It's Deadline Day for the 2019 Mouthful Monologue Festival. Hundreds of students are submitting their monologues to PYP to be considered for the show. What now?
Join the newest member of the PYP family, Mona the Monologue, on a journey from page to stage.
1. The Classroom
Hi, I'm Mona! I was born in a classroom a few weeks ago, and I'm proud to announce: I'm a monologue.
Each fall, Philadelphia Young Playwrights sends teaching artists and actors into classrooms to facilitate monologue writing workshops with students in grades 8-12. The actors perform past-winning monologues to illustrate what, exactly, monologues are and how we can vary greatly in tone and style. And trust me, we are all very different. It makes the holidays kind of hard (Uncle Manny has A LOT of opinions).
ANYWAY: Once the actors finish performing, the teaching artists work with students to write monologues of their own. I came from the mind of a student from one of the 39 different classrooms where this year's workshops took place!
A bunch of brand new monologues like me are now alive in the world, and we're headed to PYP.
2. The Committee
Okay, so now I'm here at PYP with a big stack of other monologues. Hundreds of other monologues. It's crowded. And remember how I said we're all different? Well, we've got everything in here. There's even a kiwi threatening to take over the world.
We were sent here by our writers to be considered for our big stage debut, and this is the next critical step. A committee of volunteer readers will read us in batches. A few of us will get recommended for one more round of consideration: the Final Committee!
At Final Committee, another group of readers, including PYP alumni and staff, will decide which of us will go on to be developed and produced for a live audience at the Festival. Once we are picked, we get an actor, a director, and a dramaturg who will work with our writer to shine us up during revisions and rehearsals to get us ready for our big stage debut.
You said "What's a dramaturg?" Yeah, I had to ask, too. A dramaturg can be a lot of things, but at PYP, it's someone who supports the playwright as they consider revisions—someone to bounce ideas off of to help guide you to strong, confident choices.
3. The Rehearsal Room
Between January and March, our writers attend a series of Dramaturgy Days and rehearsals, where the directors and actors bring us to life.
I've been told that reading me on the page is one thing, but hearing me out loud is something entirely different! It opens up a world of possibilities for my writer and presents the opportunity to make me even more specific and even stronger. That's where the dramaturg comes in, supporting my writer as they explore revisions and new choices. It's like a makeover, and the dramaturg... holds the mirror for the writer.
WHAT NOT TO WEAR: MONOLOGUE EDITION.
I'd show you a picture of me during this part of the process, but I'm kind of exposed, so... You'll just have to wait until opening night.
4. The Stage
It's time. I've made it! I've made a full transformation from the page to the stage, and now I live in the mind, body, and mouth of my actor!
Me and my fellow monologues will be performed for audiences, including the students who wrote us, their peers, families, and communities, for two weeks! There are lights, sounds, costumes, music... everything.
I heard some of us might make it to a podcast. That'd be cool.
From the classroom, reading and selection, to revision, rehearsal and performance, a long journey about the transformation of a sheet of paper into something more could be developed into a short, animated video set to song.