20 Best Contemporary Comedic Monologues For Women From Plays
1. A Bright Room Called Day
A monologue from the play by Tony Kushner
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.
2. Last Of The Red Hot Lovers
A monologue from the play by Neil Simon
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.
3. Painting Churches
A monologue from the play by Tina Howe
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 . . . !
4. In The Daylight
A monologue from the play by Tony Glazer
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?
5. Cloud Nine
A monologue from the play by Caryl Churchill
Act 2, Scene 4
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.
6. God Gave Us Aunts
A monologue from the play by Idris Goodwin
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.
- Everybody is going to tell you what they know, but nobody knows—except your Aunt K elly.
- That movie The Bodyguard is a lie. Nobody is coming to save you.
- 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?
- Your friends are not your friends.
- It’s going to hurt the ﬁrst time. It’s always going to hurt the ﬁrst time.
- 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.
- Positivity is something losers who don’t know that they’re losers say when crap is hitting the fan.
- Learn how to cook—but not for that reason.
- 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
(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. Shit. I said ship.
I meant shit. Same old shit, same old shit. 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.
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.
A monologue from the play by Jack Thorne
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 shit 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.
10. My Fair Lady
A monologue from the book by Alan Jay Lerner (Based on the play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
“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.”
11. Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine
15 Best Classical Monologues For Women From Plays
1. The Dutch Courtesan
A monologue from the play by John Marston
(Act III, Scene 1)
Marry? No, faith; husbands are like lots in the lottery: you may draw forty blanks before you find one that has any prize in him. A husband generally is a careless, domineering thing that grows like coral, which as long as it is under water is soft and tender,
but as soon as it has got his branch above the waves is presently hard, stiff, not to be bowed but burst; so when your husband is a suitor and under your choice, Lord, how supple he is, how obsequious, how at your service, sweet lady!
Once married, got up his head above, a stiff, crooked, knobby, inflexible, tyrannous creature he grows; then they turn like water, more you would embrace, the less you hold.
I’ll live my own woman, and if the worst come to the worst, I had rather prove a wag than a fool. O, but a virtuous marriage, you say? There is no more affinity betwixt virtue and marriage than betwixt a man and his horse.
Indeed, virtue gets up upon marriage sometimes and manageth it in the right way, but marriage is of another piece; for as a horse may be without a man, and a man without a horse,
so marriage, you know, is often without virtue, and virtue, I am sure, more oft without marriage. But thy match, sister—by my troth, I think ‘twill do well. He’s a wellshaped, clean-lipped gentleman,
of a handsome but not affected fineness, a good faithful eye, and a well-humored cheek. Would he did not stoop in the shoulders, for thy sake! See, here he is.
2. The Importance Of Being Earnest
A monologue from the play by Oscar Wilde
Act 3, Scene 1
Well, I must say, Algernon, that I think it is high time that Mr. Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or die. This shilly-shallying with the question is absurd.
Nor do I in any way approve of the modern sympathy with invalids. I consider it morbid. Illness of any kind is hardly a thing to be encouraged in others. Health is the primary duty of life.
I am always telling that to your poor uncle, but he never seems to take much notice . . . as far as any improvement in his ailment goes. Well, Algernon, of course if you are obliged to be beside the bedside of Mr. Bunbury, I have nothing more to say.
But I would be much obliged if you would ask Mr. Bunbury, from me, to be kind enough not to have a relapse on Saturday, for I rely on you to arrange my music for me.
It is my last reception, and one wants something that will encourage conversation, particularly at the end of the season when every one has practically said whatever they had to say, which, in most cases, was probably not much.
3. The Lying Valet
A monologue from the play by David Garrick
O woman, woman, foolish woman! she’ll certainly have this Gayless: nay, were she as well convinced of his poverty as I am, she’d have him.
A strong dose of love is worse than one of ratafia; when it once gets into our heads, it trips up our heels, and then good night to discretion.
Here is she going to throw away fifteen thousand pounds; upon what? faith, little better than nothing—he’s a man, and that’s all—and heaven knows mere man is but small consolation.
Be this advice pursued by each fond maid, Ne’er slight the substance for an empty shade: Rich, weighty sparks alone should please and charm ye: For should spouse cool, his gold will always warm ye.
4. She Stoops To Conquer
A monologue from the play by Oliver Goldsmith
Act the first, Scene – (A chamber in an old fashioned house)
A reserved lover, it is said, always makes a suspicious husband. […] He must have more striking features to catch me, I promise you. However, if he be so young, so handsome, and so everything as you mention, I believe he’ll do still.
I think I’ll have him. […] Well, if he refuses, instead of breaking my heart at his indifference,
I’ll only break my glass for its flattery, set my cap to some newer fashion, and look out for some less difficult admirer. […]
Lud, this news of papa’s puts me all in a flutter. Young, handsome; these he put last; but I put them foremost.
Sensible, good-natured; I like all that. But then reserved, and sheepish, that’s much against him.
Yet can’t he be cured of his timidity, by being taught to be proud of his wife? Yes, and can’t I–But I vow I’m disposing of the husband, before I have secured the lover.
5. A Chaste Maid In Cheapside
A monologue from the play by Thomas Middleton
Have you played over all your old lessons o’the virginals? (…) Yes, you are a dull maid alate, methinks you had need have somewhat to quicken your green sickness; do you weep?
A husband. Had not such a piece of flesh been ordained, what had us wives been good for? To make salads, or else cried up and down for samphire.
To see the difference of these seasons! When I was of your youth, I was lightsome, and quick, two years before I was married.
You fit for a knight’s bed—drowsy browed, dull eyed, drossy sprited—I hold my life you have forgot your dancing: when was the dancer with you? (. . .) Last week?
When I was of your bord, he missed me not a night, I was kept at it; I took delight to learn, and he to teach me, pretty brown gentleman, he took pleasure in my company;
but you are dull, nothing comes nimbly from you, you dance like a plumber’s daughter, and deserve two thousand pounds in lead to your marriage, and not in goldsmith’s ware.
6. Agafya (Marriage)
A monologue from the play by Nikolai Gogol
Honestly, this choosing business is so difficult. If there were just one or two, but four! Take your pick. Mr Anuchkin isn’t bad-looking, but he’s a bit skinny, of course.
And Mr Podkolyosin isn’t too bad, either. And truth to tell, though he’s rather stout, Mr Omelet’s still a fine figure of a man. So what am I to do, if you please?
Mr Zhevakin’s also a man of distinction. It really is difficult to decide, you can’t begin to describe it.
Now, if you could attach Mr Anuchkin’s lips to Mr Podkolyosin’s nose, and take some of Mr Zhevakin’s easy manner, and perhaps add Mr Omelet’s solid build, I could decide on the spot.
But now I’ve got to rack my brains! And it’s giving me a fearsome headache. I think it’d be best to draw lots. Turn the whole matter over to God’s will, and whichever one comes out, that’ll be my husband.
I’ll write all their names on a bit of paper, roll them up tight, then so be it. (She goes to her desk, gets some paper and writes the names on them.) Life’s so trying for a girl, especially when she’s in love.
It’s something no man will ever understand, and anyway they just don’t want to. Now, that’s them ready! All that remains is to put them in my purse, shut my eyes, and that’s it – what will be, will be.
(She places papers in her purse and give it a shake.) This is dreadful… oh God, please make it Anuchkin! No, why him? Better Mr Podkolyosin. But why Mr Podkolyosin?
In what way are the others worse? No, no, I won’t… whichever comes out, so be it. (She rummages in her purse and pulls them all out instead of one.) Oh! All of them!
They’ve all come out! And my heart’s pounding. No, no, it’s got to be one! (She puts the papers back in her purse.) Oh, if only I could draw out Baltazar… no, what am I saying?
I mean Mr Anuchkin…no, I won’t, I won’t. Let fate decide.
7. Mirandolina, Mirandolina
A monologue from the play by Carlo Goldoni
Huh! Marry Him! His Excellency Signor the Marquis Skinflint. That would be the day! The husbands I’d have, if I’d married all that had wanted to marry me!
They’ve only got to enter this Inn and they fall in love with me and think they can marry me on the spot. Except this Signor Baron, the ill-mannered lout!
What right’s he got to think himself too high and mighty to be civil to me? Nobody else who’s ever stopped at this Inn has ever treated me so! I certainly don’t expect him to fall in love with me at first sight—but to behave like that!
That sort of thing infuriates me. So he hates women? Doesn’t want anything to do with them? The poor fool. He hasn’t met the woman yet who knows how to set about him.
But he will. Oh, yes, he will, all right. And, who knows if he hasn’t just met her. Yes, this fellow might be exactly what I need. I’m sick to death of men who run after me.
As for marriage—there’s plenty of time for that. I want to enjoy my freedom first. And here’s a chance to really enjoy it. Yes, I’ll use every art I have to conquer this enemy of women!
8. Moll: The Roaring Girl
A monologue from the play by Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker
9. The Beggar’s Opera
10. ALWAYS RIDICULOUS
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6. Mean Girls
7. Prey for Rock & Roll
Here’s the actual clip from the movie.
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10. Freaky Friday
11. Beautiful Girls
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