At two auditions per month that require a monologue, this book yields:
one year of material at 27 cents per audition.

If you are a student, this book yields a year of class work material for
less than the cost of a week of Starbucks.

Buy Monologues, Sketches, Scenes, Short Plays and get FREE PDF of full script of Darleen Dances.



E-book, PDF format, 161 pages, $6.50 + FREE PDF of full script of Darleen Dances
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When I was an actor, I used to write my own material, and even if I didn’t get a role, I invariably was asked where I’d found the material — it gets people’s attention and is full of nuances
(aka, fun to do).

The material in this book is:

• Unusual, funny, sometimes edgy or subversive, sometimes moving

• In many cases, appropriate for any race, any age, and sometimes any gender

• Each piece has a strong action — if you’re invested in your action, you’ll be more relaxed in performance

• Each piece is a full story with a beginning, middle, and ending.

If you decide this is for you, click the “Buy Now” button. You’ll go to a PayPal page. You don’t need a PayPal account — use any credit card — but if you have PayPal, you can use it.

There is no charge for shipping (I’ll email you a PDF after payment is processed) or tax.

Take a look. And happy auditioning.


And if you are a lover of comedy and literature, go to my The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg page. This is my forthcoming novel, and my actress friend Melodie Somers did a wonderful job of "playing" the book's prologue in the book trailer. It makes you think bigger about what might make a good monologue.




































Also Available:

Eighteen stories full of playable scenes, and three one-act plays, castable with one acting ensemble. Click here to learn more.

Click on colored links in Table of Contents (below) for free actors' material plus short excerpts:

This material is included in new e-book below. E-book contains material for funny, strong, unusual, sometimes poignant characters. Casting is multi-racial.

How to Make Every Audition a Joyful Experience

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me through the email link (right).

I'd love to know more about you. You can link up with me on Facebook. There, you'll find tips for readers, writers, and people in the entertainment industry.

NOTICE: You may use this material for audition and class purposes only, and no public performance, representation, production, public reading or radio, television, internet, or other recording or broadcasting of this copyrighted work is permissible except by special arrangement with the author. (Copyright © 2013 Betsy Robinson. All rights reserved) For all rights, contact Betsy Robinson at Betsy@​BetsyRobinson-writer.com.


E-book, 161 pages, PDF, $6.50 click "Buy Now" button to purchase
CONTENTS ** There are many multi-cultural monologues included in the short plays and sketches listings.

WOMEN’S MONOLOGUES
WANDA(link to excerpt): Flower Shop — any age, any race
SARAH(link to excerpt): Revenge — any age, any race
ELSIE(link to excerpt): Kiss — age 13, an innocent, any race.
ANGELA(link to excerpt): Nunship — teens, 20s, buxom, Italian Catholic.
LILLY(link to excerpt): Gloria Said to Tell You — any age, any race
SYLVIA(link to excerpt): Gossip — adult, any age, any race
TERRY(link to excerpt): Weak Chin — any age, any race

MEN’S MONOLOGUES
GIG(link to excerpt): Happiness — any age, any race
BEN(link to excerpt): Getting Some —teens, 20s, any race
NATHAN(link to excerpt): Handkerchief — any age, any race
FRANK(link to excerpt): Gas Leak — any age, any race
JIM(link to excerpt): I Apologize — 20s or 30s, any race (Also available as a short play).

MEN'S or WOMEN’S MONOLOGUES
TOBY(link to excerpt): Bedtime — a little kid; an exercise for an actor or actress of any age or race.
STORY THEATER: Girl, Boy, Fish; show off performer’s ability to move and play many parts.



SKETCHES & SCENES
Tightrope Walkers— 2 HIGH-WIRE WALKERS, any gender, any race
The First Time (link to complete piece) — MARGIE and PHIL, teens, 20s, any race
Queen — female, any age, any race
Trains —HAL and SYBIL, any age, any race
Light — MIKE and RUBY, any age, any race
Running Gag: 3 Scenes — For 4 actors: 2 FEMALE, 2 MALE, any age, any race

SHORT PLAYS

I APOLOGIZE!: 1 Act
J.B., 20s, 30s, any race
CLARA, 20s, 30s, any race


THE HEARING: 1 Act
THELMA MERRIWEATHER, a southern middle-aged Black woman; she moved to New York City many years ago. (Thelma(link to excerpt) has a powerful, understated, seething 2-page monologue that can be done by any adult black actress)
MR. GOLDBERGER, White, a New York lawyer.
MR. LOPEZ, New York Hispanic, the examiner for the Transit Authority.

BECOMING A MEMBER (link to complete piece): 1 Scene
DORIS, age 19

SECTION C: 1 Scene
NINA and NATHAN, age 25; VOICE, offstage; WOMAN, any age

GLADYS MAZURKY(link to excerpt): 2 Acts
GLADYS MAZURKY,age 23; has a mild stutter which actress should filter into the dialogue as play progresses. Always, her main goal is to be clear.

Played by one character actress:
MRS. FARRENTINO, a huge woman
BALLET STUDENT
WAITRESS
WOMAN

Played by one middle-aged actor:
NARRATOR
McNULTY, age 50s, attractive
DR. BARTHOLEMEW
BALLET MASTER
BUILDING OWNER
MAN

Played by one actor:
ROCKY SCHWARTZ, age 26, N.Y. Jew, sweats a lot
DAVID McNULTY, age 29, midwestern WASP, attractive
GUY




How to Make Every Audition a Joyful Experience

Love your material. The material in this e-book comes from my heart. I would love for you to embody it and send it out into the world.

If you love the character you are playing, if you savor his or her essence, you will feel joy. And even if you don't get the job, you will have done your job. Even if your auditioners don't respond, you will have a feeling of satisfaction knowing that you have delivered a message of your own love.

We don't always get to know the results of our actions, but if we love our actions, that's enough.

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Monologue/​1-act Play
BECOMING A MEMBER

Cast: Doris, age 19

Time and Place: Here and Now

Doris is pushed out on stage. Possibly falls down. She is wearing an ill-fitting blouse and skirt which clings to her baggy tights. She is wearing flat black pumps. She looks around her. At the audience. Mortified. Tries unsuccessfully to nonchalantly release her skirt from its static cling. She is gripping a piece of white paper.

Pause.

DORIS
Okay… I’m white. Um. I’m heterosexual. I—
(STARTS TO LEAVE)
really don’t want to—
(AS IF PUSHED BACK ON STAGE)
Okay, okay … I think I would be a really good addition to the Alpha Delta Porca Society because— (CHECKS HER NOTES) Oh, I didn’t finish the “who am I” part. I’m sorry.

Let’s see. Um. I’m a liberal heterosexual—not that I’m promiscuous, and I certainly don’t mind lesbians—in case any of your are. … Lesbians … or promiscuous … or promiscuous lesbians, I really don’t think I can do—

(AS IF HEARING A REPRIMAND)
Okay, okay.

It’s just that I prefer the opposite sex. Boys. Men. Sexually. Although I don’t have a boyfriend just at this present time, but I certainly do hope to have one in the very near future.

(CHECKS HER NOTES)
Uh. I don’t have any undesirable diseases, not that there are desirable ones, but … I wash regularly—I prefer showers—and I guess that just about does it!

(NO RESPONSE)

Okay! Maybe not.
(CHECKS NOTES)

Oh, yes, my extra-curricular activities. Um, I don’t have any just at the present time, but I certainly do plan to acquire a substantial amount in the very near future.

(CHECKS LIST, CHECKING OFF QUICKLY)
Athletic ability: No
Sociability: No
Looks?...

(READING INSTRUCTIONS ON NOTES, RELIEVED)
Oh, I see, you fill out those. Sorry. I didn’t have time to really look at this. Gee, did all of you have to do this when you got— Whoops, sorry, I forgot, no questions. Well, let’s see—

(READS)
“Why I want to be a member.” … Well, who doesn’t?

(WAITS. NO RESPONSE. GOES BACK TO NOTES, FIERCELY)

“My strong points.” (THINKS) Fun…ness. I’m very fun. And I have a wild sense of humor. Well, my mother thinks so. She never joined a society, but people say she has great taste. She told me it doesn’t matter once you get out into the real world. In the real world, she said, it doesn’t matter what club you were in or if you were never an athlete in school; that, say years from now, when we’re all grown with families and jobs, nobody’ll care, but for right now it would make things a whole lot easier if I could just get in this club. See, I would like to be mainstream. Which, as far as I can see, you’re not unless you’re a member of a club.

My best friend, Ophelia, she says her life’s changed completely since she joined hers. Malcolm X Sigma Chi. I thought maybe … But she said, “Don’t even think it, girl.” Cause as you can see … (DISPLAYS HER WHITENESS)

Ophelia says I’m not really white inside, but that doesn’t count when you’re applying to a club. Right? So I thought I’d try here. Cause we’re all white… right? And they don’t make clubs for different colored outside and in people, and even if they did, I’m not exactly sure what my inside color is, so how on earth would I find the right club?

Ophelia says I’m “puce.” … I’ve never seen puce … I think she was kidding.

I don’t like being puce. It’s not mainstream. And they don’t make clubs for them.

My mother says it doesn’t matter. That in the real world, when you go for a job interview, for example, nobody asks if you’re puce.

Ophelia says they don’t ask, but they see it anyway and check it off in a secret box that they never show you, which goes on your permanent secret record for life. Which keeps you from getting into all the really important societies. That this permanent secret record started when they filled out your birth certificate or when you started school or sometime in between.

My mother says Ophelia is full of shit.

I like Ophelia. I like my mother. I would very much like to become a member of this club.

You see, it’s like insurance: Probably my mother’s right—that years from now I will look back at all this and laugh because older people couldn’t care less whether or not I was a cheerleader or what color club I was in.

But my friend Ophelia’s been around. So just in case, in case I do have a permanent, secret record with secret boxes for puce, if you’d just let me into this club, if you’d just check off the right box—

Well, then no matter who’s right, then I’d be mainstream for life … Right?

BLACK OUT

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SKETCH
“The First Time”


CAST: Margie and Phil, in their 20s.

MARGIE and PHIL are frozen: Phil is facing Margie. He has his mouth open; he has just asked her a question. Margie is facing the audience.

MARGIE (to audience)
I wonder if he knows that I’m a virgin. I heard that guys can tell by the way you walk.
(She walks.)
Can you tell?

I’m the only virgin I know. Except for my sister, but she’s 12. … I’m embarrassed.

He’d never have asked me out if he’d known. So this whole relationship is grounded in misconception.
(turns to Phil)
Phil, this is really embarrassing, but I’m 21 years old and I’m a vi—, vi—, I’ve never done it. Do you want to take me home now?

PHIL (unfreezing)
What?

MARGIE
If you don’t want anything to do with me, it’s all right. I’ll understand.

PHIL
What?

MARGIE
We can end this whole thing right now. No hard feelings.

PHIL
All I asked was do you wanna coke with your pizza.

MARGIE
No. Do you want me to pay for the pizza?

PHIL
I’ll be right back.
(exits)

MARGIE (to the audience)
He’s lying. He won’t be back. What am I doing? I must be insane. I’m out on a date with a strange man, and I hate pizza. … If he doesn’t want me, I’ll go mad.

PHIL
(returns with 2 pizzas and 1 bottle of coke, hands her 1 slice of pizza)
Here.

MARGIE
Gee, thanks.

PHIL
You wanna sit down?

MARGIE
(dropping to sitting position on the floor)
Sure.

PHIL
I meant in the car. I thought we could eat in the car.

MARGIE (getting up)
Oh, okay.
(They slide into two chairs, denoting his car.)
That’s more comfortable.

PHIL
Yeah.

MARGIE
I would like to get rid of my virginity.

PHIL
Pardon?

MARGIE
I want to do it.

PHIL
You mind if I finish my pizza?

MARGIE
Sure. Sure. I didn’t mean— Oh God, you thought I meant—! No, no, not right this minute. I meant theoretically — in theory — at some unknown future time with a willing partner, I would really like to—

PHIL
Okay.

MARGIE
Oh … I’ve probably turned you off completely.

PHIL
No.

MARGIE
You’re lying

PHIL
I think you’re cute.

MARGIE
Cute?

PHIL
Is there an echo in here?

MARGIE
I’m sorry. I think you’re cute too.

PHIL (eating and grinning)
Good.
(offers her coke)
Wanna sip?

MARGIE
Sure.
(sips, to audience:)
I hate coke.

PHIL
So it bothers you, the fact that you’ve never—?

MARGIE
Yes.

PHIL
How come?

MARGIE
Well, I was fat and sheltered and nobody ever wanted to.

PHIL
No, how come you’re so hung up about it?

MARGIE
Oh. I’m 21. How old are you?

PHIL
25.

MARGIE
Wow. … I guess you’ve—
(gestures “you know—done it.” Phil grins and nods, while eating.)
A lot?

PHIL
Yeah. Does that bother you?

MARGIE
No, no, not at all.
(Does a horrified take to the audience.)
How many times have you done it?
(Phil chokes on his pizza.)
Just kidding, ha ha, sorry, I have a weird sense of humor. So how many times?

PHIL (recovering)
I don’t know. You want some more coke with that pizza?

MARGIE
Sure.
(She drains his bottle, hands it back to him)

PHIL
Guess you were thirsty, huh?

MARGIE (to audience)
I’m making an ass of myself.

PHIL
I was really nervous my first time too.

MARGIE
You were?

PHIL
Relax.

MARGIE
Okay … So what’s it like being a television repair man?

PHIL
S’okay.

MARGIE
That’s good.

PHIL
I’m giving it up as soon as I sell my screenplay.

MARGIE (impressed)
You write movies?

PHIL (being modest)
Yeah.

MARGIE
Wow. I’m not really a waitress. I’m searching for my niche.

PHIL
Good luck with that.

MARGIE
Thanks. … Well …

(Phil finishes his pizza, wipes his mouth clean, puts his arm around MARGIE and begins to kiss her.)

MARGIE
Oh. You’re kissing me.

PHIL
Correct.

MARGIE
Oh.

PHIL
Don’t you wanna?

MARGIE
Sure.
(kisses him back.)

PHIL
That’s nice.

MARGIE
I don’t really know what I’m doing.

PHIL
You’re doing fine. You gotta relax though.

MARGIE
Okay.
(goes limp)

PHIL
You gotta relax your mouth.

MARGIE (straightening up)
Oh, okay, I get it.
(goes slack-lip)
This better?

PHIL (ignores this, kisses her)
You’re very pretty.

MARGIE
Thank you very much.

PHIL
You know, I’ll tell you something about first times — you never forget ‘em.

MARGIE
I know what you mean. Like the first time I rode a bike, or lost a tooth, or the first time I-yiey-yiey—
(as Phil stifles her with kisses. Pause. It takes MARGIE a moment to recover. Weakly:)
What?

PHIL
I didn’t say anything.

MARGIE
Oh, I thought you did.

PHIL (stroking her hair)
You like this?

MARGIE
Yes.

PHIL (touching her neck)
How about this?

MARGIE
Oh, yes.

PHIL (going for her breasts)
How about—

MARGIE
Phil!

PHIL
What?

MARGIE
I’ll remember you always.

PHIL (lowering her backwards)
Me too, Molly. Me too.

(As lights fade)

MARGIE
Phil?

PHIL
Yeah, sweetheart?

MARGIE
My name’s Margie.

(Fade to black.)
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EXCERPTS

WANDA is sorting flowers in a flower shop.
WANDA

We got a shipment of sunflowers this morning — four boxes. I unpacked them cause that’s my job. Mr. Constantinus told me that I should get here extra early in order to sign the receipt slip and have them ready in time for the lunch crowd.

I like sunflowers. They remind me of those long-necked ladies you see in Vogue or shopping on Fifth Avenue. They’ve never grown wild, you know.

Anyway, Mr. Constantinus said to be sure to look them over before I signed the slip, then unpack them, prune the stems, and bind them in bunches of four. So I did. I looked them over, signed the slip, and I was just beginning to bind them when Mr. Constantinus came in. I said, “Good morning, Mr. Constantinus,” and he didn’t say anything. So I figured he was in one of his moods and I went on bunching. Then all of a sudden he picks up one of the bunches and rips it apart screaming and cursing. Most of it was in Greek, so I didn’t understand, but every so often there’d be a “Weed! Damn Dandelion Weed!”

Complete monologue is in e-book
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SARAH - Revenge

Sarah, any age, any race, is standing in place doing isometric, stretching, twisting, and imaginary weight-lifting exercises that punctuate her speech. She is livid, but deadpan and matter-of-fact in her delivery.

SARAH

This man on the corner said, “Smile, baby.” So I punched him. … That’s a lie. I wanted to punch him, but he was big. And mean. And there was nobody else on the street.

Why should I smile? I’m a nasty, miserable, horrible, humorless wretch. This is not an exaggeration. I almost never lie. And smiling when I do not feel like smiling would be a lie. So when some street creep insists on intruding into my life by telling me to smile, I feel it is only right that I punch him. Even if I just lied about doing it.

“My dog died.” That’s what I wanted to say to make him feel really bad: “My dog’s gone, and I have what might possibly be a crippling, degenerative, terminal and extremely communicable illness,” I’d say, patting him on the arm. “Have a nice day.” But I didn’t.

I’m ineffective.

Complete monologue is in e-book
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ELSIE - Kiss

ELSIE, age 13, an innocent, any race.

ELSIE

The most amazing thing happened. Danny Olivieri kissed me on the football field. It was 12:15. I know because the bell had just rung for fourth period which is lunchtime. Betty Sue Mulligan and Martha Angelovitch — they’re my best friends — they said it was fishsticks and green Jello, so why didn’t we get some Cheez Doodles and take them out on the field. So we did. Only Betty Sue got M&Ms cause Cheez Doodles turn your gums orange.

Anyway, we went out to the field. Martha likes to go during fourth period because she goes with Dougie Mendelowitz who’s the fastest runner in school, and he’s in fourth period senior boys gym.

And they were all out there doing the half mile. I kind of like to watch boys run too, cause—…

Anyhow, we went out through the girls’ locker room cause Betty Sue likes to stand on the steps overlooking the field. She says so she can appreciate the landscape … Betty Sue has very blond hair … So we were standing there, and — oh, I guess I should tell you. Well, this is very embarrassing, but, well, I-have-a-crush-on-Danny-Olivieri. Phew, I said it.

I’ve liked him ever since the fifth grade, so, well I guess you could say I love him.

Complete monologue is in e-book
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ANGELA - Nunship

From full-length play, Inventory; Angela is in her teens, 20s, buxom, Italian Catholic. Not too bright. She likes people, sex, everything. She’s talking to a girl whose sister, Shirley, is becoming a nun. Angela is trying to bond.

ANGELA

Oh wow, so your sister’s a nun, huh? But hey, I mean to each his own, you know. Like my mother, she has this pair of clunky, lace-up alligator shoes with tassels like from the fifties, and I thought they were the most repulsive shoes I’d ever seen, right? And today they’re worth — genuine alligator, an endangered species — like maybe $500. I still think they’re repulsive, but, hey.


Complete monologue is in e-book
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LILLY - Gloria Said to Tell You

Lilly, any age, any race, (mimes) knocks on a door. Waits. Removes her eyeglasses quickly. The door is opened. She blurts:

LILLY

Oh! Um.

Gloria said to tell you she’s really sorry, but she couldn’t make it tonight because something really important and unexpected suddenly came up, and she didn’t want to inconvenience you in any way, so she sent me in her place. …

Because it’s Friday night, and I didn’t have anything to do anyway. And I am a girl! I mean woman.

And she was afraid you might be unbalanced. I mean the party. I mean she was afraid you might have an uneven number now if she couldn’t come, so …

Well, we do sort of look alike even though she’s blonde … and she didn’t want you to be unbalanced.


Complete monologue is in e-book
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SYLVIA - Gossip

SYLVIA, adult, any age, any race. She could be sitting on a bar stool, or on a break from doing nails at a salon, or anyplace where gossip flows easily.

SYLVIA (filing her nails, drinking, or
doing some relaxing activity)

Did you know that Norma is 49 and still a virgin? I’ll bet you didn’t know that, did you? Well, it’s true. I wouldn’t lie. It’s those shoes or boots or whatever-you-call’em. Those laces. No man wants a girl with laces. Why it would take an hour alone just to … and by that time … Well, God knows, the Viagra’ll be worn off.

You know she’s got very bad breath, that Norma. Maybe she’ll start brushing now that she’s found someone. Even if he is a— whatever. At her age you can’t be choosy.


Complete monologue is in e-book
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TERRY - Weak Chin

TERRY, any age, any race. Attractive, but she has a weak chin. She’s back home after a day of bad agent interviews.

TERRY (scrubbing dishes, looking at her reflection in a plate)


He told me I had no chin!

No chin?

“Well, what do you call this thing underneath my mouth?!”

(Pause)

“A bump,” he said.

(Pause, examining her chin in the plate)

Why I’ve got more chin than half the models in this city. And what do you need a chin for anyway? I mean it’s not as if it were fingers …

Teeth! That’s what I’ve got — good teeth.

(Smiles into the plate)


Complete monologue is in e-book
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FRANK - Gas Leak

Frank works for the power utility, carries a belt full of tools. He smiles a lot. He addresses the audience as if it were a person who has just opened the front door.

FRANK

You have a gas leak. A leak in your gas. The gas. A leak. I gotta come in and knock holes in your wall to find it. Lots of holes. I know that’s probably upsetting to hear, but it’s the truth.

I know you feel skeptical, so here’s my ID — Frank Underwood, no relation to Carrie.

(He flashes an ID card from around his neck, grins)

Unfortunately you have no choice.

Complete monologue is in e-book
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GIG looks like the guy voted most likely to succeed, gone to seed. He is entering a family gathering.

GIG

Hi, y’all, so what’s going on? I’ve been in India, so I’m a little out of it. You know, in the ashram and stuff. Getting enlightened. My guru, he said I’m nearly there. Level 5.

So what’s happening? Bob’s hundred-and-first birthday? Cool. Hey, Greatest-grampa-dude, I didn’t mean to intrude. This is your day, don’t let me get in the way. I’m here to serve. Right on. So where’s the food?

(He inspects food, tasting)

Holy cow. I mean is this cow? Oh, hey, it’s cool.

(He “chews” a mouthful of beef)

Mmm, good stuff.

So hey, Great-grampa, do you think I could talk to you for a second … privately?

So listen, do you know where can I get something? …

What? Hey, no, not that, not me. I need something else.

You see, I came home to— Well, to tell you the truth, I went away to get something, but it wasn’t there, so I came back. I gotta get something. Something really important, and I think you might have it, seeing as you’re so old.

Complete monologue is in e-book
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BEN (from full-length play, Inventory): teens, 20s, any race. He is addressing his annoying sister. He has been away at school and hasn’t had sex for 10 months.

BEN

Will you stop what you’re doing for one darn second and listen to me for chrissakes?!

Thank you.

Now I am going to ask you a favor, and I think you should know that this is very important to me.

As you know, I’m picking up Angela in one hour, and as you also know, Dad isn’t speaking to me, and all’s I got is the pick-up. … I need your car. Will you help me? … Would you answer me? … Will you grunt if you heard me? … Please, Sharon, I’m begging you! Angela is a very passionate person. …

Complete monologue is in e-book
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NATHAN from Section C, included in-full in e-book

NATHAN

One can’t walk the streets anymore. Never know what you may run into. For instance, on my way here today I was approached by four wayward women, six watch salesmen, five drunks, and a pack of wooly poodles. (pats his pocket) I have protection. One must. Nothing illegal. Bought it in an Atlanta suburb last year. Very tastefully designed. One must be protected.

Yesterday, for example, it was a nice day, as those things go. I took a short trip from my apartment on Central Park South to the coffee shop three blocks downtown. I frequent it. I like their coffee. Sitting at the table third from the corner — where I usually sit — was a well-dressed couple, tourists no doubt. They were having tea. In a coffee shop. The woman had an ermine muff which struck me as odd since it is the peak of summer and according to the ticker atop the building on 55th Street … or is it 45th? No matter, yesterday was 96 degrees — far too hot for a muff.

Complete monologue is in e-book
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JIM: “I Apologize!” -- can be done as a 1-act play or monologue. JIM is in his 20s or 30s, any race.

JIM (addresses the audience, as if delivering an academic speech)


Let me start by saying it: I apologize! I apologize for being a man, a mere mortal, and yes, perhaps a tad hard of hearing. Be this as it may, I have made a discovery that might prove to be one of the most important in the history of the anatomical study of the fair sex (forgive me; I'm a romantic and must express myself in these terms or go mad).

I am not a gynecologist, although I played one on TV. My discovery of the vaginal-audio nerve is nonetheless valid due to my many years of experience as a lover of many women, and in particular, to my last seven and three-quarters months as husband to one exceptional female whom I will call Clara. (I apologize, Clara. The name does no justice to your fulsome and fragrant pulchritude. Please forgive me.)

I like to watch television — sports, news, an occasional R-rated movie. Prior to my present career as a plumber’s assistant, I worked as an actor on television. All right — I was an extra on a soap opera where I did one week as a gynecologist. But it is my love of television which led to my discovery of this heretofore unidentified nerve unique to the female physiology.

And here I must digress.

I have always loved plumbing — pipes, tubes, female fittings — how it all goes together. Even when I was pursuing my inefficacious acting career, prior to enrolling in non-degree life enhancement and vocabulary improvement courses at the community college, I was enamored with the gestalt of plumbing — the way one pipe fits into another, the sequence, the shapes, the forms, a perfect flush. It is perhaps why I became such a skilled lover of women. You see, in order to be a successful lover of women, you must understand their plumbing. (I apologize if I offend.)

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TOBY TOBY is a little kid — this is an exercise for an actor or actress of any age or race.

TOBY

I’m Toby and this is my room. It’s my room and nobody can come in unless I say … ‘cept for Mommy and Daddy. Jeffrey, Jeffrey, he always tries to come in but I won’t let him. Jeffrey’s my big brother and his room’s across the hall, only he’s not there right now.

You wanna know why he’s not there? (with glee) I’m not ‘posed to tell. (laughing) He’s not there because last night Daddy punched his head in, and we had to send him out to get it fixed!

My daddy’s very strong. Once, once he even punched in the television set, and we had to send it out to get it fixed. Only they couldn’t. So they gave us a new one … I wonder if they’ll give Jeffrey a new head.

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THELMA - from "The Hearing"

She is testifying in a a deposition about a train accident.

THELMA (taking the microphone in her hand, slowly stands, and in a deeply dignified, measured tone, testifies:)


My telephone number is 718-555-8422. Seventeen years ago I were marry to a man who wouldn't listen to me, kinda like you

(gesturing towards LOPEZ)

and it made me so angry, I jest up and left and never looked back. I never had no physical impairment or handicap, and I sleep alone.

It were round 6 AM in the morning. Sunny, as I recall, even that early. I caught the J train into New York City. I wanted to get there when the store open to return a dress I bought because it had a mark on it; it were a new dress and that mark made me angry. I usually make my own clothes, and I like things done proper.

Whether I sat in the middle or the rear of the car, I really do not recall. I was reading my Bible. Like I said, it was early.

I hadn't slept good the night before because I was so upset about the dress, and I musta dozed off. The next thing I know, there's a tremendous jolt and jerk. Then a old Black man come running by, screaming “Wake up! Move! Wake up!" And I look out the window, and I seen it coming at us -- the other train -- and the old man's hollering and the brakes is screeching and I say "Sweet Jesus, my time has come" and then everything get slow.

I remember there were a man across from me, kinda like you.

(gesturing GOLDBERGER)

He been asleep too, I imagine, and maybe he thought he was being attacked when the old man come yelling at his face like that, and so he start beating on the old man, but the old man won't let up. He jest kept hollering "Wake up" and he grab the White man up by the back of his shirt and drug him outa the car, alla time yelling "Wake up! Wake up! Move! Move!"

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GLADYS MAZURKY

ACT I

In the dark the NARRATOR takes a seat downstage far right in a comfortable easy chair in front of the curtain (if there is one). As a light comes up on him, he puts on his reading glasses and starts to open a slim book. Then, reconsidering, he closes the book and, as if addressing small children, speaks to the audience:

NARRATOR

This is the story of Gladys Mazurky.

A light comes up far left and GLADYS MAZURKY, carrying one large, heavy suitcase and a typewriter case, enters. During the following, she makes her way past the singles bar and movie marquee signs and up the stage left platform stairs to the top level.

NARRATOR

It took place a long time ago — when people used typewriters and had never heard of iPODs. But perhaps it will not seem like an old story to you. Perhaps Gladys will even feel familiar. She’s about your age ... or an age you once were ... or an age you will become. She’s not a very remarkable girl. Very ordinary, in fact.

Gladys bursts into the apartment (the top level) puffing and expectant.

GLADYS

Ginny?

There is nobody there. Just a cot with a foam pillow on it and an apple box. She dumps her bags and peruses the empty space. As the narrator continues, she takes off one shoe and stalks a cockroach.

NARRATOR

No outstanding talents, features or interests. In fact, not a terribly interesting person in any way whatsoever. In fact, why anybody in their right mind would have the least bit of interest in somebody like this—

There is a bang as Gladys angrily clouts her shoe against the floor, missing the cockroach.

GLADYS (booms)

Hey, Ginny!

NARRATOR (controlling himself)

But it’s not a very long story, so we may as well get on with it.

He opens the book, shaking his head, and leafs through some pages.

NARRATOR (glancing at his watch)

Maybe, say 60 or so minutes, if we read fast.

GLADYS (glaring at Narrator as she searches through what little furniture there is)

Ginny? It’s Gladys. Gladys Mazurky, your ol’ college roommate!

NARRATOR

It seems Gladys went to college.

GLADYS (hollering)

Ginny!!

NARRATOR

And she’s supposed to meet somebody named Ginny who doesn’t appear to be here.

Gladys finds a note under the pillow on the cot. She reads it.

NARRATOR

“Dear Gladys, I’m not here.”

GLADYS

Oh.

NARRATOR

“Had to go out.”

GLADYS

Oh.

NARRATOR

“This is your bed.”

Gladys looks at Narrator, appalled.

NARRATOR

“Sorry. ... See you tomorrow. —G”

Lights fade some on Narrator as lights on apartment come up to full. Gladys places her typewriter on the apple box and her suitcase in a corner, takes a large noisy alarm clock out of it, sits on the cot, which sags under her weight, and finds the phone. She thinks. Dials. Waits. Is surprised when someone answers.

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Selected Works

novel
Big Moose Prize-winning novel
a funny, sometimes sad, story of negotiating life without a clue

an epistolary memoir ... sort of
A funny and moving little book for anyone who's had a mother or struggled with being human.
anthology of stories and plays
includes Darleen Dances and stories below

play
1-act play

short stories
what we all do ... don't we?
the problem with worrying about the future

true story
Why I don't believe in death.

in progress
Betsy Robinson and Dawn Baumann Brunke's hilarious romp about two middle-aged women (Dee and Bea) on a quest for enlightenment. Think Lucy and Ethel meet Thelma and Louise. A work-in-progress (unpublished).
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