11 Challenging Duet Acting Scenes for Two Males
Written by Tiffany Wilkie
November 2, 2018
If you are looking for a unique scene for two males, explore this list of duet acting pieces that are certain to challenge any actor. The video clips are meant to used as a reference.
1. A scene from Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard (Comedy)
ABOUT THE PLAY: Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is the fabulously inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the worm’s-eye view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play. In Tom Stoppard’s best-known work, this Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads our two heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.
2. A scene from Our Lady of 121st Street by
ABOUT THE PLAY: The Ortiz Funeral Room is in big trouble: The body of beloved community activist and nun Sister Rose has been stolen from the viewing room, and waiting for her proper return are some of New York City’s most emotionally charged, life-challenged neighborhood denizens, trying to find a place to put their grief, checkered pasts and their uncertain futures. Among the equally hilarious and tragic twelve characters, you’ll meet Rooftop, a chronically unfaithful but otherwise popular Los Angeles DJ, looking to reconcile with the love of his life; Pinky and Edwin, two brothers tragically linked forever; and the outrageously angry Norca, who doesn’t let the fact that she slept with her best friend’s husband deter her from the full expectation of being immediately forgiven of her sin by her best friend, Inez, still in pain fifteen years later. The rest of the crowd in this dark, insightful and very funny comedy inevitably square off on each other, motivated by rage, pain and a scary desire to come clean—perhaps for the first time.
3. A scene from Fences by August Wilson (Drama)
ABOUT THE PLAY: This sensational drama starred James Earl Jones as Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues who now works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. Excluded as a black man from the major leagues during his prime, Troy’s bitterness takes its toll on his relationships with his wife and his son, who now wants his own chance to play ball. Revived in 2010 starring Denzel Washington in the lead role.
4. A scene from True West by Sam Shepard (Drama)
ABOUT THE PLAY: This American classic explores alternatives that might spring from the demented terrain of the California landscape. Sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when Lee, a demented petty thief, drops in. He pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee’s trashy Western tale.
5. A scene from The (Curious Case of The) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George (Comedy)
A cleverly constructed play that uses several historical moments – from the 1800s to the 2010s – to meditate on the technological advancements that bring people together and tear them apart.
6. A scene from Red by John Logan (Drama)
ABOUT THE PLAY: Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. Raw and provocative, RED is a searing portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.
7. A scene from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (Drama)
ABOUT THE PLAY: Two drifters, George and his friend Lennie, with delusions of living off the “fat of the land,” have just arrived at a ranch to work for enough money to buy their own place. Lennie is a man-child, a little boy in the body of a dangerously powerful man. It’s Lennie’s obsessions with things soft and cuddly that have made George cautious about who the gentle giant, with his brute strength, associates with. His promise to allow Lennie to “tend to the rabbits” on their future land keeps Lennie calm, amidst distractions, as the overgrown child needs constant reassurance. But when a ranch boss’ promiscuous wife is found dead in the barn with a broken neck, it’s obvious that Lennie, albeit accidentally, killed her. George, now worried about his own safety, knows exactly where Lennie has gone to hide, and he meets him there. Realizing they can’t run away anymore, George is faced with a moral question: How should he deal with Lennie before the ranchers find him and take matters into their own hands?
8. A scene from The Diviners by Jim Leonard Jr. (Drama)
ABOUT THE PLAY: This marvelously theatrical play is the story of a disturbed young man and his friendship with a disenchanted preacher in southern Indiana in the early 1930s. When the boy was young he almost drowned. This trauma, and the loss of his mother in the same accident, has left him deathly afraid of water. The preacher, set on breaking away from a long line of Kentucky family preachers, is determined not to do what he does best. He works as a mechanic for the boy’s father. The town doesn’t have a preacher and the women try to persuade him to preach – while he tries to persuade the child to wash. When the preacher finally gets the boy in the river and is washing him, the townspeople mistake the scene for a baptism. They descend on the event and, in the confusion, the boy drowns.
9. A scene from Almost, Maine by
ABOUT THE PLAY: Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.
10. A scene from Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts (Comedy/Drama)
ABOUT THE PLAY: Geoffrey Nauffts’ NEXT FALL takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. While the play’s central story focuses on the five-year relationship between Adam and Luke, NEXT FALL goes beyond a typical love story. This timely and compelling new American play forces us all to examine what it means to “believe” and what it might cost us not to.
11. A scene from M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang (Drama)
ABOUT THE PLAY: Bored with his routine posting in Beijing, and awkward with women, Rene Gallimard, a French diplomat, is easy prey for the subtle, delicate charms of Song Liling, a Chinese opera star who personifies Gallimard’s fantasy vision of submissive, exotic oriental sexuality. He begins an affair with “her” that lasts for twenty years, during which time he passes along diplomatic secrets, an act that, eventually, brings on his downfall and imprisonment. Interspersed with scenes between the two lovers are others with Gallimard’s wife and colleagues that underscore the irony of Gallimard’s delusion and its curious parallel to the events of Puccini’s famous opera Madame Butterfly. Combining realism and ritual with vivid theatricality, the play reaches its astonishing climax when Song Liling, before our very eyes, strips off his female attire and assumes his true masculinity—a revelation that the deluded Gallimard can neither credit nor accept and which drives him finally—and fatally—deep within the fantasy with which, over the years, he has held the truth at bay.
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