5 Monologues for Mobile Phones

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Some people have asked if I could post some of my scripts here on the blog, so I’ve been sifting through some old work to find some writing that might be share-able.

This is a set of monologues that would be easy for anyone to produce on their own. They each involve one actor, they don’t require a stage, and the audience can be anyone who happens to be standing around. You don’t even need to memorize the lines, since you can simply have the text open on your phone while you speak into the mic on your earbuds.

If you decide you’d like to perform any or all of these pieces, I’d love to get a video of the performance so I could post it here. An audio file would also be fine, since you could be recording on your device while delivering the monologue.

You can download a printable PDF of 5 Monologues for Mobile Phones by clicking here, or just keep reading.
 

mobilemonologues
(.PDF)

 


 

 

5 MONOLOGUES FOR MOBILE PHONES

by

Josh Worth

Licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial
4.0 International License.

Notes:

Ideally, these plays should be performed in a public place which is crowded, yet still relatively quiet. They are intended to be staged as “invisible theatre” pieces. The audience should consist of eavesdroppers who are unaware that they are witnessing a play.

If audience-members are invited, they should be instructed to blend in with the crowd to maintain the illusion that these are actual phone conversations.

Actors should deliver the monologues in a louder than average “phone voice” and remain somewhat oblivious to the fact that anyone might be listening.

 


 

 

#1: Apology

Hey… You busy? You sound busy.
I can call back if-
Okay. No… Yeah. I just don’t want to get into it if-

I don’t know. I guess I wanted to apologize.

What do you think? For yesterday.

It didn’t seem like you thought it was nothing.

By the way you were talking to me. Your tone.

Well it bothered me. That’s why I’m calling.

I just think if we’re going to move forward we should keep everything out in the open.

So that things don’t get all… you know-

I know.

I know! I just can’t believe that’s how you want to play this. I thought I was dealing with someone a little more… I don’t know. Mature.

I’m not so sure I can move forward in this kind of atmosphere.

The kind you’re setting up. It’s poisonous to me.

Yes!

So you think it’s fine. This is fine to you?

Well I’m not. And I don’t want to be used to it.

Roll with it? Fuck you… “Roll with it.” I can’t-

I’ll make a big deal out of it if I want to.

That shit you were saying. Those were some serious accusations.

If I thought they were then they were. You can’t dictate to me how I interpret what you say.

I am not dictating. When two people talk that’s just what happens. You only get to control what comes out of your own fucking mouth and once it’s out there it’s up to the other person what to do with it.

What? You’re Isaac fucking Newton all of a sudden?

Because it’s not necessarily equal and opposite. My reaction is my reaction and you don’t get to tell me-

You do too have a problem. You’re just not willing to acknowledge-

You would accept my apology, for one thing. And you’d act like a decent person and apologize right back.

I do too.

Because I actually cared enough to call you… to try and clear the air. The fact that you don’t seem to care makes me not care. How’s that for equal and opposite? I can be like that. I can pretend it was nothing since you apparently think that’s the best way to handle things.

Fine then.

No. I said fine. That’s obviously the way you are and I don’t have the energy to change it.

Because that’s who I am and I’m not about to-

What?

Fine.

No. Go ahead.

Call me back.


 

#2: Bad Dog

 

Hello?

Right you are. The one with the dog.

Yes. The miracles of technology never cease, do they?

Is he? That’s great.

He loves those tennis balls.

Well… I guess I was just feeling like I should’ve given you a little more information about him.

No. Not at all. You seem like you’ll be a great owner.

No. No second thoughts. Like I said, he was too much for me to handle right now… And that’s kind of why I’m calling.

The thing is, it’s kind of weird.

As in, I’m not sure how you’ll take it. I don’t really know your beliefs or your background or anything.

Well… Because people believe different things and that affects how they hear.

Why don’t I just say what I called to say and you do with it what you want.

It’s about my brother Stewart who disappeared about a year ago.

Nobody knows where he went. That’s what I mean by disappeared. He said he was going to the movies one night and just never came back.

I’m not sure. Some kind of horror movie, I think… But the point is, my brother had some problems.

Drugs. Alcohol. A temper. He just had a weird energy about him and so… bad things seemed to follow him around.

Like… when he showed up from Utah, the phone, the garbage disposal and my car all stopped working.

On the same day, though. But that was minor stuff. During the time he was living with me, our trees got a disease. Our upstairs neighbor died – things like that.

I know. But also he would say really hurtful things. Like he blamed me for my Dad’s death. He even said after I wouldn’t give him a cigarette that he hoped I died of lung cancer.

I know. The thing is, though, he disappeared, right? Then about a month ago, Hardy showed up in the back yard digging up the plants. So, you know, I’d been thinking about Stewart a lot. I missed having the company. So I decided to take him in and look after him.

They just have a lot of the same problems.

The trees got the same disease again. And the cable keeps going out. The hot water heater burst.

Bad luck. I know… But then last week I was diagnosed with lung cancer.

I really really wish I was joking… I-

Well, thank you. I’m starting treatments next week.

I hope so too. So I just thought-

It’s more than that, though.

It’s that I think they’re the same.

Hardy and Stewart.

Yes. That’s what I’m saying.

I don’t know. But yes. Something like that.

You’re right. I probably am crazy. But just in case I’m not I wanted-

Look at his nose, though. It has a scar. Stewart had the same scar from a motorcycle accident. And you know the way Hardy scratches at his right paw? Stewart had eczema on is right hand.

I promise you, I’m not.

I don’t know! I just felt like I needed to tell you and now I told you.

God no. I don’t want him back. Just – I don’t know. I’m sorry to burden you, maybe you were better off not-

Hello? Are you there?… Hello?


 

#3: Salt

 

Hey. Where are you?

Nothing. Just hating people.

I don’t know. I just came from Gaby’s –

Falafel.

It was good. Except the lady at the table next to me was a real piece of work.

Oh, you know. Bossing the waiter around and stuff. But then she knocked the salt off her table by accident.

Yes. And she just sat there staring at me.

Well, it landed like two inches closer to my table than to hers. So she just sat there waiting for me to pick it up.

No. I just said “Oops.”

No. She could’ve easily leaned over to pick it up but it was like, if I didn’t do it for her, she was just going to leave it there forever.

I just kept eating, but then I could feel her looking at me, so I finally just picked it up and placed it back on her table.

Yea. But it was like a forced thanks. Like she wasn’t quite satisfied with my reaction time.

Of course it pissed me off.

Because why should I be the one responsible for picking up her goddamn salt shaker?

So what?

I did pick it up. I just didn’t like being taken advantage of. I mean, is that what it’s come to? We screw up and just expect the people around us to bail us out?

What do you mean by that?

Listen… I was just telling you a story. I don’t need you to lecture me about some kind of spiritual transcendental crap.

I’m not. I just think if you make a habit out of bailing people out that they’ll walk all over you.

What? And be the doormat of the world?

I’m not! She’s the one who knocked it off the table, she should be the one to pick it up.

Indian or something. Middle-Eastern? I don’t know.

Why should she expect it? She would’ve done the same for me.

I could just tell.

Really? You honestly think that?

“Fellow man.” Don’t give me that bullshit.

You know, it’s no wonder you got screwed over on that apartment. You think we all live in this hunky-dory world where we work together and rely on each other like some kind of-

Well I just wanted a sympathetic ear. Is that too much to ask for?

Never mind. You’re just making me hate people even more.

No. I’m hanging up now.


 

#4: The Death of Flutterbell

Well hello there! Aren’t you a big girl answering the phone.

Yes it is. How did you know?

You did? Well aren’t you smart? Is your Mommy-

What?

Of course I want to talk to you. Don’t be silly.

You are? Well, That sounds like fun. Is it-

Sure I do.

Who?

Ohhh. Yes. Flutterbell. Of course I remember.

You want to talk to her? Well she’s not-

Okay. I’ll call her. I think se’s around… Flutterbell! Oh Flutterbell!… Okay. Here she is…

(Flutterbell speaks in whistles and chirps. Despite this fact, the “conversation” carries on for over a minute.)

Oops. Flutterbell had to go away.

Well… She had to… She had to go with Butterbell to the fairy fair.

Oh, that’s where all the fairies go to show off their fairy tricks.

Oh, like all the new fairy dances and all the new songs.

Of course they ride ponies. Why wouldn’t they?

Can I talk to your mommy?

Oops. What’s that Flutterbell? (More whistling and chirping) Okay Flutterbell I’ll tell her… Flutterbell wanted to tell you that you’re her best friend and she loves you.

Yes, she sure did. Why don’t you believe her?

Don’t be silly. Of course she did. I need to talk to your Mother now, okay? Can you hand her the phone? Thank you. Bye sweetie.

 

Such a good girl she is.

I know. I understood every word.

Yes. She had a nice chat with Flutterbell.

Yes. Tinkerbell’s cousin.

What do you mean?

No. She knows it’s me.

I don’t know. She’s a little girl. I just assumed-

She’s pretending. That’s what little girls do. Don’t you-

No. I know you do. We were just having a little fun.

Really?

You’re serious?

I know. I guess I’m sorry then, I just-

But still. I don’t think you need to worry about it so much. Doesn’t she pretend with you?

Well she should.

I’m not! I think maybe you’re being overly-

What? C’mon.

Really? I find that hard to believe.

Because she’ll grow out of it.

She just will. It happens naturally.

Why?

He said that?

I’m sure he’s the best.

Well is it like a medical thing?

What kind of drugs?

That just seems so drastic.

I know I don’t live with her but I just can’t imagine that she can’t tell the difference.

You can just tell. One thing’s real and one thing’s not.

I guess I’ve just never heard of that.

Okay. If you think it’s best.

 

Hi sweetie-pie.

Yes. I need to tell you something. Are you listening?

Okay. Listen to me. Flutterbell’s not real.

No. She can’t talk to you because she’s make-believe.

No, honey. She’s not. It was just me whistling. (Whistles) See? That was me.

Well because I was playing.

No! For fun!

No. Please don’t-

It’s okay.

Yes it is. You don’t have to-

Please don’t cry. Don’t-

 

Hello?

 

God. I’m so sorry. I had no idea.

Can you tell her I’m sorry.

Okay. Sure. Go. I’m so sorry.

 


 

#5: Dropped

 

Hello?

I can hear you? Can you hear me?

Let me call you back.

(Re-dials)

Hello?

No. I think it’s your phone.

You sound like you’re in a cave. Let me try again.

(Re-dials)

Hello?

Okay. That’s better.

Because I hate “texting.” I’m not a “texter.”

I’m too old. My thumbs haven’t been trained for it. Why can’t you just get a phone that works?

I can talk to other people just fine? Why not you?

Well that says something, doesn’t it? Where are you?

Really? When?

You weren’t going to tell me? I thought we were going to work on the fencing project.

Today!

Yes! Maybe if you had a phone that worked…

Because I want to talk to you.

Well I’m not like you. I don’t just call people so I have someone’s voice to keep me company. I actually have a reason for calling.

The fencing project.

When then?

Are you avoiding me or something?

Because whenever we talk, it’s like you’re somewhere else. Even when we talk in person you’re either on the phone or texting, or something.

Well if that’s what it means to be young, then I’m glad I’m older.

Networking. Please. What have you got except a network of disembodied voices and anonymous messages?

They are not just as good.

I don’t care. They don’t know you as a real flesh and blood person like I do.

Because if they did, they wouldn’t put up with your weird bullshit.

Because I’m your friend. Not your “buddy” or your “cyberpal.” An actual friend who went to see you in the hospital and drove you home and took care of you.

I know it’s a support system.

But that’s why it works. You can hide or reveal whatever makes you comfortable and nobody knows the difference. You just exchange smilies and winkies or whatever and pretend it’s a relationship. You don’t have to deal with anyone on a real level.

It is not more real. I can’t believe you’d even say that after all I’ve-

What? What do you mean?

When? Right now?

When did this happen?

Which one?

No I think it’s great. I just hope you’re being careful.

Because you don’t know anything about him! He could be-

I’m not trying to be insulting. I’m just saying people you meet that way can have different ideas of – they can have other motives that you don’t know about.

No I’m not. I’m just looking out for you.

Fine. Go hang out with him. Sorry I interrupted.

I am happy for you. And I’m happy for me.

Because maybe there’s finally someone stupid enough to take on all your baggage so I don’t have to do it anymore.

No. Fine. Go. Maybe you can “text” me sometime and tell me how it went.

Bye.

2016-11-07T22:24:40+00:00 05.22.15|writing, plays|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Maureen May 25, 2015 at 1:55 am - Reply

    So glad you posted these. They are brilliant. I have a whole new project to do with my students! Thank you…

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