Martha Patterson

Martha is a much-produced and often-published playwright and essayist whose scripts have been performed in 19 state and eight countries.  Her work has been published by the Sheepshead Review, Silver Birch Press, Pioneer Drama Service book, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, and the Afro-Hispanic Review.  She has a B.A. from Mt. Holyoke and an M.A. from Emerson College, and lives in Boston, Massachusetts, the USA.


Leading Lady, A Monologue




ALICE - 25, a struggling actress who is recalling an experience in college theatre to her best friend


SCENE: A living room with a sofa.  There are two beers on the coffee table.

TIME: The present





     (She is seated on the sofa.)

So, I was in this play in college – I was a virgin in real life, right? – I was only 18, and it was a period play, and I was the leading lady, and there I am in my Victorian lace dress, and this guy was playing my husband, and right there on stage during a performance, he was supposed to kiss me, only suddenly it was his tongue in my mouth!  Yuck!


Look, Anne - we’re best friends, so I can tell you how naïve I was then, right?  Go ahead, drink that beer.  I gave it to you so we could talk.  About stuff.  I mean, I’m “kind of” an actress now, I go on auditions all the time, I live in the city, I’m wised up a little, and I’m not a virgin anymore, but I just want to tell you how ugly this experience was!  I felt like choking him!


(She stands up and mimics wrapping her hands around someone’s neck and strangling him.)


Anyway, he’s got his tongue practically down my throat on stage, and I was disgusted.  Nobody’d ever done that to me before.  Plus, it was inappropriate doing it in front of an audience, so I couldn’t even shove him away from me.  I should’ve told him off afterwards.  But I didn’t want to be “square.”  And the next weekend he asked me to go to New York City with him on the bus to see a Broadway show, and I probably should’ve turned him down, but again I didn’t want to be old-fashioned, and I wanted to see this show, and I think he was hoping something would “happen” between us when we got back to the college that night.  Because the whole trip he was acting like we were a couple.  Like we were already hooked up.  But I made a fast exit that night when we got back – told him thanks for the day in New York, I liked the show, but I was going to bed.


Wrong word to use!  He tried to force his way into the front door of the dormitory.  But I was smart – I blocked him, slammed the door on his foot.  Wish I’d kicked him in the nuts.  But I’ve always been “nice,” right?


     (She mimics kicking a guy in the balls.)


Take that, you creep!


I don’t know why a guy like that would assume an 18-year-old was easy.  Maybe some girls were at school – I’d hardly know, and you’ve always told me I’m so innocent and unsuspecting – but that wasn’t my idea of romance.  And ever since then, whenever I have to kiss a man onstage, I’m afraid the guy will do that again.  Penetrate me with his tongue.  And I never want them to.  Because, like the guy sang in that movie Casablanca, “A kiss is just a kiss.”  Two lips meeting.  Not his tongue wiggling around in my mouth, not his saliva mixing with mine, not his expectations of something bigger happening between us.  I mean, I didn’t become an actress ‘cuz I wanted to get laid with all my leading men!  Can you imagine?  Ick!!


     (She picks up one of the beers and takes a big swig from it, and lights go down.)