“Sigh No More, Ladies, Sigh No More”: Audition Monologues for Much Ado About Nothing
Written by Ashleigh Gardner
June 20, 2018
Are you auditioning for Much Ado About Nothing in the fall? Check out these monologues perfect for your audition!
Auditioning for Beatrice
As You Like It — Rosalind
The Forest of Arden; Rosalind, disguised as a young man, comes upon two bickering rustics, the shepherdess Phebe and the love-sick shepherd Silvius. She lectures them both on the proper conduct of true lovers.
Twelfth Night — Olivia
Viola, dressed as a boy, has been sent to deliver a letter (written by Duke Orsino) to Olivia, a beautiful and eligible woman. Duke Orsino is in love with Olivia, but Olivia does not share his affection. Instead, as Viola (dressed as a boy) tells Olivia of Duke Orsino’s love, Olivia falls in love with Viola. This monologue takes place immediately after Viola leaves. Olivia is so taken with the boy that she is confused and bewildered.
Auditioning for Benedick
Love’s Labor’s Lost — Berowne
Navarre, Spain. The King’s park. Berowne, who has forsworn his pact to avoid all women in favor of contemplation and academic study, falls madly in love with the bewitching Rosaline. He has just given the clown Costard a letter to deliver to her, declaring his passion. He is totally overwhelmed by his change of feeling, hence the long 12-syllable line at the beginning.
The Taming of the Shrew — Petruchio
Petruchio wishes to marry Katherina (“Kate”) against her will at the request of her father, Baptista Minola. (Kate’s younger sister Bianca cannot marry until Kate has married first, and Bianca, being the favorite of her family, gets what she wants.) Petruchio is a jokester and treats Kate with disrespect. He teases her, berates her headstrong personality, and makes sarcastic jibes about her appearance all in an effort to get her to lighten up a little bit. But Kate. Hates. Petruchio. In this monologue, Petruchio has come to woo Kate, and after a battle of wits with her, sarcastically tells her how much he “likes” her, using dry humor to confuse her opinion of him.
Auditioning for Hero
The Two Gentlemen of Verona — Julia
Verona. The garden of Julia’s house. Julia, the beloved of Proteus, who has several other suitors, receives a love letter from him which she impetuously tears up. But once her maid Lucetta leaves, she lovingly tries to piece the letter back together. She is a willful and headstrong young woman, but is plagued with a decision of who or how to love. This emotion is new to her.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream — Helena
The forest outside Athens. Hermia has just insulted Helena. Helena begs her to not be so angry, as it is not her fault that two men love her. This monologue may be played sarcastically or sincerely.
Auditioning for Claudio
As You Like It — Orlando
Forest of Arden. Orlando enters with a poem in hand. He has been hanging his verse to Rosalind on every tree in the forest. As he does so with this one, he speaks the poem out loud for all to hear.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona — Proteus
Before Proteus leaves Verona to attend college in Milan, he exchanges rings with his love, Julia, promising to remember and love her while he’s away at university. When he meets Silvia, the beautiful daughter of the Duke of Milan, he forgets Julia, and selfishly begins to pursue a relationship with Silvia. In this monologue, he has just been introduced to Silvia by Valentine, his best friend. Valentine intends to woo and marry Silvia, but after Proteus meets her, he devises a plot to steal her from Valentine. Proteus is stricken with a crazed passion, and he compares his feelings to different temperatures: a cold ice for his best friend and a fiery lust for Silvia.
Auditioning for Don Pedro
The Comedy of Errors — Antipholus of Syracuse
Unbeknownst to them, two brothers are separated at birth, one sent to Syracuse and one to Ephesus. By chance, they are both named “Antipholus”, as are both their servants named “Dromio”. When Antipholus of Syracuse finds his way to the home of his long-lost brother, he meets Luciana, his brother’s sister-in-law. He showers affection on her, enraptured by her beauty. Luciana rejects him, thinking that Antipholus of Syracuse is her sister’s husband, Antipholus of Ephesus, and she accuses him of cheating on his wife. This monologue is a hysterical profession of love and adoration in the face of stern rejection.
All’s Well That Ends Well — Parolles
Roussillon (France). Bertram’s palace. Helena, a chaste gentlewoman, asks the braggart Captain Parolles, a confidant of her love, Bertram, why men are such enemies of virginity and how women can guard against their assault. Parolles answers with this discourse. He utilizes various sexual puns throughout the conversation which add to the comedy of the piece.
Auditioning for Don Jon, Conrad, or Borachio
Measure for Measure — Angelo
Angelo, deputy of the Duke of Vienna, is standing in while the Duke is away. He has called Isabella to his chamber to offer her a way of saving her brother’s life and prolonging his execution – sleeping with Angelo. Isabella, disgusted and frightened by this prospect is not prepared to give this much of herself to the man who imprisoned her brother. She tells Angelo that she will tell the entire city of his demand, but he responds with this manipulative speech. Angelo is a tyrannical, hypocritical, twisted, and over-zealous man whose passions outweigh his sense of right and wrong.
King Lear — Edmond, the Bastard
Britain; the Earl of Glouscester’s castle. Edmond, the bastard son of Gloucester, enters with a letter. This is his first appearance in the play. He is a true villain. The monologue is filled with bawdy and sexual innuendos.
Auditioning for Margaret or Ursula
The Merry Wives of Windsor — Mistress Ford
Town of Windsor; before Master Page’s house; Mistress Page has received a love letter from John Falstaff. He hopes to seduce her and get some of her husband’s money. She realizes this and plans to take revenge on him by allowing him to think she loves him. She speaks to her friend, Mistress Page.
Comedy of Errors — Luciana
Ephesus; the home of Adriana. Luciana, Adriana’s sister, is being pursued by whom she thinks is Antipholus, Adriana’s husband. In truth, it is Antipholus’s long lost twin brother, also named Antipholus. He is trying to seduce her, and she, thinking this is her sister’s husband, shames him for making advances upon her.
Auditioning for Antonio or Leonato
The Tempest — Prospero
Prospero’s island; Before Prospero’s cell. Prospero has just made a fanciful masque appear and disappear for the delight of Miranda and Ferdinand. Then he becomes agitated by the thought of Caliban. To regain composure, he gives this speech.
Auditioning for Dogberry, Verges, or the Night Watchman/Soldiers
A Midsummer Night’s Dream — Bottom
The wood near Athens at dawn. Nick Bottom, the weaver, awakes after a mad night of romance as an ass. He has been restored to his rude, physical self. Still in a drowsy state, he muses on his “dream,” after calling for his friends. He is a loudmouth that suddenly stops to consider his experience.
As You Like It — Touchstone
Forest of Arden. Touchstone comes before the Duke Senior and Jaques, asking to be married to Audrey. He introduces himself as a fool, yet he has accomplished much. Jaques is very apprehensive of this man, but the Duke takes to him, asking about how Touchstone almost got into a fight, but did not upon reaching the seventh cause. Touchstone then goes into his own dissertation on logic and rules of arguing.
The Merchant of Venice — Lorenzo
Lorenzo sits with his wife Jessica outside, enjoying the moonlight and the musicians who appear to play music. She wants nothing to do with the serenade.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona — Launce
Launce is not involved with the plot of this play, though his stories illustrate the themes of the plot. He has had to leave his family in order to travel to Milan with his master Proteus, but Crab his dog, much to his consternation, has shown no distress at his departure. Lance is the clownish servant of Proteus, a gentleman of Verona.
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