How to find monologues for auditions

It's important to get the right monologue for your audition as you only get a few minutes to impress and you have to make them count.

Choosing the monologue depends on a couple of factors. Firstly, what type of project are you auditioning for? If it's a classical text e.g. Shakespeare, Marlowe etc then you should be auditioning with a classical monologue from any of their contemporaries. If it's a modern piece of writing then your scope is much wider.

The next factor to consider is your casting. If you are a 19 year old then choosing a monologue of a 50 year old doesn't work. You need to find something within your age bracket but also within your casting. If you know where your casting lies e.g. the hero/heroine, the villain, the best friend etc then choose a piece as close to that as possible. The more believable you are in every aspect in your monologue, the better your chance of success.

Now to finding the piece. Book shops such as Samuel French ( have a catalogue in store with all kinds of monologues. They explain the nature of each piece e.g. comedy, drama etc and they also tell you the casting range (age, gender, character type). You can flick through the giant book and find a monologue that you think fits you and you could do a good job of. You should then go and read the entire play to get the context of the piece and to understand the character better. I can't stress this enough. Unless your monologue is a stand-alone piece, you should always be reading the entire play that it comes from.

There are other ways to find your monologue. Faber do a series of monologue collections divided up between men and women as well as young actors. There is also "The Methuen book of monologues" and an unlimited number of other collections of monologues all in one book. Getting one of these is a good starting place. Work your way through until you find a monologue you like and then go and get that play to read it in full.

If you have a flair for writing then why not have a go at writing a monologue for yourself that fits your casting. I know several actors who've had real success writing their own pieces. I wouldn't recommend doing this for a classical audition however, just for modern pieces. I've even adapted pieces of poetry to use as a monologue which has worked a treat. There are inspirations everywhere, films, books, plays, television, poetry etc. It's not a quick process to find the perfect monologue but once you have one you can use it time and time again if it works for you!

Good luck!