Category Archives: Monologues


If you enjoyed Sycorax: the Untold Story, you might like playing her in a class, audition, or even a full production (or know someone who would). Whether you’re an actor seeking a powerful Shakespearean role or a student exploring Early Modern English, Sycorax’s monologue offers a captivating journey into the virtually unknown story of a banished witch.

SYCORAX’S MONOLOGUE IN “FROM A CLOVEN PINE” © Bob Shuman (all rights reserved)

Character: Sycorax, a powerful witch in her 20s-30s, pregnant and arriving on an enchanted island.

Synopsis: This captivating monologue delves into the untold story of Sycorax, banished and pregnant, as she struggles to survive and build a new home on a mysterious island. Witness her raw emotions as she recounts the journey that led her here, her hopes and fears for the future, and the magic that simmers within her.

“From a Cloven Pine” is a prequel to The Tempest.

Sycorax’s monologue is approximately 3.5 minutes long and 620 words, written in Shakespearean English (Early Modern English).  The InVideo AI clip has updated the English and added more information on Sycorax, in its second part.  The original monologue and play were written without the use of AI.

Monologue Price: $2.00 (paid through PayPal)

Should you have interest, please contact the playwright at  Please write SYCORAX in your e-mail subject line. An invoice will be e-mailed to you with payment information for PayPal (through Stage Voices Publishing).  Once paid, you will receive the monologue via e-mail.

Should you wish to read the one act “From a Cloven Pine,” please write and address rights inquires to  

* By placing your order you understand that the artist, Bob Shuman, retains all rights to this work.

Sycorax: the Untold Story was made using InVideo AI (, with the watermarks still on.  

© 2024 by Bob Shuman.  All rights reserved.


(Bennett’s monologue appeared in the London Review of Books, 7/16.)

 An ordinary kitchen. Gwen, a middle-aged wo­man, talks to the camera.

He​ pulled up his trousers.

‘You are nice to me,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t have shown it to anybody else.’

I said, ‘Well, I hope you haven’t been doing.’

‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Not much chance of that. No demand at the moment.’

He’d come home from school looking a bit down and retreats upstairs to his room and doesn’t even bother to raid the fridge, by which I take it something’s amiss. He plays his music for a bit and I’m ironing when he comes down barefoot and sits at the table watching me, which is an event in itself. Suddenly he gets up and says, ‘Mum, I’m going to show you this, but it’ll be the last time you’ll ever see it.’

And he undoes his trousers and pulls down his shorts.

He said, ‘Now, what’s that?’

Well, it was nothing. I couldn’t even see where he meant until he points it out, just a bit of a spot. Only it was the other I couldn’t get over. I hadn’t been keeping track and I don’t know when I last saw it exactly, but he can’t have been much more than twelve. And he’s only fifteen now but you wouldn’t know.

He said, ‘Are you sure?’

I said, ‘Michael. It’s a spot, love, that’s all it is,’ and I got him some stuff to put on.

He gets his trousers up sharp.

He said, ‘Don’t tell Dad.’

‘Why should I tell Dad? Why should I tell Dad anything?’

‘And don’t tell our Maureen.’

‘As if,’ I said (which is what he’s always saying).

‘I don’t want my private parts mulled over by my sister.’ He’s getting some pie from the fridge.

I said, ‘Wash your hands.’

He said, ‘You said it was nothing.’

I said, ‘It is nothing but wash your hands.’


It’s an aerodrome we go to, disused. We shouldn’t but he’s only fifteen so it would be illegal anywhere else, and I’m not altogether sure it’s legal there, but it’s off the road and he’s desperate to start driving. His dad’s not keen but he doesn’t have the patience to teach him anyway.

I nearly killed him though today. There was a lad gunning his motorbike about and Michael nearly went into him, scraped him. It was my fault. I should have been looking in the mirror. He scarcely touched us, this lad, and just belted off, only I had my hand gripping Michael’s leg I was so shocked. And he was trembling. He said, ‘Mum, let go my leg.’ I said, ‘I hope it hasn’t scratched the bodywork.’ He said, ‘It’s my bodywork I’m bothered about, let go my leg.’ Anyway, there was only a tiny mark on the bumper. I couldn’t hardly see it, only I said I’d tell Dad it was me that was driving.

I’d brought a flask, so we sat there on this runway having some coffee. I said, shouted actually, with having his music on, ‘Is this what they call “quality time”?’

And he nods, though whether at me or the music I couldn’t tell. And then he’s looking at his phone.

Later on, Maureen saw me checking the bumper. She said, ‘Is that a scratch?’ 

‘No, it fucking well isn’t,’ Michael said. ‘And anyway Mum was driving.’

He winks at me. And I wink back, only I can’t wink so just screwed my face up.

He looks more than fifteen.

Thinking about it afterwards, I didn’t see the bike because I was looking at Michael’s hands on the wheel and thinking how much nicer they are than my hands.

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(Neil Genzlinger’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/12; via Pam Green.)

Carol Hall, who helped turn an unlikely inspiration into one of the biggest Broadway hits of the 1970s when she wrote the music and lyrics for “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” died on Thursday at her home in Manhattan. She was 82.

An announcement from her family said the cause was logopenic primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia.

Ms. Hall was enjoying moderate success as a singer and songwriter when, developing an idea first hatched during a dinner party conversation, she, Peter Masterson and Larry L. King created “Best Little Whorehouse,” a comedy based on an article Mr. King had written in 1974 for Playboy. It concerned the moralistic efforts to close down a real-life Texas brothel known as the Chicken Ranch (because some customers paid in chickens) that had operated for years.

The show drew mixed reviews — Walter Kerr, writing in The New York Times, called it “an erratic and ambling, if sleekly produced, business.” But the reviews didn’t seem to matter much to audiences. The provocative title, the down-home humor and Ms. Hall’s amiable songs made for a winning package.

(Read more)

Photo: Theatermania


***** ROBERT LEPAGE: ‘887’ (SV PICK, SCT) ·


(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 8/14.)

Some 15 years ago, the Canadian theatre visionary Robert Lepage, who made his name with sprawling, character-loaded epics, achieved a solo triumph with The Far Side of the Moon, combining a trim tale of two brothers with the Cold War rivalry of the Space Race. His latest one-man endeavour for his company Ex Machina – receiving its European premiere here – provokes a similar sense of awe. This is the most intimate show of his career, achieving both a cerebral and an emotional power.

At the age of 57, Lepage has been drawn back to 887. That’s the number of the apartment building on Murray Avenue, Quebec City, where he grew up in the Sixties. He doesn’t just describe it in reminiscence, painting the scene with words. Lepage proves he needs to consistently push the boundaries and nowhere is that more evident than in his technical wizardry. He shows us his old haunts: looming large over a succession of model sets of the mansion block, other local environs of interest and places held dear in the memory.

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(Nell Casey’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/8; video includes Gray monologue and Talking Heads music.)

Spalding Gray moved to New York City in 1967, shortly after his mother’s suicide, when he was 26. He lived with his girlfriend, Elizabeth LeCompte, in an apartment on Sixth Street and Avenue D, on the Lower East Side. To make ends meet, Gray occasionally worked as a stock boy, while LeCompte sold postcards at the front desk of the Guggenheim. But mostly they were finding their places in New York’s avant-garde theater world.

In 1968, they saw Richard Schechner’s critically acclaimed production of “Dionysus in ’69,” which included an onstage orgy. Gray and LeCompte were electrified by it. The following year, they would become members of Schechner’s experimental-theater troupe, the Performance Group, after the director cast Gray in his rather unusual interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Schechner recalls coming across Gray’s head shot and seeing a young man “staring out with eyes so far apart — he wasn’t trying to look pretty, he wasn’t trying to do anything.”

View this book at Amazon:

One of Spalding Gray’s monologues ‘The Anniversary’ is included in One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues from the 21st Century from Applause Books:


(George Hunka’s post appeared 3/11 on Superfluities Redux.)

Irish actor Jack MacGowran is probably best remembered as one of Samuel Beckett’s foremost performers, though he also appeared in material as wide-ranging as the plays of Sean O’Casey and William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. With Beckett, he crafted a monologue called Beginning to End based on Beckett’s prose writings and toured this to great acclaim through the 1960s. In 1966 MacGowran filmed the performance for Ireland’s RTÉ Television. Until recently the film was hard to come by, but this too recently cropped up on YouTube in its 50-minute entirety, and it is presented below.