What playwrights produced bodies of work rife with monologue material?
December 4, 2007 1:56 PM   Subscribe

What playwrights produced bodies of work rife with monologue material?

I'd like to find some monologues - perhaps, but not necessarily, for auditioning. I'd like to do this by reading several plays by the same dramatist - thus trolling for material while also learning a particular author's style. If I could get my hands on -- and head around -- a complete body of work, I would be thrilled for the challenge.

I'm aware of some obvious venerable veterans, but do you have any less-trodden, modern recommendations?

Bonus points for probable availability at public or academic libraries.
posted by GPF to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Besides Shakespeare?
posted by klangklangston at 1:58 PM on December 4, 2007

Response by poster: Yes, besides Shakespeare. Mr. Willy qualifies as an "obvious venerable veteran." "Less-trodden, modern recommendations" would be most helpful. :)
posted by GPF at 2:05 PM on December 4, 2007

Best answer: I'm sure you've thought of Shaw ... does Stoppard count as less-trodden? Probably not. How about Martin McDonagh?

Though maybe he's not so appropriate for auditions.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:12 PM on December 4, 2007

Or Yasmina Reza?
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:16 PM on December 4, 2007

posted by Koko at 2:18 PM on December 4, 2007

Does Samuel Beckett count as obvious and venerable? How about David Mamet?

For someone completely different, try Maria Irene Fornes.
posted by expialidocious at 2:28 PM on December 4, 2007

eric bogosian . Drinking in America is all monologues.
posted by alkupe at 2:38 PM on December 4, 2007

Best answer: Mark Dunn, especially for women. (Audition friendly.)

Mac Wellman, the above mentioned Fornes, Caryl Churchill, Charles Mee and Will Eno for avant-garde and lesser-known work. (I can't recommend Will Eno enough, actually; he's amazing.)

Teresa Rebeck is a great writer to get a grip on. Her collected works were published recently and makes for great reading, (though she's a bit overdone with respect to audition material).

If you're interested in getting a great overview of cutting-edge off- and off-off-Broadway New York work, try the Plays and Playwrights series, published by the New York Theatre Experience. Reading through any given year of the series will introduce you to all kinds of playwrights and all kinds of work. Also highly recommended.

Finally, troll through the website of New York's Signature Theater Company. They're a highly esteemed Off-Broadway company that produces entire seasons dedicated to the work of one playwright. You can use their past seasons as reading guides, if you like.
posted by minervous at 2:52 PM on December 4, 2007

Er, "trawl through the website..." not "troll..."
posted by minervous at 3:13 PM on December 4, 2007

Anna Deavere Smith.
posted by obliquicity at 3:46 PM on December 4, 2007

Best answer: My favorite monologue I have ever done was from "Picasso at the Lapine Agile," by Steve Martin. He has several monologue's in that show despite it being really short.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 4:58 PM on December 4, 2007

Paddy Chayefsky (particularly in the script for Network) wrote amazing speeches with strong verbal musicality.
posted by McLir at 6:53 PM on December 4, 2007


posted by dobbs at 8:15 PM on December 4, 2007

Best answer: eric bogosian.
and, go canada:
daniel macivor has written several award-winning one-man shows that are sublimely smart & funny: "here lies henry", "monster", "cul de sac", and "house" are 4 good ones. his plays for larger casts tend to have good monologues too.
karen hines' "the pochsy plays" i think there are 3 in total, maybe 4. all solo shows for a woman, all dark and funny and weird and smart.
diane flacks' "by a thread" and "random acts". playful with a dark side, and funny.
posted by twistofrhyme at 9:49 PM on December 4, 2007

John Patrick Shanley has great female monologues. "Savage in Limbo," "Women of Manhattan," etc.
posted by np312 at 10:55 PM on December 4, 2007

He's been around for a while so he may fall under the category of of venerable veteran, but Alan Bennett has written some extraordinary monologues (Talking Heads)
posted by h00py at 6:53 AM on December 5, 2007

Beckett, Pinter, Mamet
posted by Mocata at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the recommendations. Plenty to get started and keep busy for a good while.

Any others out there?
posted by GPF at 11:46 AM on December 6, 2007

« Older Jogging memories. Ah, the feeling of tracksuit...   |   A tree grows in Israel, but which one should be... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.