Monologue About a New Environment

The Assignment

You will assume either the persona of one of the rabbits coming to a new land or the persona of one of the characters whose land is being invaded by the rabbits and provide the audience an opportunity to hear your side of the story through a monologue of your own. What might be your perspective of these same events that you have read?

a. The character of a person whose territory is being invaded
b. The character of one of the rabbits

Your performance should be 2-3 minutes (approx 300-600 words).

Review the Monologue Study Notes and A Guideline to Writing Monologues below.
Be sure your monologue meets all the Requirements below before you submit it.

Monologue Study Notes:

Monologue(noun): A scene with a single actor who speaks alone Background
• Monologues can be traced back to the beginning of the spoken word.
• Dramatists throughout history have used monologues to allow the audience to focus on a singular character onstage for as long as two hours in length!
• From dramatic monologues (the poem, Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson) to comedic monologues (Jay Leno and David Letterman) to rants (Rick Mercer), monologues provide the speaker an opportunity to both speak from the heart or to address current issues in society.

A Guideline to Writing Monologues:
• Monologue simply means: mono – one; /ague – to speak, or one person speaking. To whom? An audience of course. As stated earlier, we see monologues everywhere, often in comic form on late-night talk shows.
• The monologue in this play is one of a more dramatic nature that allows an audience to watch a character make a choice, live on stage in the moment of her crisis. To ensure that this choice is effective, the author may have to select an important crossroad that the character is facing.
• As with all choices, and especially dilemmas, deciding can be difficult. The struggle – the difficulty and subsequent process of making the choice – need to be portrayed.
• One area of strength that an author can really build upon is that of emotion. The character basically needs to start “here” and finish “there,” and the journey must be a process that leads to something – emotional intensity, change, or a breakdown – that shows the audience a change has occurred.
• To understand why the character succeeds or fails, the audience has to have a context for the situation onstage. An author lets the audience know the essence of the character by rounding them out with enough detail so that they “know” them.
• Speaking is a focus of a monologue, so it is critical to indicate not only what the character is saying (diction) but the way that it is being said (attitude/tone) as well.
• Style is the last, but not least, element to remember when writing a monologue. The audience is going to react to the character’s voice, words and actions. Will the response be one of laughter, tears, or anger? The audience will respond to a character in a given moment in a given way – it is the author’s choice.

A Guideline to Writing Monologues:

  1. Your character must have a strong want. Think about the times you have become the most aggressive, upset, or combative. Most likely, if you felt this strongly, it was related to something you wanted or cared about very much. A character in a play or a monologue needs to want something badly. Without a strong want, there is no drama – or comedy for that matter.
  2. The monologue must have high stakes. There is something important or significant at stake for your character. If characters don’t get what they want, what will be the consequence? Perhaps they’ll lose social standing, lose a friend, lose their self-respect. Maybe they will lose their faith, or lose their one chance to prove their love to someone? High stakes give the monologue dramatic tension. Without stakes, a monologue is a walk in the park, it’s unimportant.
  3. There should be a hook opening. A good journalist, novelist, magazine writer always needs a hook-a killer first line that pulls the reader in and makes them want to read the next line, and then the next, and the next. Similarly, a monologue with a strong hook should peak the audience’s attention ( of course the rest of the monologue has to pay off the excitement and expectations it sets up).
  4. There should be a button closing. When your monologue ends, you don’t want the audience to wonder, is he/she done? Is this a dramatic pause? You want your ending to be clear.
  5. Your character should overcome an internal obstacle(s). Some of the most interesting monologues feature internal struggles. Shakespeare is filled with soliloquies that do this; the canon of modern drama contains a number of examples we can draw on as well. Watching a character conquer their own self-doubts in the course of a speech or soliloquy will hold an audience’s attention.
  6. You should balance past and present actions. So many monologues get stuck in the past, recounting stories that don’t connect with the here and now. A great monologue connects with the present even when it discusses the past. We can feel the current relationship between the monologist and the person hearing it.
  7. You should exercise restraint to build dramatic/comedic tension. A character trying hard not to cry is much more interesting than one all-out bawling for two minutes straight. Most of us try to avoid displaying strong, overwhelming emotions. A good monologue shows that struggle to keep strong emotions under wraps.

Note: A soliloquy is an inner monologue performed on stage expressing a character’s inner thoughts verbally.

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