Monologues pages in Acting One & Acting 2
... mono1 & mono2 + mono.htm
SHAKE THE DIALOGUE UNTIL ALL THE WORDS FALL AWAY; WHAT IS LEFT IS TRUE ACTING. -KF (Ken Farmer)
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prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA (907)474-7751
Summary"WE CAN SHAPE CLAY INTO A POT, BUT IT IS THE EMPTINESS INSIDE THAT HOLDS WHAT WE WANT." -LAO TZU
NotesNASTYA: At night he came into the garden. I had been waiting for him quite awhile. I trembled with fear and grief--he trembled, too . . . he was a white as chalk--and he had the pistol in his hand . . . and he says to me in a dreadful voice: "My precious darling ... My one and only love," he says, "my parents," he says, "refuse to give their consent to our wedding--and threaten to disown me because of my love for you. Therefore," he says, "I must take my life." And his pistol was huge--and loaded with ten bullets ... "Farewell," he says, "beloved comrade! I have made up my mind for good and all ... I can't live without you ..." and I replied: "My unforgettable friend--my Raoul--joy of my life! My bright moon! I, too, I can't live without you--because I love you madly, so madly--and I shall keep on loving you as long as my heart beats in my bosom. But--" I say--"don't take your young life! Think how necessary it is to your dear parents whose only happiness you are. Leave me! Better that I should perish from longing for you, my life! I alone! I--ah--as such, such! Better that I should die--it doesn't matter ... I am of no use to the world--I have nothing, nothing at all--" [Covers her face with her hand and weeps--then jumping up.] Shut up, you bastards! Ah--you lousy mongrels! So help me God--it happened! It happened! He was a student, a Frenchman--Gastotcha was his name--he had a little black beard--and patent leathers--may God strike me dead if I'm lying! And he loved me so--my God, how he loved me! [ THE LOWER DEPTHS, Maxim Gorky. The Moscow Art Theatre Series of Plays. Ed. Oliver M. Sayler. New York: Brantanos, 1922. ]
Dramatic monologues are usually performed, on a stage, before an audience, with only the one character speakingóitís a mono-logue.
Ok. You got your character in a situation, and you know something about him. Then write down in his words what he is thinking and feeling during this situation. We get to hear him talking to himself. Often, though, or even usually, there is someone else present to whom he is speaking. [addresses] There is no dialogue, except with the self. You donít use quotation marks. The location of your speaker, the identity of his/her listener [invisible partner = public], and the nature of the conflict should all visible!
You try to shape this so it has that good old beginning, middle, and end. If your character is telling a story from their past, this shape will occur pretty automatically; if he/sheís in a present situation, and is somewhat cluelessly justifying him/herself. Though short, it will have something of a climax, and a very short resolution.
Length -- around 200 words to around 1000 words. Playing time is 2 to 5 minutes. NO POEMS!
* The secret to generating interest is tension, usually internal conflict: the heart divided against itself. And remember that itís internal conflict whether or not the speaker is conscious of it.
* Most interior monologues (dramatic monologues) are really dialogues óbetween inner selves.
* If your character is telling a story largely about his/her past, be careful the whole thing doesnít slip into an historical mode, with your character mostly reporting about past events with a lot of exposition woven in. Thatís not dramatic. A dramatic (often just mental) event needs to happen on stage.
Book of Mono...
Scenes for Young
99 Film Scenes
For Student Actors
Scenes & Monologues
This is our third round with monologues. In Acting I I wasn't against you using contemporary material (even monos from the movies) -- to make it closer to home (your age, your environment and etc.)
In Acting II the focus was on comedy; now is the time for DRAMA.
In Acting II the focus was on comedy; now is the time for DRAMA.Select one and do what you used to do before : 5W's, history-story, floor plan, Actor's Text.
The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov, Act I:[ my script 1994, Anatoly Antohin ]
LOPAKHIN. [Listens] No.... They've got to collect their luggage and so on.... [Pause] Lubov Andreyevna has been living abroad for five years; I don't know what she'll be like now.... She's a good sort--an easy, simple person. I remember when I was a boy of fifteen, my father, who is dead--he used to keep a shop in the village here--hit me on the face with his fist, and my nose bled. ... We had gone into the yard together for something or other, and he was a little drunk. Lubov Andreyevna, as I remember her now, was still young, and very thin, and she took me to the washstand here in this very room, the nursery. She said, "Don't cry, little man, it'll be all right in time for your wedding." [Pause] "Little man".... My father was a peasant, it's true, but here I am in a white waistcoat and yellow shoes ... a pearl out of an oyster. I'm rich now, with lots of money, but just think about it and examine me, and you'll find I'm still a peasant down to the marrow of my bones. [Turns over the pages of his book] Here I've been reading this book, but I understood nothing. I read and fell asleep. [Pause.]
The Possessed 2003:
NOTES: write YOUR own stage directions (left margin)
Stavrogin's letter to Dasha, finale.
Stavrogin: My good Dasha, You once wanted to be my ďnurseĒ and made me promise to send for you when I needed you.
Iím not well, but I hope Iíll be rid of my hallucinations. Iíve told you a lot of my life: Physically, and morally you know all. I confirm that in my conscience I am guilty of my wifeís death. I am also guilty before Lisa.
Better donít come.
You are dear to me, why sacrifice so much? I do not pity you, since I am calling you, and do not respect you, since Iím waiting for you to come. And yet I call and wait. In any case, I need your answer, because I must leave very soon.
Iíve tested my strength everywhere, ďin order to know myself.Ē Testing proved it to be boundless, but what to apply my strength to, that I have never seen. I am capable now as ever, of wishing to do a good deed. Also I wish for great evil. But both are too shallow and my desires are far too weak; they cannot guide me.
Perhaps you dream of giving me love and of pouring upon me the beautiful from your beautiful soul, you hope in that way to finally set up some goal for me. No, my love will be as shallow as I am, and you will be unhappy. Your brother told me that he who loses his ties to the earth also loses his gods, that is, his goals. One can argue endlessly about everything. Everything is shallow. Kirilov could not endure his idea and-shot himself; but I do see that he was not in his right mind. I can never lose my mind, nor can I believe an idea to the same degree.
I know I ought to kill myself, to sweep myself off the earth like a vile insect; but I am afraid of suicide; I know it will be one more deceit. Whatís the use of deceiving oneself? There can never be indignation or shame in me; and so no despair either.
Forgive me for writing so much. Nikolai Stavrogin.
Stavrogin who has been preparing to hang himself during the course of this dialogue, kicks the chair out from under himself.
Frank&StainFRANK: Do you know that the cause of my mother's death was never established? When I flew to Berlin from California she was already dead. Actually her body was already in the house. There were no relatives to invite for the funeral. She was for over ten years a patient in a mental clinic in Bavaria. I rushed so much because they could bury her right away. I worked on her all night and I couldn't find out why she died? I opened her and I checked every organ in her body. I didn't cry. Since the time they took her away to this hospital I cried only in my nightmares. There was nothing wrong with her. I was so tired, I didn't sleep for two days. She was the only person who could hear me... I don't remember my father, only her stories about him - how they met, how she fell in love with him, how wonderful his hands... It was two or three after midnight. I went out and came back with the prostitute, a girl, a very young girl. I don't know why... I couldn't give up... I saved her brain. I kept it for years before I could make her live again...
Helmer (standing at the open door): Yes, do. Try and calm yourself, and make your mind easy again, my frightened little singing-bird. Be at rest, and feel secure; I have broad wings to shelter you under. (Walks up and down by the door.) How warm and cosy our home is, Nora. Here is shelter for you; here I will protect you like a hunted dove that I have saved from a hawk's claws; I will bring peace to your poor beating heart. It will come, little by little, Nora, believe me. Tomorrow morning you will look upon it all quite differently; soon everything will be just as it was before. Very soon you won't need me to assure you that I have forgiven you; you will yourself feel the certainty that I have done so. Can you suppose I should ever think of such a thing as repudiating you, or even reproaching you? You have no idea what a true man's heart is like, Nora. There is something so indescribably sweet and satisfying, to a man, in the knowledge that he has forgiven his wife--forgiven her freely, and with all his heart. It seems as if that had made her, as it were, doubly his own; he has given her a new life, so to speak; and she has in a way become both wife and child to him. So you shall be for me after this, my little scared, helpless darling. Have no anxiety about anything, Nora; only be frank and open with me, and I will serve as will and conscience both to you--. What is this? Not gone to bed? Have you changed your things?
[ another from the last act ]
Nora: Maybe. But you neither think nor talk like the man I could bind myself to. As soon as your fear was over--and it was not fear for what threatened me, but for what might happen to you--when the whole thing was past, as far as you were concerned it was exactly as if nothing at all had happened. Exactly as before, I was your little skylark, your doll, which you would in future treat with doubly gentle care, because it was so brittle and fragile. (Getting up.) Torvald--it was then it dawned upon me that for eight years I had been living here with a strange man, and had borne him three children--. Oh, I can't bear to think of it! I could tear myself into little bits!
LUKA: Some one has to be kind, girl -- some one has to pity people! Christ pitied everybody -- and he said to us: "Go and do likewise!" I tell you -- if you pity a man when he most needs it, good comes of it. Why -- I used to be a watchman on the estate of an engineer near Tomsk -- all right -- the house was right in the middle of a forest -- lonely place -- winter came -- and I remained all by myself. Well -- one night I heard a noise -- thieves creeping in! I took my gun -- I went out. I looked and saw two of them opening a window -- and so busy that they didn't even see me. I yell: "Hey there -- get out of here!" And they turn on me with their axes -- I warn them to stand back, or I'd shoot -- and as I speak, I keep on covering them with my gun, first on the one, then the other -- they go down on their knees, as if to implore me for mercy. And by that time I was furious -- because of those axes, you see -- and so I say to them: "I was chasing you, you scoundrels -- and you didn't go. Now you go and break off some stout branches!" -- and they did so -- and I say: "Now -- one of you lie down and let the other one flog him!" So they obey me and flog each other -- and then they began to implore me again. "Grandfather," they say, "for God's sake give us some bread! We're hungry!" There's thieves for you, my dear! [Laughs.] And with an ax, too! Yes -- honest peasants, both of them! And I say to them, "You should have asked for bread straight away!" And they say: "We got tired of asking -- you beg and beg -- and nobody gives you a crumb -- it hurts!" So they stayed with me all that winter -- one of them, Stepan, would take my gun and go shooting in the forest -- and the other, Yakoff, was ill most of the time -- he coughed a lot ... and so the three of us together looked after the house ... then spring came ... "Good-bye, grandfather," they said -- and they went away -- back home to Russia ... escaped convicts -- from a Siberian prison camp ... honest peasants! If I hadn't felt sorry for them -- they might have killed me -- or maybe worse -- and then there would have been a trial and prison and afterwards Siberia -- what's the sense of it? Prison teaches no good -- and Siberia doesn't either -- but another human being can ... yes, a human being can teach another one kindness -- very simply! [ THE LOWER DEPTHS ] * Post your monologues on our groups.yahoo.com/group/3sis Forum! [ read the archives ]
Lesson #60 or 90 min
1. review (previous class)
3. new key terms & definitions
4. monologues & scenes
5. issues & topics
6. questions, discussion, analysis
7. in class work
9. improv & games
12. online, journals
* new : teatr.us
* The reader takes the part of the silent listener.
* The speaker uses a case-making, argumentative tone.
* We complete the dramatic scene from within, by means of inference and imagination.
[ from Definitions of the dramatic monologue, a form invented and practiced principally by Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Dante Rossetti ]
Think about it -- write your thoughts in your actor's journal!
I am miserable: I have become a fool, a nonentity. But then, all in all, you see before you the happiest of fathers. Why shouldn't I be, and who am I to say that I am not? Oh, if you only knew: I have lived with my wife for thirty-three years, and, I can say they are the best years of my life... well, not the best, but aspproximately the best. They have passed, as it were, in a thrice, and, well, to hell with them.
(Again, he looks around surreptitiously.)
I don't think my wife has arrived yet. She is not here. So, I can say what I like. I am afraid... I am terribly afraid when she looks at me. Well, I was talking about our duaghters. They don't get married, probably because they're so shy, and also because men can never get near them. My wife doesn't give parties. She never invites anyone to dinner. She's a stingy, shrewish, ill-tempered old biddy, and that's why no one comes to see us, but... I can tell you confidentially...
(He comes down to the edge of his platform.)
on holidays, my daughters can be seen at the home of their aunt, Natalia, the one who has rheumatism and always wears a yellow dress covered with black spots that look like cockroaches. There you can eat. And if my wife happens not to be looking, then you'll see me...
(He makes a drinking gesture.)
Oh, you'll see I can get tipsy on just one glass. Then I feel so happy and at the same time so sad, it's unimaginable. I think of my yough, and then somehow I long to run away, to clear out. Oh, if you only knew how I long to do it! To run away, to be free of everything, to run without ever looking back... Where? Anywhere, so long as it is away from that vile, mean, cheap life that has made me into a fool, a miserable idiot; to run away from that stupid, petty, hot headed, spiteful, nasty old miser, my wife, who has given me thirty-three years of torment; to run away from the music, the kitchen, my wife's bookkeeping ledgers, all those mundane, trivial affairs... To run away and then stop somewhere far, far away on a hill, and stand there like a tree, a pole, a scarecrow, under the great sky and the still, bright moon, and to forget, simply forget... Oh, how I long to forget! How I long to tear off this flock coat, this coat that I wore thirty-three years ago at my wedding, and that I still wear for lectures for charity!
(He tears off his coat.)
Take that: And that:
(Stamping on the coat.)
I am a poor, shabby, tattered wretch, like the back of this waistcoat. (He turns his back showing his waistcoat.) I ask for nothing. I am better than that. I was young once; I went to the university, I had dreams, I thought of myself as a man, but now... now, I want nothing. Nothing but peace... peace.
(He looks off stage. Quickly he pick up his flock coat and puts it on.)
She is here. My wife is there in the wings waiting for me. (He looks at his watch.) I see our time is up. If she asks you, please, I beg you, tell her that her scarecrow husband, I mean, the lecturer, me, behaved with dignity. Oh, she is looking at me.