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A monologue from the play by Theresa Rebeck
JENNY (late thirties)
Jenny’s husband has mysteriously showed up at the house he grew up in, in Cincinnati, where his mother and his sister Lorna live. It turns out, he has just embezzled twenty-seven million dollars from the bank where he works.
Jenny has travelled from New York to her in-law’s house in Cincinnati to find her errant husband, Jack. Here, She is talking on the phone to her friend in New York and describing the decor of the kitchen.
That’s what he said! Can you believe that? “The truth is complicated.” I’m thinking, not so complicated that they can’t send you to jail, you jerk. Yes, I rea—I know, Stuart, but after everything I did for him, my family?
My father! My father got him that job. Oh do not tell him I’m here, he will have an aneurysm if he—yes, I know, but of course I feel, I’m not—no, Jack’s not here. I mean, he is here, I saw him, but he’s not here right now.
I walked in the front door, and before I could say three words there was this very convenient story about his father, and a kidney stone, and they all rushed off to some hospital.
I mean, he did seem to be in some pain so what do I know, but I thought it was pretty coincidental, and I would not put it past Jack to actually give his father a kidney stone just to avoid dealing with this.
He walked off with twenty-seven million dollars from a major international financial institution, and nobody apparently can figure out how he did it. I think a kidney stone is relatively simple next to that.
I know—I KNOW I sound ridiculous but I’m truly at my wit’s end, Stuart. I’ve been sitting here for eight hours, by myself, in this house, why do people live in houses like this in the midwest, you should see this place.
There actually is, seriously, linoleum floors. Linoleum, it’s not a myth. And the cabinets are horrible. But get this: There are little ceramic plates on the walls with pictures painted on them,
I’m not making this up. And the flatware is just, I don’t understand it. I don’t know what it’s made of. Some sort of strange gray metal. Oh, oh, and the dishes are corelle. It says on the back of them: corelle.
I don’t know what “corelle” is, that’s my point! It’s just so deliberately without taste. And yes there are yards with grass and trees, Jack used to go on endlessly about all the grass and trees and air in the midwest
but honestly I always found him to be needlessly smug about that stuff. Nature, like they invented nature. When they didn’t invent it at all; let’s face it, it’s just here. Big deal. A f***ing tree.