Edited by Bob Shuman & Stephen Fife
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, $16.99, 256 pages
One on One is an excellent reference for budding young thespians – perfect, in fact, for the age of kids who’ll giggle when they hear the word ‘thespian.’ This collection of short monologues has been put together by theatre pros from New York who clearly know their show business. It’s a mix of classic and contemporary works, organized into three sections: monologues for girls, for boys, and some written by students (the latter are some of this reader’s favorites, by the way). They are skewed toward an older age range given in the title, and contain some tough subject matter, but that’s the point of drama, isn’t it?
“Why shouldn’t creative work be free and daring, thrilling and interesting for all ages?”
These play excerpts get to the core emotions and give kids credit for the depth of their emotional understanding. They are all age appropriate, touching, and meaningful. There’s a good mix of ethnicities represented as well. Finding really good audition pieces that aren’t over-used, or shorts works for study, is one of the toughest parts of acting; this book is a welcome aid in that process. This reader was bitten by the stage bug in eighth grade and would’ve been thrilled to have this book as a guide.
Reviewed by Val Mallinson