Contrasting Combinations for Men and Women: Contemporary Comedy and Drama

Written by Ashleigh Gardner

February 5, 2019

Having contrasting monologues in your rep is a must for every actor. It’s essential that you understand how to deliver comedy and drama if you want to get into any acting program. Below, we’ve compiled ten sets of monologues – 5 for women, 5 for men – consisting of dramatic contemporary and comedic monologues. Dive in!

Female: Contemporary Comedy/Drama

Licking Batteries by Ellen Margolis & April Fools by Daris Howard

Licking Batteries by Ellen Margolis
Lucy is a successful college student studying electricity. While in college, she meets a fantastic boy who becomes her long-time boyfriend. Her father, eager to see his daughter’s success, has made the long trip to come visit her in her lab. Unfortunately, her boyfriend comes to visit her in her lab at the exact same time and the two have never met before. Lucy, arrives last to the lab and is now trying to manage her dad and her boyfriend meeting for the first time.

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April Fools by Daris Howard
Carl and Sherrie sit in the Lovers’ Corner in her Uncle James’s diner. They’ve recently begun a romantic relationship which was followed by Carl deciding to run for mayor. Carl confesses that he feels stronger when Sherrie is with him, and she responds with this heartfelt confession.

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Stay by David-Matthew Barnes & Lily in Love by Kristine M Reyes

Stay by David-Matthew Barnes
Rindy, a young aspiring hairstylist who lives in a small Southern town, confides in her best friend Alison that she spent the night with her boyfriend, unbeknownst to her unstable mother. Rindy is extroverted, unfiltered, and Southern.

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Lily in Love by Kristine M Reyes
Lily and Arlene have been dating for two years and are now living together, even though Lily is still not out to her conservative Catholic parents. In the previous scene, Lily had come home in a drunken state and proposed they have a baby together. Much to both of their surprise, Arlene, who had never expressed a desire to have kids, agreed. In this scene, Lily has brought home a puppy in a misguided attempt to take their relationship to the next level while also backpedaling on her drunken proposal. The gesture backfires and causes Arlene to express her frustration at the double life they have to live because of Lily’s parents. She thinks it’s time for Lily to come out, but Lily is still too afraid.

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Grow Up, Girls by Rex McGregor & The Vigil (or The Guided Cradle) by Crystal Skillman

Grow Up, Girls by Rex McGregor
Wendy, 16, a spoilt girl with a severe case of Peter Pan syndrome, has just discovered her governess, Nana, leaving with a suitcase. Nana is a woman wearing a full-body Newfoundland dog costume.

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The Vigil (or The Guided Cradle) by Crystal Skillman
Prague. A room in an older, run down hotel. A foreigner talks with her translator after he has returned with food and beer. She mentions that she thought about staying in Prague, and the translator asks her if her father would miss her. When she is silent, he assumes she didn’t get along with him. In this monologue, the foreigner breaks the ice by talking about teddy bears, and then explains how her relationship with her father changed after she saw a gruesome picture of him during the war. Thinking the bear told on her discovery and got her in trouble, she defaces it and hides the evidence away from the world.

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Occupational Hazards by Mark McCarthy & Fallbeil by Liz Maestri

Occupational Hazards by Mark McCarthy
This monologue from Occupational Hazards is entitled “Columbass.” Elizabeth is whip-smart teenage girl who’s discovering that her teachers are not always right. She passionately argues for her version of history.

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Fallbeil by Liz Maestri
Fritz and Sophie were once friends, but during the war, Fritz joined the Nazi army and Sophie, the resistance. Here, Fritz is questioning Sophie about her involvement with the White Rose—she has helped throughout the war by writing leaflets to encourage the rise against the Nazi occupation. All Fritz had wanted was for her to lay low, play along so as to not get hurt, whether she agreed to what was happening or not. Now, Sophie explains that she could not have stayed silent, knowing the terror that was happening all around. She knows the country is lost no matter who wins the war.

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Parent Interview by Justin Warner & If They Come Tonight by Angela Cerrito

Parent Interview by Justin Warner
Amanda Nemkoff has spent the last couple of hours supplicating herself before Carnegie-Guggeheim Montessori admissions director Marla Truro, hoping to get a rare mid-year spot for her 4-year-old daughter.  Still, it appears that her less-than-convinced husband has blown the interview, and Marla is about to show them the door. Amanda’s stress level reaches a breaking point, and she blurts out this last-ditch, desperate plea.

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If They Come Tonight by Angela Cerrito
A short play made up of multiple monologues; this monologue is the Epilogue of the story.  Irena speaks to the audience after her arrest and imprisonment in Pawiak prison. She had saved the lives of thousands of children during WWII, but she refuses to be called a hero. She only did as her contemporaries did, helping rescue children; the real heroes are the parents who were willing to let their children go.  She regrets her actions, she saved so many children, but so many perished as well; Irena only wishes she could have saved more.

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Male: Contemporary Drama / Comedy

The Baseball King by Amelia Ross & The Memory Tax by Chad Eschman

The Baseball King by Amelia Ross
Teenage David enters carrying a sign that reads, FREE COUNSELING WITH DAVID SHEPHERD. He never (ever) speaks. Phil Steen, the ultimate high school jock from a rival team, enters, making sure no one else sees.

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The Memory Tax by Chad Eschman
Jason confronts his father, who abandoned him and his mother when he was just a baby. He’s come to ask for money so that he and his pregnant girlfriend can try for a fresh start in the ravaged, post-apocalyptic America that his father helped create.

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Water Down by Debbie Lamedman & Vacancies by David-Matthew Barnes

Water Down by Debbie Lamedman
Max is not-so-secretly in love with Katie.  He is obsessed with a poem that she wrote that was read in class, and he is anxious to make a connection and get closer to her.

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Vacancies by David-Matthew Barnes
Billy, a married man and father of two children, is unhappy with his predictable life. Here, he confesses to his former girlfriend, a singer-songwriter named Erica, how tempted he is to have an affair with her.

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Selling Love by A.D. Hasselbring & Before it Rains by Katherine Chandler

Selling Love by A.D. Hasselbring
Roberts speaks to Laurie who has just revealed her aspiration to become a painter.  The two find that they share a bond, and they talk at Roberts’s desk in the middle of a frantic office competition.  Here Roberts clears up a long held misunderstanding.

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Before it Rains by Katherine Chandler
Set on a run-down council estate in Cardiff, the play tells the story of Michael, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, and his single-parent mother Gloria, who struggles to cope. When Carl and his family arrive on the estate they set about intimidating fellow residents. Carl is almost feral. His elder brother is violent and their father sadistic. Carl befriends Michael and encourages him in antisocial behaviour. Carl and his brother enjoy setting rat traps in the woods. But then they turn their attentions to killing people’s pets, the police are called out. Their father’s response is to beat them. Here in the play, Carl has run away from home and is hiding in the woods following a particularly vicious attack by the father on Carl’s brother, ‘our Kid’. Carl is both violent and vulnerable.

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A Merry Jewish Christmas by Joshua Levine & Japes by Simon Gray

A Merry Jewish Christmas by Joshua Levine
The following monologue takes place in David and Olsen’s one-bedroom apartment. They’re both teachers at a high school. They have been dating for three years and living together for two. David’s very Jewish family is on their way over to celebrate Chanukah on Christmas Eve. David has been frantically preparing the apartment getting rid of all the Christmas decorations. He has waited until the very last minute to clue Olsen in to just how little his family knows. David becomes very sweaty and proposes to Olsen just moments before his family’s arrival. His proposal is genuine but is also serving as an apology to Olsen for hiding their relationship from his family.

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Japes by Simon Gray
The sitting room of their house in Hampstead, North London. Michael and Jason’s parents are dead. The young men have shared ownership of the house they grew up in and where they continue to live. Here, close to the start of the play, they have been discussing Michael’s girlfriend Anita. Michael has asked Jason whether he minds the fact that she has been staying the night. Michael admits that he himself does not like the smell of the pot that Anita smokes. The speech that follows comes as a response to Jason asking, ‘But you haven’t said anything to her have you?’

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Future Anxiety by Laurel Haines & Between Mars and Me by Rose Helsinger

Future Anxiety by Laurel Haines
This scene is called, “Wesley Makes a Video.” Wesley is a sickly but cheerful young man. He is sitting in a chair in front of a camera. He is preparing his dating video. He coughs from time to time.

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Between Mars and Me by Rose Helsinger
Jaime has entered her brother Roland’s apartment after two weeks of being gone. In a fit of guilt and grief, she begins to clean up his apartment as he sits on the floor. He insists she doesn’t have to clean up after him, but she does so anyway. Jaime hides her tears as she cleans, but Roland suspects that she’s upset. When she asks him to come home to her and their mother, he tells her that she doesn’t understand and begins to describe the friends he lost in 9/11.

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Ashleigh Gardner received her M.A. in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies (with concentrations in Contemporary Film, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Gender Studies) and her B.A. in English Literature (with concentrations in Early American Literature, Victorian & Gothic Literature, and Feminisms), both from the University of Central Florida. She is a playwright, a Shakespearean trained actor, a dramaturge, and a photographer.
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