Puck, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare

Puck Monologues from Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare–
Monologues from http://www.shakespeare-monologues.org/home

Puck (Act 2, Scene 2)

Through the forest have I gone.
But Athenian found I none,
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower’s force in stirring love.
Night and silence. Who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he, my master said,
Despised the Athenian maid;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound,
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe.
When thou wakest, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid:
So awake when I am gone;
For I must now to Oberon

Puck (Act 3, Scene 2)

My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play
Intended for great Theseus’ nuptial-day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene and enter’d in a brake
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass’s nole I fixed on his head:
Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun’s report,
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;
And, at our stamp, here o’er and o’er one falls;
He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things catch.
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

Puck (Act V, Scene 2)

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

Puck (Act V, Scene 2)

Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night
That the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate’s team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic: not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow’d house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door

Dramaturg Notes:

The character Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream serves many purposes. For Oberon, they are the faithful servant fairy who goes and does their bidding, in particular Oberon’s. However, Puck also functions as a mischievous, clown-like narrator for the show in its entirety. Though the plotlines revolve mostly around the humans in this show, Puck acts a connector for the audience. Though historically cast as male, Puck has been cast as female in numerous renditions of Midsummer Night’s Dream. One may consider that this is entirely appropriate considering the magical nature of Puck’s character as a fairy. As well, there are no specific texts which allude to Puck as either assigned male or female at birth.

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Jitterbug, from The Earth Room, by Marge Buckley

1:

JITTERBUG (they/them/theirs)
no you
shut up.
are you aware of what your father and I survived to get you here?
four times in a row your father moved west in search of a job that would pay him a living wage
and when he finally did, he worked six days a week at that job with no vacation for nearly ten years.
i stood across the street from my childhood home and watched the United States government burn it to the ground to make way for a military base that lasted for fourteen months before it was abandoned.
has your childhood home ever been burned to the ground, Ari?
does it have a radioactive stream in the backyard?
and you
and all of your peers
you get to grow up here
away from all of that
you get to build a new world for yourselves.
i’m not saying that this one is perfect
not by any means
but
we have worked and worked and worked
to give you and your sister and your friends this chance to build something
from the ground up
and it absolutely breaks my heart
to see you squander it like this.

Context: Jitterbug and their husband George have just caught their daughter, Ari, using simulated heroin in a virtual reality chamber called The Earth Room. The intended use of The Earth Room is to allow Mars colonists the opportunity to walk around outside on Earth, since it is impossible to go outside on Mars and the real planet Earth has become nearly uninhabitable. This monologue comes at the end of a scene where Jitterbug and George are lecturing their daughter and is delivered to Ari.

2:

JITTERBUG
is my family “falling apart”?
I wouldn’t say that, per se.
don’t look at me like that.
you and your high horse, i swear to god.
no, at this exact moment
I do not know where one of my daughters is
in the grander sense
and I also do not happen to know where either my husband or my second daughter are
in the smaller-scale sense
but
that doesn’t mean
house, do you know where anybody in this family is right now?
okay, the house doesn’t seem to know either.
alright.
it is seven pm and I do not know where anybody in my family is.
but i am not going to panic.
that is not the kind of person that I am.
i am a person with a level head.
a person with their wits about them.
i am going to breathe.
i am going to live in the present moment
and i am going to wait,
because there is nothing I can control about this situation except for myself.

Context: This monologue comes towards the end of the play: Jitterbug’s daughter Ari has stowed away on a freighter back to Earth, daughter Malia has joined a protest group committed to severing all of Mars’ ties with planet Earth, and husband George is secretly participating in an extreme sport that involves racing down Mars’ sand dunes on surf boards. Jitterbug delivers this piece directly to the audience and the “house” is literally their house, which has artificial intelligence.

Playwright: Marge Buckley

Contact: margot.m.buckley (at) gmail (dot) com

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Guitarist, from ID, by Brittany Alyse Willis

GUITARIST:
This is
This is an original
an original song
As much as anything can be original at least
What am I but a copy of my parents
who are copies of their parents
of their parents
of their parents
and perhaps this song is a copy of us
as we are copies of them
or maybe not
Maybe not
You know
there are painters
who spend their lives copying great masters
making reproductions of their work
and sometimes their copies are put on display
while paintings in museums are on loan or removed for cleaning
and no one’s the wiser, no one knows
and really
at that point you have to ask
does it really matter if no one can tell the difference?
There was a woman
you know this story I promise you’ve heard it
a woman in Spain who attempted to restore a detailed painting of Jesus,
covering the original in thick, eager brushstrokes.
And maybe that ruined the painting
or maybe she simply created an original and a copy.
Because this is art and this is life, isn’t it.
Our lovers are copies of the first,
our clothes copies of a pattern,
our work a copy of the one who taught us
whether it was a mentor or the ever-present weight of life,
and maybe this is wrong or maybe it’s okay

And this is an original song.
As much as it can be, at least.

CONTEXT: From the play ID, by Charles Mee and Brittany Alyse Willis, adapted by Tashina Richardson. This monologue is solely written by Willis. As we navigate the world together, we constantly have to juggle and struggle with how we identify ourselves versus how others identify us. In ID, identity, privilege, and more are explored at a dive bar through music, drinks, lively discussion and, hell why not, dancing.

WEBSITE: www.brittanyawillis.com

NPX: https://newplayexchange.org/users/8583/brittany-alyse-willis

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Viola, from Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare

VIOLA: I left no ring with her. What means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her.
She made good view of me; indeed, so much
That, as methought, her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord’s ring? Why, he sent her none.
I am the man. If it be so, as ’tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? My master loves her dearly;
And I (poor monster) fond as much on him;
And she (mistaken) seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master’s love.
As I am woman (now alas the day!),
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe?
O Time, thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me t’ untie.

 

Dramaturg Notes:

In this speech from Twelfth Night, the traditionally female character Viola is dressed in male drag so that she may work for the Duke of Illyria after her brother was possibly lost in a shipwreck. For non-binary actors, this speech could be taken in a variety of ways, as Viola consistently refers to themselves as a “man” and as a “woman”. Due to this consistent confounding of gender, this role could be played by non-binary AFAB or AMAB people (assigned-female-at-birth or assigned-male-at-birth, respectively). In doing so, the implications of particular relations within this speech could be complicated with respect to gender and sexuality. In the play, Viola is a woman dressed in male drag who develops feeling for the male Duke she serves, while Olivia (the Duke’s love interest) develops feelings for Viola. The possibilities for queering this speech are endless. As this a speech to themselves, there are possibilities to address gender, sexuality, and attraction from the outside, but also from within the character themselves; bringing attention to possible dysphoria or dissonance within Viola. Depending on the individual choices, any non-binary actor could use this piece as an active resistance to the hetero- and cis-normativity which are ever-present within Shakespeare’s work.

 

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