Dogface is a play about growing up ugly. The title character was attacked by a dog when she was seven, which causes the
other children at school to provide her derogatory nickname -an identity she never fully escapes from. She alternates
between describing the experience and re-living it. A copy of the script is available electronically here:
This is how it happens: One minute, you're just another awkward second-grader. And then your
mom takes you and your brother to her friend's house, out in the country. You get out of the
car, and there's a big yellow dog wagging his tail at you. And your mom and your brother go
to ring the doorbell, and you get down on your knees in front of this friendly dog, and you're
petting him... And then, suddenly, the dog snaps his jaws. And your life as you know it... ends.
The dog never barked, never growled. He followed after me, still friendly and playful. Blood
pouring from the holes in my face... and he's looking at me, wagging his tail. My mother
grabbed my jacket from the car, and told me to hold it tight against my face. I was crying. I
was so panicked I felt like I was choking.
At the hospital, nurses were coming in, mopping up blood and asking questions and trying to
establish how much of my face was still there, whether the nerve endings were alive. My face
felt puffy and I was light-headed. The nurses were friendly, they wanted me to trust them. And
I did. I believed them when they said that doctors would be able to fix me.
They lied. I was conscious the entire time. I was awake while they sewed my face back
together. What I remember most is the bright light, and the strangely disembodied voices of
my parents and the doctors, trying to keep the patient calm.
When they finally let me see myself, when they gave me a mirror, I had prepared myself for a
Halloween mask, for a horror movie, for a nightmare. But the blood had been cleaned away.
It was just neat rows of stitches. I was actually relieved.
But then I went back to school. And then the real trauma began.
Ratlife, L. Gerald (2009) The Theatre Audition Book 2: Playing Monologues from Contemporary, Modern, Period,
Shakespeare and Classical Plays (First ed.). Meriwether Publishing, USA
SHE is a fading huadan, a Wayang actress facing a mid-life crisis, a Cantonese Opera star going out of her prime; can
speak perfect Singlish. The entire script is available electronically at
SHE: They all dowan to see our same old shows over and over again. They rather see those new
cinema shows or the other troupes from overseas. We had to cut down our shows, to cut down
our loss. We performed three times, sometimes even only once a week. (Pause)
But life was still very difficult. The pay was so low, and the work was so hard. Daytime we must
practice, or learn new shows; night-time we perform, then after the show we must pack-up
and move all our things to the next place. We never have holidays, no weekends. A lot of
people cannot tahan. So, of course, they all quit lor. Or became part-time only. (Pause.)
What did you expect us to do? A cinema ticket was cheaper than watching a Wayang. And
how to fight with those Opera movies with Yam Kim Fai and Bak Shuit Sin? How to beat those
troupes from Hong Kong and China? They had more famous stars, more people, more skills,
more costumes, more props, more scripts, more fighting...more money!
We had no money! How to fight? (Pause) And then, how to fight TV? Everybody stayed at
home and watched TV. Who wants to sit on hard chairs for so long in the open-air, sweating
and feeding mosquitoes?
Only dogs would do such a thing. Do you know, once when I was performing, I looked down
and (dramatically) I only saw dogs looking up at me. I was singing to dogs! Dogs! But I
continued to sing, right until the very end. I asked myself, when I finished, how come I had to
end up singing to dogs? How stupid must you be to end up singing to dogs? (She flops onto
her chair, distressed.)
This is the story of a girl and her special relationship with an aged tree. After realising the tree is a living entity that can
interact with her, it becomes her confidant, advisor and above all, friend. The girl asks the tree probing, innocent questions
about life, questions we often take for granted.
GIRL: This tree. It’s very old already. Old and funny. It’s different from those we see along the
streets. This one never had its branches cut off. Branches, very long, very tall, stretching right
into the sky. Skin all cracked, like the tongkang1 drivers last time. Maybe it’s too tall. Too tall
you won’t get the sun to cover you. This tree is really very funny. Old and funny. Other trees
have leaves on top; this one has them at the bottom, near the ground. Very unusual… Gong
Gong2 said last time, there were many trees like this… Now, it looks like the only one left. I
wonder if that’s because it’s very old so it’s very funny… like Gong Gong last time. Yeah, I
think trees are like people, the old ones are always the funny ones. (approaches the Tree to
caress it)
How are you? I had tau suan3 for breakfast, curry rice for lunch, and beehoon goreng4 for
dinner… Mom takes the late shift tonight. Father also will be very late, overtime… Fatty
Bombom very cunning today. Test without notice. Don’t you say she is kind because she is fat.
Just the opposite! Her questions are worse than Ah San5, always trying to trick us into making
mistakes. No wonder people call her: “Fatty Bombom, Never Tolong6”…
You listen to me talk so much, ever get bored?
If you can say, “No, I’m not,” how nice!
If you can talk, I’d let you talk.
I’ll shut up, and only listen to you talk.
If you can really talk, I’ll keep my mouth tightly shut like I do in school and at home.
I’ll keep quiet forever, only listen to you talk.
You’re so old, like Gong Gong, you must have many stories you will never finish telling…
Kuo, P.K. (2000) Images at the Margins – A Collection of Kuo Pao Kun’s Plays (First ed.) Times Books
International, Singapore
Tongkang -rivercraft carrying people and goods 2 Gong Gong -grandfather 3 tau suan – yellow bean broth, a dessert 4 beehoon goreng – fried
vermicelli 5 Ah San -skinny 6 Tolong -help
The setting is a classroom where an eager young teacher is about to tackle her first assignment--teaching basic English to
a group of new citizens, not one of whom speaks the same language as another. Rigid and pedagogical at first, she
becomes more frantic and desperate as her lack of success with her charges mounts, and the wonderfully funny
misunderstandings multiply, until, at last, all self-control (and sanity) vanish into total, and totally hilarious, panic.
WASTBA: Listen now, I’ll just go really slow. (Pauses, smiles.) My name is Debbie Wastba. (She
writes her name on blackboard. Each takes notebook and copies down the name.) W-A-ST-BA. That’s pronounced Wass-tah-bah: Wastba. (She links each of the three syllables together on
board, in the following way: WA ST BA.) Think of Wah as in wah-tah. Splash. Splash. Stah as in
stah-bility. And Bah as in Bah-dum… as in (Sings "Dragnet" theme.) Bum-tah-bum-bum. Well,
listen. It was literally double its length in its ancient, biblical form. (Pauses) Actually, that tune
was wrong. It would be much more like… (Sings again, to tune of "My Funny Valentine.") Bum
bum-bumbum-bum-bum…bum bum-bum bum-bum-bum… bum bum-bum
baaahhhmmmmmmm… (Pauses: sees they are confused.)
Well, anyway, really, you can easily check your Bibles if you want. (Rummages through stack of
papers on desk, holds up lesson plan.) This is our lesson plan. That’s lesson… plan. Lesson plan.
We’re going to be together for several hours and I thought it would be highly professional and
competent for me to make a plan. And I did. And here it is: (She reads, smiling confidently.)
One. A pleasant welcome and normal chatter. For two, I’ve planned your basic salutation,
such as the goods-good morning, good afternoon, good night, good luck, and good grief.
(She laughs.) That was a mildly amusing joke: "good grief." Later in the night-after we’ve
learned a bit of English-you’ll be able to, well, get the joke. (Pauses.) Let’s move along. Three
will be basic customs: ours here. (Reading again.) Four will be a short history of our English
language. (As the students take their notes, they, as we, begin to realize that Wastba is only
writing the numbers one through six on the blackboard-no words. They raise their hands in
question, but she waves them away, barging ahead.) Five will be the primary lesson on the
primary English class, according to the book. And six will be the very essential verb "to be." At
some point, we shall also inspect the very basic concept of silence. (Smiles.) Now then, as you
can see, there are only six points to cover and hours and hours ahead in which to cover them.
(All stare blankly at her smiling face.) Now then: Questions?
Horovitz, Israel (1997) Vol. III: The Primary English Class and Six New Plays Smith & Kraus Publishing Inc., USA
Energetic Daisy Meredith, a girl from a poor background, is forced to face and overcome snobbish prejudice and schoolgirl
pranks from the wealthier girls. She and her best friend, zany Trixie Martin, search for the missing treasure that could save
the fortunes of the exclusive Grangewood School for Young Ladies. Along the way, Daisy overcomes false accusations,
saves the lives of her nemeses and discovers that the mysterious stranger seen around the grounds is her long-lost father.
Daisy Meredith, daredevil, tomboy, possessed of a brilliant mind, exuberant, quick-witted,
fond of practical jokes, honourable, honest, courageous, straight in all things and ... a High
School pupil. Father — dead. Mother — a former opera singer who struggles to keep a home
together for herself, Daisy, and Daisy's brothers — Dick, Douglas, Daniel and Duncan in a small
townhouse, by giving music lessons to private pupils. Daisy has recently taken an exam which
will, if she succeeds in passing it, enable her to gain a place as the first ever scholarship pupil
at Grangewood Girls School, one of the most famous educational establishments in the
country. If, however, she fails the exam, she must leave her school at the end of the year and
take up some form of ill-paid menial work to which she is little suited...
I do wish the mailman would hurry and bring the exam results letter—I must win the scholarship,
I so want to go to Grangewood. How great it would be to learn Math and History, to play
soccer on their famous field, to make friends with all those girls. I’ll miss Mother and Dick,
Douglas, Daniel and Duncan of course ... and all my friends at school. But I must win the
scholarship for the sake of others well as for myself, for if I, the first scholarship pupil at
Grangewood, make a success of the scheme, Grangewood will open its doors to other High
School pupils, as poor as myself..... I hope I make a success of it. I'll have a good education,
pass all exams and then, when I leave, find a job as a teacher in an Elementary School and
perhaps I'll earn enough money to buy mother the country cottage she’s always wanted, and
to pay for Dick, Douglas, Daniel and Duncan's education if they haven't won a scholarship by
then.... The summer holidays passed all too slowly, for Daisy, that is, until the time came to say
goodbye to those she loved best.... Write often, Mother, I'll be dying to know what you're all
doing, and any news you may hear of my old school pals. See you at the end of term.
Deegan, Denise (1985). Daisy Pulls It Off: A Comedy (First ed.). London: Samuel French.
BROWN BY CLARK GESNER The play is a series of vignettes based on the famous Peanuts© comic strip. Through the
vignettes, we come to know the personalities of all of the characters in the play – all of their quirks, foibles, and strengths.
The main focus is on Charlie Brown, a little boy full of self-doubt, fear, and hope. With the help of his friends he learns to
accept his own shortcomings and the humanity in others.
CHARLIE: I think lunchtime is about the worst time of day for me. Always having to sit here
alone. Of course, sometimes, mornings aren't so pleasant either. Waking up and wondering if
anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there's the night, too. Lying there
and thinking about all the stupid things I've done during the day. And all those hours in
between when I do all those stupid things. Well, lunchtime is among the worst times of the day
for me.
Well, I guess I'd better see what I've got. Peanut butter. Some psychiatrists say that people who
eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely...I guess they're right. And when you're really lonely,
the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth.
There's that cute little red-headed girl eating her lunch over there. I wonder what she would do
if I went over and asked her if I could sit and have lunch with her? She'd probably laugh right in
my's hard on a face when it gets laughed in. There's an empty place next to her on the
bench. There's no reason why I couldn't just go over and sit there. I could do that right now. All I
have to do is stand up...I'm standing up! I'm sitting down. I'm a coward. I'm so much of a
coward, she wouldn't even think of looking at me. She hardly ever does look at me. In fact, I
can't remember her ever looking at me. Why shouldn't she look at me? Is there any reason in
the world why she shouldn't look at me? Is she so great, and I'm so small, that she can't spare
one little moment? SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! (he puts his lunchbag over
his head)
Ratlife, L. Gerald (2009) The Theatre Audition Book 2: Playing Monologues from Contemporary, Modern, Period,
Shakespeare and Classical Plays (First ed.). Meriwether Publishing, USA
This is an original monologue written by a SOTA Year 2 Theatre student for their Performance & Practice
assessment in 2011.
Do u see it? Well do u? It's mmmmm-massive !!! Wait let me rephrase -it's gigantic, it hurts so
much... You wanna know what happened? (sigh) If you have to know… (sniffles) it all started
yesterday which was Sunday. I was swimming in the ocean right? And then, all of a sudden this
shark appears out of nowhere and bites off my arm... But it's ok, I fought it off with my pinkie...
So there I was in the ocean with this dead shark floating next to me.... Nowhere to go, with no
one to help me, but it's ok. I dived in and got some seaweed and sewed my arm back
together, see?
Anyway after that incident I thought it was best if I went home so I was walking home and all of
a sudden, this car comes by and hits me! Both my legs are broken and he drives off! I mean,
how inconsiderate! He hits me and drives off!!! But it's ok, I popped my legs back together and
kept on walking... So I got to the street in front of my house and all of a sudden this dog
bounces along and bites open my stomach!!! And my guts are all over the ground… But it's ok!
I picked them back up, a few staples here, a few staples there and everything is back to
normal. So I got home, walked in and called out for mum and dad. But, no answer.... AND
THEN BAM THE HOUSE EXPLODED, there I was flying thousands of kilometers in the air, but it's ok!
I dived and landed in my neighbours’ pool.... Tomorrow was Monday and I had homework due
then... and because the house exploded I thought it would be best to go to mum’s work place
and finish it off. While I was doing my work, the paper slid down my hand... And then...
(pointing to a small, seemingly insignificant paper cut on his hand)This... This happened!!! I
need to go to the hospital! It's not ok!
Jabberwocky is a nonsense verse poem written by Lewis Carroll in his 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What
Alice Found There, a sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre
and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy
were the borogoves, And the mome
raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws
that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the
Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious
He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time
the manxome foe he sought -So rested he
by the Tumtum tree, And stood awhile in
And, as in uffish thought he stood, The
Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came
whiffling through the tulgey wood, And
burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it
dead, and with its head He went galumphing
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock? Come
to my arms, my beamish boy! O frabjous
day! Callooh! Callay!' He chortled in his joy.
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre
and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy
were the borogoves, And the mome
raths outgrabe.
A teenage boy talks about his struggles with growing up and adolescence, calling it the ‘Awkward Age’ for that is
literally how he feels all the time. Here, he retorts his inconsistent parents on their own grounds.
I am presently in what the psychologists refer to as The Awkward Age. That means I’m not a
little kid any longer, but I’m not grown up yet, either. It also means that my parents can’t
decide which category I belong in. The result of their indecision is very confusing and if they
aren’t careful, I’m going to end up needing one of those psychologists.
For example, according to my mother, I’m too old for many of the activities I still enjoy. I am
too old to go for trick-or-treating on Halloween. I am too old to spy on my sister when she
comes home from a date. I am too old to swipe apples from Mrs. Munster’s tree.
Besides being too old, I am also old enough to know better. (mimics a scolding adult) “(Name)!
You are old enough to know better than to wear those muddy shoes on the carpet!” “(Name)!
You are old enough to know better than to let the parakeet out of his cage when the cat’s
indoors.” (helpless shrug) On the other hand, I am much too young for many of the things I
would like to do. According to my parents, I am too young to attend an unchaperoned party. I
am too young to go shopping downtown alone. I am too young to attend a movie that’s
rated PG unless my mother has read a review of it.
My father says, “ You are old enough to do your share of the work around here.” My mother
says, “You are much too young to run the power lawn mower alone.” He says, “Can’t you
read anything but comic books? You’re old enough to stretch your mind a little.” She says,
“Where on earth did you get that magazine? You’re too young to read that sort of thing.”
Do you know what I think? I think my parents are trying to raise the perfect kid. And the next
time they say I’m too young for this or too old for that, I plan to tell them, “You think I’m
going to turn out perfect? Ha! You are old enough to know better!”
Kehret, Peg. (1990) Winning Monologues For Young Actors: 65 Honest-To-Life Characterisation To Delight
Meriwether Publishing, USA
‘Day I Met The Prince’ was created by Kuo Pao Kun in 1988, based on the French masterpiece ‘Le Petit Prince’ by
Antoine Saint Exupery. The protagonist -‘I’, is a lonely person who feels that nobody understands him/her.
I: When I was six, I read a book. It was called ‘The Truth about Nature’. There was a picture in
this book showing how a python – a big snake – swallows its prey. The book said, “When the
python swallows an animal, it takes a long, long time for it to digest. And after that, it would just
lie there quietly, not moving an inch, for as long as six months!”
At that time, I was very fond of nature: in my imagination, I was always making
adventures into the great jungles.
So I drew my first picture. See, this is my Picture No. 1.
I showed this Picture No. 1, to the grown-ups and I asked them whether they were scared or
They took a look at the picture, laughed, and said, “Hahaha, why would anyone be scared by
a hat!”
Aiya, but I didn’t draw a hat! It was a python swallowing an elephant!
Well, since the grown-ups couldn’t understand, I just had to draw another picture. You know,
grown-ups are always like that. They want to make everything very, very plain. So I went on to
add in the inside of the python so they could see everything very, very clearly. And that
became my picture No. 2.
You know what the grown-ups told me this time? “Stop drawing those pictures! The inside of
the python or the outside of the python. You just stop drawing those funny pictures!”
Kuo, P.K. (2000) Images at the Margins – A Collection of Kuo Pao Kun’s Plays (First ed.) Times Books International,
Home & Station is a local play which depicts a young artist Xin trying to deliver a painting to a fellow artist Jay. However,
their reunion is thwarted by two ominous figures of authority whose casual repartee turns increasingly to interrogations,
violence and coercion. This is a monologue from one of the characters in the play, Jay, a young male artist who comments
on his painting, a response to the rapid rate of development and change in Singapore.
JAY: Thank you very much, Sir! I-It’s just that it’s been so long since anyone has… well,
responded to that painting and I… I mean, people nowadays they just rush about their daily
lives, you know? Minding their own business and they don’t seem to care or anything… I…
thank you, really I’m glad you’ll give it a chance and…
Well, you know that old coffee shop downstairs, the abandoned one just around the corner
from here? It used to be bustling in the good old days… stall holders setting up their livelihoods,
neon lights flickering to display all that food – bah kut teh, char kway teow, prawn mee hoon,
chicken rice, roti prata, mee rebus… gosh, you name it! But now, it’s all gone. Everything’s…
quiet, dead. Closed down ‘cause it lost business, you know, to that new air-conditioned food
court which just opened up across the street? I love that old food centre, with all its special
aromas, sights and sounds… I still visit the place sometimes, on mornings wrought with insomnia,
you know, just head down there to drink in the quaint sensations.
I mean, nowadays, all I see are fast food outlets springing all over the place… what you
have? McDonalds’, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut… McDonalds’, McDonalds’, McDonalds’…
it’s just… this painting, it’s a tribute to the death of the food centre,,, and some part of it will
survive, even past my children’s children’s graves.
Hmm, I don’t know. It’s just… so many things – everything’s changing. So rapidly… I don’t
know who I am anymore. You know? Things are changing but… are they improving?
Chua, Jocelyn (2006) Restless and other plays The Front Stage Ltd, Singapore