Shakespeare's Other Women

By Scott Kaiser

Director: Scott Kaiser
Scenic Designer: Josephine Noel-Veatch
Costume Designer: Rikki Condos
Lighting Designer: Michael Stanfill
Projection Designer: Andrew Youngblood
Sound Designer: Reilly Schrader-Dee

Notes from the Writer/Director:

“What’s a good Shakespeare monologue for women? One that isn’t overdone at auditions?”

O, that I had a dollar for every time a young actress asked me that question!

The problem is, of course, that Shakespeare wrote a limited number of good speeches for women and they’re all wildly overdone. You’re never going to astonish a director with a speech they’ve never heard, because they’ve heard them all. Hundreds of times.

And while it’s true that directors are looking for a unique interpretation of a speech, let’s face it, it’s a handicap. Because directors get tired. And their ears get numb. And they stop listening. Especially after a long day of sitting behind a table.

If you’re a man, there are heaps of great speeches in the canon to choose from. There are princes and drunkards, scholars and clowns, soldiers and lovers of every age, disposition, and intelligence. But for a woman in search of a Shakespeare monologue, not so much.

What’s an aspiring young actress to do?

Shakespeare’s Other Women began as an attempt to address this ongoing dilemma—to provide young actresses with fresh possibilities when looking for a good Shakespeare monologue.

To accomplish this, I scoured the canon and asked: what are the great speeches that Shakespeare might have written for young women, but didn’t? Then I set out to pen them myself—not in contemporary language, but the way the Bard himself might have composed them, using his vocabulary, his metrical art, and his rhetorical flair.

Here, you’ll find the results—an anthology of 36 brand new Shakespearean speeches for women. I offer them here as a gift to all the strong, intelligent, fearless young actresses out there searching for a good Shakespearean monologue to showcase their talents.

I hope you’ll find them useful!

—Scott Kaiser