This I Believe: Selecting Just the Right Topic to Perform

This I believe

→ I believe all people should know how to use there, their, and they’re correctly.

→ I believe that smoking is bad.

→ I believe that manners never go out of style.

Greetings North High students! And to the rest of you: welcome to our This I Believe Monologue project whereby students will write a 3 – 5 minute monologue about something that illustrates their credo for life. The monologue must be backed up with a true, personal story. Because it’s a high school theatre class, students will perform their work with a group of 4 other other students. Think cool performance art piece with lights, movement and sound.

Now, I started this post with some incredibly valid beliefs…to me. Other people might go, yeah, hey thanks for the opinion, and then move on. When narrowing down the topic for your “This I Believe” monologue, you must remember that you will be performing your belief in front of God and everyone [perhaps in front of your current crush, or the principal and admin whom I will be inviting].

Here are some things to consider while narrowing down your topic:

  • Yes, we know it’s all about you and how you feel about XYZ topic, but you must consider your audience.
  • Make your selection about something you can tell a dynamite story. Boring story = boring monologue = bored audience members.
  • Make your topic be about something most people have some understanding or experience. Topics about friendship and family are universal. Topics about loving tarantulas, maybe not so much.
  • If your topic isn’t a universal one, like the one about loving tarantulas, be sure to have a terrific story to both back up your belief and woo your audience.
  • Some stories are way too personal to reveal onstage. We don’t want you or your audience to have to undergo years of therapy after performing/watching your monologue. If you wouldn’t want it up on your facebook page, it probably shouldn’t be up on our stage.
  • If your story still makes you cry, select another one to back up your belief, or switch belief statements. Watching a kid break down in tears on stage is not the intent of the project. Again, be mindful of your audience.
  • You are not persuading people to take action with your belief monologue. While theatre is a fantastic medium to seek social change, this monologue unit isn’t the place for it.

We will be posting more ideas for how to be your own playwright for our “This I Believe” Credo Project. Stay tuned!

What topic are you considering for your monologue? Weigh in below!

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Categories: Teachables

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17 replies

  1. Finding a topic for my credo was the hardest part of the entire project. I am so gald I preformed and everything went well.

  2. A lot of people did very touching and personal experiences for why they believe those things. It made more sense why they believed that thing.

    • I agree with Tanaya, I think their personal story made it touching and understanding for their belief

  3. The introductory activities for the credo project definitely prepared me for the upcoming events. Maybe we could start off less intimate off the bat for a smoother transition into the more powerful credos.

  4. I really loved the fact that we could do our monologues on anything that we truly believed in. Although it was hard to pick a topic when I felt so passionate about so many things. In the end I think that it came down to what I would prefer to hear about rather than what I would like to write about.

  5. In my short life i have learned that life is hard. You will always face a new challenge and obstacles. But you have to learn to overcome those things. That is why I believe that Life is Hard.

  6. @john I totally agree with this statement because it would be extremely awkward to have someone crying up on stage.

  7. This helps a lot because it tells us exactly what you want. I also like how you don’t want us choosing a very personal subject, so we don’t break down. So that’s a great thing you emphasized.

  8. I really like the examples of credos. They’re simple yet clever. I’m over thinking about what to present. I should probably stick to something that I do or don’t do every day.

  9. I was told that I am a perfectionist so I s’pose that’s why I’m having a difficult time being decisive on a credo/story. However, I’m still looking forward to this project insofar as it may unblock the writer’s block I’ve been leaning on…

    • Hey there Fata Morgana: I like your site! Pretty pix and even more dramatic and moving words. Nice job.

    • I understand where you’re coming from I’ve been told I’m a perfectionist as well and so I’m always coming up with things that i think will make my work better (at least in my terms).

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