We know. Finding quality, fresh and age appropriate college audition monologues can be an arduous task. Where do you look? How do you know what is expected of you? Why is this so hard?
First, let’s discuss what you should be looking for (and avoiding) in a college audition monologue:
1.) One that does not come from a monologue book or movie (!!!). College Audition monologues should be from published plays.
2.) Active as opposed to Passive. Make sure you are talking mostly in the present tense as opposed to talking about what you did yesterday or last year. We want to feel like a fly on the wall witnessing a conversation as opposed to being told it second hand.
3.) Never try to shock the auditor by being offensive, using excessive swear words or being inappropriately loud or negative.
4.) One where there is a clear audience. Who are you talking to? Why do you feel the need to tell them this? What do you want from them?
5.) One with a clear Super Objective: what do you ultimately want from the person you are talking to by the end of the monologue?
6.) A monologue must follow all guidelines, time limits and general requirements for each college you are auditioning for. Don’t do a two minute contemporary monologue when they asked for a one minute classical.
7.) Must be age appropriate!
8.) Connect with your monologue. If you think it’s just “alright” – that’s not good enough.
9.) Think of your monologue as a Verbal Headshot. This piece should be a representation of who you are, what you can offer the school for the next four years and some insight into what kind of actor/human you are.
If you believe your monologue fits the above criteria, the next step is making sure it is not on the dreaded Overdone Monologue list. No matter how brilliant and talented you are – you are sabotaging yourself if you go in with overdone material. It’s hard for the auditors to focus on you when they have already heard that monologue 10 times earlier that day.
Here is MCA’s compilation of 25 of some of the most overdone monologues/plays we have seen at college auditions:
1. Laughing Wild – Christopher Durang
2. Beyond Therapy – Christopher Durang (and most other Durang plays!)
3. House of Blue Leaves – John Guare
4. Girls Guide to Chaos – Cynthia Heimel
5. Painting Churches – Tina Howe
6. A…My Name is Alice – Joan Micklin and Julianna Boyd
7. This is our Youth – Kenneth Lonergan
8. Brilliant Traces – Cindy Lou Johnson
9. Reasons to be Pretty – Neil Labute (and most other Labute plays!)
10. Oleanna – David Mamet
11. Talking With – Jane Martin
12. Picasso at the Lapin Agile – Steve Martin
13. In the Boom Boom Room – David Rabe
14. Red Light Winter – Adam Rapp
15. Loose Knit – Theresa Rebeck
16. Spike Heels – Theresa Rebeck (and most other Rebeck plays!)
17. Dog Sees God – Burt V. Royal
18. I Hate Hamlet – Paul Rudnick
19. Danny and the Deep Blue Sea – John Patrick Shanley
20. Brighton Beach Memoirs – Neil Simon
21. Chapter Two – Neil Simon (and most other Simon plays!)
22. The Food Chain – Nicky Silver (and most other Silver plays!)
23. Nuts – Tom Topor
24. Uncommon Women and Others – Wendy Wasserstein
25. Be Aggressive – Annie Weisman
Does this mean these are bad monologues? No! These monologues become overdone for a reason: because they are well written and people enjoy them. However, you should absolutely avoid this list in order to make a lasting impression at your impending college auditions.
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