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.)

STUDENT

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.
(beat)
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.
(beat)
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.
(beat)

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.
(beat)
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.
(beat)
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
Playwrights
, member of The Dramatists Guild of America, and life member of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.

Final Draft Resident Playwriting Expert and author of Playwriting101.com.

Resident Playwriting Expert of The Writers Store.





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Upcoming Productions
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Nadia's Performance Studio (Wetherill Park, NSW, Australia), December 2017
 
4 A.M.
Harding Middle School (Lakewood, OH), December 2017
 
After Math
Philip Barbour High School (Philippi, WV), December 2017
 
Rumors of Polar Bears (one-act)
Arlington Middle School (Poughkeepsie, NY), December 2017
 
The Midnight Club
Avon Middle High School (Avon, MA), January 2018
 
4 A.M.
Lincoln High School (Manitowoc, WI), January 2018
 
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Hillard City School District (Columbus, OH), January 2018
 
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Hillard City School District (Columbus, OH), January 2018
 
Dear Chuck
Syracuse Arts Academy (Syracuse, UT), January 2018
 
The Midnight Club
Valley Southwoods IHSSA (West Des Moines, IA), January 2018
 
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Atholton High School (Columbia, MD), January 2018
 
Harry's Hotter at Twilight (one-act version)
I.S. 75 - United Activities Unlimited (Staten Island, NY), January 2018
 
4 A.M.
Garretson Schools (Garretson, SD), January 2018
 
Me, My Selfie & I
The Crefeld School (Philadelphia, PA), January 2018
 
The Midnight Club
Freehold High School (Freehold, NJ), January 2018
 
High School (non) Musical
Nevada Theatre Department (Nevada, MO), January 2018
 
The Magic Hour
North Branch High School (North Branch, MI), January 2018
 
Me, My Selfie & I
Pembina Trails School Division (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), January 2018
 
Dear Chuck (one-act version)
Trinity Episcopal (Austin, TX), January 2018
 
4 A.M.
Redwood Valley High School (Redwood Falls, MN), January 2018
 
Me, My Selfie & I
Berkhamsted School (Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom), January 2018
 
After Math
Palmer Ridge High School (Colorado Springs, CO), February 2018
 
4 A.M.
Tigard High School (Tigard, OR), February 2018
 
The Magic Hour
Viking Theatre (Rock Hill, SC), February 2018
 
4 A.M.
Thurso Players (Caithness, United Kingdom), February 2018
 
High School (non) Musical
Montrose Area School District (Montrose, PA), 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
 
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
 
 
Great Expectations, or What I Did On My Summer Vacation: Next up, a ten-minute parody of Great Expectations to be part of YouthPLAYS' upcoming Lit on Fire anthology of high school reading list parodies.
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