For Our Mothers & Fathers – Monologue (Donya)

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A monologue from the play by Crystal Skillman

Donya, a seemingly confident and cool teenage girl who is learning guitar at an all-girl rock camp in Ohio, runs into two other teenage girls, Max and Lil, in the middle of the woods.

Max and Lil, who were old friends, are trying to figure out what they’re going to play at the show for their parents that night. Tensions grow, especially when Lil reveals she will be going to a different college than Max.

When Donya innocently mentions that she loves Max’s mom’s songs (she was a big singer at one point, now teaching at the rock camp despite a clear alcoholic problem), Max explodes in anger.

After her outburst, Donya talks about her relationship with her own mother, breaking the silence.

Mothers Are as Mothers Do
Mothers Are as Mothers Do

Donya (fifteen)

They used to call me Rabbit because I used to try to run away all the time. Like since I was five. Just get the f*** out of my sh*t town where everyone looks like me and no one, no one is like me.

When we applied here I was like — this is it. Just turned fifteen. Practically half my life if I died at forty like my cancer-ridden dad so I thought this would be it. Pack for two weeks?

I packed everything. And when I was like zipping up my bag I couldn’t stop crying. My mom, saw me like that, and we barely talked, she was so soft or something and would just do what he said and then when he was gone, she wouldn’t do anything really.

If I was a rabbit, she was a mouse. Small to me. The morning I woke up to get the bus to come here — I saw it there on my empty dresser —

this old black-and-white photo — a girl about fifteen in this skimpy outfit in front of some tent — and there’s like animals in the background and people juggling pins and it’s like clear it’s some kind of circus.

And I know those eyes. It’s my mom. My mom. On the back, in this script — her name and the year. She came in the doorway and told me that’s when she started to run away.

And I was like why didn’t you stay and she smiled this weird smile and I liked that it was soft, quiet, and she said because she met my dad and wanted to have me.

And all that I felt in me made sense. And I knew what it was like to want to stay. Because I do feel like that when I write songs — like a part of me is running away and I want to catch her. If it’s good I do.