Ten Perfect Pieces for Playing Against Type
Written by Amanda Grace
January 24th, 2020
Tired of playing the same role over and over? So over getting pigeonholed as a stock character? Trade the “types” that hold you back for these layered personas that challenge audience and panel stereotypes.
If you’re tired of playing “The One-Layer Ingénue”, try a monologue from Fair by Joy Wilkinson
(Female, Dramatic, Young Adults 20s)
Melanie has endured a whirlwind—she’s returned from a trip to Tibet (where she was dumped by her boyfriend) and gotten stoned and slept with a man she met at a Lancashire fairground, who later shows up to protest a multicultural fair she’s chairing. What’s more, she’s just had a positive pregnancy test.
If you’re tired of playing “The Heartless Man”, try a monologue from Burning the Old Man by Kelly McAllister
(Male, Comedic, Young Adults 20s, College 18-22)
You’re never too old to call your mom for help—something Bobby proves after accidentally setting his mother’s car on fire and watching it blow up on his drive across the desert to bury his father’s ashes.
If you’re tired of playing “The Pushover Nerd”, try a monologue from Cowbirds by DT Arcieri
(Male, Dramatic, Young Adults 20s)
Tommy, a twice-degreed ornithologist, has cared for his blind mother for years, even though she resents him deeply and he’s fairly certain he was a “mistake” baby. He’s taken it for long enough, but now that he’s decided to return to school for his doctorate, he must entreat his older sister to take responsibility for their parent.
If you’re tired of playing “The Sexy Object”, try a monologue from The Reluctant Vampire by Rosary O’Neill
(Female, Serio-Comic, High School 14-18, College 18-22, Young Adults 20s, Adults 30-40s, Mature 50s)
The Queen of the Vampires has taken a new Vampire as her husband, a man who had a history of cheating as a human. Here, she endeavors to convince him to kill Marie LaVeau and banish her to hell… without bedding her.
If you’re tired of playing “The Old Person Who Only Exists to Educate the Youths”, try Waiting for the Bus in Red Checkered Ear Muffs by Tara Meddaugh
(Male, Serio-Comic, Mature 50s)
Lawrence, a man in his 80s, is bemoaning nearly being run over by a young driver after having his license suspended, which he has realized is likely not a temporary situation. He is now relegated to waiting for the bus like the other elderly people.
If you’re tired of playing “The Camp-and-Nothing-Else Queer Character”, try a monologue from In Close Quarters by Michael Wanzie
(Male, Dramatic, College 18-22, Young Adults 20s)
Dolan has just come out to Ivey as gay, revealing to his fellow soldier shielded in their bunker that the picture he carries with his gear is actually of a lover he had during college before the war, who asked Dolan to run away with him the night of the draft.
If you’re tired of playing “The Agency-Deprived Minority Character”, try a monologue from Penelope by Phanesia Pharel
(Female, Serio-Comic, High School 14-18, College 18-22)
Penelope, sixteen, orphaned, and Black, is preparing for her first day of circus school. She is optimistic and strong, remembering her promise to her deceased mother to succeed, and refuses to take any nonsense—especially being placed in clowning instead of acrobatics.
If you’re tired of playing “The Horrible Country Hick”, try a monologue from Cooperstown by Brian Golden
(Male, Dramatic, Young Adults 20s)
Huck, an honest, sweet-talking minor league catcher from Ohio is obsessed with Jackie Robinson—so much so that he’s come to New York to see Robinson’s historic Hall of Fame induction.
If you’re tired of playing “The Brainless Jock”, try a monologue from Men’s Monthly by Matthew McLachlan
(Male, Comedic, Adults 30-40s)
The Speaker of the Delegation of United Men is relating to the meeting that, actually, no man knows just how Fantasy Football works. To help its members masquerade as experts, the Delegation is hosting a party to teach the United Men impressive things to say that will convince others thy know exactly what they’re talking about.
If you’re tired of playing “The Un-Relatable Relic”, try a monologue from West Palm Gig by Susan Surman
(Female, Serio-Comic, Mature 50s)
Valeska Bernhart is a Hollywood legend, but at this point in her career arc, she’s back to the green actor experience of being desperate for any role at all… but she did expect it would be in front of the camera.
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- Guys: 25 Wow-Able Solos from Broadway’s Golden Age
- Ladies: 25 Wow-Able Solos from Broadway’s Golden Age