Monologues help middle school students develop public speaking and acting skills. They may be used as part of a drama club performance, studied in an English class or used as an audition piece for a larger production. Choose a middle school monologue that you can relate to and enjoy delivering to your class.
Free Complete Monologues
Here are four contemporary monologues appropriate for auditions, rehearsals, or practice. Each is written specifically to help young actors demonstrate specific acting skills. If you need help downloading or printings these free printables, check out LoveToKnow's Guide for Adobe Printables.
Monologue to Demonstrate Acting Range
This monologue takes you through a variety of emotions within a short period of time, allowing you to showcase your ability to switch quickly from one emotion to another. The main character in this monologue starts out angry but quickly moves into reminiscent before going back to anger and then into intense sadness. Though anger is the prevailing emotion throughout the monologue, so many other emotions are displayed, as is the ability to transition from one to another. Versatility is an important ability for any actor, but for young actors, it's quite impressive.
Short Comedic Monologue
This monologue requires a fast-paced cadence in order to deliver as comedy. In this monologue, a smart-aleck barista learns a quick lesson about not making too many suggestions to inquiring customers. Successfully presenting this monologue in a comedic way will demonstrate your ability to pull off comedy as an actor.
Short Intense Emotion Monologue
This monologue gives you the opportunity to demonstrate intense emotion - the kind of emotion that transforms you from an actor to the actual character. The character in this monologue is probably a little crazy - or at least not in full contact with reality. Actors must fully commit to the role in order to deliver this monologue successfully.
Physical Versatility Monologue
Acting isn't just delivering lines - it's also knowing how to command your body movements on stage (or in front of the camera). The character in this monologue demonstrates body postures while telling the story of his or her mom's desire to control how the character presents themselves to the world. This monologue calls for a variety of stances and body positions, allowing for some physical improvisation.
Free Monologue Resources
These websites all offer free monologues for middle schoolers. Each website has different requirements for using the free monologues so be sure to follow the instructions in order to use them legally.
Filmmaker Brian Heath provides a selection of teen monologues. All monologues are conveniently labeled as male or female and are labeled with the emotions conveyed while performing the monologue.
Jonathan Dorf has a variety of monologues for students to use for free. He requests that the monologues be used individually for students under age 18. Students must e-mail Dorf to ask for permission to perform the monologue and include "please" and "thank you.
Many of Jimmy Brunelle's one-act plays for middle and high school students contain monologues within them that students may use for free. Some of Brunelle's monologues for adults are also suitable for middle school students.
Matt Buchanan offers three short monologues and two ten-minute monologues that deal with common issues that middle school and high school students face.
Find a number of monologues written by G.L. Horton. These scripts are perfect for auditions and classroom exercises and are conveniently labeled with a short description, character's age, and the length.
Stage Agent offers audition monologues for all ages. Use the handy search feature to narrow down your selection to age, gender, category, length, and type.
While not technically monologues, many famous speeches may be used in place of a monologue and serve the same purpose. American Rhetoric contains a large collection of free speeches for students to access, including speeches from history, a rotating selection of movie speeches and the top 100 speeches of all time. Some of the best speeches for middle school from the top 100 speeches of all time are:
- Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech
- Huey P. Long's Every Man a King speech
- Mary Church Terrell's What it Means to Colored in the Capital of the U.S.
- Lou Gehrig's Farewell to Baseball Address
Since all of Shakespeare's works are part of the public domain, the monologues they contain are free to perform. A few of Shakespeare's monologues that are appropriate for middle school students include:
- Boy from Henry V, Act 3, Scene 2
- Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the end of Act 1, Scene I
- Viola in Twelfth Night, Act 2, Scene 2
- Mercutio's Queen Mab Speech from Romeo and Juliet
- Juliet's balcony speech in Romeo and Juliet
What to Look For
When looking for a middle school monologue, it is important to look for these items:
- Choose a monologue that highlights your strengths. Do you enjoy making people laugh? Can you cry on demand? Choose a script that works with you, not against you.
- Does the script fit into the time you have allotted? If not, is there a natural place to cut content?
- Is the content age appropriate? When in doubt, consult with your teacher or director.
- Are there any restrictions on the use of the monologue? Many playwrights will allow you to use their work for class or auditions but may require acknowledgment and compensation if you plan to perform in front of a paying audience.
- Look for something fresh to stand out from the crowd.
- Make sure the material has a strong beginning, to capture the audience's attention, and a strong ending, to leave them satisfied.
Highlight Your Acting Chops
With a little research and thought, you can find free middle school monologues that highlight your strengths. Take the time to find the right script, and spend the time to learn the material, and the audience will see you as the superstar that you really are.