“I Want So Many Things”: Audition Monologues for A Raisin in the Sun
Written by Ashleigh Gardner
July 17, 2018
If you’re auditioning for Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun soon, check out these monologues perfect for every character!
Auditioning for Lena Younger (“Mama”)
The Bridge Party by Sandra Seaton
The group of women at the Bridge party are currently discussing Leona’s options now that she’s 8 months pregnant and on the verge of being a single mom, not at all acceptable in 1940s Tennessee. The possibility of leaving the baby and moving to another town comes up, and her mother, Emma, instantly shuts that down. Leona claims that it’d be worse to be a single mother because “they say raising a baby without a father…”, and Emma instantly interrupts to say that Leona should never care about what other people say.
A Bed Made in Heaven by Sandra Seaton
Betty is Sally Hemings’ mother. Here, she reassures Sally that no matter what happens and what slander is put on the family name, she and the children are safest in the Jefferson home. Sally wants to run away from Monticello. She cannot take the name calling and harassment she has received for being Jefferson’s illegitimate ‘wife’. Betty has fought for her family to live the way they do, with so much privilege even without being free, why would Sally want to run away and give it all up? Betty has worked tirelessly for years for the Jefferson family and knows he would not betray them.
Auditioning for Walter Lee Younger
A Field of Daisies by Rebecca Ryland
Tom returns home drunk after a falling out with Jennifer earlier in the evening. He becomes verbally abusive in his speech.
Bâtard by Robert Carhuayo
In this scene of the play, we are introduced to P001’s father, Adam, the leader of the Men in the Society of Choice. Adam is very emotional, sensitive, and dramatic, but also holds some power in his ability to emotionally manipulate whoever he’s speaking to by playing the victim. After seeing P001 anxious, upset, and frustrated over their upcoming decision, Adam mistakenly believes these feelings to be the result of P001 worrying about disappointing their mother when they pick “boy.” P001 tries to correct their father, but is only shrugged off as Adam openly complains about women. P001 finally explodes, asking their father to listen, and is met with the following monologue in response. In it, Adam reprimands P001 for neglecting his emotions, plays the victim, then takes the opportunity to make it a lesson on determining truth.
Auditioning for Ruth Younger
The Bridge Party by Sandra Seaton
Mary Jane, Leona’s mother in law and a woman with a strong confidence in her traditional values, starts a heated argument with Leona about her place in her marriage to her son Calvin. Mary Jane, who is also angry at Leona for separating herself from Calvin, proclaims that a wife’s place is without a doubt at home. Leona fires back by defending how her work supported her and Calvin and how strong their relationship was.
The Princess of Caspia by Ricardo-Soltero Brown
Simon and Taylor are married. Simon is having an affair with Rhonda, though. Taylor, trying to get the attention of her husband, has just broken Simon’s prized Dudamel baton in half. He tells her to pick up the baton off the floor where she left it. She refuses, and he keeps demanding that she act according to his orders. When she says, “Or else what?” he doesn’t respond. Here, Taylor responds and tells Simon that she is the only one who will fight for him like this. She loves him, but not the person who he is right now.
Auditioning for Beneatha Younger (“Bennie”)
Lavinia Speaks by Jennie S Redling
Lavinia Lewis, 20s is teaching privileged children television-commercial technique while worried about her ill father and watching his lack of desire to recover. Lavinia sees in her father her own lifelong inability to fight for herself. Her buried anger begins to explode in silent mental tirades and verbal eruptions at the most unexpected and inopportune moments. Here, she comes into the classroom after just losing an audition because she wasn’t “Black” enough.
Penelope by Phanesia Pharel
Penelope, a sixteen-year-old orphaned black girl, is preparing for her first day of circus school. She is optimistic and strong, remembering her promise to her deceased mother to succeed. The monologue is spoken as a soliloquy, as Penelope has been placed in clowning classes instead of acrobatics, and searches for someone to help her fix her schedule.
Auditioning for Travis Younger
Love (Awkwardly) by John Rotondo and Maryann Carolan
Eddie begins the play with this monologue. He is an awkward high school junior, the “ugly chicken” as he calls himself, cast aside for his ineptness; he is not a child anymore, but he is not quite a capable adult yet. To complicate things even more, Eddie is also in love with his best friend who does not reciprocate his feelings. In this monologue, Eddie validates his feelings of confusion and angst that are so readily pushed aside by the adults in his life.
War of the Buttons by Jonathan Dorf
Ticker, 12, a hyperactive imp who has just gotten into a fight with some students from the nearby prep school, talks to Charlie, 15. Charlie’s parents have left him—and it’s starting to look as if it’s for good. They’re on a sidewalk, where Charlie sits with his family’s luggage.
Auditioning for Joseph Asagai
Crawl by Crystal Skillman
Alex, a black man in his mid 30s, talks to his brother, Ty, on the stoop of their modest but well-kept house on Franklin Ave in Brooklyn, NY. It is cold, January or February, and there is ice on the ground. Their parents, who are now dead, left the house to them, and they are selling it. Alex has come all the way from Long Beach to help Ty sell the place, but they argue about their family’s history. The men have been waiting outside for a while for the buyer. Alex accuses Ty of getting sentimental about the house, which segues into why Alex doesn’t get emotional about movies, namely Avatar. Rather than being a monologue strictly about Avatar, Alex’s views on the film represent his perspective on how “perfect culture” is represented as truth when so much of the world, especially the world around him, is falling to pieces. (“Avatar” was “it” in the original script.)
Murmurs & Incantations by Dahn Hiuni
Ben has returned to Poland to perform a piece at the gallery of an old family friend Eva. During his initial visit to the gallery, the ghost of his grandfather Dovid. appears to him. Dovid was a rabbi in a nearby town who perished at the hands of the Nazis. His legacy of resistance haunts and inspires Ben to be the artist that he is today. Dovid has taken Ben to see the monument that was erected in his honor. While at the site, Ben details how he became a performance artist.
Auditioning for George Murchison
Jitterbug! by D.C. Copeland
Herbert White was an actual person. A former boxer, he founded the legendary Harlem street gang The Jolly Fellows around 1926. He was also the head bouncer at the Savoy Ballroom and later began a series of dance troupes that toured the world and appeared in Hollywood movies. His most famous was “Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.” In this scene, he is confronting the hero of the play, Billy Rhythm, who made the mistake of leaving the gang without White’s blessing in pursuit of his dreams of becoming a professional dancer. When that failed, he returned to Harlem hoping to start where he left off. Unfortunately, White was there to set him straight.
Wishing Aces by Rosary O’Neill
Kitten and her professor work their way through their disappointments, and the futility of their lives, as a hurricane descends. Beau uses a manuscript critique to seduce his student.
Auditioning for Bobo
Cooperstown by Brian Golden
Junior, an African-American manager of a diner, sits with his baby sister, Sharree in a booth. Sharree, an activist, has just arrived after Junior discovered his diner was ransacked and vandalized by her activist group for hosting a Jackie Robinson celebration in a white man’s diner (Jimmy Fletcher’s diner). Junior asks why she didn’t call him when it happened, and she says she didn’t call because Junior hates her. Here, Junior recounts his own days in the minor leagues as an African-American baseball player and the discrimination he experienced right before he left his career to come back to Sharree.
Climbing the Bonsai by Dori Appel
Matthew is building a dollhouse, which will be his Christmas present for his greatly missed daughter, Caitlin. He holds a hammer and looks with satisfaction at the dollhouse before calling to the absent Caitlin.
Auditioning for Mrs. Johnson
The Easy Lovin’ Blues by William Shuman
This monologue comes at a moment of levity in the show as Naurean, a single mother, complains about the aggravating new neighbors upstairs. From the blaringly loud trumpet player to the rude blues singer who calls herself Ladyblue, Naureen has had enough. When she finds out her daughter has been talking to Trumpy, the trumpet player who reeks of trouble, she warily tells her to be careful. Gretchen is their neighbor.
Mad Millie by Olivia Briggs
Fed up with the police officer’s accusations, Mrs. Singleton decides to let him have it.
Auditioning for Mr. Karl Lindner
Behind Cut Glass by Rosary O’Neill
A white professor defies women to remain a misogynist.
Taking Selma’s Car by William Shuman
Selma is a spunky and headstrong eighty-five-year-old woman. However, Selma’s memory is failing her, and her children are worried about her mental health. Selma’s older daughter Miriam is friends with a neurologist, Dr. Krandinski who has agreed to take Selma as a patient. The two have just finished their first appointment, and Krandinski calls Miriam to give her his opinion of what is wrong with her mother.
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