my list but it was kinda too late.

So I’m saying it to you now, what’re you now, 11? Oh, really? Just 9, huh? Oh, you look so much older.

7. Unusual Acts Of Devotion

A monologue from the play by Terrence McNally

JOSIE

(Finishes her glass of wine and pours herself another one.) Number four, Mrs. Darnell! But who’s counting?

You’ve got the right idea: sleep: it’s the most underrated human activity there is. Eating is great, sex used to be great (remember when sex was great, Mrs. Darnell?)

— but even at their best — dinner at Antoine’s or a really good bed partner (and God knows there were never many of them) — food and making love can’t hold a candle to sleep.

Nothing can hurt you when you’re sleeping: you don’t put on weight; there’s no pressure to make anybody happy (including yourself)

like when you’re making love; and bad dreams — even the worst ones — are soon forgotten. Sleep is a lovely practice for death.

The real thing won’t be so bad when it comes along. (She drinks some wine.) But until then, I keep waking up to the same old ship. Sh*t. I said ship.

I meant sh*t. Same old sh*t, same old sh*t. See? I can say it. This happens when I drink, if I’m not careful, Mrs. Darnell.

My tongue gets thick. My defenses drop. I say lewd things. I do lewd things. I did a really lewd thing, the lewdest thing I ever did and I was stone cold sober.

He told me he loved me. I told him he didn’t have to say that. He said it anyway. I love you, Miss Shelton, I love you.

(She isn’t finding anything in Leo’s collection.) There’s never anything you want to play! Why is that? (She gives up.) I’d rather no music than music I don’t really want.

We can listen to the music of the city on a warm summer night. Ssssh! Listen. There is so much to hear if you just stay quiet and listen for it.

(She stands at the parapet and looks out. We listen to the city with her for a while.) You know what I like most about New York?

You can be completely anonymous here. No ones care who you are but you, what you do but you, who you inappropriately f*** but you.

8. Single Black Female

A monologue from the book/play by Lisa B. Thompson

A thirty-five-year-old African American woman. An attorney who sports a flowing perm or hair weave and wears high heels and sexy business suits, she is SBF1’s best friend, confidante, and alter ego.

SBF2

I really hate going to the doctor’s office. (whispering) No, not for the flu, but when I have to go to the… gynecologist. Women’s health is a pain in the a**! There is something so sterile, so impersonal about it.

Just business as usual, especially when I was in college and all I could afford was Saint Vincent’s. No, I’m not getting an abortion. The date wasn’t that good. I’m here so I don’t need to go there.

I just have a yeast infection, AGAIN! I hate women who tell me they never had one.

I find that just as annoying as those sistas who have never experienced cramps. Well, this particular yeast infection has no respect for that over-the-counter Monistat.

I need some nuclear bomb stuff for this one.

Read the play here

9. Bunny

A monologue from the play by Jack Thorne

Katie

I used to have a fat friend. Sheridan. Named after a Sheffield Wednesday footballer – and they wondered why she ate? Bulimia in the end. She got hospitalized once she turned yellow.

Then they moved her from the school – when she got out – of hospital – because they wanted to ‘change her routine’ and they weren’t sure our school was a ‘healthy environment’.

Like any school is a healthy environment. But I did like watching her eat. With every mouthful you just saw this look of pure gratitude crossing her face – like – I can’t believe I’m getting to eat this… this is awesome.

I say ‘friend’. She wasn’t really. My friends are different. I’m – difficult to explain without sounding thick – but me and her don’t fit like that. Not that I fit anywhere.

I’m the unfit fitter. I don’t fit. But not in a bad way. Just in a – way. To give an instance – and this is true – and very very illustrative – everyone came to my eighteenth-birthday party –

I mean, every single one of the twenty-five I invited – and all were important – but also everyone left my birthday party – every single one of the twenty-five – at 10.30 p.m.

Which is not a normal time to leave any birthday party, I know. And that’s what I mean about… But they were bored and it was quite sh*t and they thought it’d be quite funny to leave, and it sort of was, you know?

Funny. Still quite an embarrassing one to explain to your parents. Where are all your friends? Um. Hiding. No. They’ve gone. Obviously. Where have they gone?

Um. Home. Probably. Why? Why have they gone? Turn. Look parents in the eye. Because this was pointless. I basically turned it all on them. Which was fair enough.

They’d made some effort. But the wrong effort. And so had I. I mean, it was mostly my fault. There was booze – but there were too many snacks and not enough Ann Summers’ toys or something. I don’t know.

Anyway, it’s not as bad as it sounds… Still. Mum apologised a week later for it being crap. But she didn’t do it well enough. So I stole her wallet. She spent ages looking for it. ‘I know I must have left it somewhere.’

Turned the house upside down. Had to cancel all her cards. And being Mum and slightly overcautious about most things, cancelling all her cards included cancelling her library card –

‘I just don’t want to accrue unnecessary fines, that’s all.’ She said. I put it in her sock drawer two days later. Minus one pound fifty exactly just to see if she’d notice. She didn’t.

She was pleased. To get it back. Anyway, that’s… what’s complicated. That’s part of my resettlement software. Abe didn’t come to the party. We’d only been together six weeks then – he decided it’d be too much of a ‘thing’.

That’s when we had sex actually. That night. After he decided he couldn’t come to my birthday party because it was too much of a commitment I decided that I’d give him my Virginia County.

Read the play here

10. My Fair Lady

A monologue from the book by Alan Jay Lerner (Based on the play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw

Eliza

“My aunt died of influenza, so they said. But it’s my belief they done the old woman in. Yes Lord love you! Why should she die of influenza when she come through diphtheria right enough the year before?

Fairly blue with it she was. They all thought she was dead. But my father, he kept ladling gin down her throat. Then she come to so sudden that she bit the bowl off the spoon.

Now, what would you call a woman with that strength in her have to die of influenza, and what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me?

Somebody pinched it, and what I say is, them that pinched it, done her in. Them she lived with would have killed her for a hatpin, let alone a hat.

And as for father ladling the gin down her throat, it wouldn’t have killed her. Not her. Gin was as mother’s milk to her. Besides, he’s poured so much down his own throat that he knew the good of it.”

Read the play here

11. Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine

A monologue from the play by Lynn Nottage

Undine

Undine – thirty-seven, a smartly dressed African American woman, sits behind a large teak desk sporting a sleek telephone headset.

Can I be honest with you? I admire your expectations, but they’re unrealistic, love. Yes, I can deliver something within your range. But your ambition outpaces your budget.

But, but, listen to me, it’s going to be a total waste of our energy. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. People give more when they get more. They want a seat next to a celebrity and a five-pound gift bag.

It’s the truth. Five years ago you could get away with half glasses of chardonnay and a musical theatre star, but not today. Generosity doesn’t come cheaply.

You’re competing with heifers and amputees, rare palms and tuberculosis. What about the cause? Love, people don’t want to think about a cause. That’s why they give.

Yes, I want to hear you thoughts. I am listening. Listen, I’m the at the outer limits of my time and so I’m going to ask you to speak more quickly. I will. Yes.

We’ll talk tomorrow about the new budget. Bye-bye.

Read the play here

12. Poetic Licence

A monologue from the play by Jack Canfora

Diane

I’m sorry? Well, you’re a wily one, Edmund, you’ve caught us. They were actually written by Sir Francis Bacon . . . no, wait— Kevin Bacon . . . no, not Kevin Bacon, but someone who knows him—

You’re not joking. You’re really . . . oh, Edmund . . . please . . . don’t. Don’t turn out to be crazy. If you think somehow that . . . ( a r ealization ) are you one of those people?

Oh God, you’re one of those people, aren’t you? You’re one of those people who think it’s not enough to read the novels or poems or whatever . . . like the one who waited outside Bob Dylan’s house every night to comb through his garbage cans—it’s sick.

And people like that focus so much on the minutiae they can’t possibly see the overall picture clearly. Which means that inevitably they get even the basic things terribly wrong.

Which is OK within limits; I mean that’s why God invented graduate schools, based on what you’ve just said to me, I think maybe you’re a garbage picker.

Or it’s worse than that—you’re an academic. Not that I should bite the hand that gags me, but . . . you’re one of those sad people who goes around . . . dusting the language for fingerprints.

My God, living with my daughter—Poor Katherine’s going to have to take an ambulance to therapy. OK, OK, let’s take this a step at a . . . why would you say something like that?

Because John is different from his poems? Of course he’s different from his poems. That’s why he wrote them down. That’s why it’s a talent—a skill, to make poetry of things.

To concentrate feeling like that. That’s why the poets always disappoint. At least the ones who don’t kill themselves.

Read the play here

13. The House of Blue Leaves

A monologue from the play by John Guare

Act 1, Scene 1

Bananas

I see a scene that you wouldn’t see in your wildest dreams. Forty-second Street. Broadway. Four corners. Four people.

One on each corner. All waving for taxis. Cardinal Spellman. Jackie Kennedy. Bob Hope. President Johnson.

All carrying suitcases. Taxi! Taxi! I stop in the middle of the street – the middle of Broadway – and I get out of my Green Latrine and yell, “get in.”

They keep waving for cabs. I run over to President Johnson and grab him by the arm. “Get in.”

And pull Jackie Kennedy into my car and John-John, who I didn’t see, starts crying and Jackie hits me and I hit her and I grab Bob Hope and push Cardinal Spellman into the back seat, crying and laughing, “I’ll take you where you want to go. Get in!

Give me your suitcases” – and the suitcases spill open and Jackie Kennedy’s wigs blow down Forty-Second Street and Cardinal Spellman hits me and Johnson screams and I hit him. I hit them all.

And then the Green Latrine blew four flat tires and sinks and I run to protect the car and four cabs appear and all my friends run into four different cabs.

And cars are honking at me to move. I push the car over the bridge back to Queens. You’re asleep.

I turn on Johnny Carson to get my mind off and there’s Cardinal Spellman and Bob Hope, whose ski-nose is still bleeding, and they tell the story of what happened to them and everybody laughs.

Thirty million people watch Johnny Carson and they all laugh. At me. At me. I’m nobody.

I knew all those people better than me. You. Ronnie. I know everything about them. Why can’t they love me?

Read the play here

14. The Veri**on Play

A monologue from the play by Lisa Kron

Carol

Nine months? Is that what you call a long time? Try seven years. You just wait till you’ve been fighting with the phone company for seven years!

They say I’m dead. (She pauses for effect.) Do I look dead to you? My father died, seven years ago.

I sent the phone company a copy of his death certificate to close his account. Would you like to see the letter they sent me in return?

(Pulls out a crumpled form letter and reads.) “Dear Ms. Anderson. Our sincerest condolences on the recent death of Carol K. Anderson.”

They cut off my phone service seven years ago and they still won’t turn it back on because according to them I’m dead! (Her rage turns to grief)

I go there in person, I stand by the payment windows, I scream: I’m alive! Look at me! I’m alive!!!

Nothing makes a difference. Nothing helps. Seven years! Seven g*ddamn years!!!

Let me tell you something, Janey. These people, these brave people are the only thing that gives me hope.

Thank you.

Read the play here

15. After

A monologue from the play by Chad Beckim

SUSIE

Know what I just realized? Deodorant should actually be in this aisle, not two aisles down. Deodorant helps you smell good, right?

And toothpaste helps your breath smell good, right? wouldn’t it make more sense for them to all be in the same aisle? Huh. That’s really cool.

You’re not one of those “Axe” guys, are you? You know— (She “sprays” herself.) psssssshhhhhhhhhtttttttt! You’ve never seen it? “Axe”?

It’s this horribly smelly sh*t that for some reason guys think smell good and spray all over themselves. You don’t look like an “Axe” guy.

Please don’t be an “Axe” guy. I don’t get that, you know? Like, you’ll see these good looking guys, well groomed, well maintained, together, the kind of guy that you see and secretly think,

“He looks like a nice guy to talk to,” only then they walk past you and they smell like they just got stuck in a cologne thunderstorm.

You’re Latino, right? And you don’t stink like that. You smell natural. Like soap or something. which is good. So what’s up with that?

I only ask because, it actually made me stop dating black and Latin guys. which sucks, because I actually prefer black and Latin guys. white guys are too boring and Asian guys have mom issues.

And Jews. (She hangs her head again.) I’m sorry. That wasn’t racist, was it? I’m sorry. I’m not a racist, I swear. My ex is Latino. (A short beat. She smiles nervously.) I’m sorry. I talk too much.

I say too much dumb stuff. And I’m sorry I forced that toothbrush on you. I’m working on it, but it’s . . . The deodorant aisle is that way. (She points.) Two aisles down.

Read the play here

16. One Man, Two Guvnors

A monologue from the play by Richard Bean

Act Two, Scene One

Dolly

(To Pauline:) He’s not worth it, love. He’d stand there and watch you do it, and not raise a finger. Look at him. You’re not the great romantic lover, are you? You’re a bit of a prick.

Let me give you some advice. Men, they’ll do anything to get you into bed. Lie, cheat, buy you a bed. And the tragedy is that once they’ve had you, they’ll never want you as much ever again.

(Aside.) Don’t take notes girls, there’s a handout at the end. (To Alan:) You want to watch your tongue, young man, slagging us women off. It’s 1963, there’s a revolution coming.

I predict in twenty years’ time there’ll be a woman in Ten Downing Street, yeah, and she won’t be doing the washing up. Then you’ll see exactly what women can do.

You’ll see a more just and fair society. The feminine voice of compassion for the poor will be the guiding principle of government, and there’ll be an end to foreign wars.

Read the play here

17. Live and In Color

A monologue from the SNL comedy sketch Shakespeare in the Slums by Danitra Vance

Flotilda

I’m Flotilda Williams. I’m a classical actress. Right now I am in a production downtown with a group called Shakespeare in the Slums.

We are doing a play by Mister William Shakespeares call Romeo and Juliet. And me, I’m Juliet, okay.

Now what I want to do for y’all is to extrapolate and explainate on what be going on in the show.

The show starts and a lot of things happen but really we just gonna skip all that and get to the good part, where I come in.

I’m at this party, a lot of fancy people there and I’m there and I’m there with my Mama and the Nurse.

Even so I manage to meet this guy. A very good-lookin’ guy, makes me laugh with his funny funny jokes, probably got some money.

So I like him. His name is Romeo. I have thus extrapolated the title—Romeo and me, Juliet, okay.

Anyway the party is not even half over when my Mama and the Nurse say, “Juliet it’s time to go.”

And I say, “Okay, I’ll be right with you.” So she find Romeo and they say goodbye by touching fingertips like this, (Gesture) completely missing the point.

After that I go home and I’m trying to be asleep but I can’t sleep ‘cause I’m thinkin’ ‘bout this guy.

How much I want to see him again. How much I want to talk to him again. How much I want to do things with him I’ve never done before.

Now in the meantime the guy, Romeo, is down in the alleyway lookin’ up in my window.

Now he not lookin’ up in my window because he a freak or nothin’ like that, he lookin’ up in my window because he like me, okay. Then he start to talk to hisself.

Now, he not talkin’ to hisself ‘cause he crazy or nothin’, he talk to hisself ‘cause it’s a play, okay. People in plays talk to theyselves a lot.

And he say, he say, “But soft! what light throo yonder windo’ break?” That’s when I break through the window.

Watch the original SNL sketch by Danitra Vance here

18. Yoo Hoo And Hank Williams

A monologue from the play by Gregory Moss

AMY

Huey? Huey? Huey for God’s sake! Huey come here. Huey, I just — I just want to talk to you, Huey. Come here.

Huey, will you please come out from under there and just come over here and talk to me, you stupid cat?

(Sighs. Sits.) Coo-coo? Meow-meow? Kiss-kiss? (Beat.) You peed on my favorite skirt and I didn’t even get mad. Huey! I am so good to you!

I am like your best friend, Huey, in the world! You don’t even have anyone but me! But you know what? I don’t even want you, Huey. I don’t.

My mother made me take you when she got her new couch. I never wanted you. I don’t want a cat! (Beat.) I do want a cat.

— But I want a different cat, Huey! I want a cat that’s gonna play wth me and sit on my lap. That’s your job, Huey.

I want a cat that’s gonna take me out for picnics by the river and dinner at fancy restaurants and who’ll pay for me at the movies and hold the door to let me in.

I want a cat that’s handsome and tall with big hands and black hair and a black leather jacket and looks like Robert Mitchum but talks like Marlon Brando and who’ll walk through the door and make my mom have a fatal HEART ATTACK!

I wanna run through the house screaming and knocking everything down — tear the plastic covers off the furniture!

And jump on your motorcycle and take off across Texas and Arizona and drive all night every night nonstop with the hot desert wind coming through our hair and me and you we just — F*** like crazy rabbits without stopping!

We don’t even pull over, just keep going, me on your lap, pushing on the accelerator, the roads empty and the bike going faster and faster and the moon above smiling and nodding, cheering us on, telling us “HELL YES!”

(Beat.) That’s the kind of cat I want, Huey. And you don’t really do anything like that. Do you. Huey? (Beat.) Huey, if you are sh*tting or something, I will kill you. (Beat.)

I have a pretty red dress. I get my hair done. I take care of myself. I have a voice. I have a body. I can’t see any of it. I have nothing to do with them.

Sometimes, when I’m alone, I don’t even know if I am there. (Beat.) I think, if someone were to touch me — I would know then what I look like.

What my shape is. It would prove it. If he were to kiss me, then I would know I have lips.

If he whispered in my ear, I would know then, that I can hear. If he touched my skin, I would know then That I am here. (Pause.)

I clean up after you, and feed you, and you’re supposed to love me. That’s the agreement. You love me. (Beat.) You love me.

Read the play here

19. God Of Carnage

A monologue from the play by Yasmina Reza

Annette

Well if you ask me, everyone’s feeling fine. If you ask me, everyone’s feeling better….everyone’s much calmer, don’t you think? …Men are so wedded to their gadgets…

it belittles them… It takes away all their authority…A man needs to keep his hands free…if you ask me. Even an attache case is enough to put me off. There was a man, once, I found really attractive, then I saw him with a square shoulder-bag, but that was it.

There’s nothing worse than a shoulder bag. Although there’s also nothing worse than a cell phone. A man ought to give the impression that he’s alone…if you ask me.

I mean that he’s capable of being alone…! I also have a John Wayne-ish idea of virility. And what was it he had? A Colt .45. A device for creating a vacuum…

A man who can’t give the impression that he’s a loner has no texture… So, Michael, are you happy? It is somewhat fractured, our little…what was it you said? …

I’ve forgotten the word…but in the end…everyone’s feeling more or less all right…if you ask me.

Read the play here

20. The Food Chain

A monologue from the play by Nicky Silver

Amanda

Well, I left my apartment. It was about noon and it was a nice day, so I thought I’d walk to her [my friend Binky’s] house. She lives on 75th and Columbus, which, I realize, is a very long walk, but I thought the exercise would do me good—

I hadn’t eaten anything yet, so I stopped at the diner on my corner, for some breakfast, and I picked up a newspaper so I’d have something to do.

I was reading my paper when the waiter came over and asked if I was . . . alone. Well! It was obvious that I was alone! I was sitting there, in a booth, by myself—

did he think I thought I had an imaginary friend with me?! I was alone! Did he have to rub it in? Was he trying to be funny? Did he think he was, in some way, better than me?

It was in his tone. He said, “Are you alone?” But what he meant to say was, “You’re alone. Aren’t you!?”— And I can’t imagine that he’s not alone every single day of his miserable, pathetic life! He has terrible skin.

And it’s not attractive. Not the way bad skin, or at least the remnants of bad skin, is attractive on some people. On some men!! It’s never attractive on women—have you noticed that?

Just one more example of the injustices we are forced to suffer! If we have bad skin, we’re grotesque! Let a man have bad skin and he can be Richard Burton for God’s sake!

I HATE BEING A WOMAN!! I’ve strayed. The point is this waiter has terrible skin, and greasy hair and his breath stinks of something dead and his face is entirely too close to mine, and he insults me with his breath and his tone of voice and asks if I’m alone.

I feel my face go flush and I want to rip his head off! I’d like to pull his hair out, only I’d never be able to get a decent grip—it looks as if it hasn’t been washed in a decade!

I want to pick up my butter knife and stab in his sunken, caved-in chest! But! I simply respond, (Grandly) “No, I’m married, thank you.” (Pause)

I realize, now, of course, that my answer was illogical. I realize that it was inappropriate. But, at the time, it was all I could think to say.

Well, he leans back and, really, in the most supercilious manner, he leers at me and intones, “I meant, are you eating alone.” “I KNEW WHAT YOU MEANT!”

I KNEW WHAT HE MEANT! I don’t know why I said what I said, I just said it! He made me sick. I hope he dies. I shouted, “I KNEW WHAT YOU MEANT!”

And I am not a person who shouts, generally. I don’t like shouting. It hurts to shout and it hurts to be shouted at. My mother shouted quite a bit and I always thought the veins in her neck looked like the roots of a tree.

But I shouted. Everyone looked at me . . . because I was standing. I didn’t mean to be standing. I didn’t remember standing, but I was. I was standing.

I must’ve leapt up when I shouted. So I was standing and everyone was staring at me. The place was very crowded, much more crowded than I ever recall seeing it before.

And suddenly, it occurred to me, that these people, my neighbors, gawking at me in endless silence, were the very same people who had watched Ford and myself have sex that first night when we met.

I was humiliated! I thought I would die! Or be sick! I was certain I was going to be sick right there at my table, standing up, being stared at!

And then everyone in the neighborhood would mutter under their breath, every time they saw me, “Oh there goes that woman. We’ve seen her have sex, and we’ve seen her vomit.”

I WOULD LIKE, AT SOME POINT IN MY LIFE, TO CLING, WITH WHATEVER ENERGY I HAVE, TO MY DIGNITY!

Read the play here

21. Fedra

A monologue from the play by J. Nicole Brooks

Fedra

Who would have thought it, nurse! All this time I had a rival. The chastity belt has been loosened! While I couldn’t tame him, Aricia did. Oh, yeah, pick up your jaw, nurse.

This whole time that I have suffered ecstasies of passion, the horrors of remorse- she had his heart. I was out of my skull for him and the whole time those two were f***ing!

How? How could this be? When? When did it begin? You never told me about their stolen hours. Have they been seen together? Of course they have. Oh, gods.

What do you think they do together? I bet he plays his stupid guitar to her on the beach. Do they sip milkshakes from the same glass?

Ride bikes in tandem? Play Yahtzee? Is that it, nurse? You seem to have had answers for everything else!

Oh, now you’re quiet? Ain’t that a b*tch?

Read the play here

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