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Tag: audition monologues

How Can Young Actors Find Appropriate Monologues?

How Can Young Actors Find Appropriate Monologues?

by Rita Litton

“As an acting teacher and coach, I often field requests from young actors seeking a good monologue, something distinct, comedic, one-to-two minutes… Can I help?

I usually suggest a private session. I bring in folders with hundreds of age-appropriate monologues and I promise that the student will leave with at least two contrasting pieces they  love, and that suit them. Finding a good monologue is not simply a matter of knowing which new play has a catchy or memorable monologue, selecting the longest paragraph of text in a play, or jumping on the first monologue your drama teacher hands you. Finding the right monologue is a bit like Prince Charming peddling his glass slipper; you want a great fit.

I begin a search session with the student reading several monologues out loud. Actors have a hard time knowing their “type.” I focus on your vocal quality, inflections, and timing (which is key for comedy). Are you at ease or uncomfortable with the material? How smart (street or book) are you? Do you understand complex language? Can you easily identify with the life story/background of the character or are major substitutions going to be necessary? How comfortable are you with your body and how do you use it? Is there anything in your physicality that suggests this is material you can relate to, whether or not you have had these personal experiences? When a piece clicks with an actor, their reaction/response will often make the monologue come alive!

Keep the choice of material within your age range.  When looking for  ‘good contrasting monologues ‘ chose characters that have different rhythms, backgrounds, points of view, attitudes, or conflicts —not ages. Most schools would also prefer to see one comedic and one dramatic selection.

Most students have not seen or read that many plays—the required choice material for most colleges. It’s important to understand the background and exposition of your monologue when the stakes or the subtext may not be obvious in the text. While students know they should read the play, many either don’t take the time to do so, or don’t read it before choosing their selections. Working with a coach with extensive theater experience is invaluable in choosing appropriate material.

Choose monologues that speak to you, that allow you to bring your intelligence, imagination, life experience, empathy, unique type and personality to your performance. Seek opinions from those you trust and allow time to find something wonderful! You’ll also have a more satisfying audition experience performing something you love!”—Rita Litton

(Excerpted from my Backstage Expert article, 2016, by Rita Litton.)

For more information or to make an appointment please contact me

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Monologue Prep

Monologue Prep

Rita’s Monologue students write:

“Rita, I wanted to thank you so much for helping me with my monologues and to let you know that I will be going to SUNY Purchase!! I am so excited!! It’s for the ACTING program, 24 out of 1200 got in, and I can’t believe I did !!!!”

Sara M..”


“was accepted early decision to NYU Tisch School of the Arts as a Drama major-I’m so excited! Thank you so much for your help. I am so grateful for everything I learned with you!”

Lauren S.


“Triston felt the audition (SUNY Purchase) went well. They were impressed by the classical piece. They asked where he got that from, he said “his private coach Rita Litton.” This is a small world. The person that auditioned him said “I know her.” She was all smiles after that. He had a call back that same afternoon. Thanks to your great expertise!”

M. Howell


“I wanted to thank you for all you did for Grace in such a short amount of time! Grace auditioned for The Professional Performing Arts School of NYC and was accepted in the advanced Drama Dept. We are thrilled! Thanks again for all your encouragement.”

D. Plimpton


“I just wanted to say thank you so much… I used one of the pieces that you suggested to me, and called upon your direction for my audition. I am so thankful to have been a part of your school and to have the knowledge that I do from you. I feel so incredibly blessed.”

Elizabeth M (Accepted into two of her ‘dream colleges,’ including New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.)


She just found out she was accepted into LaGuardia’s freshman class for drama!! Thank you so much for your help in the selection process and all your fine work with Chloe!”

Stephanie N

Are you planning to audition for a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts theater program or acting conservatory?  I have years of experience helping actors gain acceptance to their ‘dream schools.’ The selection of material is one of my specialties. I have hundreds of monologues, comedic or dramatic, of every style and period, from both contemporary and classical plays. As an actress, I’ve performed at classical Shakespeare festivals around the country and I trained classically prior to working in NYC.  If you are anxious about performing the classics I can help you make these passionate and dynamic characters come alive.  I’d love to guide you through this exciting process.

Where have my students been accepted?  NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase, Yale, Harvard,  USC, Rutgers Mason Gross, Marymount Manhattan College, University of Miami, Emerson, Drew, Ithaca, Ryder, Fordham at Lincoln Center, Pace, University of Minnesota, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern University, Montclair State University and many more.

I also work with actors who need audition monologues as part of their ‘actor portfolio’ or reel. In addition I work with younger actors who hope to attend one of the competitive New York performing arts high schools and need to present a monologue (or two) as part of their application.

To discuss your personal needs and requirements call me and we can plan your best course of action.  Try to alert me well before your scheduled auditions.  To make an appointment and discuss rates please contact me!

More? Read my Backstage Article on Monologue Auditions!

Rita Litton (from the book “How to Be a Working Actor” by Mari Lynn Henry and Lynn Rogers.)

Well-trained actors of any age are never a casting risk. A well-trained actor knows how to find solutions to problems. They are flexible, easy to direct yet not afraid to make choices. They are well spoken, have ensemble skills, confidence and physical grace. I am attempting to train actors who will walk out of my classes employable; who will be cast worthy because they are responsible to the director and the other actors on the set or stage. An actor who understands the big picture, how the whole environment should come together. Youth affords many opportunities, and opens doors. But the door stays open for the wise actor with training.”

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