Kay, from Deal Me Out, by MJ Halberstadt

KAY. (they/them, nonbinary, AFAB, early 20’s)

(buckets of irony)

It’s really all Elizabeth, she’s always set the schedule: we can go to Lewiston Mall on weekdays, but we can’t be seen there on weekends. Weekends we go to the Auburn Mall. And we can buy things on sale but not from a sale rack. Now that Josephine has her license back, we have to all go together in her car, or at the very least use the buddy system: two at a time. Now and then Elizabeth will go with one other person if Martin drops her off, but the whole point is that no one can ever arrive at the mall by themselves because if we have a hard time syncing up and finding one another we look
retarded—her words, not mine. There was a whole episode when Josephine, Elizabeth, and I were at the mall and then Olivia got dropped off and it was a total disaster. So, buddy system: never one, and never three unless one of us is out of town and it’s, like, a known indisputable fact that the fourth isn’t coming to the mall.

Elizabeth’s new thing is controlling our social media presence. She makes us send pictures to her before we post them, and we have to post at least one picture of all four of us together every week, and we can’t repeat outfits in those; she’s working on a collage or something. And I like started running out of things I wear and she was finally like “This is why we go to the mall. You have every opportunity to buy more tops.”

She lost her shit last month when I cut my hair, because usually she wants approval first and I didn’t ask. And then I told her what it’s really about and her eyes got really big and she was like “You know what, this is totally okay. We’re living in different times, and a little diversity isn’t a bad thing.” She actually wanted Marina in the group instead of Olivia so that we’d have racial diversity but not too-much because Marina’s half-whatever.

And so I was surprised that she was cool about it. But then she started changing some of the schedule and stuff, and talking about branching out. She started hanging out with Klara one-on-one which felt like an interview, especially because her name starts with K too and she’s custom-ordered so much J-O-K-E stuff for her room.

She told me we could still hang out at the mall and stuff, but that she didn’t want to keep me in the weekly group picture but we could still hang out at the Lewiston Mall and at her house, but I should hang back on weekends when they went to the Auburn Mall, and she asked me to stop visiting her at the salon because people kept asking questions and, well she said, it was “for my own good.” She “didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable.”

I said, “Elizabeth, that’s all really sweet of you to look out for me like that, but I have another new rule I was thinking of initiating,” and she was like “What’s that?” and I said, “How about I hang out with you zero days of the week, and we can talk to each other never and nowhere, for pictures, I’ll wear whatever I want and you can say nothing about it because you are not my friend. I like that schedule better.”

Context: The play concerns a board game group who meet to kick out a longstanding member. In this flashback scene, Kay (nonbinary, AFAB, early 20’s) is their high school self, catches a new friend-group up to speed about why they left their old friend group.

More info: MJHalberstadt (at) gmail (dot) com

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Red Claw, from Villains Anonymous, by Lore Burns

Red Claw (they/them): Hello, my name is Red Claw and I’m a villain. It has been eight days since my last attempt at world domination…and I’m freaking bored! How the hell do you people do this? I mean, what’s-his-face, Decapitron, has supposedly been sober for five months?! I call bullshit. Is anyone actually following the creep around? Is there some sort of tracking system? How do we know he hasn’t fallen off the evil wagon? Is this seriously an honour code amongst villains?

I don’t even know what I’m doing here – I freaking love being a villain! The respect, the flexible work hours, managing a team of likeminded individuals…it’s bliss! I’m only here because the so-called ‘good’ guys managed to catch me off guard at a yoga class and slap a taser band on my ankle. I see a lot of you nodding, is that why you’re all here, too? And Miss Goody Two Shoes is the only non-villain in charge? You do realise that if we combined our evil talents we could overcome the taser issue and form a League of Villains more formidable than the world has ever seen? (silence). Wow, you desperately need me as your leader; all this hero brainwashing has clearly addled your brains. You know what? For the first time, I’m glad I wound up here. It’s proving to be a useful networking opportunity.

Context: At present this is a standalone piece, however it has been suggested I expand it and I am open to ideas and collaborations on that front. The general context is that heroes have started a rehabilitation program for captured villains, which seems to be working until Red Claw comes along and refuses to be swayed by the propaganda, instead forming a League of Villains and organising a mass break out from the facilities. Funnily enough, not all of the villains are what we in our world would call villains, but rather anyone who threatens the status quo as defined by the heroes, Red Claw wanting to abolish the gender binary being one.

Contact email: loreofphysics (at) gmail (dot) com

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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Ash, from Poltergeist, by Alika Magas

ASH: Shift supervisor at a gay bar; an awesome kick-ass non-binary individual who knows a solid thing or two about the way the world really works. Very mature while somehow utterly inarticulate. They/Them/Theirs.

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Hey, I, uh, well I just wanted to call and see how the

(HEAVY air quotes on this one, even if it’s not with their fingers.)

“hang out” is going. I still think you’re an idiot for doing this, so I don’t know if silence is a good thing or a bad thing and I’m not trying to like be a total queer dad-mom-parent-whatever about this or anything, I’m really not, you’re a big boy, you got this and shit like that. But. You’re always texting updates when you’re like this– Jeez. Sorry. Look at me, getting over involved in my friends again. Wow. Okay. Well, call me or text me or something? Just don’t do anything I’d tell you not to or regret or– goddamn it there I go again. I’m gonna hang up before it gets worse or the voicemail lady cuts me off. Okay. Call me back or something. Bye.

 

ASH. I’m so so sorry, Henry–

(A long beat. Relive the warning, the attempt, the long night in the hospital afterwards.)

–you were my regular for almost longer than Kitt’s worked there, and I– I should have known. Fuck, I was pouring that beer and… something was up, you’re always jittery but not like that and I didn’t do anything I just let you walk out of that fucking bar while I told my story and all I wanted was to get to the end. How messed up is that? You were sitting there, red flags might as well been on fire, and all I can think to myself is: damn, I hope he doesn’t make some dry joke or interrupts, he really needs to hear the end. I really need him to hear the end. But does it matter?

(Another beat.)

What matters is I was thinking that and you were…

(Beat.)

Can we talk about something else?

 

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Y’all are probably still in the air. Lucky fuckers. Still love you though, any way, I just wanted to know if y’all had a safe flight so call me when you land or something and jesus I’m doing the queer dad mom parent thing again and I still really need to learn to stop with that don’t I? I guess, guess we both do actually. Don’t tell Henry I said this, he’d probably get all defensive and stuff, kid couldn’t take a compliment even if I wrote it into a screamo song, jesus christ, but I’m proud of you two. Like a lot. My two little babies are growing up. Okay that one was intentional, I’m not that bad. I’d like to think I’m not. But… uh… yeah. So remember to do some fun things while you’re out there, kay? I’ve heard Casa Bonita is actually a real place so maybe track that shit down and send me a few pictures or something. We could video chat on the Face time maybe? Okay that is like the single most old-person parent thing that’s ever come out of my mouth so I’m just gonna hang up now before I say anything else or the stupid voicemail lady cuts me off. But, really. Have a good break, smoke a joint, don’t let Henry get too angsty and–

(The voicemail lady cuts them off)

Goddamnit.

 

More info: alikamagas (at) gmail (dot) com

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Candy Heart, by Woodzick

WRENN (they/them, AFAB).

I’m writing this because I’m on the plane and the guy next to me is watching a documentary about Hitler and I honestly don’t know his intentions behind watching it. So, in case I die while on or getting off this flight, I wanted you to read this. I don’t know if I would be able to say any of this in person.

I get that you’re a gay guy. And I guess the thing is that on the inside I’ve always felt like I was a gay guy, too. Gay men are always the people I have been attracted to the most. The ones who break my heart the most. The “oh, if I were straight, I’d totally date you, but I’m not straight, and so….”

I am painfully aware that my outside doesn’t always match my inside, and I don’t know if it ever will in that way. I like the me I’ve become, not a man and definitely not a woman, but instead something that is both and neither at the same time.

The thing is, my heart is on the inside and my heart thinks it could be, would really like to try being with your heart and, I know, I know have the tendency to be naive and idealistic, but on some, basic, human level, isn’t that the only thing that should matter?

So here I am, in front of you, asking you if you think you could be with someone like me. Or try?

I hate being vulnerable and I hate that I keep trying at this and people either hook up with me and tell me it was a mistake or they tell me I’m a mistake and they just don’t think they could ever picture themselves being with someone like me.

I think my heart can only survive so many more of these conversations.

It takes a lot for me to be saying this to you. And, sincerely, I’m not trying to force a certain answer. I just wanted you to know that—this is not something I share lightly. It’s not something I do often.

But I’m doing it because I think you might just be worth it and it’s OK if you’re not. And it’s OK if you don’t think of me that way.

But it’s really rare that I feel this way about somebody, so I just had to try.

 

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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Teddy, from Riot Brrrain, by Caitlin M Caplinger

TEDDY (they/them)
It’s not a swing and maybe that’s how the world has portrayed it like this very lateral process you’re up then down then up down then up down up down and those are your only two modes

                            Deep breath and reveal

bipolar two
literally the name that you’re only occupying these two spaces you’re stripped of that middle the regular the calm
to say nothing of the void that is co-existing pouring in and out of the cracks filling you out making you into one whole lotta
into one whole stunning rich worthy helluva person

                          TEDDY enters into the revolving door (hypomania), moving slowly

it’s more a revolving door where at different times you’re burrowed in a pocket that’s allowing you to conquer the fucking world you are up at dawn who needs food I will accomplish everything in the universe who needs sleep who needs health who needs fucking money spend it all on shit that temporarily grounds me or takes me to the next goddamn level I am above those things I’m the one to take you to the hospital at 3am because I can’t get to sleep because what if someone dies my phone needs to be on I will murder someone most likely me

                 Ducks out and into another door section (baseline), the revolving speeds up

the next pocket is chill cool as a manic pixie cucumber the parts you like the acceptable mode the kind of calm you only feel after a Michelin star orgasm

                Ducks out and into another door section (depression), the revolving speeds up

fuck this pocket

                     The revolving speeds up

but the comforting aspect is that because its spinning there’s this gravity keeping you in one of these 3 pockets so you know what to expect

                    The revolving stops, TEDDY drifts out

it’s the days when gravity stops working when there’s no force pushing me into the center of the door when I could very well float out when the color leaves my cheeks and talking is useless because who would I communicate with it’s the days where you find me unapproachable intimidating because I don’t have an expression on my face or I don’t immediately kiss your ass or I just seem above it all but I suspect actually deep down you can sense there is nothing and that scares the shit outta you

Context: Teddy definitely, 100% has neurosyphilis — oops! To track down the dipshit who passed the pox, they embark on an epic punk-filled journey through their sexual (ok, sometimes romantic) past. Riot Brrrain features an original soundtrack, canonically non-binary and bisexual characters, and loads of biting humor.

This monologue ends the play. After acting some kind of fucked up for 90 minutes, Teddy finally confronts their own challenges and shame: they do not actually have neurosyphilis, its Bipolar 2.

More info: caitlincaplinger.com | caitlincaplinger@gmail.com for inquiries and performance permission

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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K, from Gillian’s Bat Mitzvah, by Kevin Kantor

K. (they/them) I really don’t want to put you on the spot here Steph, but I’m callin’ bullshit. Girl. Bullshit, girl! You are not intimidated by me because you think I’m prettier than you, because well, firstly, we both know that survey says I am not. Granted it’s not a survey that I conducted. Still. You’re not intimidated by me, you’re made uncomfortable by me and not because I’m prettier than but because I’m pretty, period. And you didn’t know that pretty could come in this kind of package. It’s a horizon expanding kinda night. L’chaim! So how bout you offer me one of those smokes you think you’re hiding very well from everyone upstairs, we hit rewind, and we start being honest with one another because I love your brother but I need another ally up there. Yeah, I love him. And honestly, Steph, you smell like an ashtray. And you’re the most beautiful person in that room.

More info: KevinKantorPoetry (at) gmail (dot) com

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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Cole, by Ella Gabriel

Cole (they/them) I keep having the same dream over and over again where I’m sitting in the corner of what I think is a room but it turns out each time to be this massive container the size of the front part of a ship and suddenly the ship starts closing in on me and I can’t go out and I have to squeeze myself into the tiniest little ball possible so I can barely breathe and the killer is this — and it’s always slow-motion at this part — I realize I just won’t make it because the container is moulded to the shape of the ship so there’s just no space for me at all. [Beat] Sometimes I see these guys who just don’t even have to think about whether or not to speak in any given moment. They just go for it. Like it’s their moment to fill in the first place. Their space to take. And then I think of my own confidence, right? And how everyone says how bold and unafraid I am of speaking my mind and grabbing opportunities but they don’t realize that’s a choice I made early on. Probably in direct reaction to that recurring dream. It’s something I’ve worked real hard to be able to do. Rather than some sort of birthright.

Context: This is one of 200-odd monologues I’ve written as a series for myself as an actor this year. I write one per day as a kind of artist challenge that I’m doing every weekday of 2018 and then I film one and put it on my socials at the end of the week. This one was number 79.

More info: iamellagabriel.com // email: ellacgabriel (at) gmail (dot) com

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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Liv, from Great Big Sky, by Claire Gilbert Haider

LIV. (They/Them)

I’d already been living in the Bay Area for a year maybe when he died. And I was loving it there, I mean, I am queer as fuck and I look better in a suit and tie than any cis man I know. I’d been wearing blazers and button ups for about a year by then — my genderqueer calling card, as it were. I never added my dad on Facebook. He couldn’t even know I was queer, let alone genderqueer, that would have killed him faster.

I remember when I was in high school I had hair down to my waist. I was already wearing boxers by that time, but my hair screamed femme to most people so that’s the role I played. When I finally cut it short, after I got out of my secret queer relationship — my dad hated it. He said long hair was so attractive to men. Men liked it, and didn’t I want to be appealing to men? First of all, yuck. Saying that to your own kid — yuck. But secondly — and this I never got to tell him — why the fuck did he assume I wanted to be attractive to men? Who said my hair or my anything was a signal to cis men that I was looking to be their white picket fence, their vacuuming in pearls, their subservient flesh sleeve for the rest of my life? So Jane and I broke up, and I cut it all off, I went hard into the David Bowie look while in Oakland. I mean, three piece suits, pocket watches, the whole nine. I killed it.

Anyway, when he died I got his ties. I got his tie clips. I got his antique pocket watch that has to be wound, that has his dad’s name and his name engraved in the back. It’s all mine now. And when I wear it? I know he wouldn’t understand it. Wouldn’t approve. I’m carrying on the things I miss most about him and he’d think there was something wrong with me for it. Anyway, I still look better in a suit than he ever did. Take that, Dad.

More info: This monologue is from a play in progress called Great Big Sky by Claire Gilbert Haider. Liv and their friend Ziggy are hiking through the Yosemite Valley spreading Liv’s father’s ashes around the park. This monologue takes place in Tuolumne Meadows. For further information please contact clairehaider (at) gmail (dot) com.

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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Cam, from Women March on Washington by Christine Kallman

Spring 2016. Early morning. We are in a hilly and wooded area in Northeast Iowa.
CAM (they/them) is dressed in outdoor wear with a backpack. They hear a low drumming sound.

 

CAM. Do you hear that?
Pause. CAM hears the low drumming sound again.
Ruffed Grouse. [beat] You won’t see them. They’re hiding in the deep brush. This tract — this hardwood forest— was saved from tilling because of the steep slopes and rocky soil. Perfect for grouse. And probably forty other species of birds.
Look! See the hawk? Red-tailed hawk. And those over there— turkey vultures.
This is what I love about my job.
Out here I always feel totally content.
I suppose I should be afraid, although I’ve never had anyone follow me out here.
I’ve been threatened, you know. Followed at night.
More times than you can imagine.
Pause. CAM listens and hears the grouse again.
We hear it in springtime. The male grouse make the sound by rotating their wings.
In some species, behavior is not so gender-specific. Birds, butterflies, a lot of insects
have both male and female characteristics. But I’m not going to try to make a lot of arguments comparing human and animal behavior. I used to do that.
Used to have detailed arguments. But you know,
people are just going to believe what they want to believe.

I don’t bring people here, generally.
I don’t want to expose this delicate environment to a lot of traffic.
I do bring my students here. This summer we sampled twelve streams
to measure aquatic diversity. Here’s what we found:
Streams like the one here— that have more diversity of life—
they’re healthier and better able to overcome stressors, like drought.
CAM starts down the hill.
Watch your step. I’ll take you down now. Down to the spring.
CAM walks down, then stops next to a stream. The gentle rush of water.
Always, when I’m out in nature, the— agony—
about who other people think I am—
just—
disappears.
Am I a woman? Am I a man?
On the street, in the grocery store, with a student. At a party. They’re looking at me funny.
They want to categorize me. It makes them so uncomfortable not to know.
What to do with me?
And I could say, well, I was designated female at birth.
But I don’t feel like a woman. Never have.
On the other hand, I don’t feel like a man either. It doesn’t fit for me.
Since it’s closer, I do generally present more like a man.
But I don’t want to be a man. I don’t want surgery
and I don’t want to give up the feminine parts of myself.
It’s funny. As a scientist, I’m always placing things in categories.
And I could tell you all about the way scientists are looking at gender
on a spectrum now— not just two choices.

But mainly, I want to make the point that
we are too quick to categorize people. Not just on gender,
but on a whole gamut
of characteristics. There is something really screwed up
about the way we put people in boxes.
Listen. People are not who you think they are.
Not a single one.
You think you’ve got someone pegged?
You don’t.
People are not what they seem.
And even if you could figure them out,
they’re like this stream. They’re always changing.
Being fed by something deep underground.
Pause. CAM puts their hand in the stream.
Personally, I find that refreshing.

 

More info: Character name is Cam (they/them). The scene is roughly in the middle of a full-length play (in development) entitled Women March on Washington. It received a reading this spring in Northfield, MN, with actors of diverse age, race and gender.

Playwright: Christine Kallman. I can be reached at my website, christinekallman.com.

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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>>Donate to the non-binary monologues project here

Woodzick, from Trans/Actions, by K. Woodzick and Ayla Sullivan

WOODZICK (they/them/theirs). I’ve always hated the term, “workaholic”. As if it was so bad to bring my work home with me. Or if there was something wrong with knowing what I want and doing what I have to in order to get there. When you love what you do, you have an intimacy with your craft. There is something sacred in the process and there is something holy about making your bed in your work and being committed to lying in it.

There are some days when I choose not to leave the apartment. Because if I don’t leave the apartment, I won’t get misgendered. My roommate isn’t going to do it, and her dog isn’t going to do it, and her boyfriend knows that he will get in trouble if he does it.

But then I remember what brings me home in the first place. It’s not always turning a key; sometimes it’s the audition room in itself, a callback without fear, a promise from a director. I have loved theatre for over twenty five years, since I saw Music Man and set up chairs in my living room to mimic a train. Home is made up of all the things we love the longest, isn’t it? And isn’t it also the place we hurt the most? The place that scars us as much as it loves us?

Theatre is an industry that is still very entrenched in the gender binary. There are male and female dressing rooms, character breakdowns that clearly read male and female, and you are told at an early age as an actor what your type is, in male and female terms.

When I was thirty one, I was cast in a production of The 39 Steps, where I played over sixteen male roles. And though I had played male roles before, it no longer felt like drag to me–instead, it was an extension of my gender identity. During that production, because of that production, I changed my pronouns from she, her, and hers to they, them and theirs. I lost friends because of it. I lost work because of it. It is the single hardest and best decision I have ever made.

Playwrights: K. Woodzick and Ayla Sullivan

Context: This monologue happens in the first scene of the play. Woodzick is reflecting on their relationship to gender and theatre

Website: www.woodzick.com

Contact: nonbinarymonologues (at) gmail (dot) com

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

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