Playing Anger: Enraged Speeches That Actually Go Somewhere
Written by: Amanda Grace
July 13th 2020
Yelling at the top of your lungs can feel empowering to you, but it tends to leave casting directors feeling annoyed (at best) or terrified (at worst). Think of the last time someone screamed in your face—did you want to listen? Rage requires nuance and demands discretion; these speeches offer levels to catch your audience while putting your hands’ control.
A monologue from Don’t You Fucking Say A Word by Andy Bragen
(Male, Serio-Comic, Adults 30-40s)
In Andy Bragen’s play about friendly and not-so-friendly competition, Brian—a 30-something New Yorker—tells his tennis court fight with good friend Russ to both the men’s girlfriends.
A monologue from Atonement in the Sun by Olivia Briggs
(Male, Dramatic, Mature 50s, Adults 30-40s)
Willy, a clown who unfortunately professes to be “not funny,” tells the story of his last-ever performance under the big top. Forced to fill in for Bruiser, the standup comedian of the three-clown bunch, Willy finally gets his moment in the sun. However, short-lived, when a drunken fan begins abusing his daughter during the act, and Willy’s pent-up rage is released.
A monologue from The Murder Play with Jack and Melissa by Matthew McLachlan
(Female, Serio-Comic, Adults 30-40s, Young Adults 20s)
Melissa has just found out that Jack only kills guys who are deserving of it; Melissa’s boyfriend thought he was coming up this mountain to meet a 13-year-old for sex, only to find Jack with a bone saw instead. Now, Jack and Melissa have gotten into an argument covering his reasons for killing people and her poor taste in men… but when Melissa insults Jack’s cooking, she’s punched too low.
A monologue from Radio Ball by Lauren Kettler
(Female, Comedic, High School 14-18)
Lauren Kettler’s play unfolds in a dorm room belonging to Robin, a college baseball pitcher on the verge of being drafted by the majors. As he grapples with immediate success, Robin relives his friendship with Tommy. Tommy was a talented baseball player but didn’t make Varsity because she was a girl. When her friend and protege Pee Wee (a.k.a. Robin) made the team, emotions ran high.
A monologue from Occupational Hazards by Mark McCarthy
(Female, Comedic, Young Adults 20s)
This monologue from the workplace variety show: Occupational Hazards is called “Less is Less.” Helen is an acting student trying to get something worthwhile out of class. She has a realization about her acting teacher’s technique… and reveals a little something about herself.
A monologue from Cut by Crystal Skillman
(Female, Serio-Comic, Young Adults 20s)
Collette, one of three reality television writers, logs countless hours of footage, to prove her worth as both an artist and an adult. She fights for a pivotal spot amongst the troubled triumvirate of people as desperate as the housewives they’re shooting.
A monologue from The Pride by Alexi Kaye Campbell
(Female, Dramatic, Adults 30-40s)
This John Whiting Award-winning play alternates between 1958 and 2008 and two pairs of Sylvias and Philips. In 2008: Oliver and Philip are in a relationship and have been together for over a year. However, Oliver is promiscuous, and Philip wants to end it. They split up for a while, but they reunite at Pride with Sylvia’s help. Just before Philip arrives, Sylvia and Oliver are in the park where the party is in full swing.
A monologue from Mother Teresa is Dead by Helen Edmundson
(Male, Dramatic, Adults 30-40s)
Mark arrives in a village in India to try and find his wife. He doesn’t understand what has driven her to abandon her young son. Jane cannot explain why she needed to escape or how she ended up looking after children in India—or what is in the bag she’s been holding. It is hot, dusty, and miserable, and a long way from their comfortable life in London.
A monologue from Alcestis by Euripides
(Male, Dramatic, Adults 30-40s, Young Adults 20s, College 18-22)
Admetus, Alcestis’s husband, realizes the loss that comes with his wife’s death. He is horrified that his aged parents, especially father Pheres, would not agree to sacrifice themselves in her place. Admetus is also sorrowful that Alcestis will soon be lost to him—though not so dejected as to prevent it by allowing himself to die, as the Fates ordained.
A monologue from The Cuban Spring by Vanessa Garcia
(Female, Dramatic, Adults 30-40s)
Siomara is a highly educated psychiatrist from a loving and involved Cuban-American family. She has hidden her positive pregnancy test from her husband, with whom she has stifled reservations because of his estrangement from his own family. He has just called her selfish for wanting privacy on the matter and is considering an abortion, which prompts this cathartic release of honesty from Siomara.
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