Dramatic Monologues – The Best Ones For Actors

16th May 2022

Dramatic Monologues – The Best Ones For Actors
Georgia Carter

Georgia Carter

Are you wondering what is the definition of a dramatic monologue or what are the best dramatic 1 minute monologues? Are you just about to audition for drama school and need some dramatic monologue examples to clinch that much deserved place? Have you always been on the search for one that will help you nail that audition, and need to ensure it is right for your gender, age and of course is appropriate for the role you are trying to get? Not to worry, we have all the answers right here and you will always have something to perform if a director asks you in an audition out of the blue. 

What Is A Dramatic Monologue?

It is any speech of some duration addressed by a character to a second person, an audience. There is just one person speaking, so there is no dialogue; and it takes on the voice of a character, a fictional identity, or a persona. Self-conversation is essentially what monologues are and as I mentioned earlier are used for drama school auditions, where panels expect to see a classical and contemporary monologue. It is advised that these differ in style and genre so your range can be fully demonstrated. 

Working on monologues is an essential part of being an actor and it is a very good skill to have, whether it is at the start of your career or 30 years in. Learning new pieces – as well as of course reading plays and scripts every week or so – will only keep your brain more active and you will learn lines quicker the more frequently you practice. Keep up to date with new plays and shows. Go see plays and watch plenty of television and films too. There is inspiration everywhere you look, so stay curious. 

How Do You Pick A Monologue? 

1. Look at plays in the same style

2. Keep it short

3. Pick something unique 

4. Be active

5. Let your personality come through

Below are some examples of dramatic monologues for men, women and teens. There are plenty more online and they will help you land that dream role. Remember the more you practice, the better you will perform. Make sure you perform the monologue in front of someone before your audition and know it inside out, so you can take any direction given to you. 

Dramatic Monologues For Women 

Elizabeth – The Libertine – Stephen Jeffries – ‘You have no understanding do you?…’ 

Kyra – Skylight – David Hare – ‘Female? That’s a very odd choice of word…’ 

Nina – The Seagull – Anton Chekhov – ‘Why do you say that you kissed the ground on which I walked?…’ 

Louise – After the End – Dennis Kelly – ‘I think a lot about what makes people do things…’ 

Carol – Oleanna – David Mamet – ‘Professor, I came here as a favor…’

Duchess – Duchess of Malfi  – John Webster – ‘The misery of us that are born great…’ 

Rose – Fences – August Wilson – ‘I’ve been standing with you!…’ 

Maggie – Cat on a hot tin roof – Tennessee Williams – ‘Brick, y’know I’ve been so God dam disgustingly poor my whole life…’ 

She – Enigma – Floyd Dell – ‘No – it happened to me…’

Aricia – Phaedra – Racine – ‘How eagerly my heart hears what you say…’ 

Ophelia – Hamlet – Shakespeare – ‘O, what a noble is here o’erthrown…’

Dramatic Monologues For Men

Tom – Fat Pig – Neil LeBute – ‘I’m weak. That’s basically what I learnt from our time together…’

Runt – Savage – Patricia Cornelius – ‘it’s true. I repel them…’ 

Faustus – Doctor Faustus – Christopher Marlowe – ‘Ah, Faustus, Now has thou but one bare hour to live…’ 

Biff – Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller – ‘Now hear this, Willy, this is me…’ 

Don Juan – Don Juan – Moliere – ‘What! Would you have a man tie himself up to the first woman that captures his fancy, renounce the world for her, and never again look at anyone else?

Jimmy – Look Back In Anger – John Osborne – ‘Peace! God! She wants peace!…’

Tom – The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams – ‘I didn’t go to the moon. I went much further–for time is the longest distance between two places.

Oedipus – Oedipus the King – Sophocles – ‘Sirrah, what mak’st thou here?…’

Ian – Mercy – Adam Szymkowicz – ‘I feel like such a fucking idiot…’ 

Edmund – King Lear – Shakespeare – ‘Thou, nature, art my goddess…’

Gentleman – Thirst – Eugene O’Neill – ‘You were very beautiful…’ 

Bobbie – Food for Fish – Adam Szymkowicz – ‘Dear Sir, Did you even read my masterpiece…?’ 

Dramatic monologues For Teens

The Boy – The Genius – Horace Holley – ‘It isn’t that, with me. I can’t write…’

Romeo – Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare – ‘In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face…’

Romeo – Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare – ‘But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks…’ 

Evan – Rare Birds – Adam Szymkowicz – ‘Okay. So I guess this is it. I always thought—well that doesn’t matter…’ 

Cressida – Troilus and Cressida – Shakespeare – ‘Hard to seem won: but I was won, my lord…’

Viola – Twelfth Night – Shakespeare – ‘I left no ring with her: what means this lady?…’

Juliet – Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare – ‘Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds…’

Allegra – Pretty Theft – Adam Szymkowicz – ‘I know you’re probably mad at me for leaving before the funeral, but I just can’t do it…’

Sophie – Boys – Ella Hickson – Do, have you, ever felt any guilt?…’ 

Suzy – Pretty Theft – Adam Szymkowicz – ‘Well I wouldn’t shut up, would I? When you don’t shut up, the boys notice you…’

Final Thoughts 

So now you are ready to impress the casting directors and book the job! With so many great dramatic monologues at your fingertips, you can’t go wrong. Make sure you remember to play and engage with the piece so you can affect the person you’re speaking to. Find a monologue that really speaks to you and your gender, age etc. Good luck for the audition and any of these handpicked monologues will I’m sure bag you the part! 

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