A great contemporary audition monologue can be the hardest audition material to find. Although there are easily tens of thousands of contemporary plays out there (compared to the 37 plays that Shakespeare wrote that we have to select classical college audition material from), contemporary playwrights often write great, "back-and-forth" dialogue and don't always let their characters talk non-stop for 1-2 minutes.
We are all tempted to look through those audition monologue books that offer the "Best Under 2 Minute Contemporary Audition Monologues."
I mean...they look so super shiny and magical on the shelf. Like someone placed exactly what you needed there, just for you, at the exact moment you needed it the most...
BUT RESIST THE TEMPTATION!
Monologue books and "Great Audition Monologue" Google searches are going to lead down the dark path of choosing an overdone audition monologue. And seriously, why would you want the audition panel at your dream college or dream show feel like this...
So to help you all "Nail it!" with your audition material selection, we have put together some of the top overdone contemporary audition monologues for women and men that you definitely should avoid at your next audition.
This week's feature:
Overdone Contemporary Audition Monologues
Overdone Female Contemporary Monologues
And Turning, Stay by Kellie Powell (Amy): "Don't you dare walk away from me! And don't tell me you're sorry!"
Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon (Nora): "Oh, God, he was so handsome. Always dressed so dapper, his shoes always shined..."
'Dentity Crisis by Christopher Durang (Jane): "Peter Pan" monologue
An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde (Mabel): "Well, Tommy has proposed to me again. Tommy really does nothing but propose to me..."
The Fantastics by Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt (Luisa): "This morning a bird woke me up..."
Fat Men in Skirts by Nicky Silver (Popo): "I am Popo Martin. My friends call me Popo Martin."
The Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson (Shirley): "I'm going to be the greatest artist Missouri has ever produced. No-- the entire Midwest..."
Goodbye Charles by Gabriel Jones (Jill): "The Divorce Papers" monologue
Laughing Wild by Christopher Durang (Woman): "Tuna Fish" monologue
Our Town by Thornton Wilder (Emily Webb): "I don't like the whole change that's come over you in the last year..." and "I can't bear it. They're so young and beautiful...Good-bye, Good-bye world..."
Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin (Suzanne): "I...it was about two weeks ago. I was walking down the street one afternoon..."
Proof by David Auburn (Catherine): "I lived with him. I spent my life with him. I fed him..."
Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire (Becca): "Do you really not know me, Howie? Do you really not know how utterly impossible that would be? To erase him?..."
The Star Spangled Girl by Neil Simon (Sophie): "Mr. Cornell, I have tried to be neighborly. I have tried to be friendly and I have tried to be cordial. I don't know what it is that you're trying to be."
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (Blanche): "I loved someone, too, and the person I loved I lost. He was a boy, just a boy..."
You're a Good Man Charlie Brown by Clark Gesner (Sally): "Coat hanger Sculpture" monologue
Overdone Male Contemporary Monologues
The Actor's Nightmare by Christopher Durang (George): "Oh don't go! (Pause, smiles uncomfortably at the audience.) Maybe someone else will come out in a minute..."
Biloxi Blues by Neil Simon (Arnold): "I was in the latrine alone..."
Boys' Life by Howard Korder (Phil): "I would have destroyed myself for this woman. Gladly. I would have eaten garbage..."
A Chorus Line by James Kirkwood, Jr. & Nicholas Dante (Paul): "From seeing all those movie musicals, I used to dance around on the street, and I'd get caught all the time..."
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley (Danny): "I was at this party. A guy named Skull..."
Fat Pig by Neil Labute (Tom): "I'm weak. That's what I basically learned from our time together. I am a weak person..."
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (Tom): "You think I'm crazy about the warehouse? You think I'm in love with the Continental Shoemakers?..."
I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick (Andrew): "Last night, right from the start, I knew I was bombing..."
The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufmann (Jedadiah Schultz): "I've lived in Wyoming my whole life. The family has been in Wyoming well...for generations..."
Nourish the Beast by Steve Tesich (Bruno): "I don't know how old I was when they put me in the orphanage..."
Our Town by Thornton Wilder (George Gibbs) : “Emily, I'm glad you spoke to me about that--that fault in my character..."
Pterodactyls by Nicky Silver (Todd): "In the beginning, there were dinosaurs..."
Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire (Jason): "So, I don't see any photos anywhere. The one in the article was nice. Him at the beach..."
Red by John Logan (Ken): "Bores you?! Bores you?!-- Christ almighty try working for you for a living!..."
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz): "Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with the lid on it?"
Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg (Mason): "I've been watching baseball nonstop since the day I was told you were coming to me..."
Do any of these Overdone Contemporary
Audition Monologues sound familiar?
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Next week's feature:
Overdone Uptempo Audition Songs
Heather Arney is a NYC-based acting coach and a professional actor/singer. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Susquehanna University and a M.F.A. in Acting from Southern Methodist University and has been teaching for the past 2 years. She loves baking, Netflix, and Pretty Little Liars.
Tom Morin is a NYC-based acting coach, co-founder of Polish Your Passion, and a professional actor/singer. He holds a B.A. in Theatre & Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross and a M.F.A. in Acting from Ohio University and has been teaching for the past 9 years, advising and coaching students through the college audition process and beyond. He loves coffee, Shakespeare, and YouTube.