39 Great Monologues for Women

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Sometimes, finding a monologue can feel impossible. It can become even harder when none of the monologues for women you do end up finding fit what you need for an audition or feel right for you to perform. So, how can you find the best monologue options? Luckily, our Backstage Experts and writers are here to help in your search! Below are 39 monologues for women—ranging from comedic to dramatic and classical to contemporary—that are perfect to consider for your next project.


Comedic Monologues

Actor, writer, and Backstage Expert Mallory Fuccella says that finding the perfect comedic monologue can be a challenge. After all, comedy is subjective. Luckily, she’s found some great comedic pieces to help actors find a monologue that “sounds like you!”

1. “Marie and Bruce” by Wallace Shawn 
“Wallace Shawn’s sharp wit highlights the hilarity of a marriage gone south. Marie’s dry sarcasm throughout the play allows for her monologue explosions to be a fun and engaging one-sided dialogue.”

2. “Insecure” (Season 1, Episode 2)
“The monologue in this episode has the ability to show range and for the imaginative actor, can really showcase the environment and the ability to move through your vocal range.”

3. “Barry” (Season 2, Episode 7)
“If you’re an actor that tends to lean toward drama, I’d suggest Sally Reed’s monologue at the end of Season 2. It’s great when a monologue mirrors an aspect of everyday life and what’s great about this monologue is that every actor can relate to Sally’s speech to Barry.”

4. “The Good Place” (Season 1, Episode 7)
“In the episode titled ‘The Eternal Shriek,’ Chidi and Eleanor discover that the only way to save their friend Michael from heading to the Bad Place is to deactivate Janet.”

5. “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” by Lily Tomlin
“If you’re going out for more character-actor roles or consider yourself a character actor, I highly recommend sifting through this masterpiece.”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Dramatic Monologues

Actor, writer, and Backstage Expert Mallory Fuccella knows the importance of finding a dramatic monologue with the correct tone, and she’s here to help. Here are her suggestions for dramatic monologues for women.

1. “Curse of the Starving Class” by Sam Shepard – Emma
“Shepard’s dexterity with language and character arcs make each moment of this play an entertaining and heart-wrenching read. Emma is the young, rebellious daughter who commits to a life of crime after deciding that her family’s path is not her own.”

2. “Succession” (Season 1, Episode 10) – Shiv
“The quick-paced dialogue and layered characters of ‘Succession’ make for a strong audition piece...What makes this monologue so engaging and gripping is Shiv’s view on family, power and wealth, and love. If you’re a dramatic actor who enjoys dialogue and multi-layered characters, check out this monologue.”

3. “Ramy” (Season 1, Episode 6) – Fatima
“ ‘Ramy’ follows the story of a first-generation American Muslim integrating his Egyptian family life and living in his politically divided neighborhood in New Jersey...This is a great monologue to dive into if you tend to be an actor that leads more toward comedic parts since ‘Ramy’ is considered a dramedy.”

4. “Atlanta” (Season 1, Episode 6) –  Jayde
“Jayde is a sophisticated and polished woman in her early 30s who believes that her way of living is the ‘correct’ way of living. In a scene with her old friend, Vanessa, Jayde attempts to convince Vanessa that she ought to leave her current relationship and essentially be more like her.”

5. “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” by John Patrick Shanley – Roberta
“In John Patrick Shanley’s two-person play, two strangers, Danny and Roberta, meet in a bar...If you enjoy sinking your teeth into the psychology of a character with a dark past, this play is for you!” 

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Shakespeare Monologues

Acting coach and Backstage Expert Erin Roth says it’s important to remember three things when choosing a Shakespeare monologue: “Find one that matches you as an actor (energy or type-wise); find one you don’t have to make internal cuts to for time’s sake; and find one that resonates with you on a deep, visceral level.” This might sound difficult, but Roth has found some excellent shorter Shakespeare monologues for women to consider!

1. Isabella, “Measure for Measure”: Act 2, Scene 2
“Could great men thunder”

“If you’re looking for [an] Isabella monologue that is less well-known, this one is fantastic...this is the beginning of her journey into understanding the devastating effects of male abuse of power.” 

2. Miranda, “The Tempest”: Act 1, Scene 2
“If by your art, my dearest father”

“If you’re a younger actor or new to Shakespeare, Miranda is a great place to start...Miranda has just seen a ship dashed by a storm and she suspects that her father, who has powerful magical powers, was responsible.”

3. Ophelia, “Hamlet”: Act 3, Scene 1
“O what a noble mind is here o’erthrown”

“This is both a beautiful monologue and an example of Shakespeare’s brilliant stagecraft. Ophelia has no one else to talk to–her brother is gone, her father is using her for political purposes, Hamlet has just said some devastating things to her–so she talks to the audience in a soliloquy.”

4. Portia, “Julius Caesar”: Act 2, Scene 1
“Is Brutus sick? And is it physical”

“Shakespeare writes brilliantly about marriages and this Portia and Brutus scene is no exception. Brutus is conspiring to kill Julius Caesar but he has not confided in his wife. Portia knows something is wrong.”

5. Cressida, “Troilus and Cressida”: Act 3, Scene 2
“Hard to seem won, but I was won, my lord”

“If you’re looking for a comedic monologue, this is an excellent choice...a delightful and relatable journey for both actor and audience.”

6. Titania, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: Act 2, Scene 1
“Set your heart at rest. The fairyland buys not the child of me”

“Another brilliant examination of a marriage-like relationship, this quarrel has severe consequences for humanity and the environment.”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Contemporary Monologues

Worried you might perform a monologue the casting director has seen over and over again? Try these great alternative contemporary monologues compiled by Backstage writer Laurence Cook.

1. “My Heart’s a Suitcase” by Clare McIntyre
“This is from a brilliantly odd play (with talking luggage) set in a rundown seaside flat. In this extract, a homeless man has just visited, and Hannah could either be railing at how men see her as an easy target for attention, or disguising the fact that she craves company by regaling the scene partner with stories of how she’s always bothered by strange men.”

2. “Chewing Gum Dreams” by Michaela Coel
“The understated brilliance of Michaela Coel’s monologue play is that although it’s all from Tracey’s point of view, the audience gets to see her from multiple perspectives.” 

3. Bull” by Mike Bartlett
“If you’ve seen any of Mike Bartlett’s works for stage or TV, you’ll know that he’s the master of people being horrible to each other. Here, in this play about workplace bullying and competition, Isobel belittles a male character.”

4. “Lungs” by Duncan Macmillan
“The speaker is one half of an educated, thoughtful (bordering on neurotic) couple who discuss having a baby throughout the play but come up against the moral dilemmas of having children.”

5. “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire
“Margaret is on a cigarette break at work, talking to her younger boss...Margaret is gregarious, quick-witted, and often uses comedy to lighten how tough her life is...There’s an opportunity to show your comic timing, movement skills, and explore different voices in telling the story.”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Classical Monologues

Backstage writer Cook knows that “picking a classical audition speech is a minefield,” with many overused monologues. But here he’s shared some alternative classical monologue options for women.

1. “Moll: The Roaring Girl” by Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekke
“This address to Laxton features plenty of opportunities for comedy, not least in how many times Moll asks questions that she doesn’t allow him to answer.”

2. “Bel-Imperia: The Spanish Tragedy” by Thomas Kyd
“Bel-Imperia is a young, intelligent and strong-willed noblewoman in the Spanish court. She talks to Hieronimo, a knight and the father of the murdered Horatio.”

3. “Dido: Dido, Queen of Carthage” by Christopher Marlowe
“...Dido has changed through Acts 1–4. From a powerful ruler who refused to marry she’s now become a lovesick teenager. But in the course of this speech she snaps out of it...”

4. “Isabella: Women Beware Women” by Thomas Middleton
“This is an aside from early in the play. It gives Isabella the opportunity to talk frankly with the audience and to comment on some of the action. But taken out of context, it’s important to convey that Isabella is being forced to be married and that the husband-to-be is a fool.”

5. “Alice: Arden of Faversham” by Anonymous
“...Within all the sections there’s room for lots of colour, especially when Alice uses different tactics to get Mosby to respond.” 

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Disney Movie Monologues

Backstage Expert and actor Robert Peterpaul knows that “searching for the perfect monologue can feel like wishing upon a star.” Luckily, he’s rounded up some of the best Disney movie monologues to add a little magic to your audition! Here are his picks for Disney monologues for women. 

1. “Aladdin” (2019): Jasmine
“She won’t go speechless! Show your power in this mini monologue where Jasmine stands up to Hakim. She shows that tears can be a sign of strength.”

2. “Stargirl” (2020): Stargirl
“The title character’s big speech in this Disney+ film is a nice lengthy option if you’re looking for a contemporary dramatic piece.”

3. “Maleficent” (2014): Maleficent
“Surely you suspected some delicious villain content on here. Angelina Jolie sinks her pearly whites into her first big speech of this Disney hit, penned by Disney-darling Linda Woolverton.”

4. “Brave” (2012): Merida
“This is a good monologue to use to simply practice your Scottish accent, but you can also go accentless and make it your own!”

5. “Finding Nemo” (2003): Dory
“Who would’ve thought a fish could make us cry? Despite not finding Nemo yet, Dory’s final tear-jerking monologue proves she found something unexpected: her home.”

6. “Enchanted” (2007): Giselle
“While the dialogue doesn’t vary too much, your choices certainly can during this outburst from Giselle! Sadly, relating to being told “no” isn’t too tough for us actors.”

7. “Tangled” (2010): Rapunzel and Mother Gothel
“I mean, hopefully, we’re not all locked in towers, but who can’t relate to a little family tension? There are two Rapunzel monologues at the link above, but don’t sleep on Mother Gothel! She tends to steamroll her stolen daughter with her dialogue so there are lots of options for her in the film, too.” 

8. Princess Diaries” (2001): Mia Thermopolis
“Who could forget Mia’s rain-drenched and ballgown-less final speech from this hit live-action film? Not casting directors if it suits you!”

9. “Freaky Friday” (2003): Anna
“Not sure when you’d need to channel being a mother trapped inside her daughter’s body, but hey, we’ve all got demons (and hopefully lots of auditions down the road).” 

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Television Monologues

Backstage Expert and talent manager Corey Ralston knows that television monologues can be “powerful and heavy-hitting.” He’s rounded up some of the best television monologues, that you might want to consider shortening or removing curses from. Here are a few that are perfect for women! 

1. “How to Get Away With Murder”: Analise Keating’s Closing Argument
“[Viola] Davis does not disappoint in this closing argument where she takes off the mask and confronts her actions and begs for mercy. This monologue gives an actor a chance to show vulnerability in a raised stakes life or death situation.”

2. “Parks and Recreation”: Leslie Knope’s Debate Speech
“Sitcoms rarely are places to look to when searching for the right monologue. But single-camera series have scores of hidden gems with heart and personality.”

3. “Barry”: Sally’s Monologue
“Before you roll your eyes about a monologue about a monologue, do yourself a favor and watch. Sarah Goldberg secured herself an Emmy nomination with this neurotic ramble about a monologue she is afraid to do in class.” 

4. “Shameless”: Fiona on Monica’s Death
“What you get here is an angry heart-wrenching outburst about the estranged relationship with [Fiona’s] mom who was reckless and never there to the man who is heavily grieving his soulmate. This monologue is great for showcasing complex and deep-rooted emotions.”

Learn more about these monologues here!

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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