Culture

The Best Stage Monologues For Women 

William Neckard
Updated February 25, 2020 481 votes 329 voters 35.6k views 15 items

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

It’s audition time and you’re looking for the perfect monologue. These 15 powerful female monologues for auditions are a great place to start the journey. They include a couple hidden theater gems as well as several famous female monologues, good for either Broadway or the local playhouse.

These monologues from plays all feature three-dimensional females with space for an actress to show off her character talent. Of course, there are a couple of intense dramatic monologues from Shakespeare. The power-hungry Lady Macbeth will not be ignored. There are also several of the most popular American plays in the history of stage represented on this list of female monologues. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Our Town, and A Streetcar Named Desire all contain some of the best female monologues ever.

Which female stage monologues do you think would impress a theater director the most? Let Tennessee Williams, Thorton Wilder, and Oscar Wilde help you to land the stage role of your dreams.

1
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

Is this a great monologue for women?
2
Hello, Goodbye, Peace - Alina
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World peace, world peace.  Everyone wants world peace.  Or everyone pretends to want world peace. But they don’t really want world peace.   Because there’s a simple way to get it.  Everyone knows it, no one wants to say it.   Fire the boys.   Fire the boys!  There.  I said it.

The boys have been mostly in charge of the world for a long time now, and look at it.   The world is a mess.  A mess created by boys.   And why are we surprised by this?    Go into any single boy’s home or apartment or dorm room.   Go into it.  Is it tidy?  Are the pants crisply folded, the shirts carefully hung, the socks darned?  Some?   Sure, sure.  Some are.  But the majority?  The majority are a forgotten wasteland of dirty laundry, empty beer cans and old pizza boxes!  So what idiot saw the average boy’s room and said, “This looks good!  We should put this guy in charge of the entire world!  I think he’ll get the place in order!”  I can tell you this, it wasn’t a girl.   A girl did not make that decision.

No, boys have been putting other boys in charge for a long time now.   And yeah, we girls get some middle management positions, a few leadership roles here and there.  Things are changing.   But meanwhile, the boys really are still mainly in charge.   And really, if they knew what is good for them, they’d all step down and let some ladies step up right away.

And I know, boys, what you’re thinking “What makes you think you’d do better!”  And my answer is, wild baboons!   Wild baboons have proved that girls can do better.  Let me explain.

There’s a troupe of wild baboons in Africa, you can Google this, where a tragedy killed off most of the males, leaving all the girl monkeys in charge.  And the result was AMAZE-BALLS.   The baboons stopped fighting amongst themselves, and spent more time socializing and grooming each other.  Making them less mean and more clean!

And it was good for the boys!   The boy monkeys who used to be all stressed out, worrying about competing with the other boys , learned from the now dominant girl culture how to groom each other.  In no other baboon troupe does one male monkey groom another.  These secure guy monkey’s do!  The girls taught them that!   And when new boys come into the troupe, they teach them how to do it too.   And they’ve kept this monkey utopia going for generation after generation!   And the result is healthier boy monkeys!

The scientist who studies them – Dr. Sapolsky –  found these monkeys have none of the stress related issues of regular monkeys.  Regular monkeys, especially the lower status ones that get picked on all the time, have the same problems we do - high blood pressure, obesity, and impaired brain function from stress.  But Sapolksy’s monkey’s don’t, no – they’re thriving like no other troupe. 

So boys, if you know what’s good for you – you will step down right now and let the girls take over.  Not only will it be good for your individual health, it will be good for the entire world!

 

Act 1

Authors / Creators: Gabriel Davis

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3
Goodbye Charles - Monologist 
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I ate them. That’s right. I ate the divorce papers, Charles. I ate them with ketchup. And they were good...goooood. You probably want me to get serious about our divorce. The thing is you always called our marriage a joke. So let’s use logic here: If A we never had a serious marriage then B we can’t have a serious divorce. No. We can’t. The whole thing’s a farce, Charles – a farce that tastes good with ketchup.

I mean, wasn’t it last week, your dad asked you the reason you walked down that aisle with me, and you said “for the exercise.” Ha, ha. That’s funny. You’re a funny guy, Charles. I’m laughing, not a crying. Ha, ha. I’m laughing because you’re about to give up on a woman who is infinitely lovable.

For instance: Paul. He has loved me since the eighth grade. Sure, he’s a little creepy, but he reeeeally loves me. He’s made one hundred twenty seven passes at me, proposed forty seven times, and sent me over two hundred original love sonnets. He sees something in me, Charles. And he writes it down, in metered verse!

And that’s not something you just find everyday. Someone who really loves everything about who you are as a person. Paul may be insane, but I value his feelings for me.

I would never ask him to sign his name to a piece of paper promising to just turn off his feelings for me forever. But that’s what you’re asking me to do, for you. To sign away my right to...to that sweet voice Charles, those baby brown eyes, the way your hands feel through my hair before bed...

Those aren’t things I want to lose. In fact, I won’t lose them. I won’t lose you. I’ll woo you. I’ve written you a sonnet. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day. Thou art more lovely and more temperate, rough winds do shake the darling buds of may and...”  I’m not crying. I’m laughing. It’s all a big joke. It’s very funny, Charles. I keep waiting for you to say “April Fools.” Then I’ll rush into your arms and... But you’re not going to, are you? No. Of course not. It’s not April.

I, I didn’t really write that sonnet, you know. Paul did. I think it’s good.

You see, the truth...the truth is, Charles, I ate the divorce papers, I ate them, because I can’t stomach the thought of losing you.

 

Act 1

Authors / Creators: Gabriel Davis

Is this a great monologue for women?
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He was a boy, just a boy, when I was a very young girl. When I was sixteen, I made the discovery–love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in shadow, that’s how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky. Deluded.

There was something different about the boy, anervousness, a softness and tenderness which wasn’t like a man’s, although he wasn’t the least biteffeminate looking–still–that thing was there…. He came to me for help. I didn’t know that. I didn’t find out anything till after our marriage when we’d run away and come back and all I knew was I’d failed him in some mysterious way and wasn’t able to give the help he needed but couldn’t speak of!

He was in the quicksands and clutching at me–but I wasn’t holding him out, I was slipping in with him! I didn’t know that. I didn’t know anything except I loved him unendurably but without being able to help him or help myself. Then I found out. In the worst of all possible ways. By coming suddenly into a room that I thought was empty–which wasn’t empty, but had two people in it… the boy I had married and an older man who had been his friend for years…

 

 Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire Signet Books, 1951, pp.95-6.

Authors / Creators: Tennessee Williams

Is this a great monologue for women?