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Updated January 2009

 

In 2006, ten industry professionals who see thousands of monologue auditions were asked to rate the “overdone-ness” of over 100 frequently-performed monologues. Since then, monologues have been added to the list at the recommendation of at least two industry pros, usually after they’ve seen several days of auditions for their theaters, apprentice programs, graduate or conservatory programs. Since the original survey was over 3 years ago, I have taken away the individual ratings, because at this point, all of the monologues on this list can be considered to be overdone.

 

Note: it is not always a bad thing to audition with an overdone monologue! To find out when you should worry about this issue, and when you should not, read How to Choose a Monologue for Any Audition.

 

Most of the monologues below are overdone because they’re great writing—and you should definitely read the plays they are from for that reason. Rather than be discouraged that the monologue you love is overdone, go to www.Doollee.com, and look up that playwright’s lesser-known plays and shorter works. You can also read hundreds of new plays online for free at www.Playscripts.com.

 

Playwright/Year first produced/Character/Identifying line or topic

 

BAITZ/The End of the Day/1990/HELEN/I think you married me so as to become an American citizen

BALL/Five Women Wearing the Same Dress/1993/GEORGANNE/Tommy Valentine

BALL/Five Women Wearing the Same Dress/1993/ALL OTHERS

BOGOSIAN/Talk Radio/1985/DENISE/Paranoid caller, spoon in the garbage disposal, etc.

BOGOSIAN/Talk Radio/1985/LINDA/Sleeping with Barry Champlain

CRAVIATTO/Pizza Man/1991/ALL

CRISTOFER/Shadow Box/1975/Beverly/I Want you to come home

CRISTOFER/Lady and the Clarinet/1989/LUBA/Vomiting on desk of lover’s secretary

DANIELS/Apartment 3A/1996/ANNIE/Sesame Street telethon speech

DORFMAN/Death and the Maiden/1991/PAULINA/When I heard his voice last night

DURANG/Beyond Therapy/1981/ALL

DURANG/'Dentitiy Crisis/1978/JANE/Peter Pan monologue

DURANG/Laughing Wild/1987/WOMAN/Tunafish monologue

DURANG/The Marriage of Bette & Boo/1973/ALL

DURANG/Sister Mary Ignatius…/1979/Speech about mother’s death

FEIFFER/Feiffer’s People/1968/ALL

FEIFFER/Hold Me!/1977/ALL

FEIFFER/Little Murders/1966/Patsy

FORNES/Fefu and her Friends/1977/ALL

GARDNER/A Thousand Clowns/1962/SANDRA/I didn't go to work this morning (blouse speech)

GERSHE/Butterflies are Free/1969/Jill Tanner/ALL

GESNER/LIPPA/You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown/ALL

GILMAN/Spinning into Butter/1999/SARAH/ALL

GUARE/Marco Polo Sings A Solo/1977/DIANE/I really started cookin’ when I was eight

GUARE/Landscape of the Body/1984/ROSALIS/Gorilla suit - porn audition speech

GUARE/House of Blue Leaves/1986/Bananas/Picks up the Pope, Bob Hope, Jackie Kennedy, etc. in the Green Latrine

GUARE/House of Blue Leaves/1986/BUNNY/I won’t cook for you til you marry me

GUEST/Waiting for Guffman/1996/Libby Mae Brown’s audition (bonus features)

GUIRGIS/Jesus Hopped the A Train/2001/ALL

HAMPTON/ Dangerous Liaisons/1985/ALL

HANLEY/Slow Dance on the Killing Ground/1970/ROSIE/Losing virginity speech

HARLING/Steel Magnolias/1989/ALL

HARRINGTON/Night Luster/1983/ROMA/I don’t think people see me…voice to die for…etc

HEIMEL/A Girl’s Guide to Chaos/1988/ALL

HENLEY/Crimes of the Heart/1979/ALL

HOWE/The Art of Dining/1979/ELIZABETH BARROW COLT/Mealtime was the same as it had always been

HOWE/Painting Churches/1983/ALL

IIZUKA/Aloha Say the Pretty Girls/1999/ALL

JOHNSON/Brilliant Traces/1988/ROSANNAH/I was standing in the back of the church

JOHNSON/Brilliant Traces/1988/ROSANNAH/Did you ever think you were visited by extraterrestrials

KANE/4:48 Psychosis/2000/ALL

KAYSEN/Girl, Interrupted/1999/ALL

KEILLOR/Snow White speech

KORDER/Search and Destroy/1992/MARIE/Movie pitch/penis claw monologue

KRAMER/Wall of Water/1998//Last cigarette speech

KUSHNER/A Bright Room Called Day/1987/ZILLAH/Dear Mr. President

KUSHNER/Angels in America: Perestroika/1992/HARPER/Night flight to San Francisco…

LABUTE/Autobahn/2006/Stalking the guy

LINDSAY-ABAIRE/History Lesson/2002/Maggie/ALL

LINDSAY-ABAIRE/Wonder of the World/2001/Barbie Head Monologue

LONERGAN/Lobby Hero/2001/DAWN/ALL

LUCAS/Blue Window/1984/LIBBY/Falling off the balcony

LUCAS/Reckless/1988/ALL

MAMET/Oleanna/CAROL/1992/You did it to me. Here

MAMET/Oleanna/CAROL/1992/Other monologues

MARGULIES/Collected Stories/1996/Lisa/ALL

MARTIN/Talking With/1981/ALL

MARTIN/Vital Signs/1989/ALL

MARTIN/Picasso at the Lapin Agile/1998/SUZANNE/Sleeping with Picasso

MARTIN/Picasso at the Lapin Agile/1998/ALL OTHERS

MARTIN/Patter for the Floating Lady/1995/ANGIE/Sand in the tennis shoe

MASTRIOSIMONE/Woolgatherer/1979/ALL

MASTRIOSIMONE/Extremities/1980/ALL

MASTRIOSIMONE/Shivaree/1983/SHIVAREE/Well sport you can dance for dance

MAY/Not Enough Rope/1962/Edith/All

MCNALLY/Bad Habits/Dolly/1971/Complaining to the doctor about her husband

MURRAY-SMITH/Honor/1995/SOPHIE/I wish I was…like you

NASH/The Rainmaker/1954LIZZIE/ALL

NEWMAN/Quilters/NA/Sunbonnet Sue

NIGRO/Seascape with Sharks and Dancer/1985/TRACY/Problem with loving squashable animals

NORMAN/Getting Out/1977/ARLIE/Frog squishing speech

NORMAN/'Night Mother/1982/JESSIE/I am what became of your child

PATRICK/Kennedy's Children/1973/CARLA/I wanted to be a sex goddess

PIELMEIRER/Agnes of God/1979/ALL

RABE/Hurlyburly/1984/ALL

RABE/In the Boom Boom Room/1973/CHRISSY/…and a piece of meat is all I am

RABE/In the Boom Boom Room/1973/ALL OTHERS

REBECK/Loose Knit/1994/MARGIEI want you to f*** me in that car of yours

REBECK/Spike Heels/1994/GEORGIE/Who made up these rules, do you actually think we’re buying it

REBECK/Spike Heels/1994/ALL OTHERS

SAYLES/Passion Fish (film)/1992/Anal probe speech

SHANGE/For Colored Girls…./1975/ALL

SHANLEY/The Big Funk/1990/JILL/I’m talking to you from my subconscious mind

SHANLEY/The Dreamer Examines His Pillow/1985/Donna/ALL

SHANLEY/Savage in Limbo/1984/SAVAGE/I feel strong

SHANLEY/Savage in Limbo/1984/ALL OTHERS

SHANLEY/Where’s my Money?/2002/ALL

SHANLEY/Women of Manhattan/1985/RHONDA/Why she keeps his tennis shoes

SHANLEY/Women of Manhattan/1985/ALL OTHERS

SHENGOLD/Lives of the Great Waitresses/1996/TAMMIE SUE/About the ugly guy who was great in bed

SHEPARD/Buried Child/1978/SHELLEY/ALL

SHEPARD/Cowboy Mouth/1971/CAVALE/You're so neat - ugly duckling speech

SHEPARD/Fool for Love/1983/MAE/ALL

SHEPARD/Icarus' Mother/1964/JILL/Peeing on the beach

SHINN/Other People/2000/PETRA/Fish stew speech

SILVER et al /A…My Name is Alice/1983/WOMAN/Yelling at the jock strap in the wash

SILVER et al/A…My Name is Still Alice/1984/WOMAN/Bridal registry

SILVER/Fat Men In Skirts/1991/POPO MARTIN/My name is Popo Martin

SILVER/The Food Chain/1994/Amanda/Waiter asked if I was alone

SIMON/Star Spangled Girl/1966/SOPHIE/Mr. Cornell, ah have tried to be neighborly, gooey chocolates

SIMON/Last of the Red Hot Lovers/1969/JEANETTE/Do you know Charlotte Korman

SIMON/Chapter Two/1977/Jennie/You know what you want better than me George

SIMON/Brighton Beach Memoirs/1983/NORA/Papa’s coat pocket

SIMON/Virtually any female character from Neil Simon’s major plays

SLADE/Romantic Comedy/1979/PHOEBE/Marshmallows out the nose

SNYDER/The Days and Nights of BeeBee Fenstermaker/1964/BeeBee/ALL

SONDHEIM/Assassins/1990/SQUEAKY FROMME/Charlie Manson speech

SON/Stop Kiss/1998/CALLIE/Talking to unconscious girlfriend in hospital

TAYLOR & BOLOGNA/Lovers and Other Strangers/1968/ALL

TESICH/Passing Game/1977/JULIE/Richard, are you asleep?

TOPOR/Nuts/1980/CLAUDIA/I used to say I love you to the moon and down again

TOPOR/Nuts/1980/CLAUDIA/ALL OTHERS

VOGEL/How I Learned to Drive/1997/ALL

WADE/Key Exchange/1986/LISA/Father built sandbox for dying mother to watch kids

WAGNER/Search for Signs of Intelligent Life…/1985/ALL

WASSERSTEIN/Heidi Chronicles/1988/ALL

WASSERSTEIN/Isn’t It Romantic?/1981/ALL

WASSERSTEIN/Uncommon Women and Others/1975/ALL

WILDER/Our Town/1938/Emily

WELLER/Split/1977/MARGE/Stevie Wonder

WILLIAMS/Major female roles by Tennessee Williams are extremely well known; they are classics and not in the ‘overdone’ category, but actors should know how well known they are and have a reason for choosing them. And they should never be done without their intended accent.

WILSON/Burn This/1987/ANNA/Insects pinned to the wall

WILSON/The Gingham Dog/1968/GLORIA/I used to pray, I really did

WOLFE/The Colored Museum/1986/TOPSY/Yoho! Party! Party!

 

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For more info on overdone monologues go to:

Overdone Monologues – how the survey was done and what it reveals

More survey results – more opinions and preferences on material choice

Overdone Shakespeare

Men’s overdone monologues

 

Copyright 2009 by Karen Kohlhaas

Survey from www.monologueaudition.com

Individuals have permission to duplicate or distribute this page if done so in its entirety.