Define modern

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi guys,

    I have to prepare a modern monologue for an audition soon.

    But I have to say, I am always a bit confused about the "modern" aspect. What is considered modern nowadays?

    I was told it was a play written in the last hundred years or so?

    There is this monologue I really would love to do but I'm not sure it fits the description.

    Could you tell me what is considered modern in theatre plays?

    Thank you

    Pauline

    • 23rd Mar 2012
    • 1999
    • 21
  • Tony Burden

    Actor

    Hi Pauline

    I cant answer your question as it is one that I am confused with also. So if you don't mind I'll sit and wait with you for any forthcoming replies.

    Tony

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 1
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    I would have thought perhaps from the middle 1950s? The beginning of gritty/kitchen sink dramas say Osborne) rather than the drawing room variety (Coward). But I might be wrong.

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    Thank your for your reply :)

    If a play is considered modern if written after 1950, I guess I will have to find an other monologue then.

    Mine was written in the 1910s, it can't be called classic though, can it? So what is between classic and modern?

    God this is so confusing...

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    www.notmyshoes.net/monologues/

    Fill yer boots!

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 4
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Modern classic? Like Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw and Wilde?

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    I didn't know we could say "Modern classic". Interesting.

    Thank you.

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 6
  • User Deleted

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    Stuart, thank you.

    I will have a look at these monologues.

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 7
  • John Eastman

    Actor

    I would play safe, and choose something from after the 70's if I were you...there is so much to choose from... Check out the plays recently performed at places like the Bush, and Royal Court.

    Hope it goes well !

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 8
  • User Deleted

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    Thank you John.

    You see, I thought that these plays would be contemporary plays and not modern, hence my confusion.

    It would be great if the idea of modern/contemporary plays was less subjective. But I couldn't find anywhere on internet a precise definition with dates etc.

    I'll try to find a more recent monologue then! :)

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 9
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    There is not really an exact description, to be honest - 'modern' and 'contemporary' can be used interchangeably. Even the drama schools have no set policy on this, and 'modern' can variously be taken to mean:

    anything from the 19th century onwards (i.e. it is defined in literal terms as not belonging to a 'classical' school of writing such is held to have existed from the 16th-18th centuries - and encompasses the Greco-Roman models from which much of this work was derived. By this token, Wilde, Shaw, Chekhov, Ibsen and so on are all 'modern' writers in a way in which Marlowe, Congreve, Racine or Goldini are not)

    anything from about the mid 1950's onward - with the starting point generally considered in the UK to take off c. Osborne's 'Look Back in Anger' of 1956, establishing a newly distinct form of text concerned (very broadly) with less formalised styles of writing and structuring, wider use of contemporary idiom, greater use of characters with differing class statuses and so on

    something that is distinctly 'contemporary' and so published in the last few years - as opposed to, say, cutting edge work from the 1960's or 1970's.

    The obvious option, if you're uncertain, would be to literally ask the casters the sensible question: do they have a starting point from which 'modern' speeches should be selected? They should be able to tell you their opinion with minimal fuss, and it may turn out that they don't actually much care one way or the other. At some level, if you can perform any speech well, you may still win their attention, regardless - but it is sometimes counterproductive to present a self-consciously 'edgy' company with a speech that is a hundred years old, and similarly, no one appreciates you auditioning to demonstrate your suitability for George Bernard Shaw with a speech that was written about sink estate kids in 2010. Some of this is common sense: if you have an idea of what the play you are intending to audition for is like, what the part you are auditioning for is like, and what the attitude of the company you are auditioning for seems to be like, then you can try and tailor a speech to be (approximately) appropriate. But, seriously, if in doubt, ask. There is never any reason why, once you've secured an audition, you shouldn't be entitled to find out as much as possible about the demands of the audition before you attend it. No one will begrudge you this information, as the casters are hoping you will attend and nail exactly what they want!

    • 20th Mar 2012
    • 10
  • User Deleted

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    Thank you very much Lee.

    I think I understand better now.

    I've contacted the director and I am now waiting for his reply.

    Pauline

    • 21st Mar 2012
    • 11
  • Sharon Duce

    Actor

    Go with your gut instinct re the piece.If it fits like a glove DO IT!

    Sharon Duce

    • 21st Mar 2012
    • 12
  • User Deleted

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    I would think..maybe Eastenderry?...Or fast show?!...Oooh I dunno' eeever now! D'oh! Bonne chance...I'm sure you can ad lib and wing it ' like wot I duz!*-;0))-X

    • 21st Mar 2012
    • 13
  • User Deleted

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    I would think..maybe Eastenderry?...Or fast show?!...Oooh I dunno' eeever now! D'oh! Bonne chance...I'm sure you can ad lib and wing it ' like wot I duz!*-;0))-X

    • 21st Mar 2012
    • 14
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Just to put this in perspective, Simon Dunmore in the Actors Yearbook (and, I believe, in his companion volume, 'An Actors Guide to Getting Work') gives an exhaustive list of how all CDS Drama School define the nature of the 'classical' and 'modern' speeches they demand for audition. The notion of a 'classical' speech remains (fairly) consistent across schools - they tend to mean Elizabethan/Jacobean, but some identify Shakespeare specifically and there is at least one listing for anything 16th-18th centuries and/or Ancient Greek. The 'modern' criteria vary massively, and examples include 'after 1830', 'after 1870', 'after 1950', 'after 1960', 'after 1970', 'last twenty years' and '20th/21st century' amongst others. Clearly, if there is no consensus amongst the drama schools, there is unlikely to be one in the wider profession - and that's why it's always worth an enquiry if you're unsure.

    • 22nd Mar 2012
    • 15
  • Mike Henley

    Actor

    Thank goodness they didn't ask you for something 'post modern'.

    • 22nd Mar 2012
    • 16
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Would it have been written yet Mike?

    • 22nd Mar 2012
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    There are lot's of plays (written from the late nineteenth century onwards) that are very modern in outlook. It's simply that they're not famous anymore.

    Simon

    • 22nd Mar 2012
    • 18
  • User Deleted

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    Just getting the hang of this ipad thing! This is a great forum! Good Luck Pauline! I think yo do know and care about what you are doing* xxx

    • 22nd Mar 2012
    • 19