Monologues in Musicals

Guess what, there are monologues in musicals! Thus, your acting skills are more important than you may think.

When people think of musicals, they think about songs first. Not many people can think of examples of monologues from musicals from the top of their heads. Here are only two to jog your memory. 😉

1. Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen is one of the musicals that actually starts out with a monologue. It’s a bitter-sweet monologue about Evan’s struggle with anxiety. It has the audience feel at ease and uncomfortable right from the bat.

Evan is alone with a simplistic stage design. The focus here lies on him and him alone. And it isn’t short either. It’s a 317-word piece that demands impeccable comedic timing without losing authenticity in the anxiety. This is a lot of pressure to put on the very young actors who get cast in this role.

IMHO, the younger actors definitely have an advantage because they have a more recent memory of what high school is like. However, their disadvantage is often their lack of experience. This makes having elaborate acting training all the more important. When I saw Marcus Harman in the role, he made his professional stage debut and nailed both the comedic timing and the dramatic scenes. This shows us that with proper preperation, it can be done and it can be done well.

2. Hairspray

Wilbur’s monologue in the musical Hairspray is a lot shorter at only 128 words. As opposed to Evan, this role requires an actor of a very different age group.

The big challenge in this monologue is to balance the absurd comedy with actually convincing his daughter Tracy to pursue her dreams. Nobody said it was easy.

Are there any good monologues in musicals for me?

Unfortunately, this is a question that has a very complex answer. Granted, my answer will be very personal to you and where you’re at right now. But no worries, I can help!

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Fact of the matter is that you don’t necessarily need a monologue from a musical to audition, it can be from a play, too. The most important thing is to know that there are monologues in musicals and to be prepared to show one at auditions and in the context of a show!

Izzie xo.

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