Finding monologues is tough. We as actors want something that isn’t too long, or too short, well written, but not too well known, and most of all we want something we connect with. Finding a monologue that you connect with is the key to a great monologue! And that will be different for everyone. However, if you are looking for something for an audition, I would always advise picking a monologue that suits your age range. It often won’t work in your favour to pretend to be a 60yr old woman, when you’re actually 25, or vice versa. So hopefully this specific list of monologues for young adults will help you find an appropriate monologue for your age range. This list is generally for actors from around 17-25. Enjoy!
Note: some of these monologue are from published plays. We list these small extracts here for educational purposes and encourage you to always credit the playwrights and acquire the correct permissions if you wish to perform these publicly.
Female Monologues for Young Adults
Shakers (Jane Thornton & John Godber)
Nicki, aged about 20, has always wanted to act: in her speech she tells the others about her chosen audition piece.
Place: Shakers Cocktail Bar, in any major city.
Time: The 1980s.
It is something that I’ve put together myself. Er… I’ve written all the words down on a bit of paper so you can test me. Yeah. Right. It’s called The Smile.
Right I’ll start shall I?
I’m a bit nervous, so it might be a bit shit. She’d been in hospital for about four days. She was seventy. She went into hospital for an hysterectomy; the operation had been a great success. I went to see her and she looked great, she even showed me the stitches. She’s my gran, by the way. So at work, I was having a laugh and a good time. Then they rang, the hospital, said she’d had a stroke. So I went on the bus to the hospital, I felt sick, travelling all that way on a bus. She was on the sixth floor, I remember that, in a side cubicle in a ward full of old ladies. I walked into the room. My mam and dad were looking out of the window, looking across the parkland of the hospital. And my uncle and auntie were there, looking out of the window; they were crying. My gran was laid in bed; half of her face was blue and deformed, her mouth was all twisted and taut, one eye was closed. She looked at me, and tried to smile. I remember the crying in the background. She tried to speak, but said nothing. She just laid there. ‘Hello gran,’ I said. ‘Hello. What’s all this bloody nonsense about having a stroke? Eh?’ And she just smiled at me. She just smiled.
Low Level Panic (By Clare McIntyre)
Maybe if I’d been wearing trousers it wouldn’t have happened. I was only wearing a skirt because I’d just come from work and it’s the kind of place where they like to wear a skirt, that or smart trousers. Well I haven’t got any smart trousers so I have to wear a skirt. You’re better off on a bike in trousers I know. It’s obvious. But it’s not as if I was going on a marathon. It takes ten minutes to cycle home at the outside. More like five. If that. I’m not really comfortable on bike in a skirt: it just makes people look at your legs. But who’s around at the time of night to look? Anyway I wasn’t even on a bike: I was going to get on it. I was going to. It’s not as if I was cycling along with a skirt up round my ears. I wasn’t. I don’t do silly things like that. I could have been getting into a car in a skirt. Would that have made a difference? I could have cycled to work wearing a pair of jeans and had my skirt folded up in one of the panniers but then it would have been all squashed and that wouldn’t have gone down well at all with the management. Or I could have come to work on the bicycle wearing a skirt and could have changed into trousers to go home given you’re meant to be alright in the daylight but you’re not safe at night. Or I could have walked to work and got a taxi home and I could have worn whatever I liked. But I’d still have been there, on the edge of the road at midnight, about to get on my bicycle or into a car or just been stuck there waiting for a taxi whether I’d been in a skirt or not, whether I had good legs or not, whether I was fifteen or menopausal or lame, I’d still have been there.
Low Level Panic (By Clare McIntyre)
If I could grow six inches and be as fat as I am now I’d be really tall and thin. I could stretch out all the fat on my legs till they were long and slender and I’d go to swanky bars and smoke menthol cigarettes and I’d wrap my new legs round cocktail stools and I’d smooth myself all over with my delicate hands and I’d have my hair up so you could see my neck. I’d save all the pennies I see lying about on the streets in an old whisky bottle then I’d go out and buy silky underwear with lots of lace on it and suspenders and that’s what I’d wear. I wouldn’t wear anything else because that would spoil it. I’d wear that and a lot of make-up and I’d snake my way around bars and hotels in Mayfair and I’d be able to drink whatever I like. I’d have cocktails and white wine out of bottles with special dates on them in tall glasses that were all dewy with cold and I’d smile a lot. I wouldn’t laugh. I wouldn’t guffaw. I’d just smile and show my teeth and I’d really be somebody then.
They’d see me approach. Just my feet in ‘fuck me’ stilettos and the door would open like magic and uniformed men would be bowing. They wouldn’t look at me: their eyes would be averted. I’d be able to get through doors without even turning the handles.
I wouldn’t need anything, I wouldn’t even have a bag. I’d have my lipstick on a chain round my neck. I’d play with my drink a bit, wiping the dewy bits off the glass and feeling my way up and down the stem with my fingers. Then I’d go to the loo and do my lipstick.
The Crucible (By Arthur Miller)
Abigail, 17, trying to coax the man she had an affair with to stop rejecting her
Why, you taught me goodness, therefore you are good. It were a fire you walked me through, and all my ignorance was burned away. It were a fire, John, we lay in fire. And from that night no woman dare call me wicked any more but I knew my answer. I used to weep for my sins when the wind lifted up my skirts; and blushed for shame because some old Rebecca called me loose. And then you burned my ignorance away. As bare as some December tree I saw them all—walking like saints to church, running to feed the sick, and hypocrites in their hearts! And God gave me strength to call them liars, and God made men to listen to me, and by God I will scrub the world clean for the love of God. Oh John, I will make you such a wife when the world is white again! You will be amazed to see me every day, a light of heaven in your house, a…..Why are you cold?!
Away (By Michael Gow)
I saw the carton. I saw it in the hall.
I saw it. It was near the telephone table, wasn’t it?
You saw it too, didn’t you? You saw the box sitting there.
You must have it. It was sitting next to your vanity case.
Everything else that was in the hall got packed in the car. You did see it.
You were the last one out. You’re the one who shuts the door, after you’ve made sure the stove’s off and the fridge has been left open. You saw the carton and you left it there on purpose.
You left it behind.
And you knew what it was. You knew what was in it and you left it there.
Why did you do that?
Why would you do a thing like that?
I want to know why you did it.
Tell me why you deliberately left that box behind.
We have a game we play every year. We sneak presents home, we hide them, we wrap them up in secret even thought we can hear the sticky tape tearing and the paper rustling; we hide them in the stuff we take away, we pretend not to see them until christmas morning even when we know they’re there and we know what’s in them because we’ve already put in our orders so there’s no waste or surprise. And Dad always hides his in a pathetic place that’s so obvious it’s a joke and we laugh at him behind our backs but we play along! You knew what was in that box. You left it behind. I want to know why.
What were you trying to do, what did you want to gain?
Did you want to have something we’d all have to be sorry for the whole holiday? There’s always something we do wrong that takes you weeks to forgive.
You have to tell me.
Pretty Theft (By Adam Szymkowicz)
Well I wouldn’t shut up, would I? When you don’t shut up, the boys notice you. Course, eventually you realize no one was really listening. And you stop speaking up in class—realize maybe you weren’t saying anything anyway—not something someone else couldn’t say better–usually a boy. And the boys who seemed to be listening to you weren’t quite the right boys.
(Stuffing her pockets.)
So you stopped talking. But then you realize if you lift up your shirt there are boys that like that too. But maybe those aren’t quite the right boys either because then later those boys want to see what’s in your pants. And want to put themselves in you even if you’re not ready and maybe those aren’t the right boys either but at least they need you for a few minutes.
(Stuffing her bag.)
Then you go after your friend’s boyfriend because it’s wrong and it’s fun and because your friend is pretty. And you get him but once you have him, you realize he’s no good. And your friend hates you. But you do it again anyway to another friend. And the girls all begin to hate you. They call you a skank and they call you a whore. But some of the boys like you some of the time. But they think you’re a slut. So you embrace it because what else can you do? You buy a t-shirt that says “Fuckdoll” and a series of short skirts and you try on provocative lipsticks.
This Is Our Youth (By Kenneth Lonergan)
Well…OK…It’s just – This is getting a little weird now, because when I talked to Valerie, she asked me if anything happened with us last night, and for some reason, I guess I didn’t really tell her that anything did. So now she’s gonna talk to Dennis and I’m gonna look like a total liar to someone I’m just starting to be close friends with and who I really care about! But honestly, Warren? I really don’t care who you told, or what you told them, because people are gonna think whatever they think and you know what? There’s nothing I can do about it. I should just really listen to my instincts, you know? Because your instincts are never wrong. And it was totally against my instinct to come over here last night, and it was definitely against my instinct to sleep with you, but I did and it’s too late. And now my Mom is totally furious at me, I probably ruined my friendship with Valerie, and now like Dennis thinks I’m like easy pickings or something! And it’s not like I even care what he thinks, OK? Because I don’t actually know him. Or you. Or Valerie for that matter! So it really doesn’t matter! I’ve made new friends before and I can make more new friends now if I have to. So let’s forget the whole thing ever happened, you can chalk one up in your book, or whatever – and I’ll just know better next time! Hopefully. OK?
Spike Heels (By Theresa Rebeck)
Yeah, right, he “gave” me the damn job. I fucking work my ass off for that jerk; he doesn’t give me shit. I earn it, you know? He “gave” me the job. I just love that. What does that mean, that I should be working at McDonald’s or something, that’s what I really deserve or something? Bullshit. Fuck you, that is such fucking bullshit. You think I don’t know how to behave in public or something?
Jesus, I was a goddamn waitress for seven years, the customers fucking loved me. You think I talk like this in front of strangers; you think I don’t have a brain in my head or something? That is so fucking condescending. Anytime I lose my temper, I’m crazy, is that it? You don’t know why I threw that pencil, you just assume. You just make these assumptions. Well, fuck you, Andrew. I mean it. Fuck you.
I mean, I just love that. You don’t even know. You’ve never seen me in that office. You think I’m like, incapable of acting like somebody I’m not? For four months I’ve been scared to death but I do it, you know. I take messages, I call the court, I write his damn letters. I watch my mouth, I dress like this – whatever this is; these are the ugliest clothes I have ever seen – I am gracious, I am bright, I am promising. I am being this other person for them because I do want this job but there is a point beyond which I will not be fucked with! So you finally push me beyond that point, and I throw the pencil and now you’re going to tell me that that is my problem? What, do you guys think you hold all the cards or something? You think you have the last word on reality? You do, you think that anything you do to me is okay, and anything I do is fucked because I’m not using the right words. I’m, like, throwing pencils and saying fuck you, I’m speaking another language, that’s my problem. And the thing is – I am America. You know? You guys are not America. You think you are; Jesus Christ, you guys think you own the world. I mean, who made up these rules, Andrew? And do you actually think we’re buying it?
Wasted (By Kate Tempest)
I’m stood at the front of the class and I feel like I’m drowning. I’m staring out at them, and I’m thinking who the fuck are you lot anyway? I look at them, but I can’t see children, I can just see the colour of their jumpers, smudges where their faces should be. Behind me, today’s date is written on the board. I’m trying to pretend I don’t know what it means. It’s hot and the classroom stinks, and the clock’s broken and the work stuck up on the walls is old and the corners are coming away and the kids are screaming. I’m trying to remember why I wanted to do this in the first place. You can’t inspire minds on a timetable like this. I think I’m miserable, Tony. I mean, I stand in the staffroom in between classes and smile along with the others, but they’re all so bitter, Tony. They’re all so fuckin’ hateful. Thirty years in the job, and they hate everything about it, but it’s too late for them to get a new job and I’m pretty sure that secretly they hope the kids’ll come to nothing. I mean it. You should hear the way they talk about them. No wonder the kids are killing each other over postcodes, or getting sick at the thought of not being famous. The classroom’s hot, and I’m staring at the kids, and I’m remembering us lot when we was at school – moving through the corridors like we was the fuckin’ Roman empire. I’m remembering how it felt to be fifteen, us lot, in a party, feeling like the world was ours, like we fuckin’ owned it. I’m remembering how we cared about each other, how we got in fights for each other and robbed Tescos and built fires and got off our faces, it was exciting, wasn’t it? It felt real. What even happened to us? We go parties now, and we’ve got nothing to say to each other ’til we’re fucked. And even then. We spend hours talking about parties from before, things that happened to us once, we spend life retelling life and it’s pointless and boring.
Male Monologues for Young Adults
This is Our Youth (By Kenneth Lonergan)
I don’t really get what you’re upset about. I thought we had a really good time together and I was actually in a fairly Up state of mind for once.
Well, I didn’t mean that in any kind of lascivious way, so I don’t know why you want to take it like that. I really like you.
I’m sorry I said anything to Dennis. I definitely caved in to the peer pressure. But I also definitely said as little as possible and was totally respectful of you in the way I talked about you. Even though I was pretty excited about what happened last night, and also about like, maybe like, the prospect of like, I don’t know, like going out with you – Which I would be very into, if you were. But if you want to think the whole meant nothing to me, then go ahead because that’s not the case.
It’s totally weird, like, taking all your clothes off and having sex with someone you barely know, and then being like “What’s up now?” You know? Like it’s such an intense experience but then nobody knows what to fuckin’ say, even though nothing really bad actually happened. You know?
I really like you… I don’t really agree with most of your opinions…but I don’t meet a lot of people who can actually make me think, you know? And who can hold their own in an interesting discussion. And who I’m totally hot for at the same time. You know?
It’s a fairly effective combination.
Unbearable Hotness (By Gabrielle Davis)
I just fuckin’ killed Chuck. I think. I mean, he’s just laying out there. He’s not moving. I don’t think he’s breathing. I mean, there I was just up on the roof with Marissa – talking, laughing, having a great time. I tell her she reminds me of Sandra Bullock. I tell her I loved “Hope Floats”. Who knew those would be the magic words? Next thing I know her clothes are off and we’re loosening roof shingles like there’s no tomorrow. And then there’s biting and kissing and touching and suddenly someone starts beating on me, I mean, just pounding on me and growling. Yeah, growling. And I look up and there’s Chuck. And I’m like, “What’s the problem?” and he says “The problem is, dude, you’re fucking my girlfriend.” So I look at Marissa and I’m like “You’re someone’s girlfriend?” And she says “No.” Then it comes out Chuck just wishes she’s his girlfriend but actually she’s his cousin or something, so he’s got these feelings of guilt about wanting her…and then he starts crying. So that ruined the mood. Marissa puts her clothes on, and she goes back down through the window, back into the party. And I’m left with Chuck. Blubbering, whining, crying Chuck. And he starts in on how he’s just this total fuck up and maybe he should just throw himself off the roof. And for a split second I’m thinking “YES! Throw yourself off the roof! Do it!” But I don’t say that. I say “You’re going to get a girl, buddy, just maybe not your cousin, huh?” And then I give him a friendly pat on the back. A nice manly slap on the back. And he looked heavy, I mean, who knew he’d go flying. Who knew he’d go flying right off the roof?
Orphans (By Lyle Kessler)
Two orphan brothers live in a run down house in Philadelphia. Treat, the elder brother, has chosen to keep Phillip, the younger, closed off from the world, convincing him that he has a condition that will kill him if he’s exposed to the outdoors. Meanwhile, Treat comes and goes from the home, making his way through the world as a violent pickpocket and thief. One day, Treat kidnaps a middle-aged business man named Harold, who manages to turn Treat’s life on end by enlightening young Phillip, thus threatening the relationship between the two brothers. In this moment, Phillip finally rebels against the tyrannical rule Treat has had over him for so long.
I took a walk tonight. I walked over to Broad and Olney. I was breathing okay, Treat. I didn’t have no allergic reaction like you said I would. I took the subway, Treat. Harold told me the secret. You can stand all day at the turnstile putting in nickels and dimes, you can say Open Assasime and all kinds of words, but it won’t do any good unless you have one of these magical coins. If Harold hadn’t given me one I never would have been able to take that ride. You never told me about them token booths! You never told me nothing! You told me I would die if I went outside. I can breathe, Treat. Look! My tongue ain’t hanging out. My face ain’t swollen! (Pause) I walked over to Broad and Olney tonight, Treat. I seen people walking, and I heard children laughing. I wasn’t scared no more ‘cause Harold gave me something. (Takes out a map) He gave me this! You never gave me no map, Treat. You never told me I could find my way! Nothing’s gonna happen to me, Treat, ‘cause I know where I am now. I know where I am, and you ain’t never gonna take that away from me. I’M AT SIXTY-FORTY NORTH CAMAC STREET, IN PHILADELPHIA, TREAT! I’M ON THE EASTERN EDGE OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! I’M ON THE NORTHERN AMERICAN CONTINENT ON THE PLANET EARTH, IN THE MILKY WAY GALAXY, SWIMMING IN A GREAT OCEAN OF SPACE! I’M SAFE AND SOUND AT THE VERY EDGE OF THE MILKY WAY! THAT’S WHERE I AM, TREAT! And you’re it, Treat.
Balm in Gilead
Fick is a young heroin addict. Fick and Tig (a male prostitute) are at an all-night coffee shop in New York City…
I mean, I was just walking down the street and they came up on me like they was important, and they start pushing me around, you know. And they pushed me into this alley, not an alley, but this hallway and back down the end of that to this dark place at the end of the hallway and they start punching at me, and I just fell into this ball on the floor so they couldn’t hurt me or nothing. But if I came down there with a couple of fighters, a couple of guys, like my friends, it wouldn’t have to be you or anything, but just a couple or three guys, big guys, like walking down the street, you know. Just so they could see I got these buddies here.
See I’m on H, I mean, I’m flying and I gotta talk man, but I’m serious now; just a few guys and they’d leave me be, maybe, because they’d think I had these buddies that looked after me, you know; cause I – you know – they kicked me up, if I wasn’t on H, man, they’d be pains all through me – you know – walking down the street by myself – I start looking around and wondering who’s out there gonna mess me up, you know. I get scared as hell, man, walking down around here, I mean, I can’t protect myself or nothing, man. You know what I mean? You know what I mean? You know what I mean? You know? I mean if I had these couple – of big buddies – fighters – you – you know – if I had a couple of guys – like – big guys – that – you know, there’s like nothing – I could – like, if you walked around with these buddies, I mean you could do, man – you could do anything…
Boy’s Life (By Howard Korder)
Phil is twenty-something, a New Yorker who is an innocent, vulnerable, anxious and nervous self-dramatizer who’s tired of not being taken seriously.
I would have destroyed myself for this woman. Gladly. I would have eaten garbage. I would have sliced my wrists open. Under the right circumstances, I mean, if she said, “Hey, Phil, why don’t you just cut your wrists open?” Well, come on, but if seriously… We clicked, we connected on so many things, right off the bat, we talked about God for three hours once. I don’t know what good it did, but that intensity… and the first time we went to bed, I didn’t even touch her. I didn’t want to, understand what I’m saying? And you know, I played it very casually, because, all right, I’ve had some rough experiences, I’m the first to admit, but after a couple weeks I could feel we were right there, so I laid it down, everything I wanted to tell her, and… and she says to me, she says… “Nobody should ever need another person that badly.” Do you believe that? “Nobody should ever…!” What is that? Is that something you saw on TV? I dump my heart on the table, you give me Dr. Joyce Brothers?
“Need, need,” I’m saying I love you, is that so wrong? Is that not allowed anymore? (Pause.)
And so what if I did need her? Is that so bad? All right, crucify me, I needed her! So what! I don’t want to be by myself, I’m by myself I feel like I’m going out of my mind, I do. I sit there, I’m thinking forget it, I’m not gonna make it through the next ten seconds. I just can’t stand it. But I do, somehow, I get through the ten seconds, but then I have to do it all over again, cause they just keep coming, all these… Seconds, floating by, while I’m waiting for something to happen, I don’t know what, a car wreck, a nuclear war or something, that sounds awful but at least there’d be this instant when I’d know I was alive. Just once. Cause I look in the mirror, and I can’t believe I’m really there. I can’t believe that’s me. And I don’t know who I am, or where I’m going. And I wish I’d never been born. Not only that, my hair is falling out, and that really sucks.
Love (By Patricia Cornelius)
The moment I saw you I thought, you are beautiful, really beautiful, so beautiful, and small. Beautiful and small. I loved you. I saw you and I couldn’t keep my hands off you. Wanted to touch you, pick you up, feel your beautiful little body in my hands. Something about how little you were, how I could hold you, how I could lift you right off the ground, made me feel a big man. And a good man, a really good man. I wanted to look after you. Never wanted that before. Now look at you. Fuck. Look at you, you’re nineteen and you look like an old crow. Fuck. Look at you. You used to have some pride in the way you looked, dressed up you looked beautiful. It felt good to be seen with you. Like, feast your eyes on this, and she’s mine. Now who wants you, looking the way you look, who’d come near you? You’re a slag, an old rag. Get up. Fucking get up would you, you fucking useless scrag. Get up!
Romeo and Juliet (By William Shakespeare)
But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious:
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses: I will answer it.
I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp, her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
The Glass Menagerie (By Tennessee Williams)
I didn’t go to the moon. I went much further–for time is the longest distance between two places. Not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoebox. I left St. Louis. I descended the steps of the fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I traveled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly coloured but torn away from their branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass. Perhaps I am walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found companions. I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of coloured glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colours, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger–anything that can blow your candles out! For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura – and so goodbye…