Play the Scene The Ultimate Collection of Contemporary and Classic Scenes and Monologues

Edited by Michael Schulman and Eva Mekler

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

336 Pages



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From Michael Schulman and Eva Mekler, who have collaborated on four previous anthologies of scenes for actors, comes Play the Scene: The Ultimate Collection of Contemporary and Classic Scenes and Monologues. This versatile, broadly inclusive volume offers scenes and monologues ranging from Elizabethan masterpieces to today's Tony Award-winning plays. The book spans over 500 years of theatre, with all of its excerpts comprehensively grouped as follows: Scenes for One Man and One Woman, Scenes for Two Women, Scenes for Two Men, Monologues for Women, and Monologues for Men.

Also, Play the Scene begins with Michael Schulman's accessible and highly useful introduction, "On Audition Readings." These opening remarks offer much practical advice for all actors and acting students on reading tactics, performing with attitude and style, taking direction, and understanding a character's background, psyche, environment, situation, relationships with others, and so on.

Among the playwrights gathered here:

Alexander Dumas
Christopher Durang
Beth Henley
Kenneth Lonergan
Donald Margulies
Steve Martin
Nicky Silver
George Bernard Shaw
Edith Wharton
Alfred Uhry
Paula Vogel
Horton Foote

Among the plays excerpted:

Blithe Spirit
The Chosen
The Graduate
How I Learned to Drive
The Last Night of Ballyhoo
The Lisbon Traviata
This Is Our Youth
Vincent in Brixton
Fast Girls
Picasso at the Lapin Agile


Praise for Play the Scene

"Acting teacher Schulman and actress/playwright Meckler have assembled an excellent collection . . . All of the scenes are for two characters, divided equally between those for one man and one woman and those for two men and two women. There is a similarly equal distribution of monologs for either sex. Taken individually, the scenes and monologues are full of the trials and tribulations of modern (and, occasionally, not-so-modern) life; they provide ample opportunity for the display of technique . . . This collection deserves a place on the already groaning shelves of scenes and monologues because there is unique material here. Schulman's introduction should become a permanent part of every actor's toolbox, and of every director's memory. Recommended for public and academic libraries."—Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Edited by Michael Schulman and Eva Mekler

  • Michael Schulman is an acting teacher who has taught at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and the Actors Studio. He founded the British-American Acting Academy and has written and directed a number of plays for Off-Broadway theater. He is also a psychologist who has written books on child development.

    Eva Mekler is a former actress who has performed both On- and Off-Broadway. She is also a novelist, and has published books about American and British acting training.

    Schulman and Mekler's previous scenes-for-actors collaborative anthologies include Great Scenes and Monologues for Actors.