Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine – Monologue (Undine)

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A monologue from the play by Lynn Nottage


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

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