This eclectic collection of 78 monologues and eight duologues for women from recently produced contemporary plays is ideal for auditions, contests, workshops, and acting classes, offering selections from both established and emerging new writers. Taken all together, they weave a rich and vivid tapestry of uncommon women who enlarge our perspective on the issues they discover along their journeys. The compilation is presented in chapter themes arranged by mood with brief sketches to introduce the characters and set the scene for each monologue or duologue. The high quality of the writing lends itself to classroom discussion, text analysis, and performance. This fine resource features well-known playwrights like Pulitzer Prize winners Arthur Miller, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson, and Doug Wright, as well as a host of emerging new authors whose works are sure to challenge you in both character interpretation, and performance. Some of the excerpts are formal comic or dramatic texts, and some experiment with form and language. Special features include introductory chapter discussions on audition practices, text analysis principles, and rehearsal techniques. There are also a number of original, independent monologues written especially for classroom discussion and exploration.