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. No one wants to see a 20 year old pretending to be an old man, 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
The Crucible (Arthur Miller) – 17
Abigail, 17, trying to coax the man she had an affair with to stop rejecting her
ABIGAIL: 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 (Michael Gow) – Late teens
MEG: 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.
This is Our Youth (Kenneth Lonergan) – 20’s
JESSICA: 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?
Kate Tempest (Wasted) – Mid 20’s
CHARLOTTE: 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 (Kenneth Lonergan) – 19
WARREN: 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.
Orphans (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.
PHILIP: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.
The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams)
Tom: 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…