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

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K, from Gillian’a 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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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Alex, from The 1st Annual Head-Shaving Olympics, by Sam Mauceri

ALEX. (they/them) Um, body-wise I don’t really feel any dysphoria. I mean, every now and then I’ll feel this weird separation from specific parts of my body, but usually I’m just more frustrated with how the rest of the world interprets my body. Like, the social aspect of it is where I feel dysphoria. I feel not like myself almost every time I’m “maam’ed” or “Miss’ed”. Every time a dude shouts at me on the street, because I know he’s harassing me because he thinks I’m a lady. Every time I’m in the doctor’s office and they call me by my full birth name, because I haven’t had the energy to change it. Every time I resign myself to not looking harder for a gender neutral bathroom. Every time I’m walking around and existing and knowing what people think they’re seeing, but knowing that they’re wrong, but also knowing that there’s no good way to tell them.

Context: This monologue is from the 20-minute comedy The 1st Annual Head-Shaving Olympics. Alex is a non-binary person who is comfortable with their femininity, but sick of being misgendered as a woman. In an attempt to become more visible, they decide to shave their head and imagine themself training for the Head-Shaving Olympics. In this monologue, Alex is at the Non-Binary Qualifiers, trying to convince the judges that they are non-binary enough.

More information: 
New Play Exchange: https://newplayexchange.org/users/16881/sam-mauceri

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Pasquale, from Couples Costume, by Sam Mauceri

PASQUALE (they/them). If you don’t end this relationship now, you’re going to get trapped in the Holiday Barricade. Think about it. Right now it’s October and you’re committed to a couples costume. Once the planning happens, there’s no way to bust out of that one without looking like a complete jerkwad. Think you’re free after that? Nope! Then it’s Thanksgiving, when you’ll have to meet the parents. Next is Christmas-slash-Hanukkah-slash-Kwanzaa. You’re going to buy each other gifts and you have no way of knowing if they’ve already gotten you a gift so you CAN’T break up. Then it’s New Year’s Eve and who have you made plans to smooch when the ball drops? Dominique. Next you run up against Valentine’s Day which has the same gift conundrum as your preferred winter holiday. There is simply no way out before that one. It’s either now or February 15th.

Context: This monologue is from the 10-minute comedy Couples Costume, which features 4 non-binary teenage characters. Pasquale is trying to help their friend Charlie rally the courage to end their relationship with Dominique.
More information: 

 

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Burbank, from A Singular They, by Aliza Goldstein

BURBANK. I step into the shed and he’s already there. “Well, hi,” he says, and I say, “Well, hi.” He doesn’t kiss me. He doesn’t touch me. He says: “Take off your shirt.” I do. He stares, and I feel cold. He says, “Wow, your chest looks like a boy’s,” and I say, “Is that okay?” And he says “I kind of like it.” He takes off his pants but leaves his sweater on. His underwear is purple, with white trim and a white waistband. He is staring at my shoes. I step on the backs to take them off. My corduroys hit the ground. There is floral print on my granny panties and I wish I’d worn a different pair. He touches me for the first time, hands on my arms to lay me down on some plastic patio furniture, a cheap Adirondack lounge chair. I feel every bump in the fake wood grain. I kind of want him to kiss me but he doesn’t. “Is everything okay?” he asks, and I lie and say, “yes,” and unclench my hand from around the condom. Trojan. Ribbed for her pleasure. He slides the waistband of his underwear down below his penis and strokes it like a lover – I wish he’d touch me like that instead. I open the condom and he shows me how to put it on him and I think maybe he’ll kiss me now, but he doesn’t. Instead he takes off my underwear and says – “I’ve never been with a girl who doesn’t shave before.” And he spreads my legs, and he stares, and I worry that he’ll be grossed out. Then he says – “Okay.” And I say “Okay,” but I’m not sure anymore, but I remember what Dierdre said and I have to do it. I want him to touch me somehow, but he still doesn’t. Instead he lowers his weight onto me, uses one hand to position himself, and I think about what I want that hand to do but he doesn’t keep it there, he puts it back on the arm of the chair. Then it’s shove-

(Burbank gasps.)

And then a harder shove. Two more times. Then he pulls out, and asks – “Can I stick it in your ass?”

(Beat.)

I say no. I get dressed. I look at my phone. Twelve zero five. Happy fucking new year. He goes inside and tells his girlfriend he thinks he’s gay.

Context: From the full-length A Singular They. Monologue occurs around halfway into the play. Burbank’s best friend has arranged for Burbank to lose their virginity with a classmate at a New Year’s party, on the assumption that getting laid will cure Burbank’s teen angst.

More information: leezagoldstein (at) gmail (dot) com

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