Speeches for Characters Coming Out of their Shells
Written by Amanda Grace
August 12, 2020
A wise ogre once said that people are like onions, and these characters are full of layers. From the intentionally misleading to the hardened-by-life, the speakers of the following ten speeches are opening up little-by-little to be simultaneously stronger and more vulnerable.
A monologue from Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith
(Female, Dramatic, Young Adults 20s)
George left Sophie’s mom after thirty-two years of marriage and has moved in with a lover half his age and only four years older than his daughter. Sophie, somewhat of a disappointment to her father, has contacted Claudia and asked that she meet with her. During their exchange, Claudia tells Sophie things about her parents’ relationship that she never knew—including what sex is like with her father.
A monologue from A Ghost Story by Jonathan Josephson
(Male, Comedic, All Ages)
In this spin on Mark Twain’s story, a terrifying Ghost brings thunder and lightning into a hotel to frighten Vincent, while his Shadow plays all kinds of tricks—but once Vincent discovers The Ghost’s ruse, he is more curious than scared. When Vincent asks The Ghost why he haunts this particular hotel, The Ghost proceeds to tell his backstory, admitting that once he took up residence at the hotel he didn’t want to leave.
My Nose Turns Red by R. J. Ryland
(Any Gender, Comedic, High School 14-18, Kids & Juniors 5-13)
A child who has never been the center of attention tries out clowning for the first time at school. At the start, they are terrified, but as they balance on the ball, they find confidence and reassurance that this is where they belong.
A monologue from The Cindy Variations by Evan Guilford-Blake
(Female, Serio-Comic, Young Adults 20s, College 18-22)
After having sex for the first time, Cindy tells her college roommate Elva how she feels liberated and in control of her body and her life in a way she never has done before. Even though the relationship fizzles out, the breakup doesn’t feel as painful or as drastic as her past heartbreaks; she’s just happy to have finally been in a mature relationship.
A monologue from Yoga Fart by Gabriel Davis
(Female, Comedic, Adults 30-40s, Young Adults 20s, College 18-22)
Amy throws herself into a series of yoga classes to stay calm after finding out her soon-to-be-married sister Zelda slept with her boyfriend just before the wedding. In this piece, Amy shares how farting in yoga class has brought her confidence rather than embarrassment.
A monologue from Love (Awkwardly) by John Rotondo and Maryann Carolan
(Male, Serio-Comic, College 18-22, High School 14-18)
Eddie is an awkward high school junior in love with his best friend Wendy. In this speech, he wishes he could shout how he truly feels about this amazing girl from the rooftops, but knows he must keep his cool and give her subtle and appropriate signs of affection.
A monologue from Concealing Judy Holliday by Wendy Johnson
(Female, Dramatic, Adults 30-40s)
Judy Holliday had been trapped in the character of less-than-intelligent Billie Dawn, for which she received an Oscar; all she wanted was to play a dramatic part and be taken seriously. At the end of her career, she was cast to play legendary actress Laurette Taylor in an autobiographical play, but died from cancer before ever getting to play the role. Here, Judy is star struck, asking Laurette if she is good enough to even take the part.
A monologue from Great Reckoning in a Little Room by Tim West
(Male, Dramatic, Young Adults 20s)
In the middle seat of a cramped and dim-lit tavern sits Kit Marlowe, playwright. Marlowe’s associates are criticizing him for aspiring to a greater position in the world than themselves (a thug, an assassin-for-hire, and a gentleman rogue). Marlowe responds by saying he’d rather place his future in the art of writing than dealing with spies and murderers.
A monologue from Girl at her Mirror by Alan Rossett
(Female, Serio-Comic, Mature 50s)
Olivia is telling her story on television. She is still very much the ravishing woman from her younger years, but possesses a grounded assertiveness that has come with age. Today, she is ready to let go of the pain and resentment of her past by selling off the paintings of her former husband that have surrounded her for years.
A monologue from Gutless & Grateful by Amy Oestreicher
(Female, Dramatic, Young Adults 20s, College 18-22, High School 14-18)
In this long monologue, Amy tells the story of how she realized she was sexually abused. This moment of betrayal from her childhood as a happy-go-lucky theatre kid changed her life forever, but the idea that she can heal through stories empowers her in the present.