Cover image for More monologues on Black life
More monologues on Black life
Edwards, Gus.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiii, 159 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3555.D925 M67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3555.D925 M67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In acting classes all over the country, African American students are routinely given monologues either from old Black plays like A Raisin in the Sun or contemporary Anglo plays, prompting them to ask, "Where are the new works aimed at us?" Students need material that is fresh and authentic, material that speaks in their language and to their concerns.

Gus Edwards returns with a second collection of probing and practical monologues on Black life. Whether you are an African American seeking audition and performance material written in contemporary language or an educator trying to offer students of color something more than tired, hand-me-down monologues, this collection presents fresh material written in a voice that reflects the modern African American experience.

Author Notes

One of America's leading playwrights, Gus Edwards is also a director and educator

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Nothing evokes as much dread and anguish from both actors and directors as the obligatory audition monolog. The "What-are-you-going-to-do-for-us?" call has all too often been met with the chronically abused Blanche DuBois or Sam Shepard response. Fortunately, publishers like Smith & Kraus and Heinemann have raised the monolog selection bar considerably in recent years, with contemporary collections that often address neglected constituencies like African Americans and women. As he did in his 1997 collection, Monologues on Black Life, Edwards (theater, Arizona State Univ.) addresses the paucity of relevant selections for modern black actors by offering a twist on the orthodox monolog compilation. The 50 pieces he assembles are original, including a beautifully elegaic six-part monolog play, "The Sorrows of Elva." Divided among half a dozen short story-like sections, Edwards's speeches are alternately raw and poetic, reflecting a wide diversity of ages, settings, and contemporary themes that are more individually complete and whole than the typically out-of-context three-minute speech. In the third installment of her popular "Monologues for Women by Women" series, Haring-Smith (English and theater, Brown Univ.) takes a more traditional approach. She gathers 57 selections that collectively represent the freshest and most vibrant assemblage of monologs for women by women now available in the contemporary, fringe, alternative, and international theater (the inclusion of playwrights outside the United States is new). Like Edwards's collection, the monologs included here are all over the emotional and social map. Haring-Smith also provides an extremely actor-friendly subject index that groups the speeches by broad subject headings like "Body Image and Issues," "Race and Ethnicity," and "Aging," among others. She also includes a useful section that offers tips for auditioning with a monolog and brief notes on each playwright. Both titles are most enthusiastically recommended for theater and acting collections at all levels serving the needs of black and female actors.DBarry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Beth Turner
Forewordp. ix
We is Who We Want to Be
Just Cause (Lorraine--30s)p. 3
The Imposter (Dennis--30s)p. 5
In Violence We Trust (Joanie--20s)p. 9
The Trainer (Louie--40s)p. 11
Sunday Morning Memories (Cynthia--30s)p. 14
The Lottery Winner (Sophie--50s)p. 18
Hate (Barney--30s)p. 20
Dream Lover: Mr. Blues (April--30s)p. 24
You Can't Win for Losing (Preston--40s)p. 26
The Cellist (Renee--20s)p. 28
The Magician (Wilson--50s)p. 30
Some Men (Laurie--20s)p. 33
The Evangelist (Yannis--30s)p. 36
The Living Symbol (Fletcher--40s)p. 38
Us (Jamilia--20s)p. 40
Silent No More (Harris--20s)p. 41
Moody's Mood Cafe
This Business (Nunez--30s)p. 45
An Old, Old Story (Ruth--40s)p. 47
A Puzzlement (Ronny--30s)p. 50
Something Artistic (Tiny--20s)p. 54
Taking It Slow (Mr. Aubrey--60s)p. 56
Dreams: A Warning (Ben--20s)p. 58
Best Excuse in the World (Eugenie--30s)p. 60
Man in the News (Olivia--30s)p. 62
The Projects
Moving Around (Tony P.--20s)p. 67
Coming to Terms (Maya--20s)p. 70
Forty Deuce Street (Ike--40s)p. 71
Six Weeks (Venessa--19)p. 75
Remembering Teddy (Clarence--40s)p. 78
What It's All About (Floyd--18)p. 81
A Military Man (Jake--40s)p. 84
It Just Goes to Show (Clemmie--40s)p. 86
Slow Dancing with Nichelle (Donzell--20s)p. 89
A Different World (Wilson--60s)p. 91
The Sorrows of Elva
A Monologue Play in Six Parts
A Fool Not to Marryp. 95
Nicest Man in the Worldp. 98
Ain't Like It Used to Bep. 101
Something Happenedp. 103
Only a Matter of Timep. 108
Dreams Die Firstp. 111
Rap Talk
The Professor (Male--16 to 23)p. 117
The Other Me (Vinette--20s)p. 120
I Used to Be Cool (Male--17 to 25)p. 123
Andy's Rap (Andy--20s)p. 128
The American Tradition (Male/Female--20s)p. 130
Five Black Heroes in Monologues
I Will Raise Both My Hands: Frederick Douglassp. 135
Why I Sing Gospel: Mahalia Jacksonp. 141
My Own Private Blues: Charles "Buddy" Boldenp. 147
Coretta Remembers: Coretta Scott Kingp. 153
A Dream of Deliverance: James Baldwinp. 157