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Choosing a Monologue

Decisions, Decisions!

A Monologue is typically a speech given by a character in a film or stage production.  You can also find a wide range of monologues written as standalone pieces.  They are often an opportunity for a character to express their inner thoughts but they can also take the form of a long speech by one character revealing information to other characters within a story.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your monologue

  • If the monologue or speech is from a play, does it work as a standalone piece
  • What is the genre of the piece – when in time is the character speaking and can you convey that
  • What is the language of the play – if slang or dialect is used, can you deliver it
  • Do you need to have an accent other than your own
  • Who is the audience for the performance and is the piece appropriate for them
  • Are you and the character a good fit in terms of age and ethnicity
  • Will the audience ‘buy’ it?

Sometimes you need to read a lot of monologues to find that one that you connect with and want to delve into.  Trust your instincts and challenge yourself within the realms of probability.


Related resources

SCDA resources


Say What You Mean and Mean What you Say

We will look at how to analyse the text of a monologue to ensure that the actor and the audience understand what is being said and why the words are being spoken.  We will also look at how to add interest and energy to the performance


In this playlist you will find the video created by our National Drama Advisor with tips on how to choose a monologue.

Additional Reading


The Actor’s Book of Contemporary Stage Monologues

Published by Penguin (ISBN 978-0140096491)


Article with some tips for choosing monologues for auditions.  Although you may not be auditioning there is still some really good advice to be found here.