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Shakespeare Monologue Suggestions and Audition Tips

Midsummer logoWith auditions for A Midsummer Night’s Dream coming soon, we’ve been asked for monologue suggestions and audition tips.

If you’re auditioning for Shakespeare the first time, you might be nervous, but so is just about everybody else. The important part is to be prepared, do your best, and enjoy the experience.

Several suggestions for Shakespeare monologues are online here at Shakespeare’s Monologues. (Simply and appropriately titled, we think.) Other than Midsummer, some plays to consider for comedic monologues are As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, and Twelfth Night.

Some monologue suggestions from Midsummer are from the characters Helena here and here, Bottom here, and Puck here. (Puck is listed as a female monologue. Puck is traditionally played by a male, but could easily be either.)

Remember that actors of any experience level are welcome and encouraged to audition! It doesn’t matter if you’ve already played Lear or Lacy Macbeth, or if this would be your first audition. There are roles for everyone. We do think that it’s important to understand your monologue though. To find Shakespeare’s monologues in modern English (for comparison and understanding only), we recommend No Fear Shakespeare. Although we prefer everyone to memorize their monologue (it only has to be 30-60 seconds), it will be okay to hold onto it.

At auditions, the directors will ask actors to read from the script with somebody else who is auditioning, The directors might also give you some suggestions for different ways to try saying the lines. If you have trouble reading a word or line, don’t be afraid to ask the director about it. Make character choices of your own, but also listen to the director’s suggestions. The director wants to know if you can take some direction and make some interesting choices. Remember that you’re performing, not just reading!

Overall, the most important thing to know for an audition are these:

•  be prepared
•  look and sound confident and enthusiastic
•  be entertaining
•  be loud
•  be polite
•  do your best

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