4 Monologues for Women
(free for students & auditions)

From the One Act Play

By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1982 Geralyn Horton

Time/Place/Scene: The setting is the Duxbury High School auditorium, where the monthly meeting of the Duxbury Ladies Literary Society, (founded in 1905) is taking place. There is a podium draped with a red Russian shawl, and a banner blazened "Duxbury Ladies Literary Society,"(which the ladies carry when they march in the town's July 4th parade) is hung at the back of the stage. The time is now.

The pre-show music, a brisk march played on a not-quite-in tune piano, reaches the climax of a section, and before the unseen pianist can launch herself into the next segment, President Eleanor Holmes Witherspoon, a fifty-ish woman costumed as Eleanor Roosevelt, calls the meeting to order.)

(bangs gavel)
Ladies! Ladies! Uh, thank you, Clara. Clara, that's enough! Stop the music, will you? There now.
Hasn't this been fun? Like our July 4th parade! Now you might as well go back to your seats, girls, because we're not going to announce the winners until you're all settled. In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to thank Leena Carlson, our program chairman. Stand up and take a bow, Leena, whoever you are! There she is! She's that Marilyn Monroe! (ELEANOR leads the audience in applause)
Now there's been a nasty rumor going the rounds that Leena dreamed up this whole fantasy party so that she could show off that red sequin dress . The way I heard it, she paid $400.00 for it to wear on her anniversary, but when Bill saw that it was cut down to her appendix practically, he would't let her out of the house in it! Not anywhere there's men! Not true, not a word of it. I happen to know that she borrowed this contest idea from the Chicopee Women's Guild, and the dress she got from her sister-in-law, who used to sing with a rock band. So shame on you gossip, whoever you are!
 (whispers offstage)
 Are you ready yet? What? (Goes to curtain to consult unseen judges.)
Oh. (returns)
I'm supposed to tell all you Jackie O's that the judges thought you were all very good, especially that one in the pink, with the blood on her stockings: but the ground rules that Dr.Engles set down for us say very plainly that our heroine can't be anybody who's married to somebody who's more famous than she is. So I'm afraid we have to rule that Jack was, no matter what he said to the French that time! Of course that eliminates you Nancy Reagans, too---and I suppose it 'd even apply to me, if I were out there in the running! ! I knew I never should have married that upstart Franklin! (looking off)
Now?  (goes ofstage, returns with a paper)
At last! The moment we've all been waiting for! We're going to call the three finalists up here to give their answers to our "Heroine of History" quiz, conducted by our own distinguished quiz mistress, Dr. Catherine Engels, on loan to us today from my husband's university where she teaches that wonderful "Women in History" course I took last year......Excuse me a minute, girls, they want me......Just hold your horses, while I announce this.......The runners up in todays contest are-!
Fanfare, please, Clara! (piano fanfare)
Susie Coombes as Heloise, and Rochelle Singer as Lady Godiva! Take a bow, girls, and ladies, give them a big hand!


"Why did I decide to come dressed as this particular woman?" As Mary Queen of Scots? You mean just what were my personal feelings? Well,I guess I thought that it would be romantic. I mean, I love the clothes of this period, the lines, the velvet. I considered coming as Queen Elizabeth, but she's just too.. too.. grotesque. The virgin Queen!  Did you see the movie?  No, not the Shakespeare In Love one, I can't imagine myself as Judi Dench, but the Essex one, with Bette Davis in All that white paint, and the fright wig. Even with Glenda Jackson as Liza, Mary's the sympathetic one. So beautiful, so wronged. I loved reading about her. Not in history, though. School history books are designed to scrub all the romance out of everything. Fortunately, no one can remember it. I must've been inspired by Victoria Holt; I read all her books. Anyway, this one had Mary on the cover, galloping over the misty moors, with her enemies in pursuit. They were all obsessed by her, you know. Either madly in love, or plotting her ruin. So thrilling!  But Mary's better than a Gothic novel, because it's all true. She really mattered.
But "as  an example for women today?" Oh, wow. I agree that examples are important. Or at least, ideals are. Nobody today is in a queen's situation, the Divine Right thing is Over. Even Princess Di knew she had to hustle. But Mary's fall...

You see, Mary lost everything. Her country and her throne, her husband, her child, the man she loved, her friends and her freedom. But she never lost her dignity. Or her will to fight. She knew what was due to her. A lot of us today have losses. Some of you may recognize the material in this dress-- it's from the drapes in the music room of our house in Linden Lane.  I'm never going to be living anywhere that I could use them any more, not with what I got in the divorce. Sewing this-- and yes, I did think of Scarlett O'Hara, making a dress from drapes-- the sewing had a calming effect while the kids were staying with Larry over vacation. Especially sewing on the pearls-- remember the South Sea effect we had with these pearls on the shower curtains? Anyway, I can see why the court ladies used to embroider all the time. It's something good to do when thinking won't do any good. Between that and prayer, Mary endured. And she never lost hope.  Although she did lose her head.


So you're asking:  "Why did I get up as Cleopatra?"  Am I supposed to be honest?   I mean, look at me! (she does a bump and grind)  Right!
OK, OK. It was after little Leroy was born.  I decided I'd have to do something if I wanted to have a shape that I could do something with, if you get what I mean. Leroy was my third one, and he was a Caesarean.  Which is kind of a coincidence, cause Cleopatra had a son Caesarion who was a Caesarean. Who was named after what isn't too clear, cause his Daddy Julius was Caesar, you know, and he--.

Anyway, I signed up for this belly dance class, and I was great. I mean a real natural. The teacher talked me into buying this 14 carat costume cause I was so good, and she even got me a couple of gigs at that roadhouse out on Route #2. I used the name Sherrina, and I was what you would call a popular attraction.  Even though what I made hardly paid for the sitter--- to make the money, you have to encourage the guys to stuff money in your bra, and go out on "dates" and all like that, and I'm not that kind, --- at least not when I'm married.  Still, I got a real charge out of it, and shimming does wonders for the figure, you know? Then one of the guys my husband works with saw me out there and started mouthing off about it . So that was that, and I was stuck with this gold plated shimmy suit. Then when I heard about this contest, I asked myself, "Who could I wear it and be?"  My husband was OK with it, cause we're nothing but women here, and he suggested the Queen of Sheba.  He teaches Bible class.

But I thought of Cleopatra. There was this clown did her in the Ice Capades, with balloons for his boobs, and he wore a crown like this one I got here.

As for her being an example for women today? That Cleopatra was one girl who really had it.  Think rock star, think megaceleb! I mean, her word was law, at least in Eqypt.  Dis her, and you were dead meat.  She was a high priestess, too, and a goddess-- she could lock a guy away in hell for eternity.  Plus, she slept with even bigger celebs-- the most powerful guys in the whole world. They had it all, and there they were, pumping it into her! Think of the charge she must've got out of that, enough electricity there to illuminate the blooming Nile! Fireworks and a neon barge! She never had to pretend to be goody two shoes either, like our gracious first lady. Bathing her ass in asses' milk, drinking pearls. As for her suicide,-- some people may cringe at that  asp business. But I think it's the last word in class.  She knew the party was over. So she wasn't about to stick around and let anybody make a fool out of her. That asp is class, man. A class act.


(Martial music.  JOAN, in full armor, with sword, shield, and a huge spear flying the great lily banner, attemts to make her way onto the stage.)
Charge!  (She stumbles,  crashes, staggers to her feet).
God for St. Catherine, St.Michel, St. Margaret, St. me! (she gets her helmet off)
Whew!  It's like a belfry in there. I'm ringing.
"S OK. I'll be all right. 'Sonly a scratch.
Scond, here, I'll be ready to answer your questions.
Or, "If I am not, may God bring me to it."

OK. "Why did I decide to come dressed as this historical character?" Easy. Knight in shining armor.

Rather fight than fuss! Bring on the Action. Other girls wanna find their knight in shining armor. I wanna be one. The whole difference between me and the rest of hu-woman-ity.

The costume?  No, not  a museum. And it doesn't fit well enough for a real fight. Swhy I fell on my can. 'S big in the feet, tight in the tush. Pelvic bunions.  Got it from University. Theatre department owes me. I've staged fights for em, loaned em my swords.

This was Macbeth last year. Richard III in '95. Henry V in '98-- no wait: maybe it was.Henry VIII in '95.  Or.Henry VI in '88.

Anyway, the 64 dollar question is:  how is Joan an example for women today?

Look, uh...Joannie-babe's not for everybody. Different strokes, ya know? But she's for me. Out in front, chuck the humble milkmaid, if the thing needs doing, charge! Nobody told her what to do, or how to do it. Just her voices.You don't like it, take it up with Headquarters! But best of all, she beat the infallible! When you're playing against the One True Church, Pappa makes all the rules, right?

They got it all down, questions, answers, before you're old enough to think they make you memorize. Page 14, question 3: This is that kind of a sin and that other thing's an error.

And don't you dare think that---:it's a dangerous heresy. QED.
Whichever way you go, they got you, down on your knees. They got her too, they burnt her-- but then they had to take it back! Hell of a thing, huh? I mean they're supposed to know everything, and they went through the whole rigamarole, questions, inquisitors, and then they have to turn around and admit they can't tell right from wrong! Don't know a witch from a saint! Knocking off a couple of castles, wiping out some infantry-- that's nothing compared to the fall of question 3! Right up the old infallible!


home | bio | resume | blog | contact GL Horton
monologues | one-act plays | full-length plays
reviews | essays | links | videos

Made on an iMac by Websites 4 Small Business.