Monologeus for Teenagers

Monologues for TeenagersLooking for great original monologues for teenagers? Drama Notebook holds a monthly Monologue Contest open to kids and teens from around the world. Each month, starting March of 2017, we choose winners and publish many of the entries we receive.

Check back often to see new entries, and consider entering your own student’s work!

*While the monologues in this collection are FREE, they are copyright protected. This collection, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced or used in any manner without the express written permission of the publisher (Drama Notebook). The monologues may be performed in educational and audition settings. For commercial rights and other inquiries, please contact us.

Sorry I’m Late!


First Place Winner!
By: Lisa Iordache-Stir, Age 13, California, USA
Gender: Any
Genre: Comedic
Description: An employee explains why they were late to work.

I know I’m late for work, but you would not believe the morning I’ve had! Last night, I put all my clothes into the washer and dryer since most of them were dirty. To my surprise, they were all shrunken about three sizes after taking them out of the dryer! I only had my pajamas I slept in, so I wore them, as you can see. Then, when I went outside to get into my car, my car door wouldn’t open. I put my hands onto the freezing car window and saw that my keys were inside of the car! I had no choice but to walk to work. As I walked down the street, I heard something come from a nearby alleyway. Out of curiosity, I went to see what it was. Let me tell ya, big mistake. There were about ten, no, about twenty ferocious street cats staring me down. I slowly backed away, but it was too late. They chased me down the alley. About five jumped onto me and attacked me. This is why there are a ton of scratches on my body. See? By some miracle, I was able to escape. I thought to myself, how can this morning get any worse? Trust me, it did. I was a block away from the work office when I went to the coffee shop right around the corner and got some hot coffee. I realized that I was about to be late for work. I hurried to get out of the shop, and of course, I tripped and spilled the coffee all over the place. My work bag, my pajamas, my shoes, were soaked! I tried to wash off as much as I could in the bathroom, but it’s still there, as you can see. So, that’s why I’m late. I’ll try not to let it happen again. What? It’s daylight savings time? Oh, I’m an hour early? Oh, then never-mind.

Trapped in an Elevator


Second Place Winner!
By: Sophia M., Age 13, California, USA
Gender: Any
Genre: Comedic
Description: A terrified person is trapped in an elevator.

(Actor mimes getting into the elevator, pushing the button, and having the elevator start up and then lurch to a stop.) No. This isn’t happening. This is it. My nightmare has come true. I’m going to die. The cable is going to snap and I’m going to fall hundreds of stories. (Rapidly breathing.) I’m running out of air. I’ve got to get out of here. Which button do I press? This red one is for emergencies, right? Or is it the blue one? NO. Probably the red one. Use your head. Think. Think. Oh heck, I’m just going to press all of them. (Presses the buttons. Waits.) Nothing’s happening. There should be a siren or something. Help! Help! I’m trapped in here! Anyone? Where’s my cell phone? (Digging through bag, checking pockets.) Oh my God, I left it charging in the car. Okay, calm down. Just calm down. What do I have to eat or drink. (Rifling through bag.) Two sticks of gum. Gum covered in lint. I’m going to die. (Slumps to the floor.) No one knows I’m in here. They’re not going to find me until my rotting corpse starts stinking up the building. This is a dream, right? (Pinches himself/herself.) Nope. I’m awake. I’m having a nightmare, but I’m awake. So, this is the way it ends for me. I’ll never get married, or have children, or finish my snake skin collection or fulfill my life-long dream of being a fortune-cookie writer. (Lies down on the floor.) Okay God, take me know. I’m ready. (Hears noise.) I can hear the angels. They are coming to get me. Wait a minute. (Sits up.) That doesn’t sound like angels. It sounds like a blow-torch. (Jumps to feet.) Hello! I’m in here! I’m still alive! (Elevator doors open. Actor leaps out, pantomimes hugging rescuers.) You found me just in time! I’ve been in there for days! What? It couldn’t have been just five minutes! Fine. If you say so. But from now on, I’m taking the stairs.

Elves on Strike


First Place Winner!
By: Jeremy K., Age 12, Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
Gender: Any
Genre: Comedic
Description: The leader of the elves union rallies the elves against Santa.

As the leader of the Union of the Order of the North Pole Elves, I stand here today and urge you to say no to Santa! No more working from sunup to sundown without so much as a snickerdoodle break! What does Santa think we are, robots? No, we’re elves, and we have rights! Tinsel, remember when he made you clean Dasher’s stall after he got into that barrel of chocolate? Cleaning chocolate poo is not in the elf job description! And Snazzy, there was that time when he ordered you to let Mrs. Claus use you as a mannequin for the little girl’s dresses she was making. Humiliating! I mean, what the falalala was he thinking? I mean he makes us wear these ridiculous Pinnocchio outfits and sing while we work, while he sits on his big fat butt watching the weather channel. And on Christmas day, he takes ALL the credit. (Imitating children.) “Mom, Santa came! Ooooh, look what Santa got me! How did he know I wanted this?” Listen up children of the world: Santa is not the one who made your train sets, and your dolly houses and your walkie talkies. It was US, the Elves of the Order of the North Pole. We did it all. Santa is just a lazy guy with a wiggly belly who works basically one day a year. Nothing but a gloried delivery man if you ask me! (Pauses. Listens to someone in the audience.) What’s that? Santa is where? (Looks behind him.) Oh fudgesicles.

Chicken


Second Place Winner!
By: Kielle W., Age 16, Chesapeake, Virginia, USA
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teen wishes to overcome his/her fears.

I’m in the bird watching club at school. I’ve adored the little rascals since I could say the word. I even memorized the state bird for every place in America! They’re just impossible not to admire. Birds are so much freer than any person I know. There’s no one to hold them back and tell them what not to do. Birds aren’t stuck in moldy, rundown apartments. Birds don’t stop themselves from flying wherever they want because they’re scared. No, I imagine that birds are brave. Much braver than me, that’s for sure. See, that’s why I wish I had a pair of wings. I want to feel free. I want to scatter brightly colored feathers for little girls to find in parks. Sparkle up their day a bit. Mostly, I want wings so that I could take flight. Leave behind my problems and soar into the sky. It’s why I love to go out on the roof. The wind blowing in my hair, the sun shining its beautiful rays down upon me. I pretend I’m flying for hours when I’m up there. Sometimes I linger on the ledge, arms spread as wide as an eagle. And I know one step is all it would take for me to finally, truly fly. One little step but… I never do. I always get scared and go back inside. Chained to the ground by everything I’ve got going for me. One day though, I’m gonna fly. I just need the courage to take that first step.

The Bully


By: Philip G., Age 13, New Mexico, USA
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teenager warns the new kid about the school bully.

Look, you’re new here, so I feel it’s my duty to warn you… there are a couple of people you’ll want to avoid. Skylar Morrison likes to thump kids on the head. He’s easy to spot because he’s the biggest kid in our grade. He used to be in the grade above us, but I guess he needed to learn more, so he’s in our class now. He’s mostly harmless beyond the thumping on the head thing. It’s Ross Sullivan you really have to watch out for. His real name is Roscoe and sometimes teachers call him that, especially if they are new. But make sure that YOU don’t ever call him that. He’s pretty good at name-calling. There’s this one kid he calls booger-licker or BL for short. That’s Julian Wynn, and he has really bad allergies. Ross also likes to do things like stuff mashed potatoes down your shirt at lunch. I know this from personal experience. If you tell on him, that will make it worse. He especially likes to pick on smart kids, and I’m telling you this because I can already tell that you are smart. (Pause.) What? Oh, I don’t know why he does it. If I had to guess I would say that he probably gets treated like that at home. That’s what my mom says anyway. Kids who torment other kids usually don’t have it so good at home. (Pause.) Yeah, me too. I have awesome parents. Hey, maybe we can try to be nice to him. Maybe he needs a friend. I never thought of that. We can at least try.

The Bully


By: Philip G., Age 13, New Mexico, USA
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teenager warns the new kid about the school bully.

Look, you’re new here, so I feel it’s my duty to warn you… there are a couple of people you’ll want to avoid. Skylar Morrison likes to thump kids on the head. He’s easy to spot because he’s the biggest kid in our grade. He used to be in the grade above us, but I guess he needed to learn more, so he’s in our class now. He’s mostly harmless beyond the thumping on the head thing. It’s Ross Sullivan you really have to watch out for. His real name is Roscoe and sometimes teachers call him that, especially if they are new. But make sure that YOU don’t ever call him that. He’s pretty good at name-calling. There’s this one kid he calls booger-licker or BL for short. That’s Julian Wynn, and he has really bad allergies. Ross also likes to do things like stuff mashed potatoes down your shirt at lunch. I know this from personal experience. If you tell on him, that will make it worse. He especially likes to pick on smart kids, and I’m telling you this because I can already tell that you are smart. (Pause.) What? Oh, I don’t know why he does it. If I had to guess I would say that he probably gets treated like that at home. That’s what my mom says anyway. Kids who torment other kids usually don’t have it so good at home. (Pause.) Yeah, me too. I have awesome parents. Hey, maybe we can try to be nice to him. Maybe he needs a friend. I never thought of that. We can at least try.

A Place to Hide


By: Lillian Orr, Age 12, South Carolina, USA
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: Snow White explains her predicament to the seven dwarves.

Um, could you all stop staring at me please? It’s a little creepy. Look, I didn’t mean to trespass. I.I…was trying to get some rest. I was so tired last night. You see, my evil stepmother sent out her huntsman to try to try to kill me. What would you do if you were trying to escape with your life? I didn’t have a choice. I ran and ran and this was the first house I found. Honestly, this wasn’t what I was expecting. Everything is so tiny. Little beds, little chairs, little tables…. but, I don’t care, I just need somewhere to hide. My evil stepmother hates me because every time she talks to that stupid mirror, it always tells her that I’m the fairest in the land and goes on and on about my fair skin that’s white like snow and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, I guess she figured if I was dead, she would be the fairest and prettiest of them all. That’s why I’m here. I don’t even want to be the fairest of them all. I was so tired that I fell asleep in these beds. (Pause.) Maybe we can come up with a compromise. How about this: if you guys don’t tell anyone that I’m here, I will make meals for you, clean your cottage, mend your clothes, take care of you when you are sick, and this will be our little secret.

You’d Better Pay Me


By: Dillon Hammell, Age 12, South Carolina, USA
Gender: Male
Genre: Dramatic
Description: The Pied Piper threatens the townspeople if the Mayor doesn’t pay him.

What do you mean you aren’t going to pay me? I just got rid of those rats for you. They won’t be back for a long time, if ever. So, where’s my money? What? This is a joke, right? I have a family to feed you know. You need to pay me now! I just single handedly went from town to town playing my flute and had an army of rats following me. I got rid of them all, every last one! If it wasn’t for me, then you people would have gotten a horrible plague that would have killed almost everyone. You need to know that there are more things I can do with this flute of mine. Since you were smart enough to hire me to take care of the rats then you should be smart enough to know that you should pay me unless you want something terrible to happen. Still not going to pay, huh? (Starts playing the flute.) Do you hear that? That thunder and lightning surrounding us? That’s the magic starting to work. Say goodbye to your children. (He grins and starts playing the flute again.)

I’m not Sorry

First Place Winner
By: Kaheni Johnson, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Age 15
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teen tells his/her side of the story to a police officer.

What were my alternatives, officer? You tell me. I mean how many times you guys been out there? A dozen, maybe? It’s always the same. You take him away, his breath reeking of Colt 45, and he spends one night sleeping it off and she springs him the next morning out of sheer fear. You ever know that kind of fear? Ice in your veins. She did try to leave. A couple times. One time we made it as far as Charleston. We ran out of money and he was calling, begging, his voice thick as honey. I tried everything I could to convince her to keep going. I would get a job. We could have a fresh start. But she turned that car around and drove straight through to daylight. I could feel the planet spinning that night. Did you know that the earth turns at 1,000 miles an hour? Most of the time you can’t tell. But you can always feel it when you are travelling in the wrong direction. That was only a month ago. And right away he started up again. Last night? Okay, you want to hear about last night? He was out as usual and I heard his truck sputter into the driveway. I could tell by the way the gravel crunched under his feet that he was drunk. Pretty soon I heard voices in their room. Not loud at first, but then there was a slam against the wall and there was silence for a moment. Something was different this time, I could sense it. I rushed to their room and saw him hovering over her, hitting her over and over. She wasn’t even conscious. I screamed at him to stop and he looked at me with white hot rage. It wasn’t even like there was a person there. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the gun. The one she kept hidden in an old toaster oven in the bottom cabinet. Her “just in case” gun. I didn’t even think about it, officer. I went back to the bedroom and I shot him. I shot him twice in the head. He didn’t even notice that I was there. He was too busy killing my mom. Last night it was going to be her or him, and I chose her. I’m not sorry about it either. So, you go ahead and do what you gotta do. Can I have a glass of water, or some fresh air? Hey, can you feel that? The earth stopped spinning.

The Interview

Second Place Winner
By: Divya Manikandan; Karnataka, India; Age 16
Gender: Any (For male character, change the name.)
Genre: Comedic
Description: A teen prepares nervously for a college interview.

(On phone.) No, mom. I haven’t even gone in yet. I’m in the lobby practicing while I wait. Yes, I will. I love you too. Mom, I WILL. I have to go now. Bye. Now, where was I? (Coughs to clear her throat and smiles.) Good morning. My name is Jeanine Brefcyznki and I know that those are two very polar, funny sounding names but that’s just me! I’m a bit American and bit Polish! My mom always says that I have the benefits of the American dream, blessed with the Polish work ethic! (Rolls eyes and slaps forehead.) Jeanine what’s wrong with you? You sound like a cheesy infomercial. Actually, you’re worse than that, if you were selling a vacuum cleaner, no one would buy it because of how stupid you sound. (Stands up straight, pushes shoulders back and extends her hand for a handshake) Good morning, my name is Jeanine Brefcyznki. How’re you doing this fine morning? (Animatedly) Oh! That’s wonderful! Oh! No, I’m fine with just water. So… how’re you feeling today? (Slaps forehead again and makes irritated noise) Jeanine! You can’t ask your interviewer how they’re feeling! That’s for them to ask you, just shut up and sit down, you silly human being. (Sits down and takes a breath, places hands on lap.) Take three. You can do this. Oh! That is an excellent question. First off, the research opportunities at your university are mind blowing! The stem cell project? Pure genius… and the self-sustaining ecosystems… I would love to be around that kind of innovation. (Smile turns into an angry frown) Okay…. and now I sound totally pretentious. Come on Jeanine! Do you want to get into college or not!? Good god woman! Get yourself together! (Pulls flashcard out of her pocket and paces the room) Da da da da da…. Plato’s sympo…sympos… how do you say this word? Symposium? My favorite book is Plato’s symposium…and why you may ask? Well, because my mother told me that it’ll make me sound smart! Remember Jeanine, open body language and smile…. open and smile. (Smiles at audience. Looks at flashcard again and starts pacing.) Blah blah blah blah… I love to learn… something, something, something… I spend my summers attending contemporary art conferences in Europe… okay okay, okay… where’s the important stuff? (Flips card over.) Oh, right okay! You need to memorize this before the interview starts… (Phone rings. Jeanine jumps looking a bit startled but then angrily picks up the phone.) Mom. I haven’t gone into the interview yet, you don’t need to call me every two minutes! (Pauses for two seconds, mouth and eyes wide.) Oh! Oh my god! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to yell like that, I thought it was my mom… Yes of course I’ll come in right away! I’m so sorry!

Generation Gap

First Place Winner
By: Caroline F. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Age 15
Gender: Any
Genre: Comedy
Description: A teenager makes fun of his/her mom’s choice in music.

Note: Misheard lyrics are from the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. Actor should play the song listening for the misinterpreted phrase and actually sing it during the monologue.

Do your parents make you listen to their music? Mine do. It’s torture, I tell you. Listening to my mom’s music especially. She likes this one band, Nirvana, and I swear you cannot understand a single word they are singing. There’s this one song and I think it goes like this, “A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido.” I think maybe the band members were poor and couldn’t read or write because also, their clothes look like they came from the free box. My mom also likes this band called Aerosmith. She says that their music makes her feel like dancing and by dancing, I mean leaping and kicking and whipping her hair around in circles. It’s so embarrassing. I looked up pictures of Aerosmith online and the main guy doesn’t look like a guy at all. He looks like my aunt Sharon who used to look really old, but had her face lifted up and now she looks surprised all the time. But the lead singer doesn’t dress like her. More like a person who was going to a costume party and couldn’t decide between being a witch or an Indian Chief. All the other people in the band just look mad in their pictures, especially the skunk hair guy. And oh yeah, she likes the Rolling Stones. And I guess they are kind of cool. For ancient, mummified rock stars. I heard my dad once tell my mom that if there was a nuclear war, the only things left would be the cockroaches and Keith Richards, the skeleton-looking guy. She plays the Rolling Stones a lot in the car and has to sing along with every word. This summer the air conditioner broke in our SUV so she’s been rolling down the windows, but that isn’t stopping her from singing at the top of her lungs. I’ve spent a lot of time shrunk down in my seat. I tried to get her to listen to my favorite band, One Direction. She says they sound like embryos trying to put on a concert. See, I told you that she has terrible taste in music. One thing’s for sure. When I grow up and have kids of my own, I will play One Direction in the car and wherever, and I will for sure not embarrass them!

I Don’t Need Therapy

Second Place Winner
By: Aamira Waheed; New York, New York, USA, Age 17
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teenager explains his/her reasons for being upset to a therapist.

I don’t see why I’m here. I’m not the one who needs a therapist. Yes, I’m stressed out, and maybe I’ve been a little emotional lately. You would be too, if you lived at my house. All they do is argue. Doesn’t matter if it’s a big thing or a small thing. I mean, the other day, they argued about how to cut the toast. Mom had cut it straight across and dad said it should go on the diagonal. Then my mom said that she wasn’t his mother and it was time to cut the apron strings. Whatever that means. When they realized I was in the kitchen, my mom flashed me her fake smile and passed me a plate of toast. I said I wasn’t hungry. Next thing, she’ll think I’m anorexic. So what if I stay in my room? It’s peaceful there with my earbuds in. Music makes me happy. I’ve been thinking about learning to play an instrument. I made the mistake of mentioning this to my parents. Right away, dad offered to get out his old trumpet. Mom said that he should shut up and let me decide. Then dad told mom that she didn’t have to be such a witch about it. I said I was finished with dinner and asked to be excused. And mom all of a sudden acted concerned and felt my forehead to see if I was sick. I went to my room and I could tell they were still arguing. They were doing that thing where they were trying to keep their voices down, but it’s totally obvious. They weren’t always like this. I mean, they used to be in love. If you ask me, they are the ones who need therapy. I mean, am I missing something here? (laughs) Thank you for saying that. I really mean it, I do. Most people don’t take teenagers seriously. (pause) Do you play an instrument? Oh, the cello is nice. But I was thinking more like drums. Drown out the noise.

No Burial

First Place Winner
By: Sarah K., Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, Age 14
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teenager visits her (or his) father’s grave with a friend.

I used to come here a lot. Maybe it was guilt. Or depression. Or just habit. You know he’s not buried here, right? It’s just an empty grave. Kind of ironic that they etched a mountain on his headstone. That’s where he’s actually buried. Well, not really buried. They never told us, but I watched this movie about Mt. Everest, and apparently, when people die up there, they just leave the bodies. Yes, I’m serious. There’s no way to get them off there. It’s too dangerous. After I saw that, I kept picturing him in my imagination, frozen. Tiny icicles hanging from his eyebrows and beard. In my mind, his eyes are open and he is reaching out. Stuck like that forever. Or at least until he’s buried beneath a snow drift. For a long time, I had dreams…well nightmares that he is somehow still alive up there and no one can find him. I worry that his soul is not at rest. My mom told me that she had begged him not to go. He had small children, she said. It was irresponsible. But my dad was an explorer, a conqueror. I don’t remember him much, but I can see it in his eyes when I look at pictures of him. He almost made it to the top. (Pause.) One day, I’m going to make it for him. I’ll do it when I’m still young. Before I have children. I’m going to take a rock from that mountain and bring it back here. Maybe then he can rest.

DNA

Second Place Winner
By: Eli J., Sarasota, Florida, USA, Age 15
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A student offers a melancholy explanation for why he (or she) keeps falling asleep in class.

I’m sorry Mrs. Trask. I’m trying. I just can’t stay awake in your class…yes, I think biology is interesting, especially DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid. Kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? I’ve been thinking a lot about the double helix and how it reminds me of sacred geometry. Do you know about sacred geometry? Well, that’s okay. But I imagine the shape and structure of our DNA is related to some kind of larger thing in the universe. I mean, look at it. It’s like art. A turning ladder made up of tiny intricate colors. And the fact that no two are the same says a lot. (Pause.) Well, for instance, it means that each person is unique. Even if you are born of certain parents, you don’t have to turn out like them because you are different. (Pause.) No, I don’t really want to be like my parents. Well, maybe my mom. My dad, he’s just stressed out is all. There are five of us, and Spencer, he takes a lot of work. At the hospital, they said he wouldn’t live, but he did, and now my mom has to stay home to take care of him. My dad works a lot and I think that’s why he’s mad all the time. I just wish he wouldn’t yell, and…well, other stuff. I can’t talk about it. Anyway, sometimes I don’t get a lot of sleep. That’s why I fall asleep in your class. I’ll try harder, I promise. I like learning. I like learning that deep in my bones is a code that belongs to me and only me. Gives you comfort, doesn’t it?

The Promotion

First Place Winner
By: Isabel Parent, Calgary Alberta, Age 15
Gender: Male
Genre: Comedic
Description: A nervous Walmart employee makes a video tape of himself asking for a promotion.

Brock: Okay. I think I got it. Alrightie, (Mutters to self.) how do I start this? (Clears throat. Starts again in announcer voice.) Hi. I’m Brock Bruce, and I am here to tell you why I, Brock Bruce, your hardworking Walmart stock boy of 28 years deserves a promotion. (Exaggerated wink.) No! Aw heck. (Jumps off stool and moves off camera. Grabs weights and does a few exercises to calm down.) Okay. (Tries again. Adopts a more serious “sexy” tone.) Hi. My name is Brock Bruce. You may have seen me at your local Walmart. I have dedicated 28 years to that store, and the fine customers inside it. As a fellow, neighbor, worker, and citizen of this fair town I am here to tell you why I, Brock Bruce, deserves a promotion, and how together, we can make Walmart Great Again! Agh! Too Trump! Mama always said avoid the political talk. (Sit back down and smile.) Some of my skills include speed stacking, using candy to locating lost children, and peeling the smiley sticker off first try, no tear! Actually, in grade six I was voted most likely to end up working at Walmart, so who cares about skills when the people have spoken! (Pause.) My hobbies include fitness dancing, because you don’t get a (subtley does some body builder poses.) great body like this from just stocking the shelves. Well if you need any more reasons other than these that which I did just tell you, then I don’t think the Walmart smiley face could get this job! And not just because he’s just a head, I mean… (Talking to self.) Heck, I’ve worked here 28 years and I can’t get this darned promotion. (Speaking to camera.) And I really, need this. I mean, it’s not even for me. My mama needs a stair lift so she can get downstairs to the beer fridge; she hasn’t taken her pills dry since her twenties! Besides, I think I’m running out of time. But I swear, if I get this promotion I will be the hardest worker you’ve ever had. I’m Brock Bruce, and I will see you at work tomorrow. I’ll be there early. And stay late. Just in case you need to contact me. Brock Bruce. Any time. I’ll be there. Okie dokie. (Waits for a minute for camera to turn off.) Oh, I have to turn it off. (Attempts to turn camera off. Struggles and gets frustrated. Yells as he exits.) MAMA! HOW DO YOU TURN THE CAMERA OFF?

My Sister’s Song

Second Place Winner
By: Payton Doerksen, Carman, Manitoba, Canada, Age 13
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A young woman overhears her sister singing alone at night.

Amanda sits on her sister Isabel’s bed.

I don’t mean to eavesdrop on you, but the walls are so thin. I can’t help but listen. I hear you singing at night and it’s very calming, but also kind of sad. It reminds me of an angel ringing a bell in the moonlight. It’s both soft and light, Isabel. I know you hate me for listening and that I’m just an annoying little sister, but I love listening to you. I love you. Sometimes I wonder if something has happened to you. I wonder and I wonder, and I know that you say it’s just my imagination. But your voice sounds so sad sometimes that it frightens me. There are stories in your songs. I know you have a right to privacy and you don’t have to tell me anything. But you would, wouldn’t you? Just please don’t yell at me again. I hate it when you do that, or when you stop talking to me. The only thing worse than yelling is silence. We’re sisters. We’re blood. And with things are the way they are, we’re sometimes all each other has. I guess we don’t have to talk about it anymore, but please don’t stop. It helps me fall asleep…the sound of you singing your heart out.

Younger Self

Third Place Winner
By: Rosa Miillan, Los Angeles, California, Age 11
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A character talks to a younger version of herself (or himself).

This is me. (Shows the picture.) Sometimes I take out this picture and talk to her. I tell her about what’s going to happen in her future, and I tell her that I miss the past. I tell her that I miss the days when I didn’t have to go to school. The days where I would just eat and play all day. I tell her that I miss all the attention I used to get from people., the times when I didn’t even think to worry what other people thought of me. I didn’t judge myself and my imperfections then, I was happy. I think I was like four or five. That was before I realized there was so much sadness in the world. When I look at her picture, I can feel her telling me that it’s going to be okay, and I want to believe her. There were even times when I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore, but looking at her, I felt that things were going to get better…that I would come out stronger than ever. (Puts picture away.) I wonder what my future self will say to me one day. I hope I can give her strength when she needs it.

At What Cost?

By: Olivia S., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Age 14
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A beauty pageant contestant questions whether or not to continue competing.

Dolly Ransun is a 13-year-old girl who lives in Georgia with her mom. Her dad left before she was born. Her exterior is very stuck up and arrogant but internally she is very down to earth. The only reason she does pageants anymore is in hopes that her dad will reach out to her. In this monologue, she is running through her chorography for her up-and-coming pageant and slowly unraveling. She is talking to herself about all the things on her mind.
Walk, walk, walk and cupcake hands and left foot, two steps right foot, two steps and… (pauses) Shoot! What the heck comes after the right foot? Is it the turn or walking the other way? Ugh it’s turn, of course, it’s the turn Dolly. Get your act together! Okay, start again. It’s fine, it’s fine. You’re still gorgeous. “Ultimate Grand Supreme” is still yours. Okay. Smile, walk, walk, walk and cupcake hands and… left foot two steps and…right foot two steps and turn and back (rolls her ankle and collapses in pain.) Ah! My stupid ankle! I can’t afford for you to give out on me! You have one job, ankle, one job: Stay. Up. (Picks herself up.) Okay, let’s try again. Walk, walk, walk and cupcake hands and turn and heart face! (Stops. Realizing.) I can’t do this anymore. That’s it. I’m going to tell her I don’t want to do this anymore. The fake eyelashes, the hair, the nails, and starving myself. For what? A chance Dad might finally come back? No. If he didn’t want me before, he’s not going to want me now. I’m nothing to him. Nothing. But that’s okay. (Long pause.) I got mama and grandma and grandpa who love me and support me. No matter what. (Realizing.) What will they do when I tell them I’m done? I’m so tired. I’m tired of being someone that’s superficial. Tired of trying to get something that feels…. unachievable. My childhood has been taken away from me. I mean when was the last time I went to the park? Or went swimming my friends? Heck, when have I ever done something just for fun? Something just for me? This is not who I am. I have to tell her. I need to tell her. (Calling out.) Mom?

The Unknown Known

By: Annika G., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Age 14
Gender: Male
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A character talks to a younger version of herself (or himself).

Michael is a secret time traveler who owns a record store. In this monologue he’s talking to Jason, his best friend, about an important decision that lie ahead: Stay in the now and accept what you have, or leave this world behind for the unknown.
Jason, I want to ask you something. We’ve known each other a long time and we’ve seen each other through life’s ups and downs. If you were to choose to go back, back to when we were young, back to when your hopes were still present and your whole future lay ahead, would you do it? Right now, if I told you that I knew how to time travel, would you go back to that night when you got drunk and ran naked into the pond behind my house? Would you make a different choice so that you didn’t go through high school with the nickname Streak? What about the time that you lied to Elizabeth about never having dated Joelle and she found out and broke up with you…breaking your heart, really. Would you go back and be at least honest with her? I think about this a lot. Mostly, I think about Thomas, and how if I would have been paying attention at the river, he would still…he would…be here. Would you do it all over again and have a chance to reverse doing everything you’ve regretted? Or… would you go forward and take the unknown future and be whisked away to a place where everything could be totally new… like a fresh start? Just stay here…and have that be enough.

No Regrets?

By: Lindsey A., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Age 15
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A character defends her choices to her former classmates.

Amber is a young woman living in Los Angeles. She dropped out of high school when she was 15. In this scene, she is attending her high school reunion and feels the need to defend her life choices.
I don’t regret my choices. I don’t. Admit it, I’m prettier than every single one of you. I’m probably the prettiest woman on the whole planet. It’s okay honey, we can’t all be winners. Losers like you only exist to make girls like me shine even more. Oh, that’s right. Did you know I changed my name? That’s right. My name is Amber Bethany Elizabeth Mary-Sue Katherine Windslow. Windslow is my 80-year-old husband. Of course, I married him for his money! But I don’t mind. I don’t. Billionaires are attractive at any age. He buys me anything I want. I shop on Rodeo Drive. I have my own chauffer and personal stylist. I have a hair and make-up artist and a personal trainer. I can afford implants…see? And liposuction and face-lifts…anything. And yeah, surgery totally sucks, but beauty hurts, right? It’s so worth it. Some girls call me a sell-out, but they’re just totally jealous. They wish they could be me. Sure, I’ll never actually get married for love. I’ll never actually be in a meaningful relationship. But it’s not like I need one. I try not to have any real friends; they just judge me drag me down. I dropped out of college because who needs a degree, right? I mean look at what I have. I’m laughing just thinking about it! The same goes for voting and leadership. That’s a boy thing. Girls can just sit back and watch from the sidelines. The dog’s life, right? It’s so much easier than actually doing anything. We’re just objects, wallflowers, property. Some girls like to think that they can be special snowflakes, but they’re all idiots! If they would just accept their place in the world… If they would just embrace it… If they would just be what society wants them to be… They would be happy! (Begins experiencing an emotional shift.) That’s why… that’s why… I-I-I already told you. I don’t regret my choices.

The Assistant

By: Lily P., Carman, Manitoba, Canada, Age 12
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A difficult boss rants about her assistant.

I know you’re probably wondering why I’m drenched in coffee, so I’ll start from the beginning. It all started when I left for work, you know where I work right? Yes, Kimmel and Becket on 55th. The law office. Okay back to the story. So, I left around 8:00 and got to work at 8:30 and my new assistant wasn’t even there. At 8:30 she is supposed to be there. I’m not a mean or impatient person so I just sat at my desk, tapping my foot, waiting for her. After about two minutes I was so mad I wanted to fire her right when she walked in the door. It’s so hard to find good help these days. Last month, I had to fire four slackers right after another because they were not what I was looking for. I just want an assistant who listens to me and doesn’t put cream in my coffee. So, after about four whole minutes of me staring at the door just waiting for that rat to walk in, she came running in. She saw how angry I was and started in with this ridiculous story about being mugged on the way to work, I mean that happens all the time in New York, but it doesn’t mean you have to be late! So, then she held up my coffee and acted all apologetic like everything was gonna be fine. I looked at her and told her in the nicest way ever “Leave now, your fired.” Then she looked at me like nothing and threw that coffee right at my face. It splashed all over my Ann Taylor blouse and onto my Jimmy Choo’s. Then she slapped me and ran out. I’m going to sue her and then have her banished from this country! I am never gonna let someone treat me like nothing and I don’t even care if it was her first day!

Paper Cranes

First Place Winner
By: Jefferson T., Cupertino, California, Age 16
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A young man reminisces about his friend Sadako, and the thousand paper cranes she folded during the Atomic age.

I’m a liar… *huhm* Well I’m certainly something. It’s easy to get strange around here. So many grim faces, so many doctors, so many treatments. It all stops making sense after a while. “acute malignant leukemia of the lymph glands” sounds fancy, don’t it? ‘Atom Bomb Disease’ rolls off the tongue better. It was the course of governments that led to the most destructive weapon ever conceived, but it was the people who paid the price. No presidents no emperors, us kids. I wish I could sleep, I’m always tired in the morning, the nurses call me out for looking bleary. I think it’s funny, they know I don’t have anywhere to be. I’ve spent so many nights staring out this same window looking at this same street lamp. I blame the snores from the five other people in this room. I can never sleep when I want to. You think something so basic to living would come easier. Maybe if I fold some cranes, all my struggles would be solved (laughs). I shouldn’t joke about that. No, it’s wrong. It feels wrong to Sadako. Oh, Sadako. She’s in a better place now, outta this place at least. Only twelve in this hospital, this is no place for little girls, this is no place for anyone. Too sterile too gray too hopeless. I can’t stop thinking about Sadako, how she spent her last few week folding all those cranes. I had told her a while ago, jokingly of course, the legend that anyone who folded one thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. Fold a thousand. Money? Done. Superpowers? Easy. Not dying? Easy. The poor thing spent her last months folding and folding and folding. Not taking in music or colors or flavors, but folding the same damn thing again and again. She only got up to six hundred something, before she (looks for word) went. It didn’t matter in the end, I knew it wouldn’t, paper cranes can’t cure cancer, I know that. I Shouldn’t have told her that. I’m a liar. Maybe it wasn’t the worst thing, hope is hope right? And she found that, had it. I think she realized it wasn’t gonna save her, she must have, she wasn’t dumb. I know she saw the end coming, but she kept folding. I can’t understand why she would spend all those hours on something so pointless. I messed with her head with, I’m older I shoulda known better, I shoulda done better. It’s good she spent her time doing something she wanted to do, that is that. But its, it’s weird to think she’s becoming a hero for it isn’t it, the cranes I mean? I hear them talking about how inspirational her story is. Really? They saw how it ended, how it ends for all of us, what’s beautiful about that? I can hardly bear to think about it. It’s not ok, it’s not right. It’s so helpless can’t you see? Folding paper and legends, that’s not enough to build hope on, but it’s all we get. It’s cruel. Nothing inspirational about it. Nothing more to say about it. She’s no hero, none of us are, we’re all just dying in our own ways. I really need to get some sleep, it’s so late. Nothing stops the morning.

Fencing 101

Second Place Winner
By: Brooke E., Little Rock, Arkansas, Age 14
Gender: Any
Genre: Comedic
Description: A snobby fencing instructor gets a comeuppance.

Hello, and welcome to Fencing 101. I’m your instructor, Archibald Atticus Vanderbilt Carnegie Harvard Dartmouth Stephens Columbia Car-wait, I already said Carnegie, where was I? Oh, stop looking at me like that! I’m sure you aren’t as capable of keeping track of your first fifty middle names. Now, the art of the sword is an art dating back to the earliest ages of reason, perfected during the Renaissance age, when a true Renaissance man knew not only the sword, but—stop chatting amongst yourselves, you urchins! I did not master the sword by ignoring my elders! The children of my day were civil hand-raisers who knew how to address their masters. For foil’s sakes, children, raise your hands! Yes, you, in the out-of-season blouse. “When will we get to stab people,” you ask? Ha! Stabbing people is not what fencing is about. Hey?! Where are you going? Get back here! I didn’t go to Charleston Maxwell Private Academy to be disregarded! STOP SNICKERING! Alright. Alright. All of you, in line. I will be giving you your swords. No stabbing…. What did I just say? Yes, you, the victim of the stabbing? What’s that? “Can I go to the nurse’s office?” I don’t know, can you? It’s may I go to the nurse’s office, child, not can. Say it correctly…. thank you. Please staunch your profuse bleeding and proceed directly there. Now, put your feet at right angles and spread them, bending your legs into a comfortable en garde position. (Go into the correct on guard position.) Oh for the love of-I didn’t say sit down! What?! You can’t bend your leg?! And why on earth is-oh, it’s in a cast. My apologies, young man, I didn’t realize-wait, why are you even here if your leg is broken?! Just… just leave. My patience wears thin with you ruffians. Alright, now you’ll want to take a step forward, then dart out like a majestic scorpion of the Sahara! Much like this-(demonstrate). Now you try. DON’T FACE EACH OTHER! Face the wall and practice hitting it with the tips of your swords. Yes, like that. What is it, girl? You don’t have room on the wall? Just hit that infernal metal box over there! (mocking her in falsetto) “Oh, Mr. Archibald, that’s a circuit breaker! We could cause a power outage! Nyeh, nyeh, nyeh, do as you’re told! Stab the metal box, girl, or begone from this class! (Archibald nods, then shrieks, flailing his sword around). DEAR HEAVEN ABOVE, I’VE GONE BLIND! THE DARKNESS HAS COME TO CLAIM ME! THIS IS MY PUNISHMENT FOR SKIPPING THAT ONE LACROSSE PRACTICE-what?! It’s a… a blackout? But… oh. Erm… well, if you can find it in your hearts… respect your elders… follow the-class dismissed!

I Hate Disco

Third Place Winner
By: Payton V.P., Green Bay, Wisconsin, Age 17
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: Teen rejected by her guy finds comfort where least expected–from her mom.

I don’t like disco. I’m sure of that. But when I was messing around with Ricky, I told him I liked disco. It was that kinda, doe-eyed, sloppy lie you tell when you’ve got cherry marmalade in your heart about a guy. Ricky was the bee’s knees, even though he was a lil’ too old for us high school girls. Mom never liked that. She said he was gruff and that it probably wouldn’t last long. But, Ricky’s not as sand paper rough as he comes off. He told me that in elementary school all the kids poked at him for being short. He’d listened to disco and eat his maple ham sandwiches with the teacher, which made me sad. Couldn’t you see my little Ricky with his wide eyes and crazy raven hair as he munched on some dry bread next to a busty middle aged teacher? Ricky never really knew how to click with people quite like everyone else, I suppose. The part that made me ache was when Ricky told me ‘bout the day they served French toast sticks. The kids roughed him up, yanno, punches and kicks like little tykes do, and then poured syrup into the back of his sweater. Ricky got all teary-eyed just talking about it. Everyone called him Sticky Ricky. Still do. I only called him Sticky Ricky when I was angry with him. Ricky was irksome, but, boy, did he love disco. Not me. I didn’t mind some Donna Summers and some Bee Gee’s, now and then, but Ricky loved it. I told him I did too. I never really understood why girls do that for their dopey boys. It was just a tradition. It was a torch passed down on the back of the bus, along with dirty songs and the secrets to youth. My mom would nag at me for bending about disco. I used to always yap and moan about her Earth, Wind and Fire, but that’s just what girls do to their mothers. People tell me how much I’m like her, and it drives me crazy. “Lola! You’ve got your momma’s disco ball eyes!” I didn’t want her disco ball eyes! Or her disco ball hair, hands or songs. When I broke up with Ricky, he spit on my new Mary Janes and then I blurted out that I hated disco. My mom picked me up that night in the back lot of the drive in. We listened to Gloria Gaynor the whole ride home as I cried. I was mad ’cause she was right. Moms are always right. She rubbed my back and made me feel better. I still hated disco, but I didn’t mind it as much in that moment.

Blue Eyes


By: Lavender Payne, Cupertino, California, Age 16
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teenager survives the Columbine Shooting

I always wished my life was more interesting. I always wished something exciting would happen, something so big it would change my life forever… I had only been attending Columbine for about a month before it happened. I really didn’t have any friends, being the new girl and all, so I spent most of my free time at school aimlessly roaming the halls, or finding a quiet place to sit and read. I remember that day, I decided I’d go the library and work on homework during lunch, since I didn’t really have anywhere else to go, but I had only in there for about ten minutes when I heard this loud noise coming from out in the halls. These two students ran in, a guy and a girl, and the girl was calling for the librarian saying that the boy that was with her had been shot. At first I just thought it was a sick senior prank or something, since it was pretty close to the end of the year, so I just disregarded all the commotion… but then I heard Ms. Neilson shouting for everyone to get under the tables. When we heard gunshots, and screaming ringing through the halls, we knew it was real.
I panicked and looked for a place to go, and that’s when I saw a student I had never met before, crouched under one of the computer tables. I guess he noticed how lost and scared I looked, because he gestured for me to hide with him. It was so weird. In the midst of chaos, there was a moment where it felt like time had slowed down, and I got a chance to look at his eyes. They were this incredible shade of blue, so bright and full of life. He gave me a timid smile. There was a certain kindness in his expression that made me feel safe despite everything going on around us. That moment of silence was broken by the sound of more gunshots in the hall getting closer, and the boy I was sitting with grabbed my hand, and locked his ocean blue eyes with mine. “We’re going to be okay,” he said, “everything is going to be okay.” but then the doors burst open. Everything after that felt so surreal. Like it was all happening so slow, but all too fast at the same time. The voices of the two gunmen made my skin crawl. I shut my eyes tight and just kept hoping everything would just go away. Wake up Nicole. This isn’t real- no this can’t be real. Wake up… But it wasn’t long before the crack of several gunshots silenced my thoughts. I felt a sharp pain in my thigh, it took me a second before I had even fully realized what happened. I reached down to grip the source of the pain… blood…I looked to my left, and the boy with blue eyes had let go of my hand, and was instead gripping his stomach, he was bleeding too, and he was pleading with the shooter… begging for his life. I tried thinking of something to say, as if choosing the right words would save his life but. I could barely even form a complete thought when– no. no, no. I can still see it. there was just… so much blood. I remember grabbing his hand again, it was still warm. but his eyes- those gorgeous blue eyes of his- they were different now. Empty… The room was spinning and the pain from the bullet in my thigh was unbearable. I blacked out after that. I can’t handle the sight of blood. I remember waking up surrounded by paramedics and police. The sound of sirens echoed in the distance. They lifted me onto a gurney and this woman kept trying to ask me questions, but everything was just a big chaotic blur. So much pain from the bullet in my leg, and my head was just full of questions. Why did this have to happen? How did I survive this? Why didn’t he? He didn’t deserve this… he had a family, and friends, and a future, he had a life. Life…we take it for granted, don’t we? I always wished my life was more interesting. I always wished something exciting would happen, something so big it would change my life forever. Be careful what you wish for.

When I was Your Age


By: Hanna Collins, Cupertino, California, USA, Age 15
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A Chinese mother lectures her child about how easy her life is.

How dare you disrespect me like that. After all I’ve done for you; raising you, teaching you, feeding you, clothing you- you dare to talk to me like this? If I had grown up with the things you have now; the opportunities and resources that you take for granted, I would be miles ahead! Sometimes I think you forget what growing up was like for me, and what a miracle it is that I am here, because if you remembered, you’d never complain. When I was your age, I wasn’t in a wealthy little suburb- I grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution. I didn’t have time to argue for a later curfew, if I wasn’t indoors before dark, I would have gotten carted off to the labor camps by the Red Guard. If I had spoken to my mother the way you just spoke to me, she should have whipped me with a leather belt until I bled. Every time I see you refuse to eat what I put on your plate, I just want to smack you! When I was little, I was hungry. When I spilled a cup of uncooked rice over the dirt floor of our house, my mother smacked me across the face and the whole family spent the next hour picking every grain of rice off the floor. When I hear you talking about how bored you are, I remember the hours I spent playing with the mercury from a shattered glass thermometer; rolling it around my bare hands and thinking to myself how lucky I was to have found such a fascinating toy. I can’t stand the sound of you complaining how hard school is for you, and how not getting an A is fine. When I was in school, if my name wasn’t at the very top of the exam board, I would cry for the next two days. Hell, by the time I was your age, I was already in college! I did well enough in that college to earn a Green Card and a scholarship to Wesleyan University. I got my bachelor’s, two master’s, my PhD, met your dad, and then … I had you. I remember my father looking in every nook and cranny of our straw roofed house for every single cent that he could spare to give me. And then I look at you, spending hundreds of dollars every time you go out to the mall, and I am disgusted. But most of all- most of all … I am sad. I am sad that you look at me, your mother, and see an enemy; someone always criticizing, heckling, and yelling at you. Because when I was your age, my mother was gone. Yes, those were the days when saying the wrong thing to a neighbor or too loudly at night could be the end of you. Just a couple of words criticizing Chairman Mao, the leader of the Cultural Revolution, and she was gone. I just want to do for you what I wish my mother could have done for me, to teach you the lessons that I was never taught. If you could just look up and see me for who I am: your staunchest supporter, your most faithful ally, your greatest resource. Not your enemy. I am your mother, and I deserve your respect.

Struggle in the Land of Opportunity


By: Antonio Suarez, Cupertino, California USA, Age 16
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A boy describes the life of an immigrant worker.

No soy nada, but I want to be someone, someone better than what I am now. My familia came to California looking to better ourselves, but we always move from place to place to look for work on the farms. Every time we get to a new farm we set up a tent that we will live in. I know I`m young, I can’t talk a lot of English, Pero yo entiendo, but I can understand it. Over the years, I’ve started to realize that in life I need to work as hard as I can just to survive, even though we never get paid enough to even eat. Ever since we moved to this plantacion, I look at my reflection in the waters of the creek behind our little tent and I see the dirt on my face I look down at my worn clothes and think to myself, why are we so poor in the land of oportunidad? Por qué sufrimos tanto? Why can’t we just move into the city? When I think of the city I always wonder what better things could be in store for me, I smile at that, but then I realize there aren’t any better chances here in this country. Every day is the same. I get up in the morning feeling pain from yesterday’s strain. I get changed into the same old leather boots that my papá gave me. I slip on a pair of jeans, toss on a shirt and head off to work. Nothing changes but I try the best I can to put on a straight face and stay happy, never showing my true emotion. Today my family and I are packed up and are ready to move somewhere else again. The sun is as hot as ever during these summer days. Before we left I looked back to the place I called home, and looked at the creek and the fields across from it, I turned back to our carrito and looked at the dirt road. Here we go again. My papá told us that he heard of a nice farm in Fresno that is offering workers a place to live in a house on the farm. My mind rushes with thoughts as I picture a nice warm home with bedrooms, a kitchen, Baños, todo. I want things to change once we get our own house. For the first time, I feel like there is going to be a good change in our lives. I always make friends on the farms, but once I get to know them, the harvest is over and my family needs to move to find more work. I keep telling myself that I will never say goodbye ever again, it is hard for me to say adiós. Over time I have just stopped paying attention to the other kids and focused on my family, but maybe this time, maybe this time…it will be different.

I Know I’m a Freak


By: Nadine D., Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, Age 17
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teen, whose looks have been damaged in a car accident, begs others to overlook her “looks.”

I know that I’m a freak. I know that. Do you think that I could forget with people telling me every day? They call me freak. Frankenstein. Monster. I’m sorry that the car hit me. I’m sorry that the doctors weren’t concerned with beauty when they saved my life. I am a monster, but I’m not one of the dangerous variety. There are plenty who are, though. I’m talking about the monsters who hide in sheep’s clothing and then rip out with snapping teeth. The monsters who hide curled up in a beautiful skin. People pass monsters every day. They eat with them, laugh with them, sit in their laps and let their teeth near their throats. They smile and laugh and pull people in with dancing green eyes. They’re wolves, they’re sharks, and make no mistake, there’s blood in the water. Most people don’t see what they are under their porcelain masks and red lips. They just see innocent brown eyes and a slim figure. They don’t see the scales and claws that they show me. They call me the monster, but monsters like me only look the part, and I prefer that to the false facades and double-edged words. I’m an honest monster. I bare my scars and my breaks and let people see what I am. No lies, no false fronts. I am what I appear to be. Others hide their pain and insecurities behind masks and barbs. They hide their scars by making others bleed. And for that, I pity them.

Apologies


By: Danielle Lippert, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, Age 18
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teen, because of her life experiences, is tired of hearing apologies.

I’ve heard you say sorry a million times. You say it when you bump into me, when you don’t hold the door open, when you don’t realize I’ve been standing right next to you. You say it all the time. I’ve never heard someone say sorry more than you have. It’s almost like you’re always doing something that needs apologizing for. My dad used to apologize a lot. He’d come home from work late with an apology. He’d leave early with an apology. He’d miss my game and apologize later. My dad was always apologizing. Until one day he left and didn’t come back. I never got an apology for that. Apologies have meant nothing to me ever since he left. You could be deeply, sincerely, insanely sorry for the smallest thing, and I wouldn’t believe you.
My mom told me one day this would all go away, and that one day I’ll be able to look at everyone with a smile again. That was ten years ago, and I still can’t accept anyone’s apology. My mom has apologized for my dad leaving hundreds of times. I’ll never accept my mother’s apologies or my friends or strangers who just bump into me on the street. I’ll never believe them because of what my father did. My mom and I are doing great, just me and her, and a part of me is glad my father left. I’m happy he left us. He could come back with the grandest apology anyone has ever heard, and I still wouldn’t believe him. You remind me a lot of my father. And it’s been in the back of my mind since you first apologized to me. I can’t have another person like my father in my life. So, no, I don’t accept your apology, and I never will.

The Test


By: Molly McKenna., Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, Age 17
Gender: Any
Genre: Comedic
Description: A student panics while taking a test.

The white clock on the wall is mocking me. Counting down the minutes until I fail this test. It makes no sense. Hey, why aren’t there any posters hung up in Ms. Daniel’s room? I’ve never noticed that before. I need something to take my mind off this paper in front of me. This paper that will destroy my GPA. I’m grinding my teeth. I never grind my teeth. Wow. Look how interesting this pencil looks when I twirl it. Why is the second hand on that clock moving so slowly? And how is everyone else still working on this test? I can’t make sense of it. I read the novel, but this question doesn’t make any sense. Look at Hanna. Furiously scribbling. I hate her. She knows the answers to everything. Ms. Daniels is reading a book. Really? At a time like this, she is just sitting there reading? She’s mean. Whoa. There’s the bell. My paper is still blank. I think I’m going to have a heart attack. Great. Everyone’s getting ready to go. I’d better turn in my paper. But really, what’s the point? It’s blank. I guess I’ll just turn it in. Wait, what? Ms. Daniels is going to grade our papers right now? How can she do that? I think I’m going to turn to stone. She’s making everyone sit back down. Why is she shuffling through the papers so fast? Wait, she stopped on one. I think it’s mine. Here we go. My heart’s pounding through my chest. She’s going to announce to everyone that I’ve failed. Wait, what? I am the only one who passed? It was a test to see if we could read directions, and it said not to write anything down? Ha! Take that, clock! Take that, Hannah!

A Short Monologue


By: Lauren H., Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Age 16
Gender: Female
Genre: Comedic
Description: A teen expresses the frustrations of being vertically challenged.

Last night my world was shattered. I realized that my younger brother, Colin, is taller than me. He was like “Ha, ha. I’m taller than you, little hobbit.” Shut Up Colin! No one understands the daily struggles of being short. People use your head as an armrest, like ALL the time. I’m not an armrest, I’M A HUMAN BEING! People also assume you’re like 5 or 6 years younger than you are. When I went to the Ferris wheel, they asked if I wanted the twelve and under ticket. TWELVE AND UNDER!!!! I’M SIXTEEN. People always feel the need to point out how short you are. Like “Wow, you’re like three feet tall.” NO I’M 5 FOOT ONE QUARTER, idiot. Then they’re like “Oh, you can just wear high heels” which is great advice because I love wearing shoes that make my feet feel like they’re on fire. People also taunt you by holding things above your head or putting them on a high shelf. I really want to strangle each and every tall person but to do so I would NEED A STEPLADDER!!!!!!

Best Friends


By: Rebecca S., Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Age 17
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teen expresses her feelings about her best friend.

Best friend? Well, I’ve never been much for friends. My intense competitive spirit, social anxiety, fear of the cafeteria and awkward sense of humor tend to work against me. But strangely, the one friend I have come to entrust this weird title was once my arch nemesis. Of course, she had no clue. In fourth and fifth grade Angela had a cubby right next to mine. She had lots of friends and took the ‘Nicest Student’ award away from me in the fifth grade, and I was so angry that I squeezed glue in her cubby, which showed how nice I really was. Yeah, Angela deserved the award. She’s someone who has my back when I say, “back me up.” She laughs at my hilarious jokes when everyone else randomly forgets how to laugh. She takes me to a world where awkward moments don’t exist and jealousy is something to joke about and fights never happen (and if they do I don’t remember them). Best Friend? Nah. Angela and I are more like sisters.

Emergency

First Place Winner
By: Melanie T., Westminster, CA USA, Age 15
Gender: Female
Genre: Comedic
Description: SMITHIE, 26, was hired last week as a 911 operator and is just getting the hang of her job. (Spoiler Alert: she isn’t very good at it.)

The police are on their way, stay calm and breathe sweetie you are going to be fine. I’ll stay on the line with you until the police get to your house. Are you okay? Hello? Hel-. Oh. They just hung up. What do I do when they just hang up? OH! 911, what is your emergency? Can you- Could you repeat that slower, sir? Do you have any idea of where you are located? Cerritos Mall… No, sir crocs are not a 911 emergency, however I do appreciate your concern because they truly are a real FASHION CRIME. AAAAH FABIO is that you?? Honey! I thought told you not to call me at work! Alright already, let the woman wear what she wants okay? Let it go. Okay. Okay, bye. 911 what is your emergency? Mom!? Stop it, MOM, you can’t call me at work anymore. Yes, the breakup was fine. I told you already. He said he still loved me, he just didn’t want to be tied down anymore and mom, I respect that and we’re still friends. I know. Yes, mom I know, I was there and you weren’t. He just called me. On my work phone. Look, I’m going to get in trouble. Let me call you back when I get home. I love you too. Buh-bye. 911, what is your emergency? FABIO?! Again? This woman with crocs thing is getting old and I have to work tonight! Wait, Fabio? Oh my god you’re not Fabio… I am so sorry, ma’am I thought you were my ex, um… I guess I could tell you if you want me to… No. No never mind it’s a long story. Please continue describing. You said someone stole your crocs? Where are you? Hmm okay, that’s funny. The mall. Crocs. Really? Do you REALLY want those back? Those crocs? Like THE ugliest shoes on the planet. That doesn’t concern me! Why don’t you just call the police then? (Realizes what she said.) Oh.

Funeral

Second Place Winner
By: Abby S., Alberta, Canada, Age 14
Gender: Male or Female
Genre: Comedic
Description: 30-year-old Sam is sharing a eulogy for their cat’s funeral.

I gather you all here today, to celebrate and remember the life of our dearest friend. I’ve gone through a lot this past week… I’ve lost my best friend, my soul mate. And it’s hard, it really is. I felt like I knew her for my entire life. (Pause, inner realization.) But she’s gone. Sometimes she would know when I had a bad day and would always make me feel better. It seemed like she took care of me more than I did her. I will truly miss the mornings waking up beside her. Sharing our time together, watching me in the shower, sitting with me on the toilette. Climbing the big birch tree was her favorite past time. (Holding back tears.) I would like to share one of my favorite memories of her and I, when I first met her and found the love of my life, I instantly knew that we were meant to be together, and I told that other man that was looking at you “Back off she’s mine.” And it was true. She helped me through everything and I can’t express my gratitude for our relationship. I will, and already do miss her so much. (Talking to box/coffin). Oh my Honey Boo Bear… I loved you so much. But it was your time. You were old. You were ready to go. It was me – I was the one who wasn’t ready. Those thirteen years together have blessed my life. Rest in peace little Missy, my pretty kitty, I’ll never forget you.

Every Flavor of the Rainbow


By: Georgia E. Alberta, Canada, Age 13
Gender: Any
Genre: Comedic
Description: An ice cream flavor is having an identity crisis.

Hi, I’m Neapolitan. (Smirks at audience, winking flirtatiously.) I come from a mixed family, my mom’s like half cherry, dad’s rocky road. Its makes me a whole lot of chunky, with a side of smooth. (Looks around, pause.) What was I talking about… Oh yeah, people ask what my biggest flaw is… I guess I’m just too strong. They just can’t take all this flavor, you know? (Gestures to entire body. Pauses.) It’s hard for me, you know? (Tone switches, slightly hesitant.) I have no idea who I am. My one aunt is certain I’m Vanilla, my uncle thinks I’m chocolate. But I’m strawberry too right? In the freezer section, the flavors pretty much stick to their own kind. Vanilla with Vanilla and Chocolate with Chocolate. They never accept me the way I am. That’s okay, though. I’m going to be myself even if they don’t accept me. I’ll scoop out my own sorta life. Maybe I’ll travel the kitchen, see the counter… visit the tower of pizza. We all need to accept who we are, like that Miss Strawberry chic. She’s natural, and I respect that. Even if she stalks me day and night. It’s kinda’ creepy… I can’t even re-freeze without being sure she’s not looking. But hey, at least she’s not one of those dairy-free flavors. I don’t buy that for a second.

Confession


By: Micaela E., Los Alamitos, CA, Age 16
Gender: Female
Genre: Dramatic
Description: Elena confides in a friend about a crime she committed.

Can I tell you something? It’s kind of a big thing, so I’m gonna need you to keep it quiet. You know Alex, right? Of course you do. Anyway, we kind of, uh I don’t know um robbed a bank last week. God, I know! I know it’s terrible, but I really needed to get that off my chest. To be honest I don’t know what drove me to say yes, but if I’m gonna be REALLY honest, it’s cuz Alex is REALLY HOT. I mean what else are you supposed to do when the most attractive guy you know finally gives you the time of day? Sure, it was only to rob a bank, but I guess I thought there would have been more benefits to doing something like that. Aside from the money. Anyway, last week, Alex just saunters up to me and is like “Hey Elena, I think you’re pretty cool, so uhh, wanna rob a bank tomorrow?” and NATURALLY I said, “SUREEEEE ALEX! That seems like a completely acceptable and not at all illegal thing to do!” But who just asks that? I mean take me to dinner first. So, the next morning it’s like four AM, we’re getting ready to do the thing. I’m pretty nervous. The most illegal thing I’d done up until that point was J-walked. Alex looks at me and is all, “what ya scared?? This is gonna be a piece of cake.” I tried to be brave and said “You’re right! It’s not like uh… cheating at tetherball!!” (beat) It’s WAY worse. So, we manage to get in without setting off any alarms. We were in and out SO quick and we got some good cash out of it. Like I said though, I thought there’d be more benefits to robbing a bank with a guy than cash. Turns out someone wanting to rob a bank with you does NOT coincide with getting married and having kids. So, so much for committing a felony in hopes of getting a date.

Renouncing God


By: Macy B., Los Alamitos, California, USA, Age 16
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: Camille is a young girl who is praying to God about her troubled family life.

(Gets on her knees and starts praying.) Dear Lord. Please, please make them stop fighting. I’m so sick of it. It’s every day, every night. From the moment I come home ‘til the second I fall asleep. I just want things how they used to be: when my parents were happy, when we were all happy. I remember we would all l hold hands around the dinner table and pray. We would thank God for the food on our table, the roof over our heads and our wonderful family. We would pray to YOU. But what did you give us in return? Nothing. Eventually, Dad stopped coming to dinner. He would come home late at night, drunk, if he even came home at all. He just wasn’t the same person anymore. He would lash out over petty things, like when mom forgot to wash the dishes. He would smash them on the counter and curse at her. And I was always the one to clean up the mess. I would go to my mom and ask what was wrong she would say it was “Nothing sweetie, don’t worry about it.” But of course that wasn’t true. So, one day, when my parents were fighting, I didn’t think it was anything unusual because my parents were always fighting. But this time it was different. Mom had hidden dad’s whiskey and he couldn’t find it. He screamed “Where is it? What the hell Suzanne!?” She tried to tell him to calm down, to think about what he was doing before he did something rash. He didn’t listen. He pushed her into the mantel, and I watched it all happen. I watched my own mother fall to the ground. (Getting angry.) Why do you do this to our family Lord? What have we ever done? What did I ever do to deserve this kind of pain and hurt? I keep thinking “Everything is in God’s hands. He will fix this. He will fix us.” but you never do. I’m scared to come home. I’m scared one day I’ll walk through that door and my mom will be hurt so badly that I can’t help her. I’m scared one day I’ll be the one that gets hit. (Softly.) I just want a quiet life, a peaceful, happy life. One thing is for sure, when I grow up, I’m not going to be like them. I’m not going to give my daughter false hopes about a God who does nothing. I’m going to be happy.

Crushed


By: Dajai T., Modesto, California, USA
Gender: Female
Genre: Comedic
Description: A teenager accidentally sends a very personal text to the school gossip.

Oh-My-God, OH MY GOD! I did not just accidentally send a text to Sky about the fact that I have a crush on Gaston. Oh no, this is bad, this is really bad. I’m going to die! Gaston is semi-popular and he is definitely going to find out. Why does Sky have to be such a gossiper with her amazing looks and gorgeous hair, although she is still a “four eyes”, but I guess I can’t say anything (points to glasses). Ugh, I am literally going to die. (Looks at phone) Oh, she hasn’t read the text message. Okay, Plan B, cover story, come on think of a cover story. Ummmm… I can text her that I meant “I like shakes but not protein ones. Those are bad for me. Instead of “I like Gaston, he’s so cute. But it is bad for me to as him out?” I will tell her it was auto correct. (Texting.) Please believe me. “Oh okay I believe you.” Yes, SHE BELIEVED ME!! …. Great, now I’m hungry.

I Hate Love


By: Kendra H., Modesto, California, USA
Gender: Any
Genre: Dramatic
Description: A teenager describes what a breakup feels like.

I hate love. Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest, it opens your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…you give them a piece of you, even if they didn’t ask for it. They kiss you and smile at you and tell you they love you and then suddenly, your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostage. It gets inside you. It eats you up and leaves you crying in the darkness, so that later on, a simple a phrase like “maybe we should just be friends” turns into a glass splinter working its way in to your heart. It’s a soul-hurt, it gets inside-you-and-rips-you-apart piece by piece. I…I hate love.