More FREE AUDITION MONOLOGUES from GAP …

… this time, for men.

ACTORS:  are you looking for original, unpublished monologues, something the casting director hasn’t heard a dozen, or a thousand, times before?  Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a variety of monologues on this site.  I began with three monologues for women (see previous posting) from the play Gap, set in the present at a large urban public high school.   I continue with two monologues for men from the same play.  All of the monologues in Gap are addressed directly to the audience.  They are a form of testimony—what the characters would say if they believed that someone were really listening.

You are free to use any of these monologues in the classroom or for auditions.

Public performances require my express authorization and may be subject to royalties. Contact me for rights or other information: clashof@gmail.com

 

THAT PARTICULAR BATTLE

(RUBEN is a respected and popular teacher of US History and Government at a large public high school.)

RUBEN

Sixth period I teach AP American Government.  And there’s this blond kid.  Daniel.    Always wears his soccer uniform to class.  Supposedly he doesn’t have time to change before practice, but you can tell he’s showing off, showing off that he’s on Varsity, showing off his knee brace, his physique.  We’ve all seen the type.  Always sits in the back of the room, whispering, laughing.  I figure he hates me, hates my class.  Probably telling jokes about me, when he’s not too busy sizing up the girls.

His interests definitely lie elsewhere than American Government, that’s for sure.

Monday at the end of class, I handed back a test on the Declaration of Independence.  There was an essay question, worth a lot of points, comparingJefferson’s draft with the final version.  Daniel’s essay—pure bull, not a clue.  Didn’t even know that the changes in the Declaration had anything to do with the issue of slavery.  So he got a “D.”  When I handed the exam back to him and he looked at the grade, he went rigid and silent, this kid who’s always joking, always moving.  He stalked out of the room, not making eye contact with anyone.

Then yesterday, he stays after class to talk to me.  I think, well, that’s something. He’s figured out he has to take my class seriously.  He’s actually risking being late for practice, risking the wrath of his coach to talk to me.  He was holding the test paper in his hand, and I could see that he’d crumpled it up and then tried to smooth it out, and he says, “Mr. Gutierrez …” and it sounds like he’s lisping the end of my name, you know, mocking … Suddenly my palms are sweating, my mouth is utterly dry, and I’m back in high school myself.  And it’s not Daniel towering over me, it’s a different tall blond kid, a different boy with muscles and a red face and a swagger … twelve, fourteen years ago.   But it feels like now.  Peter, his name was, the boy who used to call me faggot and beaner. And corner me behind the bleachers.  I have to slow my breathing very deliberately and remind myself that I’m the teacher now, Daniel is my student, and he is not going to beat me to a pulp.

I hope.

I force myself to say—and I think I said it pretty calmly, “Yes, Daniel.  How can I help you?”  And I look at him.  And what I see in his face is not anger, not hatred, it’s fear.  And the odd slur in his speech?  It’s not mockery.  He’s trying to hold back the tears, swallow them down before they well up in his eyes.

As it happens, I’m rather familiar with that particular battle.

I want to pat him on the back and say, “There, there, it’s all right.”  But I just wait for him to speak.  He wasn’t in class when we discussed The Declaration.  He was in the hospital, having knee surgery.  His second surgery.  He says, I gave you the note from the doctor, and it’s true, he did.  But I’d forgotten.  I mean, I deal with 148 students every day.  I ask Daniel why he stays on the soccer team.  Two knee surgeries and he’s only seventeen years old.  He looks at me like I’m crazy to be asking.  It’s his team.  He’s a soccer player.  What else is there to say about it?

So we make a deal.  He can re-take the test.  But he has to sit in the front of the classroom for the rest of the semester and pay attention.  And when he has to leave school early for away games, he’ll email me, and I’ll fill him in on what he’s missed.  I might manage to teach him something about American Government.  We’ll see.

————————————————————————————————

ABOVE AVERAGE

(VICTOR is the father of Will, a fifteen-year-old high school student.)

VICTOR

Victor.  My name is Victor.  And I always used to feel like the name fit me.  Like I was a “Victor.”  Successful career.  Mainstay of my community.  All of that. And then Will started high school.  Last year, his freshman year, he started bringing home B’s and C’s.  He was always a straight-A student, he took geometry in eighth grade—that’s a tenth grade course—so why all of a sudden was he getting a C in math?   And do you know what he said when I asked him about it?  He said, “What’s the big deal?  I’m doing above average for a Black boy.”

It was all I could do—I mean that—all I could do not to throttle him.

I am not by nature an angry person.  I know about anger.  The vets I work with, my clients, they’re all of them angry.  So, yeah, I know about anger.  But I did not know I had it in me to feel so enraged.

He’s failing half his courses.  Will is.  My son.  Failing.  Because he doesn’t go to class.  Apparently.  Where does he go?  He leaves the house on time every morning.  We thought he was going to school.  Until today.  Until his mid-term report card came.  If I find out he’s into drugs …

If he gets himself arrested …

When I look at him, I still see the happy-go-lucky kid who hated to miss a day of school … He’ll be sixteen in May, and then …?

I say my prayers every night.

—————————————————————————

Public performances require my express authorization and may be subject to royalties. Contact me for rights or other information: clashof@gmail.com

 

 GAP is a full-length play designed to be performed by a diverse cast of 5 (3w, 2m) playing a dozen roles in all.  I have also written a one-act play, CLAY, for four teen actors (2f, 2m), drawing on the same material.  CLAY is published by YouthPLAYS.   

Info at http://youthplays.com/plays/view/154/Clay

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