The Best Short Stage Monologues  

William Neckard
67 votes 39 voters 6.5k views 15 items

List Rules Vote up the short monologues from plays that are the best to memorize for auditions and classes.

Anyone who has ever had an acting audition knows how important it is to find the perfect monologue. These monologues from plays are all under two minutes and give a performer the opportunity to showcase their unique talents. Here are 15 of the best short stage monologues.

If you’re hoping to display your dramatic acting, there are a couple of Shakespeare short monologues on this list that will do the trick. If you’re seeking a more modern piece, then something like Imogen’s monologue from Terry Johnson’s play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle And Dick may better suit your needs. If you’re a youngster looking to land a stage role, there are a couple of short monologues for auditions featured on this list for you as well.

Some of these are famous short monologues, while others are hidden theater gems. Which do you think are the best short monologues for an audition? Make your voice heard by voting thumbs up or thumbs down on the list below.

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Now Linus, I want you to take a good look at Charlie Brown's face. Would you please hold still a minute, Charlie Brown, I want Linus to study your face. Now, this is what you call a Failure Face, Linus. Notice how it has failure written all over it. Study it carefully, Linus.

You rarely see such a good example. Notice the deep lines, the dull, vacant look in the eyes. Yes, I would say this is one of the finest examples of a Failure Face that you're liable to see for a long while.


Act 1, Scene 1


Authors / Creators: Clark Gesner

Play Genre: Comedy, Musical theatre

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Noises Off - Dotty Otley
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It’s no good you going on. I can’t open sardines and answer the phone. I’ve only got one pair of feet. Hello….Yes, but there’s no one here, love…. No, Mr. Brent’s not here…He lives here, yes, but he don’t live here now because he lives in Spain… Mr. Philip Brent, that’s right….

The one who writes the plays, that’s him, only now he writes them in Spain… No, she’s in Spain, too, they’re all in Spain, there’s no one here… Am I in Spain? No, I’m not in Spain, dear. I look after the house for him, but I go home at one o’clock on Wednesday, only I’ve got a nice plate of sardines to put my feet up with, because it’s the royal what’s-it’s called on the telly — the royal you know — where’s the paper, then?

And if it’s to do with letting the house then you’ll have to ring the house-agents, because they’re the agents for the house…. Squire Squire, Hackham and who’s the other one…? No, they’re not in Spain, they’re next to the phone in the study. Squire, Squire, Hackham, and hold on, I’ll go and look. Always the same, isn’t it. Soon as you take the weight off your feet, down it all comes on your head.


Act 1, Scene 1


Authors / Creators: Michael Frayn

Play Genre: Comedy

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Our Town - Emily Webb 
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 I can't bear it. They're so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old? Mama, I'm here. I'm grown up. I love you all, everything. - I cant look at everything hard enough. (pause, talking to her mother who does not hear her. She speaks with mounting urgency) Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I'm dead. You're a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally's dead, too. Mama, his appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway.

We felt just terrible about it - don't you remember? But, just for a moment now we're all together. Mama, just for a moment we're happy. Let's look at one another. (pause, looking desperate because she has received no answer. She speaks in a loud voice, forcing herself to not look at her mother) I can't. I can't go on. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. (she breaks down sobbing, she looks around) I didn't realize.

All that was going on in life and we never noticed. Take me back - up the hill - to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners? Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking? and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths? and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. (she asks abruptly through her tears) Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - every, every minute? (she sighs) I'm ready to go back. I should have listened to you. That's all human beings are! Just blind people.


Act 3



Authors / Creators: Thornton Wilder

Play Genre: Drama

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You wouldn’t understand yet, son, but your daddy’s gonna make a transaction...a business transaction that’s going to change our lives...That’s how come one day when you ‘bout seventeen years old I’ll come home and I’ll be pretty tired, you know what I mean, after a day of conferences and secretaries getting things wrong the way they do...’cause an executive’s life is hell, man--And I’ll pull the car up on the driveway...just a plain black Chrysler, I think, with white walls--no--black tires.

More elegant. Rich people don’t have to be flashy...though I’ll have to get something a little sportier for Ruth--maybe a Cadillac convertible to do her shopping in...And I’ll come up the steps to the house and the gardener will be clipping away at the hedges and he’ll say, “Good evening, Mr. Younger.” And I’ll say, “Hello, Jefferson, how are you this evening?”

And I’ll go inside and Ruth will come downstairs and meet me at the door and we’ll kiss each other and she’ll take my are and we’ll go up to your room to see you sitting on the floor with the catalogues of all the great schools in America around you...All the great schools in the world! And--and I’ll say, all right son--it’s your seventeenth birthday, what is it you’ve decided?...just tell me where you want to go to school and you’ll go. Just tell me, what it is you want to be==Yessir! You just name it, son...and I hand you the world!


Act 2, Scene 2


Authors / Creators: Lorraine Hansberry

Play Genre: Drama, Domestic tragedy

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