Believe it or not, the earliest Greek plays had a one-actor limit. Therefore, monologues – those long speeches delivered by a single character – existed in theatre before dialogue. Today, there is no shortage of amazing girl actors and fascinating characters for them to bring to life. Dramatic monologues for girls range from soul-bearing speeches to outrageous outbursts to hilarious confessions, and everything in between.
When it comes to auditioning, it’s best for an actor to have one of each up her sleeve. These are some of the best dramatic monologues for girls. They represent a variety of emotions, and characters of different ages and time periods. Commit these gripping dramatic monologues for girls to heart.
10 Dramatic Monologues for Girls to Learn by Heart
Hecuba’s lament (The Trojan Women)
Hecuba, queen of Troy, is one of the most formidable female characters in the history of drama. In Euripides’ famous tragedy she mourns the fate of her country. Troy has been vanquished by the Greeks; Hecuba and her daughters are about to be carried off as slaves.
Hecuba’s husband is dead and the future she imagined for her family has been destroyed. She was born into a royal family but now will be forced to work in a Greek home, wearing only “the tattered remnant of a worn-out robe.” Yet her heart-wrenching monologue addresses not just her own disaster, but the misery shared by all of the Trojan women.
This is one the most powerful dramatic monologues for girls to memorize, especially when preparing for serious, mature roles.
Alice’s long fall (Alice in Wonderland)
Lewis Carroll’s whimsical 1865 novel tells the tale of a young girl protagonist navigating a very strange world. In the first chapter, Alice starts dozing off when she glimpses a white rabbit in a waistcoat. Curious, she chases the rabbit and falls down an extraordinary hole.
The monologue occurs when Alice, tumbling impossibly slowly down the rabbit hole, speaks aloud to herself. For the first time she considers the strangeness of her predicament. During her fall, Alice drifts from perplexed to afraid to impressed with herself, and back again.
This dynamic monologue is great for tweens and younger girls. It challenges girls to find ways to use their physical space to convey a fantastical situation. Girls can practice transitioning through emotions and making their pauses as effective as their words.
Helena’s jealousy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Shakespeare’s verse might seem intimidating, but there’s a reason this magical comedy stood the test of time. A delightful ensemble of characters, including nobles, fairies, and workmen, get mixed up together in an enchanted forest. Poor Helena lusts after Demetrius, who loves Hermia, who elopes with Lysander.
Helena contemplates the mysteries of attraction during Act I Scene I. Her envious musings turn into a plan of action. She will tell Demetrius of “fair Hermia’s flight” into the woods with Lysander, and he will surely pursue her. Helena has no idea how much her emotionally-charged actions will complicate things.
Girls should have at least one Shakespearean monologue under their belts, and this is a good place to start.
Fanny’s self-affirmation (Funny Girl)
The unforgettable Fanny Brice is the backbone of this 1964 Broadway hit. In the story penned by Isobel Lennart, teenage Fanny will stop at nothing to become a star. Her mother worries that her big personality and unconventional features will stunt her stage dreams.
But in her humorous Act I monologue, Fanny insists that she’s “a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls” with as much talent as any Barrymore. Young aspiring actors and comedians will be able to relate to this funny girl’s indomitable spirit.
Learning this monologue is also a prime opportunity to practice inflection and dialect, as the character is a scrappy teenager growing up in New York City before World War I. Committing Fanny’s words to memory will encourage girls to be as confident as she is.
Alysa’s Prom-night rant (When it Rains Gasoline)
This fun contemporary monologue comes from Jason D. Martin’s 2002 play about teenage life. Girls can test their antagonist chops by inhabiting the character of Alysa, a spoiled cheerleader.
Alysa stresses about “the most important night” of her life and rages against her arch nemesis, Jane Hickman. Actors can experiment with comedic timing to highlight the irony in Alysa’s melodramatic speech. Those who are looking for dramatic monologues for girls that are lighthearted and modern will appreciate this one.
Rose’s break for freedom (Street Scene)
“I don’t want to belong to anybody…and I don’t want anybody to belong to me.” These words were written by Elmer Rice in 1929, but they continue to resonate with audiences today. This line is part of an impassioned monologue delivered by a young woman named Rose Maurrant. Rose’s story is one of several New York City vignettes that make up the play.
Rose has one of the most uplifting dramatic monologues for girls. It marks a major turning point for her character. She dealt with a demanding job and a strong attraction to her neighbor Sam, but here she realizes that neither of these things are what she really wants. Rose wants to be free. So she bids Sam farewell, defying the cliché love story in order to find herself.
Babe’s shocking confession (Crimes of the Heart)
Rebecca “Babe” Botrelle is the youngest of three eccentric sisters in Beth Henley’s darkly comedic Southern drama. When she shoots her abusive husband, her dysfunctional family is forced to reunite in their small Mississippi hometown. In Act I, Babe opens up to her sister Meg about what really happened the day she pointed the gun.
Actors must adopt their best Southern-belle drawls and become the flighty, childish young wife who is in way over her head. Babe’s words will keep audiences at the edge of their seats.
But done correctly, this monologue is more than just a juicy tell-all. Bold, emotional, and even funny at parts, it reveals a lot about Babe’s character, building up to her breathless declaration: “I–I wanted to live!”
Beneatha’s dream (A Raisin in the Sun)
Playwright Lorraine Hansberry aimed to give a voice to the voiceless when she wrote the story of the Youngers, a black family trying to make ends meet in South Side, Chicago. The daughter of the family, Beneatha, is bright and ambitious, but she must reckon her college-educated perspective with her family’s conservative views.
In Act III, Beneatha is reeling from the knowledge that her brother Walter Lee squandered the family’s $10,000 insurance check. Her moving monologue is addressed to her African suitor, Joseph Asagai, but it is also directed inward. She explains why she always dreamed of becoming a doctor, but she confines herself to the past tense.
The monologue captures an independent, opinionated young woman in a moment of insecurity, exposing her struggle to form an identity.
Viola’s reflection (Twelfth Night, or What You Will)
In this classic Shakespearean monologue, Viola, the shipwrecked young heroine, finds herself in quite a pickle. She dressed as her twin brother to serve Duke Orsino, but she ended up falling in love with the Duke and accidentally winning the ardor of the countess Olivia…whom the Duke loves.
Here, during Act II Scene II, Viola puzzles over her increasingly tangled situation. She considers the differences between men and women and weighs the morality of her disguise. Viola’s monologue also serves to outline the dilemma for the audience. There is a lot of dramatic irony at play; the audience feels the burden of the character’s conflict and knows that it must unravel eventually.
Girls don’t need to be Shakespeare enthusiasts to explore this iconic female character and her twisted, multi-layered monologue.
A Dog’s thoughts (Sylvia)
Timeless themes of love and obsession take an unexpected turn in this 1995 play written by A.R. Gurney. Greg’s marriage deteriorates after he adopts a stray dog–played by a human. His adoration of the dog, whom he names Sylvia, drives a wedge between he and his wife Kate.
One of an actor’s greatest challenges is to make audiences suspend their disbelief. In this case, she must convince people to accept a human dog onstage, and to become emotionally invested in the dog’s relationship with the married couple.
When the monologue takes place, the dog doesn’t have a name yet. She is getting comfortable in Greg and Kate’s home. The dog “speaks” in a giddy stream of consciousness (“Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!”) and is almost constantly in motion. Of the many dramatic monologues for girls, this one stands out with its quirkiness.
From Trojan queens to sassy cheerleaders, dramatic monologues for girls have come a long way. Who are some of the best girl characters in theatre and film? Which of their quotes can you recite by heart?
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