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           a monologue by Janet S. Tiger

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This page contains work by Janet S. Tiger. 
       to reach her - please e-mail tigerteam1@gmail.com or 858-274-9678
        The following is an excerpt from                    

                                HESITATION(c)March 19, 2009
By  Janet S. Tiger   www/PlaysByJanetSTiger.com

                              (Notes - this has just won Honorable Mention
                                    in the 2009 Scripteaser One-Act Contest
Soon, it will be possible to hear an actor reading this monologue.)         

This is designed for one actor – but it can be done with two.   To differentiate the two characters when they are played by a solo actor, suggest using a visual cue – a different hat, jacket, something easy to change as you turn, because that is how fast the change must be.   If done with two actors, the second actor will be behind the first and as the first turns, the second comes forward, almost like a revolving door.

(The young man comes onstage, starts by looking down at the floor, then slowly up, almost as if to look at himself in a mirror)

I always thought of myself as an honest guy.  When I was a kid, there used to be this ice cream truck that would come around every day, and all the people on the beach would circle it like it was the last chance for food before the big cattle drive!   I used to watch these people push and shove.   Most days, I couldn’t afford the ice cream, but one day, I had the quarter, and I was waiting my turn and there was this old guy and you could see he was never gonna get that ice cream – he was too small, and too weak.

So, I went over to him and asked if he wanted me to go up and get him the ice cream.   I’ll never forget his face, he was so grateful.  He gave me the quarter and I pushed my way into the crowd.  Even though I was just a kid, I could do it.  And when I got there, there was only one ice cream left and I put out my quarter and the ice cream guy – who liked me – gave me the last one.

And I took it back to the old guy and he tried to give me a tip, but I said ‘no, that’s okay.’   And even though I didn’t get any ice cream that day, I really felt good.

It’s easy being honest when it’s a quarter  - or when someone drops a fiver and you pick it up and say, ‘hey, buddy’ and you give it back and they flash you a smile.

But what if you have a chance for a lot of money….then it’s different…..

Mrs. Davisen was a really crotchety old lady, but to me, she was nice.   I think because I always had my counter very neat and she liked neat.   And I never yelled at her because she couldn’t hear, I would just lean closer, like my great-aunt Molly taught me to do cause she was pretty deaf.

And she started to bring me stuff for the tellers – like really awful fruitcake at Christmas.   And some red, white and blue licorice on the 4th of July.

Every week she would come in with deposits – checks, and once every month,  she would take out cash to pay everyone who worked for her.

I would put the cash into envelopes she would bring, and I don’t know, it was a busy day, and she was rushing and I don’t know, one of the envelopes with $5000 was in her hands and I said goodbye and she walked out and when I turned back, the envelope was stuck in the side of the window.

(He illustrates by reaching out his hand)

and it was enough money to help my brother.   He’d lost his job and he had two kids….and it was enough to make a difference!

And it wasn’t the same as someone dropping a fiver – she had plenty of money….and so I hesitated….

(At this, he turns around and he is himself – only different.   Hat off, jacket collar up, whatever it needs to see that he is a changed man.)

And everyone know that he who hesitates….is lost.   So I made the decision….(he looks around)   …the video cameras don’t cover that angle, and I just….(shows us)  ….scooped up the envelope with the other trash –I like a clean counter!……and it was mine……

(As if to a bank manager)  Oh, no,  Ms. Wharburg, I counted very carefully and she had all the envelopes before she left – you can check on the cameras…..(to the audience)   and they did, and they went through my bank account.   But I was smart.  I had to be careful because I’d never done anything like this before, and I knew that I couldn’t give it to my brother right away….so I didn’t….I gave him some money to keep him going,

and Mrs. Davisen kept coming in and ….it was difficult, and I don’t know if she suspected me ever, but I was different….

(he turns around and is the other ‘him’)

…and I hesitated for just a moment – all I remember thinking – my whole life could be different.   That moment is frozen in my head… and then….I called the bank manager, and we ran out after her and showed her the envelope and she didn’t react much, said thank you..…and I got a reward – 50 bucks…..and she brought me my own fruitcake…

I wondered how things would have been if I had just kept my mouth closed.  Kept the money.  My brother and his family wouldn’t have been kicked out of his apartment, and had to come live with me…

But in some ways, that wasn’t so bad.   I got to know my nieces and nephews, and while their parents were working, I helped them with their homework.   And I liked telling them the story about Mrs. Davisen.   They thought I was a hero, not an idiot.   When I saw it through their eyes, I was a good guy.

I never told them about that moment of hesitation.

    (he turns and is the other ‘him’)

I helped my brother, and I always wondered if he knew what I did.  Never told them about Mrs. Davisen and the missing money, but he used to look at me different, I think.   I don’t know.   That moment changed my whole life.......

............(Running time for entire piece - 10-13 minutes
Because this is part of THE MONOLOGUE ZONE, a published piece with an ISBN, it is eligible for all contests requiring the monologue be a part of a published work readily available for all contestants.)

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                            by Janet S. Tiger

I've seen many actors do thousands of monologues - some of them mine.  I've learned a few things - and I have a great deal of admiration for all actors.  (A special thank you to DJ Sullivan, who gives a fantastic acting class - her home was the location of my first reading!)

1. Know your strengths - if you have a great memory, you can choose a longer piece that might have a greater punch for the judges/audiences.  If you do a wonderful New York accent, try a piece that shows off this ability.  Or, if you know the part you're auditioning for is athletic, find a monologue that has motion as well as dialogue.

2.  Read a lot of different monologues for different ages - if you find you can do a great senior citizen, this can expand the range of monologues you can try.

3.  Try less known writers - the judges and audiences have heard Hamlet/Goodbye Girl/ Neil Simon/David Mamet a million times.  If you find a playwright that hasn't had work done in your community, you have a better chance of keeping the audience interest.

4.  Test out monologues on people who aren't related to you - the mailperson, strangers at a rec/senior center - so that you get visual and verbal feedback on different monologues.

This website has some monologues that might not have been seen or heard in your school.

Most of my work is on computer, so I can e-mail to you as soon as I receive a confirmation from PayPal.

 Also, I offer two free monologues - one male, one female - to give you an idea of what my writing style is like.  If you're interested in a free monologue, please contact me at tigerteam1@gmail.com.

 I guarantee you'll like my work - or I'll give you another monologue free. 

Break a leg!

   Below are one-acts,
   if you want to see my full Monologue page,
   click on the Monologue button at the top of this page.

Official PayPal Seal This web site is under construction, but if you need to contact Janet S. Tiger immediately, please e-mail tigerteam1@gmail.com or call 858-274-9678.

These are some of my one-acts, for monologues, please click the Monologue button at the top of the page.

- Note - if your school doesn't use PayPay and you need something immediately, please call 858-274-9678 or e-mail tigerteam1@gmail.com.   (I can send an invoice if necessary once your school status is approved.)


    Running time – 15 minutes            $6.00/script
    Set – pawnshop 1940’s                                        
    2 characters   1 man – 40s
        1 woman – 25-35   

    A desperate woman brings a cherished family heirloom to a pawnbroker to try and get money to rescue her father from Nazi-occupied Austria.  Will she get the money?  And at what cost?  Fast-paced with a surprising end.

This play has won numerous awards including DFAS National 1-Act Playwriting contest –(First Place)and Gassner Memorial One-Act Playwriting Competition (Honorable Mention.)

THE AFFIDAVIT is published in ONE-ACT PLAYS FOR ACTING STUDENTS edited by Norman A. Bert  (Meriwether Publishing, Colorado)

The productions are too numerous to list at this point, but include New York (Off-off Broadway, New Zealand, Canada, Austria…..if you have had a production in another country and want it listed here, please e-mail tigerteam1@mail.com


Running time – 25 minutes            $8.00/script
    Set – living room, semi-rundown             
    2 characters   1 man – early 20s
        1 woman – late 60s

An old blind woman puts a classified ad in the paper and a young man answers the ad - but is he there to buy or to rip her off?  Quick, funny and a good showcase piece for actors.

Winner  DFAS National One-act Playwriting Contest 3rd Place
                 (HBJ, Canada -8th grade textbook)

Since its first publication, BLIND WOMAN'S BLUFF has had numerous productions.  If you would like your production included in the upcoming page 'where in the world have I seen this play?', please e-mail the details to tigerteam1@gmail.com


Running time – 15 minutes            $8.00/script
    Set –   minimal - chair, table, lamp
                Lighting and sound effects very important                            
    Character - The duchess - in her late 80s, very British

A duchess recounts how a curse changed her life.  Touching- a tour de force for an older actress.

    Winner - DFAS National 1-Act Playwriting Contest 2nd Place
    Produced - Five Flags Theatre, Dubuque, Iowa
    Televised - Public Access Cable Channel Iowa



Running time – 15 minutes            $10.00/script
    Set –  kitchen, living area  middle-class New York late 1970s                             
    2 characters    2  women, both 60s, both with Polish accent

Finalist - Fritz Blitz Contest for One-Act Plays, San Diego, CA

Two women, lifelong friends, face Yom Kippur (the Jewish New Year also known as the Day of Atonement) with different ideas.  Great showpiece for two older actresses. 


Running time – 35 minutes            $10.00/script
     Time- 1966  Late summer evening of a very hot day, almost dusk  
     Set – Sitting room in a gracoious house in a rural Atlanta suburb                              
     Characters - 2 men, 2 women     all with Southern accents
The death of his father - and an unusual request in the will - leads a young man to deal with major issues in his life, and his family, in a very Southern finale.
 Strong language

Award -Fritz Blitz of New Plays
Produced-   The Seventh Annual Fritz Blitz of New Plays, San Diego, CA

This play is part of the TRANSFUSION trilogy.  (The other is OH, SUSANNAH)  There is a discount if all three plays in the trilogy are purchased at the same time.


Running time – 45 minutes            $10.00/script
    Set –    Living room as talk show set                   
    Characters -   2 men, 2 women

     Strong language.

Finalist - 2nd Annual Robert R. Lehan Playwriting Awards,
                                           Westfield State College, Westfield, MASS
Welcome to the Hornet's Nest - a radio talk show that can be very interesting - and dangerous.  When Audrey Hornet hosts a political guest that used to be an old lover, anything can happen.  And it does.  Riveting suspense that build to an explosive climax - keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.


Running time – 15 minutes            $10.00/script
    Set – Midwest middle-class living room                   
    2 characters   1 man – Russian accent, 70s
        1 woman- American, 70s

This play was completed with funds from a COMBO-NEA Grant.

Produced - Vintage Theatre, San Diego, CA  1993

Susannah returns from her husband's funeral to find a suitor at her doorstep.

–   This play is part of the TRANSFUSION trilogy.  (The other is OH, SUSANNAH)There is a discount if all three plays in the trilogy are purchased at the same time.


Running time – 15 minutes            $10.00/script
    Set –  Bus stop                     
    Characters -  2 men, 2 women

This play was commissioned by the Aaronson Foundation.



Running time – 45 minutes            $10.00/script
    Set –        modern living room                      
    Characters -  5 men –30-s-50-s
                             4 women – 20-40's
Lead female needs British accent

A well-known playwright is found dead at the reading of his newest play - which of his 'friends' didn't like his latest literary offering? 

Mystery with a DEATHTRAP twist - fast and funny with some good chances for stylist characterizations and staging.

***Janet S. Tiger's first full production!   Southwestern College Chula Vista, CA
****Special note
This play was produced by Scripteasers, the well-known  San Diego Writers-Actors group that has helped new playwrights for over 50 years!  Janet S. Tiger had her first play read at Scripteasers in ....well, many years ago.  It was very.......long.  But the Scripteasers helped her improve her writing, and most of her plays had first readings at one of their meetings.  SCRIPTEASE  was written as a 'thank you' , and it was produced by Scripteasers in May 1981.  For more information, you can visit the Scripteasers website www scripteasers . org


Running time – 45 minutes            $10.00/script
    Set –  semi-rundown apartment                  
    Characters -  2 men, 50s, 60s
Winner - 1986 West Coast Ensemble Festival of One-Acts
Produced - Playbill Theatre, Los Angeles, CA  1986 (extended run)

   Strong language


THE WAITING ROOM (also available in full-length)
Running time –    45 minutes        $10.00/script
    Set – living room/dining room European, circa 1938
    Characters   2 men –25-50
      3 women – 25-75

A Jewish family in Vienna, Austria, just before World War II, is faced with crucial decisions about taking the opportunity to leave - or staying behind with an aged and ill relative.  Basic human questions about the value of life and importance of family are confronted.  Poignant drama.

This play has won many awards, including the Gassner Memorial and the DFAS National .  THE WAITING ROOM  has been produced numerous times, from San Diego to New York.  For more details, please e-mail tigerteam1@gmail.com

 For more details, click on PRODUCTIONS button at the top of the page

Plays by Janet S. Tiger have been performed throughout the world including United States, Canada, England, Austria and New Zealand.  If your group has performed a play by Janet S. Tiger and would like to have it listed on the PRODUCTIONS page which will include international productions, please e-mail details of the production to

Unusual facts about some of Janet S. Tiger's productions-
1st Reading - UGANDA  at a Scripteasers meeting in....a long time ago.  (See info about the one-act SCRIPTEASE.)

1st production - SCRIPTEASE (one-act) in 1981 was directed by William Virchis

Janet S. Tiger's plays have won awards five times in the DFAS National One-Act Playwriting Contest -

THE WAITING ROOM -2nd place 1982
THE AFFIDAVIT - 1st place 1983
BLIND WOMAN'S BLUFF - 3rd place 1984
SAVE A PLACE FOR ME - Honorable Mention 1989
CURSE OF THE DUCHESS-  2nd place 1990

The first three prizes were won by Janet Schechter (the 'S' in Janet S. Tiger), the others after she married Stanley Tiger.  Janet traveled to Dubuque, Iowa to watch  the productions in 1982, 1983 and 1984, and made many friends that she still is in touch with today.  For more info on the DFAS Contest, google Dubuque Fine Arts Players One-Act Playwriting Contest