One Voice

By Peithman, Stephen | Stage Directions, May 2008 | Go to article overview

One Voice


Peithman, Stephen, Stage Directions


Monologues and other resources for portraying character and situation

The market for monologue collections seems insatiable. Actors who use these to audition want something that will set them apart from their competition, and teachers often use monologues to help students develop character and project a point of view in a very short time. They also are a favorite with agents, directors and casting directors, offering the opportunity to size up an actor's ability in a minute or so. Scenes for two actors take this a step farther - not only establishing character and situation, but forcing each person to make those choices mesh with those of the other actor.

In 101 Original One-Minute Monologues for Women Ages 18-25, Author Kristen Dabrowski provides not only the title's promised number of short pieces for women (dramatic, comic and seriocomic), but a variety of situations and personality types that particularly suit the 18-25 age group. She also includes some good advice on how to choose the right monologue. [$11.95, Smith and Kraus]

Also gender-specific are TAe Best Men's Stage Monologues of 2007, and The Best Women's Stage Monologues of 2007, both edited by Lawrence Harbison. Some of the playwrights represented are familiar (Theresa Rebeck, A.R. Gurney, Terrence McNaIIy), but much of the material is from new and emerging authors - once again giving the performer access to well crafted, but not overexposed works. [$11.95 each, from Smith and Kraus]

161 One-Minute Monologues from Literature is an eclectic anthology derived from novels, short stories, memoirs, narrative poetry and essays, indexed by gender, age, tone, voice and author. Editors John Capecci and Irene Ziegler Aston include both classic and recent material, and authors as varied as Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, H.G. Wells, William Goldman, Fannie Hurst and Rita Mae Brown. This is an exceptional collection of unusual material for audition and study purposes. [$19.95, Smith and Kraus].

A compact volume with a very long title is The Ultimate Audition Book for Teens Volume XII: 777 One-Minute Monologues - Just Comedyl by Kristen Dabrowski. …

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