11th Grade Monologue Study

Friday, November 1, 2013

11th Grade Drama: The Monologue
October 29-December 19, 2013
Instructor: C. Everhart
Assistant: K. Woolcott

Syllabus: In 11th Grade Drama we study the dramatic form of the monologue- beginning with Shakespearean monologues, moving into excerpts from modern plays and ending with original compositions. We will examine how language and movement can reveal character through the use of literary and theatrical devices. We will also explore the acting techniques of the Russian director, Constantin Stanislavski and his student, Michael Chekhov, as a way of further revealing character onstage. The class culminates in a presentation of selected monologues for an invited audience. Students are evaluated on participation in class, mastery of the exercises and monologues, timeliness and quality of assigned work, ability to work independently and the final performance.

Unit #1: The Shakespearean Monologue
               Tuesday, October 29-Friday, November 15

Unit #2: The Modern Monologue
               Tuesday, November 19- Tuesday, November 26

Unit #3: The Original Monologue
               Tuesday, December 3-Friday, December 6

Unit #4:  Rehearsals: Tuesday, December 10-Thursday, December 12
                Run-through: Friday, December 13
                Tech Rehearsal: Tuesday, December 17
                Dress Rehearsal: Wednesday, December 18
                Presentation: Thursday, December 19


Unit #2: The Modern Monologue

Assignment: Select a modern (from late 1800’s to present) monologue that is 2-3 minutes in length by a published or produced playwright. Your monologue must be from a published or produced play and you must be able to obtain a copy of the play and read it. You need to submit a hard copy of the monologue by Friday, November 15. (The monologue may not include profane language.) You will also need to write a character description (* see below) which will be due on Tuesday, November 26.

Deadlines: Submit monologue- Friday, November 15
                     Rehearse monologue- Tuesday, November 19-22
                     Memorize monologue- Friday, November 22
                    Character description– Tuesday, November 26
                    Present monologue- Tuesday, December 3

-Published plays (available at libraries or bookstores)
 (You can check the Chicago Public Library’s catalog at http://www.chicagopubliclibrary.org)

-Internet Source:

-Ms. Everhart’s collection

11th Grade Drama
*Character Description Assignment:
Write a character description that is at least 250 words in length, using complete sentences and good paragraph formation. It should include the following:

• The name of the play (movie), author and your character

• Include as many details about your character as you can find in the script either from what your character says or what others say about your character such as approximate age, profession/status, where they live, time period they live in, family life, etc.

• What kind of a person your character is: personality traits, habits, mannerisms,
   likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses

• What happens to your character during the course of the story,
   how your character drives the action forward and what happens to your character 
   in the events following the point of your monologue

Unit # 3- The Original Monologue

Assignment: Write a monologue that is inspired by someone else’s biography. It could be someone you know or someone you’ve read about in a magazine, newspaper or book, or someone you’ve heard about in a documentary or interview. The monologue should be in the first person and at least 2 minutes long. It should have a strong moment before, heightened emotion (dramatic or comic), a well-established sense of place, and a clear relationship with the person(s) to whom you are speaking (self, another, others or audience). You should use dramatic language and avoid profane language. Read it aloud several times both for timing and also to get a feel for how it sounds.

Bring in a rough draft of the monologue and a brief synopsis of the person’s story by Thursday, December 6.

Some resources for interesting biographies and interviews include:




Some examples of monologues drawn from writers’ experiences of people they’ve known include:

Working: the Musical (based on Studs Terkel’s book) by Stephen Schwartz
Runaways by Elizabeth Swados
Plays by Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill and August Wilson
The Search for Signs of Intelligent life in the Universe by Jane Wagner

Unit #1- The Shakespeare Monologue
Tuesday, October 29-Tuesday, November 15, 2013

• Select a Shakespearean monologue by Wednesday, October 30 that is between 15-20 lines long (verse only) and submit a copy
• Score the Henry V monologue by Wednesday, October 30
• Score your First Folio monologue- due Wednesday, November 6
• Read your selected play and submit a synopsis of the play (min 250 words) on Friday, November 8          
• Memorize your monologue by Friday, November 8
• Rehearse monologue Tuesday, November 12-Thursday, November 14
• Present to class on Friday, November 15