Saturday, February 14, 2015

Monologue Mania Day # 367 by Janet S. Tiger What is a Monologue? Feb. 14, 2015

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Monologue Mania Day # 367 by Janet S. Tiger  What is a Monologue?  Feb. 14, 2015

                                                What Is a Monologue?

                                                            by Janet S. Tiger   
                                                (c) 2015     all rights reserved
After a whole year of monologue mania - I just can't stop!  But instead of writing a monologue every day, I am going to take the monologues written last year and put them into collections.  The first will be Holidays (or Holidaze, haven't decided on a title) - and will include the holiday-related monologues I wrote throughout the year.

But to fill in some gaps, I also want to explain what a monologue is - it is essentially, the tiniest building block of theater.  A good monologue, performed well, can be a fantastic piece of theater.  It can be a story, a moment in a story, a revelation - and it can often stand on its own, being able to be understood outside of a largest piece, either one-act or full-length.

To put the monologue in perspective using a more common vernacular - the monologue is like a one-night stand.  Fast and furious, intense.  Exciting.  Or upsetting and frightening.  Usually too short to be boring.  It is able to be many different things, but it is one thing for sure - over in a moment, in one night.  It may interest those watching to want to know more - but it can stand on its own, and can be remembered fondly - or with horror! - for the rest of one's life.

In comparison, a one-act is like an affair - it needs to know more about the characters, have a rising arc of action, but can also handle some falling before the climax.  A one-act can have the same duration as an affair - shorter, longer, almost like a marriage in some cases - but never past that hour length that determines when the one-act/affair becomes......a marriage.

For the full-length is like a marriage in many ways ( or a very long-term relationship)  It has characters that we learn a great deal about - both historically, and by watching what they do in many situations.

The action mirrors that of a marriage - with slow times as well as the fire that comes with the first passion of love.  The humor that only time can provoke - and the pain and suffering inflicted and endured, that a married couple embraces.  There is also rising and falling action over an entire evening.  There are multiple surprises, and, with the introduction of children - the subplots of a good full-length - the audience is sucked into a vortex of reality that becomes more and more layered as the night wears on to the ultimate climax of any marriage, a death, the revelation of a deep truth, or a combination of these two.  

So how does the tiny monologue fit in?   It is the atomic level of theater, the essence of what works.  For even though every theatrical piece needs action - from the monologue to the full-length play - only the monologue can stand alone for a few moments.  And where the audience might fondly remember that great production of Hamlet - or Glass Menagerie - what they will mention will be a line from a famous part - 'To be or not to be' or 'Blow out the lights'

Why do actors love monologues so much?  For these very reasons - the actor is the center of the stage during their monologue.  And great playwrights know that when an actor reads the script for the first time, they can hear themselves saying those lines.  Feel the audience watching......and they want to do that those words.....get that applause that will be...just for them.

So why do I write monologues?  Because I love actors!  And I love a great moment, and this past year was a very difficult year, so I had little time to finish more than a few one-acts.  It is necessary to have blocks of time to have a full-length play, but a one-night stand, I mean a monologue, well, that only night, I mean, one day.

Now that it seems that I may have more hours together that are free, I hope to finish some of the work I began this year.  But I wanted all my faithful readers to know that this does not mean I am abandoning the monologue, I am just wanting to have......a bit of a more meaningful relationship.

So I will keep in touch on this blog, and perhaps start another location with my one-acts and full-lengths, as they grow and deepen.

Thank you all again for staying with me this year, and I look forward to keeping on writing - only not just for the moment, but for the long run.  Does this mean a ring is in the future?  Well, it is Valentine's never know.  I do know one thing - I just love the theater!


Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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