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This series of monologues aims to delve into the complexities of human motivation by focusing on six fundamental needs that drive human behaviour: Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Connection, Growth, and Contribution. Drawing inspiration from psychological theories and social observations, each of the monologues explores its theme, providing a platform for students to personally engage with these universal concepts.
The characters in these monologues are adolescents aged 14 or 15, a life stage marked by heightened emotional intensity and identity exploration. Each character in the six monologues grapples with a unique set of circumstances and dilemmas, yet their struggles are universally relatable, touching on broader human concerns. A neutral gender name identifies all monologue characters so anyone can perform them.
These monologues have been deliberately formatted as a single paragraph without stage directions. This allows students to divide the monologues into beats (small action units) and add stage directions as part of their classwork. They also complement each other in a set, as each monologue has a tone similar to the other five, all expressing inner conflict. The different ‘sections’ in each monologue are easily recognisable for students.
Teachers and students are encouraged first to read the monologues on the page below. Then, when finished, download and print all the monologues in PDF at the bottom of this post. The PDF version of monologues has text double-spaced for ease of reading off the page in rehearsal.
Student monologues Explained
Monologue 1 explores the theme of Certainty through the character of Casey, who faces the disorienting experience of moving to a new city and yearns for stability amidst change.
Monologue 2 delves into the theme of Uncertainty, as portrayed by Alex, who feels both comforted and confined by the familiarity of a small town and is apprehensive about venturing into the unknown.
Monologue 3 examines the theme of Significance through the lens of Taylor, an overachiever who begins to question the true value and purpose of external achievements.
Monologue 4 focuses on the theme of Connection, as experienced by Jordan, who navigates the paradox of feeling simultaneously connected and isolated in a digital age.
Monologue 5 tackles the theme of Growth, represented by Morgan, who confronts the limitations of being labelled as the ‘smart kid’ and yearns for a more holistic sense of self.
Monologue 6 addresses the theme of Contribution through the character of Riley, who is actively involved in community service but is wrestling with doubts about the efficacy of individual actions in the face of systemwide challenges.
Student Monologues 1-6
Monologue 1 (Certainty)
Character: Casey, 15 years old, grappling with the upheaval of moving to a new city and the quest for stability.
Background: Casey has recently moved and is navigating the challenges and uncertainties that come with being in a new environment.
I used to know every corner of my old neighbourhood like the back of my hand. The shortcuts to school, the best spots to hang out, even the names of the stray cats that roamed the alleys. But now, everything’s changed. New city, new school, new faces—it’s like someone hit the shuffle button on my life. I find myself missing the predictability of my old routine, the comfort of knowing what each day would bring. It’s not just about missing my old friends or my favourite hangout spots; it’s about missing a sense of stability, a framework that made sense. Now, every day feels like a puzzle, a constant game of figuring out where I fit in this new picture. Do I try to recreate my old life, to find that lost sense of stability? Or do I dive into this new world, embracing the chaos as a chance for reinvention? It’s a tension that’s hard to resolve, like trying to balance on a seesaw that keeps shifting under my weight. And so we find ourselves at the intersection of the familiar and the unknown, each choice shaping the contours of our stability. It takes courage to adapt when the ground beneath us shifts, finding new points of reference when the old ones have faded away. It is possible that real stability comes not from clinging to the familiar, but from finding peace amidst change, from building resilience that stands the test of new challenges and unknown futures.
Monologue 2 (Uncertainty)
Character: Alex, 14 years old, wrestling with the tension between the desire for new experiences and the fear of taking risks.
Background: Alex has always lived in the same small town and feels both comforted and confined by its familiarity.
I’ve spent my entire life in this small town, where the days blend into each other like colours in a fading painting. It’s a comfort zone, a bubble, but bubbles are meant to be popped, aren’t they? There’s a world out there, teeming with possibilities, adventures, and experiences that I can only dream of. Yet, every time I think about stepping out, about breaking the mold, my heart races for all the wrong reasons. It’s like standing at the edge of a cliff, knowing that the leap could either give you wings or send you plummeting. The what-ifs are a constant companion: What if I fail? What if it’s not what I expected? What if the world out there shatters my little bubble here? It’s a conundrum, a tightrope walk between the thrill of what could be and the comfort of what is. In the end, it’s the doors we choose to open or close that define the richness of our lives. The courage it takes to venture beyond the familiar, the challenge of boundaries we set for ourselves, whether real or imagined. Because maybe, just maybe, the real adventure lies not in knowing what comes next, but in finding the courage to discover it. Understanding that the unknown is not an abyss but a treasure trove, not an end but a beginning. The beginning of a journey that could be as exhilarating as it is terrifying, but a journey worth taking nonetheless.
Monologue 3 (Significance)
Character: Taylor, 15 years old, wrestling with the desire to make a meaningful impact on the world and the fear of insignificance.
Background: Taylor is an overachiever who excels in academics and extracurricular activities but is beginning to question the purpose behind all their achievements.
Every trophy, every A-grade, every round of applause—they’re like markers on a trail, signs that I’m on the right path. Or so I thought. Lately, each accolade feels more like a hollow echo than a triumphant fanfare. I can’t shake the nagging question: What’s the point of all this? Is it enough to be a high achiever if I’m not making a real difference, if I’m not leaving a lasting impact? It’s a haunting thought, this idea that I might be running full speed on a treadmill, going nowhere fast. I’ve always believed that hard work and success were the tickets to a meaningful life, but now I wonder if I’ve mistaken the map for the territory. Is my quest for significance just a chase after external validation, a never-ending cycle of seeking approval from teachers, parents, and peers? And if so, what would it take to break that cycle, to find a sense of purpose that comes from within? It’s a complex web of aspirations and doubts, a struggle between the yearning to matter and the fear that maybe, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t. In the quiet spaces between our actions, we confront the true measure of our significance. Here’s to the courage it takes to question, to challenge the narratives we’ve been told and the ones we tell ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, the search for significance isn’t about the milestones we reach but about the journey itself—the choices we make, the lives we touch, and the legacy we build, not in the eyes of the world, but in the depths of our own hearts.
Monologue 4 (Connection)
Character: Jordan, 14 years old, grappling with the complexities of human connection in an increasingly digital world.
Background: Jordan is a socially active teenager who has many online friends but is beginning to feel the limitations of virtual relationships.
In a world where ‘connected’ is often synonymous with Wi-Fi signals and social media followers, it’s easy to forget what real connection feels like. I’ve got hundreds of friends—on Instagram, Snapchat, you name it. But how many of them would I call if my world came crashing down? It’s a sobering thought, this realisation that my social circle might be more of a social illusion. I’ve always prided myself on being ‘plugged in,’ on being where the action is, even if it’s only virtual. But lately, the screen feels more like a barrier than a bridge, a filter that adds gloss but maybe also distorts reality. It’s a paradox, this feeling of being surrounded yet alone, connected yet isolated. Do I continue to cultivate these online relationships, these friendships that are a click away but perhaps miles apart in emotional depth? Or do I take the risk of seeking deeper, more meaningful connections, even if they’re harder to come by, even if they expose me to the messiness of human emotions? It’s a puzzle that tugs at the very fabric of my social existence, a tension between the ease of digital friendships and the complications of real-world relationships. Ultimately, it’s the threads of genuine connection that weave the tapestry of our social existence. A toast to the courage it takes to look beyond the screen, to seek the kind of connection that doesn’t come with a follow button but does come with all the risks and rewards of genuine human interaction. Because perhaps that’s the essence of true connection: not the quantity of our interactions, but the quality; not the breadth of our social networks, but the depth of our emotional bonds.
Monologue 5 (Growth)
Character: Morgan, 15 years old, confronting the challenges and opportunities that come with personal growth and change.
Background: Morgan has always been considered the “smart kid” in school but is now questioning whether this label has limited their personal growth in other areas.
I’ve always been the ‘smart kid,’ the one who aces every test, the one who people come to for homework help. It’s a label, a neat little box that the world has put me in. But what happens when you outgrow the box, or worse, when you start to feel confined by it? Lately, I’ve been catching glimpses of another me in the mirror, someone who’s more than just a repository of facts and figures, someone who’s curious about art, music, the mysteries of the human heart. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying, this process of outgrowing an identity that’s been so comfortable, so defining. Do I embrace this newfound problem, these layers of myself that I’m just beginning to explore? Or do I retreat into the safety of the familiar, into the well-worn grooves of expectation and routine? It’s a tension that’s hard to navigate, like standing at a crossroads with multiple paths stretching out in front of me, each promising a different version of myself. At each crossroad, we find an invitation to grow, to expand the boundaries of who we are and who we might become. It’s an almighty challenge to risk failure in the pursuit of a fuller, richer understanding of who we are. Perhaps that’s the essence of growth: not a linear path from point A to point B, but a sprawling web of possibilities, each leading to a new discovery, a new understanding, a new facet of our ever-evolving selves.
Monologue 6 (Contribution)
Character: Riley, 14 years old, wrestling with the desire to contribute to the community and the world, while questioning the impact of individual actions.
Background: Riley is deeply concerned about social and environmental issues and is active in various community projects but is starting to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problems.
I’ve spent countless hours planting trees, volunteering at shelters, and campaigning for causes I believe in. Every action felt like a drop in the ocean, but I always held onto the belief that enough drops could create a wave of change. Lately, though, I’ve been haunted by a different kind of wave—a wave of doubt. What difference can one person really make when the problems are so vast, so systemic? It’s a disheartening thought, this idea that my efforts might be just a whisper lost in a cacophony of noise. I find myself at the crossroads, torn between the urge to double down on my efforts and the creeping sense of futility that makes me want to throw in the towel. Do I continue to contribute in my small way, hoping that my actions will join others to create a meaningful impact? Or do I step back, questioning whether my energy and time might be better spent elsewhere? It’s a tangled interplay of hope and scepticism, a struggle between the aspiration to contribute and the fear that such contributions are mere drops in an ever-expanding ocean. Each action, no matter how small, sends ripples across the pond of our collective experience, challenging us to contribute with both intention and humility, even when the outcomes are uncertain, even when the path is strewn with obstacles. The true measure of contribution is not just in the results we achieve, but in the intentions that guide us, in the sincerity of our efforts, and in the ripples we create, however small they may seem.