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Audition Postings and Monologue Collections

Audition material for Plays, Shows and Musical Theatre at the Toronto Reference Library, 5th Floor

October 6, 2015 | Wendy | Comments (10)

We have audition material for upcoming plays and shows that you can use at the Arts Department, 5th floor of Toronto Reference Library (the list is updated regularly).  


** Attention Auditioners! Current audition listings have been moved to a new blog where you can sign up to receive instant email notification of new postings. The listings below are no longer being updated. Please check out the new Audition Listings blog.**



New Auditions:




Know of an upcoming audition

Tell us in person, call the 5th floor Arts Desk at 416-393-7157, or email us at Want to leave your script here so you can refer actors to us?  We do that too.                


Toronto Reference Library has an extensive collection of monologues for all your audition needs! Come to the Arts Department on the 5th floor to sample some...

Monologues for Women

Monologues for Men

Canadian Monologues

Multicultural and LGBT gay/lesbian monologues


Audition items are for use in the library only and on first come first served basis.  There are sometimes copies at other branches that you can borrow or reserve.  We do have photocopying - but you'll need a copy card or blue or white library card - remember to add money at the Main 1st floor information desk. We are on the 5th floor - Arts Department desk - Toronto Reference Library -  thank you and knock'm dead.

Audition for Trojan Women @ Alumnae Theatre

December 6, 2011 | Bill V. | Comments (1)

Alumnae Theatre is in rehearsals for The Trojan Women - adapted by Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwen - and they need two more women for the Chorus.  Auditions are this coming Wednesday December 7 between 1 and 6 pm.  They are seeking two non-union female actors of any age/any ethnicity to be part of the Chorus.  You'll need a short, 2-3 minute, classical monologue and one song to sing a capella.  For more details see their blog - good luck !


Trojan Women by Gwendolyn MacEwen

On Stage with "The Penelopiad" - Performing Arts Theatre Series Fall 2011

December 3, 2011 | Bill V. | Comments (0)

"Now that I'm dead I know everything" - so begins The Penelopiad and how mysteriously powerful is that phrase?   Please join us for a free program on Monday December 5, from 7-8 pm, and hear guest speaker  Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre, talk about the play "The Penelopiad" written by Margaret Atwood.

This retelling by Atwood of the Greek myth is available in both English and French, Greek, as well as a play version, audiobook and downloadable ebook.




The National Arts Centre did a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2007-2008 and did a useful study guide that is available online.



On-stage             On-stage             On-stage

This is the last in our program on current Toronto theatre - On Stage Performing Arts Theatre Series - six lectures / six theatres.  They are free of charge in the Toronto Reference Library - Beeton Auditorium.

  • “The Normal Heart” hear guest speaker Joel Greenberg, Director and Artistic Director, Studio 180 Theatre on Monday, October 3, 7 - 8 pm.
  • "Ghosts”  hear guest speaker Paula Wing, Associate Artist, Soulpepper Theatre Company  on Monday, October 24, 7 - 8 pm.
  •  “The Children's Republic”  hear guest speaker Hannah Moscovitch, Playwright-in-Residence, Tarragon Theatre on Monday November 7, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “Red” hear guest speaker Natasha Mytnowych,  Associate Director of Programming, Canadian Stage  on Monday, November 14, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “Topdog/Underdog” hear guest speaker Philip Akin, Director and Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Company on Monday, November 28, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “The Penelopiad”  hear guest speaker: Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director, Nightwood Theatre on Monday, December 5, 7 - 8 pm.










Did you know the Performing Arts Department at the Toronto Reference Library also had:



Monologues for teens and youth @ Toronto Public Libary

April 4, 2011 | Irene G. | Comments (0)

Are you a teen with an audition?  Are you a teacher needing monologue ideas for young student actors?

It can be tough finding monologues for teens but the Performing Arts Department at the Toronto Reference Library can help.  Here are a few suggestions:


Actor's choice monologues for teens Actor's choice: Monologues for teens:

Features both modern and historical pieces  with realistic and candid dialogue giving teens the opportunity to use strong voices.  Also, nearly every monologue can be found at the Playscripts' website where nearly the entire play can be read for free.






Millennium monologs  95 contemporary characterizations for young actors Millennium monologs : 95 contemporary characterizations for young actors:

Organized by themes such as “hope and longing”, “fun and fantasy” and “doubt and despair”.  The introduction contains advice about overcoming stage fright and audition etiquette aimed at young actors.






Audition speeches for actors 16+ Audition Speeches for young actors 16+ :

Over 40 pieces that highlight recently produced plays.  The introduction contains useful information for teens about how to audition and advice on attending drama schools.







Perhaps you are looking for something Canadian?  Try these !


 Acting out scenes and monologues from Theatre Direct productions for youthActing out: Scenes and monologues from Theatre Direct productions for youth:

Honest and challenging work that engages social and personal issues relevant to teens. This book contains a selection of pieces from Theatre Direct’s teen drama productions over the last 30 years in Ontario.







Most plays will contain a few monologues.  Here are some Canadian play collections that have great monologues...


Things that go bump. Volume 2, Plays for young audiencesThings that go bump vols. 1 & 2:

Vol.1 contains recent Canadian plays which have toured schools across Canada.   Also included are interviews with the playwrights discussing the themes of each play.  Vol. 2 specializes in plays for younger audiences.






Festival voices plays written by students and teachers for the Sears Ontario Drama Festival Festival voices: plays written by students and teachers for the Sears Ontario Drama Festival:

Original plays featuring some of the best works created for the Sears Student Drama Festival over the last ten years.  Some of these plays contain unique monologues not found elsewhere.






Naked at school three plays for teens Naked at school: Three plays for teens:

Three plays dealing with issues such as pregnancy, alcohol abuse, suicide and sex using subversive wit and candid dialogue. 








One person shows are a great resource for monologues.   Remember to pick a piece that has a clear beginning, middle, and end and that fits within the time limits for your audition. Here is a popular Canadian example:


Shape of a girl Shape of a girl:

This one woman show deals with the murder of Reena Virk by school-aged bullies in 1997 in B.C.  This play has toured nationally and internationally in schools and theatres.


There are many study guides available for teachers and students exploring the themes in this play.  Here’s one created by Tarragon Theatre.




Here is a great book filled with audition tips for young actors.

 The complete audition book for young actors a comprehensive guide to winning by enhancing acting skillsThe complete audition book for young actors: A comprehensive guide to winning by enhancing acting skills:

Advice on all sorts of audition situations and one of the only audition skills "how-to" books geared towards young actors.







Here is a great Canadian resource for teachers (and students) looking for tips about teaching and learning successful monologue techniques.


Acting alone a drama teacher's monologue survival kit Acting alone: A drama teacher's monologue survival kit: 

Useful for planning a monologue unit with your class, preparing students for an audition, or teaching character development, movement, voice, writing and directing using monologues.  There is also information on how to teach students to write their own monologues.






There are many other excellent monologue books so make sure to check out the monologue collection on the 5th floor Performing Arts Dept of the Toronto Reference Library Quick Reference section (at the top of the stairs) by the 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' poster.


Why not look at some of our earlier blog posts on?
monologues for men

monologues for women
diverse monologues
Canadian monologues


Lastly, did you know the Performing Arts Department of the Toronto Reference Library has an online audition board with current audition listings and materials to read at the Library ?










Audition script for "Yellow Face" by David Hwang - now available to read at the Toronto Reference Library

December 1, 2010 | Irene G. | Comments (0)

The play "Yellow Face" by the award-winning American playwright David Henry Hwang is on audition for Hart House Theatre.  The script is now available to read at the Performing Arts Desk on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library. Auditions will be held on December 1st and 2nd, 2010, at Hart House. Callbacks are on Sunday, December 5.



Yellow Face

If you have a Toronto Public Library card, you can also access this play online through our research databases at . Just enter your library card number and PIN when prompted. The complete script of "Yellow Face" is reprinted in American Theatre, April 2008, p59.


Audition items are for use in the library only and on first come first served basis. There are sometimes copies at other branches that you can borrow or reserve. We do have photocopiers - but you'll need a copy card or a library card. Please remember to add money at the information desk on the main floor.

For a full list of our current materials for auditions, please check out our online auditions board.



Monologues for Women

September 30, 2010 | Wendy | Comments (2)


Are you a woman with an audition coming up?  Check out the Performing Arts monologue collection!  Here are a few of my favourites... 

Actor's choice:  monologues for women:  this collection is great because the audition pieces are current and fresh. And at  playscripts' website you can find an almost complete copy of the play itself.

Looking for Canadian monologues? She speaks:  monologues for women offers a collection that is 'volcanic, raw, deeply funny and utterly unique' (from Judith Thompson's introduction).

And then there is  Audition speeches for women, useful not only for the monologues but also for the section about the audition process itself. 


click here to reserve copies to borrow from other branches   click here to reserve copies to borrow from other branches    click here to reserve copies to borrow from other branches  

For those auditioning for a period piece, here are two excellent volumes from the Classical monologue series.  Organized chronologically, the monologues are taken from the greatest playwrights of all time, including Sophocles, Marlowe, Moliere, Wilde, Schiller, Voltaire and many more.

Classical monologues.  Volume 3, women, from Aeschylus to Racine

Classical monologues. Volume 4, women, from the Restoration to Bernard Shaw.

sorry we have no copies to borrow    sorry we have no copies to borrow

And then (of course!) let's not forget Shakespeare....

Do you automatically look for books with 'complete' in the title?  Then Shakespeare for one: women: the complete monologues and audition pieces delivers the goods.

But maybe you want to zero in on a specific selection.  For women:  pocket monologues from Shakespeare brings together 56 monologues from Shakespeare's greatest female characters, each with an engaging in-depth description that establishes the character's intent and place in the scene.

And if your taste runs to the overlooked, Alternative Shakespeare:  auditions for women offers monologues from lesser known plays. This work, too, gives descriptions of scene and character, as well as explanations for mystifying words, phrases and references.

 sorry we have no copies to borrow   sorry we have no copies to borrow   sorry we have no copies to borrow

You'll find the monologue collection on the 5th floor in the Performing Arts quick reference section (at the top of the stairs) by the poster of 'Cat on a hot tin roof'.

One more thing....

If you're eager to browse a few really good monologues right now (and you're between the ages of 18 and 28), check out  Audition Speeches put together by the Drama Department at Bishop's University and available on their website. 







A Molière celebration / Célébrons Molière!

May 12, 2010 | Wendy | Comments (0)

Aimez-vous Molière?  This week Toronto Masque Theatre will unveil a production exploring Molière's life and work through music, theatre and dance. A Molière Celebration will run from May 12-15 in the Al Green Theatre at Bloor and Spadina. Tickets at or at 416-410-4561.

Dance and incidental music by Lully and Charpentier, both masters of French baroque opera, will add zest to excerpts in English and French from Moliere's Le malade imaginaire and Le bourgeois gentilhomme

Lully Comédies-BalletsLe Roi danse CD - listen at the Toronto Reference Library

The great French dramatist (1622-1673) was a favourite at the court of King Louis XIV, and he is still a hot ticket. In 2008 Molière was  the subject of an exciting play by Mexican playwright Sabina Berman that enjoyed a successful run at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.  In London Martin Crimp has scored a mega-hit with the revival of his "stinging, zinging" adaptation of Molière's Le Misanthrope. 

Do you need a crash course in French baroque music or drama? The Performing Arts and Languages Centre  has plays by Molière in both French and English, as well as scores and recordings of operas and incidental music by Lully and Charpentier.  Don't miss Lully's beautiful opera on DVD  Cadmus & Hermione

Moliere four plays Le bourgeois gentilhommeLully studies

Marc-Antoine Charpentier 

by Cessac


Charpentier maladeBallet lully



Kurt Weill and his haunting song " The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife "

April 28, 2010 | Bill V. | Comments (5)

Recently someone asked for the score of a Kurt Weill song, " The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife ".   While lyrics are easy to find using basic Google or other online internet based searches, sheet music and piano vocal scores are harder to find online.  This is where the 40,000 music scores in the Performing Arts Department can often help in conjunction with our online catalogue and the department's Song Index card catalogue.

Kurt Weill on stage  Kurt Weill an illustrated life  The Days grow short : the life and music of Kurt Weill

When I did a search in the catalogue for "The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife" and Weill only one record shows up (did you know we still have about 17,000 records and also several record players to listen to LPs at the Toronto Reference Library?).

A CD by Teresa Stratas also comes up if you enter the German title "Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib".   When you are searching for song titles by Kurt Weill, who wrote originally in German, it sometimes helps to search the German title as well as any variations of the English title, eg. "The Ballad of the Nazi Soldier's Wife".

Blog photo Teresa Stratas

Not able to find a score by searching the Library's catalogue I turned to the in house Song Index that is available only at the Performing Arts Department of the Toronto Reference Library. Searching under the English title no works came up.

   Song index

But searching under the German song title there was a reference to the song score in the book The Unknown Kurt Weill - although the lyrics are only in German.  The contents of this book are not available through the online library catalogue so the only way to access it is to use the Song Index.

There are many versions of this song - I hope you find one you enjoy.

Stella Adler & Acting Methods and Yiddish Theatre

March 23, 2010 | Irene G. | Comments (0)

It may be my imagination but when I saw Jack McFarland's acting teacher Zandra Zoggin for first time on Will and Grace my thoughts went to Stella Adler.  The mannerisms, the voice, the body language - were the writers doing an homage to the great Stella Adler ?  Was the McFarland Method a sly jab at the Method Acting of Lee Strasberg ?


Stella Adler was one of the great acting teachers of 20th century. Unlike many others, she actually studied with Constantin Stanislavski himself.  She wrote a small number of books, there's also one compiled of her teachings and a video Stella Adler Awake and Dream!

  Adler on Ibsen   Art of acting 

Adler The Technique of Acting - copies you can borrow

Stella Adler was born into a family with deep acting roots. Her parents, Sara and Jacob Adler, were two of the greatest performers within American Yiddish Theatre.  The Toronto Reference Library has an extensive theatre collection with many books on Yiddish Theatre.

Messiahs of 1933 How American Yiddish theatre survived adversity through satireVagabond stars


You can search the catalogue using any keywords "yiddish theatre" or looking in subject keyword for "theater yiddish" or "theater jewish".  There are also extensive online databases of magazine and journal articles available through the Library's website from home or in the any branch library.

The Stanislavski System and Method Acting

January 21, 2010 | Irene G. | Comments (0)

It's ironic how Constantin Stanislavski, likely the most influential 20th century acting teacher, was forced to hide his chosen profession from his wealthy family due to the shame associated with actors and the theatre in 19th century Tsarist Russia.  

Stanislavski (1833-1938) lived during an exceptionally turbulent period of  Russian history. It was also a time of great technological change including the introduction of electricity and both silent and talking films, all of which impacted acting styles.  

click here for an introduction to Stanislavski

As both a director and actor at the Moscow Art Theatre he created his "System" that later developed into Method Acting.  He specialized in productions of Chekov, Ibsen and later directed other Russian plays.

click here for copy of this book at the Toronto Refererce Library

Stanislavski's wrote an autobiography, My Life in Art.

click here to reserve copies of My Life in Art  

He also wrote three books on his teaching methods: 

  click here to reserve a copy of An actor prepares   click here to reserve copies of Building a character   click here to reserve a copy of Creating a role  

Using the stanislavksi system   Stanislavski and the Actor - benedetti   Stanislavski and training of actors

Stanislavski directly influenced Method Acting, first popularized by the Group Theatre in New York City in the 1930s.  It was under the Actors' Studio, with Elia Kazan and then Lee Strasberg, that Stanislavski's System became "The Method".

Method Acting contributed to the great performances of Marlon Brando, the works of director Elia Kazan, and stage and film productions of the plays of Tennesse Williams.

Actors studio   Training of the American ActorStrasberg by Lorrie hall


Many other teachers including Uta Hagen and Stella Adler were also greatly influenced by Stanislavski and modified his teachings to create their own systems and methods.


The library's blog devoted to the discovery of diverse artistic, music and cultural works in the library and Toronto.