Monologues pages in Acting One & Acting 2
mono in Total Actor

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Method: Mono, Monologues I, Mobologues II
Biomechanics: Mono I, Mono II
Acting One: Monologue, Mono I, Mono II

Method Acting for Directors: Monologue Study

Sample monologues: drama -- Chekhov, Gorky, Dostoevsky, Ibsen

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.

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:

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.]

floor plan

























scene/monologue ____________


The Possessed 2003:

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.

NOTES: write YOUR own stage directions (left margin)


FRANK: 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...
[ my script 1994, Anatoly Antohin ]
A DOLL'S HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen

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: There -- you say -- truth! Truth doesn't always heal a wounded soul. For instance, I knew of a man who believed in a land of righteousness. He said: "Somewhere on this earth there must be a righteous land -- and wonderful people live there -- good people! They respect each other, help each other, and everything is peaceful and good!" And so that man -- who was always searching for this land of righteousness -- he was poor and lived miserably -- and when things got to be so bad with him that it seemed there was nothing else for him to do except lie down and die -- even then he never lost heart -- but he'd just smile and say: "Never mind! I can stand it! A little while longer -- and I'll have done with this life -- and I'll go in search of the righteous land!" -- it was his one happiness -- the thought of that land. And then to this place -- in Siberia, by the way -- there came a convict -- a learned man with books and maps -- yes, a learned man who knew all sorts of things -- and the other man said to him: "Do me a favor -- show me where is the land of righteousness and how I can get there." At once the learned man opened his books, spread out his maps, and looked and looked and he said -- no -- he couldn't find this land anywhere ... everything was correct -- all the lands on earth were marked -- but not this land of righteousness. The man wouldn't believe it. ... "It must exist," he said, "look carefully. Otherwise," he says, "your books and maps are of no use if there's no land of righteousness." The learned man was offended. "My plans," he said, "are correct. But there exists no land of righteousness anywhere." Well, then the other man got angry. He'd lived and lived and suffered and suffered, and had believed all the time in the existence of this land -- and now, according to the plans, it didn't exist at all. He felt robbed! And he said to the learned man: "Ah -- you scum of the earth! You're not a learned man at all -- but just a damned cheat!" -- and he gave him a good wallop in the eye -- then another one ... [After a moment's silence.] And then he went home and hanged himself. [ THE LOWER DEPTHS, Gorky ] Bring a copy of your monologue to class (for "cold readings" -- dramatic text; after its memorized -- Actor's Text copy!)

Questions & Homework

Re-read ActHome page in! Chekhov

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 Forum! [ read the archives ]


Remember, the "small things"! It's time to "overpower" dramatic text with (your) performance! Do the pre-acting = no lines before the character and situation are established by YOU!
Lesson #
60 or 90 min

1. review (previous class)

2. overview

3. new key terms & definitions

4. monologues & scenes

5. issues & topics

6. questions, discussion, analysis

7. in class work

8. feedback

9. improv & games

10. reading

11. homework

12. online, journals

13. quiz



Chekhov Pages

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