VARIOUS CONTEMPORARY PLAYWRIGHTS
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The first lines are provided. From this you should be able to glean whether a
given piece is comic or serious or a combination of the two (serio-comic).
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ABBY (THE MERCY SEAT/LaBute) --Ben, God, you can be so thick.
AMANDA (ADAM'S RIB/Gordon and Kanin) --Law, like man, is composed of two parts.
AMANDA (THE FOOD CHAIN/Silver) --PURSES!
ANGEL (MARISOL/Rivera) --I kick-started your heart, Marisol.
ANGIE (A GOOD SOLID HOME/Lhota and Milstein --I’m not asking you to engage in anything! I just want to talk.
ANGRY EMPLOYEE (GALAXY VIDEO/Morales) --Jerry, I want my job back.
ANN (AVENUE U BOYS/Pugliese) --The first time I saw Ed was more than a couple of years ago.
ANNE (ANNE OF A THOUSAND DAYS/Anderson) --Have you fallen into your own trap my lord?
BANANAS (THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES/Guare) --I see a scene that you wouldn't see in your wildest dreams.
BENEATHA (A RAISIN IN THE SUN/Hansberry) --Brother is a flip--let's face it.
BEVERLY (ONE MONKEY DON'T STOP THE SHOW/Evans) --That French food is fine for the French, but I had to get me some chicken...
BEVERLY (ONE MONKEY DON'T STOP THE SHOW/Evans) --Like...well...meetin' somebody I like a whole lot...
BRIGID (KEY WEST/O’Brian) --It was a comfort most of the time.
BUNNY (THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES/Guare) --Cook for you? Not till after we're married.
CALLIE (STOP KISS/Son) --They've finished building that building...
CALLIE (STOP KISS/Son) --Because we were kissing...
CANDI (CUTTING REMARKS/Lhota and Brodsky --They always want to blame the teachers.
CARLA (KENNEDY'S CHILDREN/Patrick) --I wanted to be a sex goddess.
CAROL (OLEANNA/Mamet) --The issue here is not what I "feel."
CAROL (OLEANNA/Mamet) --How can you deny it? You did it to me. Here.
CAROLYN (LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS/Roos) --Sonia! Don't talk to her. William, get in the car.
CAROLYN (LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS/Roos) --You didn't do anything wrong. Do you understand?
CATHARINE (WAITING FOR THE PARADE/Murrell) --When Billy and I were first married...
CLAIRE (A DELICATE BALANCE/Albee) --Warn me when she’s coming; I’ll act drunk.
CLAUDIA (NUTS/Topor) --Darlin', I am worth the trouble, take my word for it.
CLAUDIA (NUTS/Topor) --I get a hundred for a straight lay...
COLLEEN (CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRLS/Kurtti) --Sister told everyone to finish up...
CYNTHIA (GIRL'S GUIDE TO CHAOS/Heimel) --Dating. I will have to start dating again.
DAISY (DRINKING AND DRIVING/Eptein) --You, a guy with everything. Jesus. You talk about hypocrisy?
DOT (7 BLOWJOBS/Wellman) --Eileen, Eileen. Calm down....
EDNA (WAITING FOR LEFTY/Odets)* --Don't yell. I just put the kid's to bed...
ELLEN (PERSONALITY/playwright unknown**) --You look around and you see all these people you should be.
ELIZABETH (CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRLS/Kurtti) --Okay, everybody. This is church.
ELIZABETH (DEFYING GRAVITY/Anderson) --The day my mother actually left...
ELLEN (THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED/Beane) --After the club Alex and I deplored...
ELSA (THE ROAD TO MECCA/Fugard) --There’s something about him I didn’t tell you, he’s married.
EMILY (DIGGING FOR FIRE/Hughes) --Well..it's all so corny, it's like Lana Turner on the stool at Schwab's.
EMILY (OUR TOWN/Wilder) --I'm not mad at you. Well, since you ask me....
EMILY (IN AND OUT/Rudnick) --You're sorry? After I waited for you my entire life?
EMMA (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --On our honeymoon in Italy, George didn't like the cologne....
FRANKIE (FRANKIE AND JOHNNY.../McNally) --You know what I think it was? The moonlight.
GEORGIE (SPIKE HEELS/Rebeck) --Bullshit. Fuck you, that is such fucking bullshit.
GEORGIE (SPIKE HEELS/Rebeck) --Like what? Like betrayal, maybe?
GIRL (AUTOBAHN/LaBute) --I was just so sure you were going to let me have it...
HARPER (ANGELS IN AMERICA/Kushner) --I burned dinner.
HAE-YOON (BFE/Cho) --My name is Hae-Yoon...
HAE-YOON (BFE/Cho) --I like your last letter very much...
HELEN (THE END OF DAY/Baitz) --But Sweetheart. You see, I don't think I can believe you.
HELEN (FAT PIG/LaBute) --Tom, you are aware that I like you.
HESTER (HELLO AND GOODBYE/Fugard) --Shut up! And wake up. Open your eyes!
HONEY (OPERATION SIDEWINDER/Shepard) --It's not going to hurt, is it?
INEZ (NO EXIT/Sartre) --To forget about the others? How utterly absurd!
INEZ (NO EXIT/Sartre) --Well, what are you waiting for? Do as you're told.
JANE (IDENTITY CRISIS/Durang) --You remember how in the second act Tinkerbell drinks some poison...
JANIE (ISN'T IT ROMANTIC/Wasserstein) --He's very sweet.
JENNIE (CHAPTER TWO/Simon) --You know what you want better than me, George.
JESSICA (HOLD PLEASE/Weisman) --I thought her severance speech was a real cop-out...
KATHRYN (THE ACCUSED/Topor) --Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Paulson has told you that the testimony...
KATIE (KATIE AND FRANK/Rebeck) --I bought a gun. I did. This morning I went out and bought a gun.
KARI (THE PAVILION/Wright) --...just listen, he was inside my body.
KARI (THE PAVILION/Wright) --"Hurt"? "Hurt" barely touches this.
KIM (PATIENT A/Blessing) --The first time I was tested for HIV...
LIDIA (TITANIC/Durang) --That was my favorite song in the whole world.
LI'L BIT (HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE/Vogel) --There were a lot of rumors....
LI'L BIT (HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE/Vogel) --I never saw him again.
LEONA (CONFESSIONAL/Williams) --When I come to new place...
LOUISE (TOP GIRLS/Churchill) --There you are, I've lived for that company....
LORNA (GOLDEN BOY/Odets)* --Because he needs me and you don’t.
LYDIA (SLIDING DOORS/Howitt) --I am trying to be your girlfriend, Jerry.
LYDIA (SPIKE HEELS/Rebeck) --No. No. You listen.
LYDIA (BIG LOVE/Mee) --You know, everything you say may be right...
LUISA (THE FANTASTICKS/Schmidt and Jones) --The moon turns red on my birthday...
MADELINE (WINCHELSEA DROUND/Nigro) --There's something about riding the bus at night...
MABEL CHILTERN (AN IDEAL HUSBAND/Wilde) --Well, Tommy has proposed to me again.
MARELA (ANNA IN THE TROPICS/Cruz) --I should write his name on a piece of paper...
MARIE (SEARCH AND DESTROY/Korder) -- Everybody's dead all over. Okay.
MARY (THE BALD SOPRANO/Ionesco) --Elizabeth and Donald are now too happy...
MARY-LOIS (ASCENSION DAY/Mason) --Hi, I'm Mary-Lois Becker and I'm from Spooner.
MAY (FOOL FOR LOVE/Shepard) --You want me to finish this story for you Eddie, huh?
MICHELLE (THE LAST SEDER/Meisel) --Ummm, excuse me....
MISS PAT (THE COLORED MUSEUM/Wolfe) --Welcome aboard the Celebrity Slaveship,...
MISS ENDOR (BIG DEATH AND LITTLE DEATH/Birnbaum) --Gary, I used to be a student here, just like you.
MISSY (A BLUE STREAK/Sweeden) --I'm not taking this aging thing well.
MONICA (SKINNY/Hesse) --Some people try to use nice words to describe skinny people.
MRS. RIVERTON (THE WAY OF ALL FISH--POWER PLAYS/
May and Arkin) -- But you can be. Anyone can be and I know how.
NAN (THREE DAYS OF RAIN/Greenberg) --What was hard was when he finally called...
NATALIE (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --I'll go then. I don't know what I said to make you angry.
NINA (THE SEAGULL/Chekhov) --Why do you say you kissed the ground I walked on?
OLGA (THE WOMEN/Luce) --Yeah. It was a couple of months ago. Us girls weren't busy.
PUNCHARELLA (AND MY NAME AIN'T PEACHES/McCree) --My name is...Well, they made a song about me...
PACE (THE TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK/Wallace) --But you were wrong the other day.
PANNY (BFE/Cho) --Things happen all the time out here, things you can't explain.
PRUDENCE (BEYOND THERAPY/Durang) --Well, about a year and a half ago....
RHONDA (WOMEN OF MANHATTAN/Shanley) --I don't keep the sneakers because I still love him...
ROBIN (SOPHISTRY/Sherman) --Where were you? You weren't at dinner.
ROSE (THE WOOLGATHERER/Mastrosimone) --You may think it's funny but I was the last one to see them...
ROSSANAH (BRILLIANT TRACES/Johnson) --I was at my wedding, in the vestry getting ready to go in, and there he was.
RUBY (SUNDOWN NAMES AND NIGHT-GONE THINGS/Lee) --Listen to me a minute, OK? Just listen.
RUTH (BLITHE SPIRIT/Coward) --This is intolearble!
SALLY (WHEN HARRY MET SALLY/Ephron) --When Joe and I first started seeing each other...
SALOME (SALOME/Wilde) --There is no sound. I hear nothing. Why does he not cry out, this man?
SAM (SOME GIRLS/LaBute) --No, I overheard it once, just this one mention...
SHAYLEE (STONE COLD DEAD SERIOUS/Rapp) --Wynne, you know about six months ago I had a baby?
SISTER MARY (SISTER MARY IGNATIUS.../Durang) --Blah. You make me want to blah.
SISTER MARY (SISTER MARY IGNATIUS.../Durang) --I had twenty-six brothers and sisters.
SISTER MARY (SISTER MARY IGNATIUS.../Durang) --Now I thought I had already explained what happens after death...
SKYE (GENIUSES/Reynolds) --Hey, what is this?
SOPHIE (THE STAR-SPANGLED GIRL/Simon) --Mr. Cornell, ah have tried to be neighborly...
SUSAN (LOOSE ENDS/Weller) --Whenever I try to talk to you about something...
SYDNEY (THE ALTRUISTS/Silver) --Ethan, I have had it!
THERESA (BOY MEETS GIRL/Gilman) --When I was a freshman in college, I dated a guy who was a bartender.
TOPSY (THE COLORED MUSEUM/Wolfe) --Yoho! Party! Party! Turn up the music!
VELVET (NATIONAL VELVET/Bagnold) --Wants the horse? Can't have the horse.
VICKY (CINEMA LIMBO/Bradford) --I'm the kind of girl who takes pity on poor pathetic geeks...
WANDA (CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRLS/Kurtti) --My father comes home from work every night...
WILLY (THE ENDS OF THE EARTH/Panych) --Oh. I forgot I was here.
WOMAN (MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT/Chayefsky) --I'll tell you what it is...
WOMAN (DON'T BREATHE ON THE JOB/Davis) --This is what happened.
WOMAN (THIS IS HOW IT GOES/LaBute) --I wanted to be noticed. That's what it was.
WOMAN (CHECK, PLEASE/Tucker) --You're from Phoenix? That's in the desert, isn't it?
ADAM (THE SHAPE OF THINGS/LaBute) --Me? Nah, we had some fun, right?
ALAN (P'TANG YANG KIPPERBANG/Rosenthal) -- You're beautiful, Ann.
ANDERSON (KES/Hines) --I was at Junior School, I think,
BELINSKY (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --It's too important for pity.
BELINSKY (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --Because the answer is not out there like America waiting for Columbus.
BELINSKY (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --I'm sick of utopias.
BOY (CONFESSIONAL/Williams) --In Goldenfield, Iowa, there was just one man like that.
BOY WILLIE (THE PIANO LESSON/Wilson) --Got a hundred acres. Good land.
BRUCE (7 BLOWJOBS/Wellman) --I am not a pervert, I am a man who does his job.
CHRIS (ALL MY SONS/Miller) --They weren't just men.
COLONEL (THE OLDEST LIVING GRADUATE/Jones) --Hobie Lowery and Tom Miller killed over there in France...
CORNELIUS (THE MATCHMAKER/Wilder) --Isn't the world full of wonderful things.
DAME EDNA (BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!/Humphries) --I don't know what you'd call it. Blind terror, I think....
DENNIS SHEPARD (THE LARAMIE PROJECT/Kaufman) --My son Matthew did not look like a winner.
DENNIS SHEPARD (THE LARAMIE PROJECT/Kaufman) --Matt's beating, hospitalization and funeral focused worldwide attention...
DETECTIVE MUNCH (LAW & ORDER/various) -- I took a chance...
EDWARD (SPIKE HEELS/Rebeck) --You would not believe the day I've had.
EDWARD (SPIKE HEELS/Rebeck) --A woman's soul? Andrew come back.
EL GALLO (THE FANTASTICKS/Schmidt and Jones) --You wonder how these things begin.
FERGUS (FINDING THE SUN/Albee) --If you think it's easy being my age, well....
FRANK (THE ENDS OF THE EARTH/Panych) --So, you seem I can't understand how I ever allowed myself to stand out...
GEORGE (THE ACTOR'S NIGHTMARE/Durang) --I wonder whose yacht that is.
GEORGE (OUR TOWN/Wilder) --Emily, I’m glad you spoke to me about that…
GIBSON (ARTICHOKE/Glass) --There is a little speech I must make...
HARRY (WHEN HARRY MET SALLY/Ephron) --I've been doin' a lot of thinking.
HARRY (WHEN HARRY MET SALLY/Ephron) --Friday. Helen comes home and she said....
HEDWIG (THE WILD DUCK/Ibsen) --Daddy! Daddy! Don't go away from me.
HERZEN (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --This is not a sensible conversation.
HERZEN (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --What do you want? Bread?
HERZEN (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --He's a free man because he gives away freely.
HUSBAND (THE OLD SETTLER/Redwood)* --No Ma’am. I used to work in a saw mill until my mama passed.
HOSS (TOOTH OF CRIME/Shepard) --So, we all went out to Pasadena to cruise the chicks.
IAN (ACTING MY LIFE/Holm) --Somehow I got through the first part of the play
IGOR (SOPHISTRY/Sherman) --I wouldn't even know where to start, Robin, I swear.
ISAAC (THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE/Baitz) --Something has happened. The way in which people read.
JACK (SOPHISTRY/Sherman) --This is how it happened...
JACK (SOPHISTRY/Sherman) --I don't know if I can continue talking about...
JACK (THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST/Wilde) --I fear there can be no possible doubt about the matter.
JAY (LOST IN YONKERS/Simon) --He’s afraid of her the same as Aunt Bella.
JEDADIAH (THE LARAMIE PROJECT/Kaufman) --I've lived in Wyoming my whole life.
JEDADIAH (THE LARAMIE PROJECT/Kaufman) --There are certain things when I sit in church.
JOCKO (GENIUSES/Reynolds) --This is it, this is it! I've got it!
JOEY (HONUS AND ME/Dietz) --But I didn't throw it away. I'm a collector.
JOEY (HONUS AND ME/Dietz) -- I pulled his cap way down over my eyes and sat at the end of the dugout.
JOHN (OLEANNA/Mamet) --What was the price of this security?
JOHN (THE RED COAT/Shanley) --I left the party 'cause I felt like everything I wanted was outside....
JOHNNY (FRANKIE AND JOHNNY.../McNally) --I'll tell why I was laughing.
JOHNNY (FRANKIE AND JOHNNY.../McNally) --There are some delicatessens I just won't go into...
JOHNNY (FRANKIE AND JOHNNY.../McNally) --That's your trouble.
LEO (CHAPTER TWO/Simon) --Really? I'll invite you to sleep in our bedroom...
LEO (CHAPTER TWO/Simon) --Not me. I need something new.
LEO (PARADISE LOST/Odets) --No! There's more to life than this.
LYMON (THE PIANO LESSON/Wilson) --Mostly they be lonely and looking for somebody...
LUCAS (LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR/Simon) --I guess this is what I’ve dreamed of my whole life.
MALACHI (THE MATCHMAKER/Wilder) --A purse.
MAN (COLUMBUS AVENUE/Mamet) --I felt the cold steel of a gun against my head three times.
MAN (HOT N' THROBBING/Vogel) --Calm down--I don't have a job, I've got no fuckin' family...
MAN (HOT N' THROBBING/Vogel) --I mean, the truth is...the truth is...
MAN (THE DOG/Mamet) --Talk about a dog!
MAN (THIS IS HOW IT GOES/LaBute) --...okay. This is how it goes...
MATT (THE FANTASTICKS/Schmidt and Jones) --There is this girl.
MATT (RED LIGHT WINTER/Rapp) -- Look Christine or Christina or whatever your name is....
MATTHEW (PATIENT A/Blessing) --You knew some people who died of AIDS? I knew hundreds.
MAX (THE HOMECOMING/Pinter) --He talks to me about horses.
MICHAEL (VOYAGE/Stoppard) --Agriculture? I'd rather kill myself than study agriculture.
PECK (HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE/Vogel) --Li'l Bit--you're scared.
PETER (THE PAVILION/Wright) --But what if there's a thing called destiny...
PHIL (BOY'S LIFE/Korder) --I would have destroyed myself for this woman.
PHILIP (KEY EXCHANGE/Wade) --So great. We get keys made for each other's apartments.
PHILIP (THE VERTICAL HOUR/Hare) --I know you won't believe it because it's unbelievable--
PORTNOY (PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT/Roth) --Then there's an expression in English, "Good morning,"...
PRIOR (ANGELS IN AMERICA/Kushner) --Companionship. Oh.
PRIOR (ANGELS IN AMERICA/Kushner) --But still. Still. Bless me anyway.
RAULITO (LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY/Guare) --Yes! For you and Mr. Right---
ROY (LONE STAR/McLure) --You know what I love. I love my wife. I love my country. And I love my car.
REACH (DOWN THE ROAD/Blessing) --You want to know how it feels? I'll tell you
RONALD (ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR/Ayckbourn) --I mean, something happened. Something must have happened.
RONNIE (THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES/Guare) --The doorbell rang.
SAL (THE MOONLIGHT ROOM/Skyler) --What do you know? Your mom’s with someone. She’s happy.
SAMMY (THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS/Inge) --You know, I've never been to many parties, have you?
SID (WAITING FOR LEFTY/Odets) --But it's relative, like the professors say.
SLEPSOV (SALVAGE/Stoppard) --It's difficult to ask him, since he's doing fourteen years hard labour.
STANKEVICH (VOYAGE/Stoppard) --Schelling's God is the cosmos...
STANKEVICH (VOYAGE/Stoppard) --The inner life is more real, more complete...
THEO (THREE DAYS OF RAIN/Greenberg) --It came to me whole.
TOM (FAT PIG/LaBute) --I think you are an amazing woman...
TOM (FOR WHOM THE SOUTHERN BELLE TOLLS/Durang) --I didn't go to the moon. I went to the movies.
TURGENEV (SHIPWRECK/Stoppard) --I'm not pure spirit, but I'm not society's keeper either.
TURGENEV (SALVAGE/Stoppard) --Oh, yes...the nihilist. You're right, we haven't met before.
VAIL (ONCE IN A LIFETIME/Kaufman and Hart) --Yes. Yes. You see, Doctor...
VANDERGELDER (THE MATCHMAKER/Wilder) --Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools...
WALKER (THE ENDS OF THE EARTH/Panych) --Life had always seemed to me a little like Bingo.
WARREN (THIS IS OUR YOUTH/Lonergan) --Yeah, so after he threw me out....
WARREN (THIS IS OUR YOUTH/Lonergan) --It is sort of amazing that one of us actually died.
WILLIE (THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMED/Williams) --We used to have a high old time in that big yellow house.
WILLIE (ATHIEST COMEDY/Riekki) --Well, I’m unemployed still. And I haven’t been getting along with my girlfriend.
YOUNG MAN (CONFESSIONAL/Williams) --This boy I picked up tonight...
YVAN (ART/Reza) --So, a crisis, insoluble problem, major crisis...
*Compilation, edited for the purposes of a monologue.
**Know the playwright? Let me know!
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