This is a book that delivers what it promises. It is intended to assist young people in finding a monologue to suit their voice, in both senses of the word, and that is relevant to them and their world. There is a good range of monologues here to choose from. Some deal with controversial topics eg ‘Like Sex’, some deal with big issues eg racism, terrorism. Some are just the voices of young people that other young people may find an echo in that speaks to them.
There are a lot of familiar names in both the authors and the plays eg Niu Sila, The Pohutakawa Tree. There are also new, different and exciting choices to be found here.
Each monologue includes a character description and some context of where the monologue sits in the piece as a whole and the meaning behind it. The introduction to the monologues has more technical information in it relating to how to select and prepare for presenting a monologue. This is clear and valuable information.
This is definitely a book that I would recommend for Drama departments to buys and for school libraries to have on their shelves. The Drama department is self-explanatory. The library because this is a book that can just be read for the pleasure of it, a dip in and out collection of great writing.
Title: 101 New Zealand Monologues for Youth
Author: This is an anthology with a range of playwrights edited by Holly Gooch
Date of Publication: 2019
Ages: Secondary School Years 9-13 (the book suggests the monologues would be useful for people between the ages of 13 to 25)
Reviewer: Judith Hartstone, HOF English, James Cook High School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening Sentence: “Our vision for 101 Monologues for Youth was a book for young actors, speech and drama practitioners and drama teachers to be picked up, put down, dived into, explored and referred to again and again.”