Use our script and create your own MENding Monologues.
For colleges and communities who wish to stage their own version of The MENding Monologues, we provide our script for a flat royalty fee of $200 USD, covering up to five public performances. Moreover, the script allows for local writers, poets and activists to write, perform and add their own pieces to the scripted material. The only caveat is the material must be in alignment with The MENding’s mission of stopping gender violence. The 2011 Script contains 25 monologues and comedic sketches, as well as direction for creating new works generated from the community. Also, you can invite veteran MENding Monologues performer to come to your school or community to kick start the process.
Click here for more details on the MENding Dialogues Writing Circle.
How we do it…
The rest of this page is an excellent primer for those who wish to perform similar shows or are curious as to the work we do and the processes we use. While some background in writing, acting or directing is beneficial, we are open to any man with a story to tell. While we prefer true stories and accounts, we also recognize that fiction and comedic pieces can often deliver a truer picture than non-fiction. Thus, fictional monologues, scenes, and comedic sketches should be considered. We choose to create shows that are a well-balanced blend of hurt and humor.The type of experiences that have made excellent monologues in the past usually centered on the following themes.
Themes for Monologues…
• Abuse. How has violence or abuse impacted the women in your life and your relationships with them? Whether it was your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, daughter or friend, there was a great cost to her. Yet there was also a cost to you. How did it change your relationship? How did it change you? What role did you play or not play in helping or healing another? What advice can you pass on to other men? What regrets do you have? “The Letter” is a great example of this kind of monologue. See also, “For Linda”.
• Culture. As men, many of us grow up with very unhealthy role models, attitudes and images around sex, women and what it means to be a man. Whether it was how you were raised, what you learned from peers or read in magazines, chances are, you have a different view of women now than you did as a teenager. What changed for you? Is there an experience that “woke you up” and made you aware? Often these stories can be quite humorous with a sharp point. The humorous monologue “Tantra” is a good example of this.
• Reverence. As men—straight or gay—we love women. Whether it is a story of love, healing or loss; revering and respecting the feminine is the ultimate antidote to violence. The poem “Lips” and the monologue “For Jerry” are excellent works of reverence.
• Empathy. Men occasionally have experiences that make them understand women at a deeper and more complex level. From these life stories comes empathy and compassion for the subtler abuse women put up with. The monologue “R U My 2:15?” is a good example of this.
• Abstract. Destructives attitudes toward the feminine can be seen everywhere. From raping Mother Earth for resources to devaluing the role of motherhood to overvaluing masculine logic over feminine feeling, there is much to be said on these subjects.
• Social satire. There is a lot of truth and comedy to be mined from today’s ridiculous consumer culture. The very funny satirical monologue “Dr. Vaginski” and “Price List for a Designer Vagina” were inspired by the latest trend in cosmetic surgery to create vaginal beauty. While these are excellent primers for monologues, there are probably many more.
The Story Circle Process. Usually, when starting out, nobody has a monologue or story to tell. Or, perhaps they have a story, but they believe there is nothing special about them or it. This is normal and to be expected. That’s where The Story Circle comes in.
Under strict confidentiality agreements and trust, as a group we tell our stories to each other on every subject even marginally related to sex, growing up, relationships, rape, gender issues, pornography, culture, race, violence, abuse, masculinity, responsibility, etc. Even the most inane memories and observations are allowed and discussed without judgment or censorship. We brainstorm and explore these anecdotes of our lives—with plenty of laughter, support and a few tears. Above all, we value authenticity, vulnerability and courageous truth. From this, expect a healing that you didn’t know you needed, wanted or expected.
The Hook. As you tell your story, someone will recognize “the hook,” even if you don’t see it. The hook is that nugget of unusual truth, strange coincidence, plot twist or dramatic moment or method of storytelling that makes your tale unique and stage worthy. The hook could be a theme or perhaps a profound moral that others can learn from. Often the hook may not be discovered until after you have written out your monologue and read it out loud to the group. Trust the process. Stay open and have faith that the “eureka” moment will emerge to make your story extraordinary.
Writing It. Once you find your story, you will be asked to write a rough draft that we will workshop as a group into powerful monologues of 3 to 7 minutes. The head writer and director of the show will help each performer craft and rehearse his monologue. Be open to suggestions to change and cut your story for dramatic effect. One caveat about writing and content: For the record, we are not here to abuse our audience with stories of abuse. The MENding Monologues prides itself on creating extraordinary works that actually say something new on the subject of violence, abuse and cultures that foster it. It would be way too easy to bludgeon our audience with account after terrible account of bad things done to women. Our job as writers, directors and performers is to find those new insights and meanings in these stories and then craft our works in powerful ways to keep the audience fully engaged and rewarded for watching. As much as possible, we are looking to tell stories that are interesting, enlightening and original, not just terrible. NOTE: If a story is too intense or too personally revealing for an author to perform himself, an actor can be assigned to perform that monologue in the author’s stead. Also, authors may choose to remain anonymous. We recommend changing the names of abusers and victims, or getting their written permission before using their name in the show, as much as possible.
Performing It. We don’t have a lot to say about the performance of The MENding Monologues. It’s up to each performer and director to do his or her best to stage a professional production. We encourage each performer to work without a script or note cards—especially if it is a personal monologue. However, in some cases, reading from a script or notes is acceptable, as long as the actor doesn’t rely on the script too much.
After the Show. If done with heart, The MENding Monologues stirs up a lot of emotion for the audience and the actors alike. That’s why we like to end our shows with the actors and audience sing-along. Singing allows the audience to release some of that pent up energy and anger they may have, and helps move them into emotions of compassion and love. In the past, we’ve used the song “Imagine” by John Lennon or the spiritual “We Shall Overcome.”
Good luck! Also, you can invite veteran MENding Monologues performer to come to your school or community to kick start the process. Click here for more details.