8 Contemporary Monologues for Teens

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There are so many contemporary monologues a teen actor can choose from. During teen years, many emotional moments are heightened. If teens don’t get to borrow the car or go to the party, they’ll simply die. Bad for parents, great for monologues. Hot topics include silent crushes, friend betrayals, parents who just don’t understand, and depression. 

I’ve selected a few great options for young actors and focused more on the dramatic. The below monologue options should be treated as gender-neutral. Here are eight contemporary monologues for teens to consider.

1. “Shadows of my Mind”: Naomi

I’ve seen this monologue several times now. I’m always interested in how the actor will play it. You get to explore the inner workings of your mind, in real-time, as we get to watch you discover. Experience it in a way personal to yourself. This monologue will test you. Your focus should be on the person you’re speaking to, but as you wrestle with these thoughts, we’d like to see the inner struggle you’re experiencing, as you speak to yourself.

2. “Those Days are Over”: Marsha

This is an interesting dramatic monologue between rivaling sisters. Can you relate? Here, Marsha defends herself against her sister’s outburst. This makes things erupt between them. Marsha loves her sister and wants to maintain the relationship, but needs to challenge her. So many great options here, but I’d create a backstory to help you understand what has brought you to this moment.  

3. “Nowhere Near Happy”: Ava

Here Ava is talking to the audience. She discusses issues with her parents in the face of her success and how her success has made her relationship with them more difficult. But, the underlying issue here is feeling underappreciated by her parents. She does not get the positive feedback she craves from them. She admits, “…for once, I’d like to get told I’m doing a good job, like I’m somewhat appreciated.” There is great emotional depth in this monologue. If you allow yourself not to yell or get angry, it will be more interesting.

4. “Agree to Disagree”: Harpa

A face-to-face friendly smackdown, Harpa is hearing the eye-opening truth from a close friend about their fake relationship and her need to be more real. What I love about this monologue is that with great coaching, you can make this really interesting. I wouldn’t play this in the obvious way. How do you confront someone and keep the relationship? There should always be a big downside if you don’t get what you want.  

5. “Easy A”: Brandon

Brandon is a gay high school student who is bullied at school. Olive convinces him to lie and say he’s been intimate with her, so he can be accepted and she can have a bad girl reputation. Initially a great idea, now not so much. He now needs to convince Olive to continue this façade. She’s not having it. It’s a great seriocomedy piece. Educationally, it’s a classic “what do you want” and “what’s getting in your way” monologue.  

6. “Almost 16”

In this comedic monologue, a young actor is auditioning for her school and not quite old enough to drive to get to the audition. She tries to convince her father to allow her to drive, even though she’s not quite 16 yet. A real cute monologue, you should keep all eyes on your father here as it’s his responses, silent or otherwise, that will determine how you live the next moment. Lose all prior knowledge of this monologue and the way you rehearsed it. Focus 100% on your father and don’t predetermine how you’ll perform this piece. 

7. “One Way Conversation”: Bella

You have 30 seconds to say what you’ve wanted to say for a long time. It’s been bottled up and needs to come out now. Here Bella confronts her mother about a seeming lack of encouragement and support to follow her dreams. You don’t want to create distance between you and your mother, so you need to walk a tightrope. Create a backstory here and understand the stakes are always high.  

8. “Sly Statements”: Melanie

Here Melanie is having a discussion with her boyfriend. She says he makes her feel less than a person and she’s fed up with his condescension. They can’t be together anymore if he can’t change. Again, for educational purposes, this monologue will demand you not try to make it something ahead of time. Simply allow it to become something on its own, as you explore your way through it.

What makes monologues so interesting for class purposes, whether the above or any other, is that you have the opportunity to see it as you do. What’s important is that you heighten the need at the beginning of the piece, stay focused and simple, and that will help determine the tone and velocity of the monologue on its own. For class purposes and your education, understand that most monologues can be treated as gender-neutral. So, have fun. Read many options. Then, select a contemporary monologue that you can identify with and want to rehearse and perform.

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Todd Etelson
Todd Etelson is a top NYC kids and teen acting coach, specializing in on-camera television, film, and audition technique. In 2004, he founded Actors Technique NY (ATNY), a TV and film school for serious young actors.
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