Minute to Win It: The Best 60-Second Monologues for Teens

Article Image
Photo Source: “Little Women” Courtesy Sony Pictures

Whether it comes in the form of hilarious coming-of-age musings or a dignified yet devastating deathbed speech, the one-minute monologue allows teen actors to showcase their range and talent—all within 60 seconds. Short monologues like the five listed here are tailored to resonate with young performers and casting directors alike.

JUMP TO

Why should teens choose a one-minute monologue?

Teen reading

file404/Shutterstock

Teen actors may be asked to choose a one-minute monologue for auditions. Short monologues allow teens to showcase their skills within a brief period of time and are easy to learn. 

It’s requested: At this stage, auditions are often fast-paced, with CDs looking to quickly gauge an actor’s capabilities. Shorter monologues are often a practical necessity due to time constraints.

It makes an impact: One-minute monologues challenge actors to express a character’s depth and acting range in a condensed format. This brevity forces clarity and precision in a performance—invaluable skills in the acting world.

It’s easy to memorize: Teens often have shorter attention spans than adults, meaning that a succinct, impactful piece can be more effective than a longer monologue. It’s about showcasing their ability to convey a story and evoke emotions rapidly. As a result, the teen performer demonstrates that they can be a compelling presence even in the briefest of moments.

What makes a good one-minute teenage monologue?

It’s relatable: A good one-minute monologue should be relatable for the teen actor, tailored to the unique experiences and challenges of adolescence. 

It portrays a strong point of view: The monologue should offer a glimpse into the character’s world, encapsulating their desires, conflicts, or transformations in a way that resonates with both the performer and the audience. 

It tells a story: The monologue should have a clear arc or a significant moment of change, allowing the actor to display a range of emotions and reactions within a limited time. This could involve a shift from humor to seriousness, a revelation, or a decisive action. 

It lets the teen shine: Additionally, it should provide room for personal interpretation, giving the teen actor the freedom to infuse their personality and acting style into the performance. Choosing a piece with a strong, distinctive voice—whether it’s a character speaking about their dreams, facing a dilemma, or overcoming an obstacle—can help the actor stand out in an audition by showcasing authenticity, versatility, and the ability to connect with the material on a personal level.

5 great one-minute monologues for teens

Teen monologue

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

“Brighton Beach Memoirs,” by Neil Simon: Eugene’s insights

Teenager Eugene provides several comedic monologues throughout this play, offering insights into his family life, his burgeoning adolescence, and his observations of the world around him. This monologue is a funny take on adolescence and family dynamics, making it perfect for a teen actor looking to showcase comedic timing and the ability to portray relatable, everyday experiences with a humorous twist.

EUGENE: One out, a man on second, bottom of the seventh, two balls, no strikes... IN A MINUTE MA! This is for the World Series! One pitch, Mom? I think I can get him to pop up. I have my stuff today! They’re clean. I’m wearing a glove. Eugene Morris Jerome... I hate my name! EUGENE MORRIS JEROME... How am I ever going to play for the Yankees with a name like Eugene Morris Jerome? You have to be a Joe... or a Tony... or Frankie... If only I was born Italian... All the best Yankees are Italian... My mother makes spaghetti with ketchup, what chance do I have? [Pause] What I am about to tell you next is so secret and private that I’ve left instructions for my memoirs not to be opened until thirty years after my death... I, Eugene Morris Jerome, have committed a mortal sin by lusting after my cousin Nora. I can tell you all this now because I’ll be dead when you’re reading it... If I had the choice between a tryout with the Yankees and actually seeing her bare breast for two and a half seconds, I would have some serious thinking to do...

“The Diary of Anne Frank,” by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett: Anne’s inner world monologue

Anne speaks about her dreams, hopes, and the confinement she feels in this dramatic one-minute monologue, offering a profound and emotional insight into her world. This monologue allows a teen actor to delve into a historically significant character. It’s a powerful opportunity to convey deep emotional experiences.

ANNE: Look, Peter, the sky. [She looks up through the skylight.] What a lovely, lovely day! Aren’t the clouds beautiful? You know what I do when it seems as if I couldn't stand being cooped up for one more minute? I think myself out. I think myself on a walk in the park where I used to go with Pim. Where the jonquils and the crocus and the violets grow down the slopes. You know the most wonderful part about thinking yourself out? You can have it any way you like. You can have roses and violets and chrysanthemums all blooming at the same time? It's funny. I used to take it all for granted. And now I've gone crazy about everything to do with nature. Haven’t you? [Softly] I wish you had a religion, Peter. Oh, I don’t mean you have to be Orthodox, or believe in heaven and hell and purgatory and things. I just mean some religion. It doesn’t matter what. Just to believe in something! When I think of all that’s out there. The trees. And flowers. And seagulls. When I think of the dearness of you, Peter. And the goodness of people we know, all risking their lives for us every day. When I think of these good things, I’m not afraid anymore. I find myself, and God, and I... We’re not the only people have had to suffer. There’ve always been people that’ve had to. Sometimes one race, sometimes another, and yet...I know it’s terrible, trying to have any faith when people are doing such horrible things, but you know what I sometimes think? I think the world may be going through a phase, the way I was with Mother. It’ll pass, maybe not for hundreds of years, but someday I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are really good at heart. Peter, if you’d only look at it as part of a great pattern. That we’re just a little minute in the life? [She breaks off.] Listen to us, going at each other like a couple of stupid grownups! Look at the sky now. Isn’t it lovely?

“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” by Paul Zindel: Tillie sees the beauty of science

Tillie is a bookish high school student who overcomes abuse from a jealous, acid‐tongued mother and the vengeance of a pretty but mean‐spirited sister. Encouraged by a teacher, Tillie carries out a gamma ray experiment with marigold seeds that wins her a prize at the school science fair. Through Tillie’s experiment, she learns that beauty can flourish even in the most barren conditions. Tillie’s character provides a complex portrayal of overcoming adversity and finding beauty in harsh circumstances. This one-minute dramatic monologue is ideal for a teen actor looking to demonstrate resilience, intellectual curiosity, and emotional depth in their performance.

TILLIE: He told me to look at my hand, for a part of it came from a star that exploded too long ago to imagine. This part of me was formed from a tongue of fire that screamed through the heavens until there was our sun. And this part of me—this tiny part of me was on the sun when it itself exploded and whirled in a great storm until the planets came to be. And he said this thing was so small—this part of me was so small it couldn’t be seen—but it was there from the beginning of the world. And he called this bit of me an atom. And when he wrote the word, I fell I love with it. Atom. Atom. What a beautiful word.

“Little Women,” based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, adapted for the stage by John D. Ravold: Beth’s dying speech

In this heart-wrenching dramatic monologue, Beth knows she is dying and offers a profoundly moving experience, exploring themes of mortality and acceptance. It challenges a young actor to convey deep emotion and grace, capturing the essence of a character facing life’s ultimate challenge.

BETH: You’ll tell the others won’t you, Jo? I’ve heard that people who love us best are often blindest to such things. If they don’t see it you can tell them for me. I don’t want any secrets and it’s kinder to prepare them. Meg has John to comfort her, Laurie will comfort Amy, but you must stand by Father and Mother. Won’t you, Jo? I don’t know   how to express myself and shouldn’t try to anyone but you, because I can’t speak out to anyone but you. Jo, dear. Don’t hope anymore. It won’t do any good. I’m sure of it. We won’t be miserable, but enjoy being together while we wait. We’ve had happy times together, haven’t we, Jo? And I think the tide will go out easily, if you help me.  

The Taming of the Shrew,” by William Shakespeare: Katherine’s frustration

In this dramatic monologue, Katherine passionately expresses her frustration and sense of injustice at how her husband, Petruchio, is treating her. She contrasts her own deprivation of food and sleep, which Petruchio claims is out of love, with the more charitable treatment of beggars at her father’s door, highlighting the irony and cruelty of her situation. Katherine’s monologue is a powerful display of raw emotion and a critique of societal and marital norms. It provides a teen actor the chance to explore Shakespearean language and themes, allowing for a dramatic and passionate performance.

KATHERINE: The more my wrong, the more his spite appears.
What, did he marry me to famish me?
Beggars that come unto my father's door
Upon entreaty have a present alms;
If not, elsewhere they meet with charity;
But I, who never knew how to entreat,
Nor never needed that I should entreat,
Am starv'd for meat, giddy for lack of sleep;  
With oaths kept waking, and with brawling fed;
And that which spites me more than all these wants‐ 
He does it under name of perfect love;
As who should say, if I should sleep or eat,
'Twere deadly sickness or else present death.  
I prithee go and get me some repast;
I care not what, so it be wholesome food.

More From Kids + Teens

Recommended

Now Trending