• To research a historical figure from art, science, politics, etc. that died before you were born and select an important, i.e., decision-making, moment in that figure’s life.

  • To identify and analyze important monologue elements in an August Wilson monologue (Rose from “Fences”), including location, purpose for speaking in a monologue, emotion, language choices, movements/stage directions, and with whom the speaker is talking.

  • To write a monologue about the historical figure based on the chosen moment using the elements identified from the Wilson monologue.

  • To practice and present how an actor would embody the character via an article of clothing/prop, which also allows for your empathic connection with the figure and the ability to hear the spoken words out loud in order to make any revisions.

This creative workshop will allow you to research and delve inside the mind of a famous person (from any field) whom you admire. You will then write a short monologue from the perspective of your character at a crucial moment in the person’s life, considering where and how the character speaks, their varying emotions, to whom they are speaking, and why they feel the need to speak in monologue form. Finally, you will practice speaking the monologue to peers/family using an accessory or clothing item, so you can embody and empathize with your character while hearing the words spoken, as they were intended.

Find the lesson outline here

About the creator

woman with hat

Jennifer Schaupp

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Jennifer Schaupp is a writer, improviser, and educator with a multicultural and multi-hilarious perspective. She has taught at various middle schools for City Theatre’s Young Playwrights Program and has shared this monologue activity with students at Point Park University and for Girls Write Pittsburgh (now Write Pittsburgh). Additionally, Jennifer has developed creative storytelling activities for ESL learners and collaborated on theatre projects for events in Pittsburgh and Chennai, India.