Here are 10 monologues for women over 40 to showcase their acting talents
If you’re looking for a contemporary monologue or scene for your audition or for a performance, here are 10 that showcase older women in a range of challenging roles.
Writing for older women is such a joy, as their range of life experiences is rich and inspiring. In this ageing Australian population, their stories are particularly relevant.
Yet, as more than 100 UK actors recently attested, women over 45 are poorly represented in the film and theatre, which means female actors have a “limited shelf-life”.
The Acting Your Age Campaign (AYAC) is seeking a parity pledge, with equal representation between male and female actors over 45.
Part of the problem, of course, is the lack of roles for women over 40.
As actor Juliet Stevenson said in The Guardian recently, “The perception of womenof my age is so reductive, that they are considered invisible and less interesting. The reverse is true. The breach between your life experience and available parts gets wider. I’m on the up escalator – life is getting more and more interesting – but my parts are on the down escalator, getting less interesting. That’s frustrating.”
I hope to ease such frustration with roles that put women on the up escalator.
Three of these monologues are from published plays – e-baby, d-baby and Uked! – The first play-along ukulele musical, while the remainder were written as stand-alone monologues or scenes.
Click on the links in the descriptions below to read each monologue.
- FOR WHEN SHE COMES – CATHERINE 45, talks secretly to her unborn child. A monologue from e-baby.
- THE RIGHT TIME – JUNE, 60, finally tells the truth to her donor-conceived daughter. A monologue from d-baby.
- THE LAST MINUTE – MARY, 40s, tells her husband why she won’t be hanging around for Christmas this year
- SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH – SUE, 60, tells a depressed neighbour why growing old is not so bad after all.
- SOMETHING DIFFERENT – LINDA, 40s, pays a life-changing visit to the hairdresser.
- THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT (from UKED!) – KARLA, 50, buys herself a special present after being dumped on her 50th birthday.
- FLOWERS – SOPHIE, 50s, tells the police officer why she was picking flowers from a public garden.
- MAKE HIM SUFFER – ANGELINA, 40, pleads with the authorities to release her husband from a WW2 Internment camp for enemy aliens in Victoria, Australia.
- ADVICE TO YOUNG LOVERS ON VALENTINE’S DAY – OLIVE, 50s-60s, a flower shop owner gives advice to a customer on Valentine’s Day.
The monologues are available for free on the condition that you let me know you are using them, and in what context.
I’d also love some feedback, and any suggestions for other monologue topics featuring women over 40. Comment here, or email me at email@example.com.