Free Monologues - Shaking

From After Math

Shaking is from one of my most produced plays, After Math, in which a student is mysteriously pulled out of a math class in the middle of a test. Every student has a different idea about what happened, but why is it that they've only noticed him now that he's gone? This monologue opens the play.  After Math is published by Playscripts.  Click here to order a copy.

(Warning: Using this monologue without permission is illegal, as is reproducing it on a website or in print in any way.)


Mrs. Parks has this thing about tests. Well, she has this thing about everything, but when it comes to tests... If she’s giving a test, you don’t knock on the door, you don’t call the room, you don’t even look in the window. And not just the students--the other teachers, even Mr. Bobell, the principal.
One time, he knocks and comes in during a quiz--not even a test--a quiz on solving simple equations. You know, like x squared equals nine, or three x plus x equals eight. That’s algebra. You should see how she looks at him. Her eyes get all narrow, and I’m not crazy so I know I’m not really seeing it, but I swear there’s these flames shooting from her eyes. Or maybe it’s lasers. I think it’s flames, though, ‘cause if I didn’t know better, I’d say there’s smoke comin’ from her ears. And Mr. Bobell starts to say something, only nothing comes out. His jaw flaps in slow-mo, then flaps again. He takes one step back, two steps back--and he’s gone.
But today, we’re in the middle of a major test--not just some quiz. This is an all-out unit test. Points, lines, slopes--we’re graphing ‘til we can’t graph no more.
(like a rapper)
Graph those lines in the air--graph ‘em like you just don’t care.

Anyway, this man in a dark gray suit walks in, and you can see there’s a woman--also wearing a dark gray suit--at the door, and I watch Mrs. Parks’s eyes start to ignite, only the man doesn’t flinch--and her eyes, they sink back into her head, like they’re in retreat.
He whispers to her, and her eyes...her eyes totally wash out, and her face wipes blank. “Emmett,” she says, “bring your books.” And Emmett packs his books into his backpack and goes with the suits--the man inside and the woman at the door.
And when the door closes and Emmett is gone and the suits are gone, it’s “back to your tests. Ten minutes.” But I don’t believe her. Yeah, I believe we’ve got ten minutes of class. I can see the clock, but I don’t believe Mrs. Parks cares if we finish, and as she picks up Emmett’s test, her hands--I’m not crazy, so I know my head’s just making it up--I swear her hands are shaking.

Co-Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles
, member of The Dramatists Guild of America, and life member of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.

Final Draft Resident Playwriting Expert and author of

Resident Playwriting Expert of The Writers Store.

Recent News
World Premiere!!!
Me, My Selfie & I co-premiered at Lompoc High School (Lompoc, CA) and Westmont High School (Campbell, CA) at the end of September. This one-act with a flexible cast introduces us to a group of teens as they struggle to find the balance between documenting their lives and living them. 
Take My Online Playwriting Course!
Want to study playwriting from the comfort of your home, workplace or anywhere at all?  In Introduction to Playwriting, you'll get all of the basics of playwriting and be well on your way to writing a new play, but you don't even have to get out of bed if you don't want to!  Look for a new session this summer.  Get more information and enroll here:
The Midnight Club is Now Published!
Read a sample of my latest play, the short comedy The Midnight Club, my teen monster-themed homage to the classic John Hughes 80s film. It's now published by Playscripts as part of a new collection, Scared Silly!
Playwriting Webinars!
Now available for purchase, two great webinars from yours truly! Each is nearly 90 minutes and packed with info (with a PowerPoint too!):
Playwriting 101:  Everything You Need to Know to Write a Play
Writing Plays for Young People: How to Write for the Biggest Market Nobody Knows About

Upcoming Productions
The Magic Hour
Viking Theatre (Rock Hill, SC), February 2018
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
White Knoll High School (Lexington, SC), February 2018
4 A.M.
Thurso Players (Caithness, United Kingdom), February 2018
Dear Chuck
Hardee High School (Wauchula, FL), March 2018
Me, My Selfie & I
The Young Creatives (Portsmouth, Hampshire, United Kingdom), March 2018
Me, My Selfie & I
Berkhamsted School (Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom), March 2018
High School (non) Musical
Montrose Area School District (Montrose, PA), March 2018
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Fremont High School (Plain City, UT), March 2018
Thank You for Flushing My Head in the Toilet and other rarely used expressions
Del Valle High School (Del Valle, TX), April 2018
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
H. Hardcastle School (Edam, SK, Canada), April 2018
From Shakespeare with Love?
Bad Theatre Co. (Asuncion, Paraguay), May 2018
Me, My Selfie & I
Woldingham School (Woldingham, Surrey, United Kingdom), May 2018
Pepperoni Apocalypse
St. Helen Catholic School (Georgetown, TX), May 2018
High School (non) Musical
Coakley Middle School Drama Club (Norwood, MA), June 2018
After Math
Pope John Paul II High School (Hendersonville, TN), November 2018
Stay tuned...: I've got multiple play ideas I'm developing. See what appears first...
Plays for Production
Free Monologues
Young Playwrights 101
Script Consulting
About Me
Connect With Me
Starting out as a writer? Get help by clicking here. You'll find playwriting instructional tips, links to young playwrights contests, sample query and cover letters and even a suggested reading list!
Can't figure out why your script isn't working? I can help. For a reasonable rate, I will give you detailed feedback to get your project back on track.

Click here for information.