"Grounded" - A Great Source for Monologues for Females

From the play by George Brent

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The Pilot is "Grounded.". Stone

Grounded, a play by George Brent, provides monologue material for females in the late 20s to early 30s age range. In fact, the entire play is one 75-minute monologue delivered by one female character identified only as “The Pilot.”

The audience is her acting partner. She tells her story to us. It's the story of an F-16 fighter pilot--a passionate pilot--who loves flying and who loves the camaraderie of her fellow fighter pilots.

She begins her story explaining how much she loves “the blue.”  If nothing else, she says to explain her love of her work: “I have the blue.”

Then she tells the story of meeting an unusual guy at a bar. “Most guys don't like what I do,” she tells us. But this guy, his name is Eric, is different. They spend a passionate weekend together and when she returns to her work in the cockpit, she realizes that this is a man--the first man in her life--that she actually misses.

As time goes by, she notices that her pants are getting tighter, so she takes a pregnancy test. It's positive. She and Eric get married and their baby is born. The child is a daughter, as The Pilot knew right from the moment she that she found out she was pregnant. The three of them live a happy domestic life for a while.

But the pilot loves her work. She misses the sky--her  bright blue big beautiful sky. So she returns to work, looking forward to being one with her airplane once again.

Her commander however, has different plans for her. He explains that her new assignment will be to pilot U.A.V.s--Unmanned Air Vehicles. Drones.

"Grounded. It's a pilot nightmare."

She expresses disgust at being relegated to "The Chair Force," but she and her husband and child move to Las Vegas where she commutes daily through the desert to her post on the base--a chair in a dark air-conditioned trailer.

She takes us through her training. She will operate a drone that flies over another desert half a world away.

She becomes part of the team that provides protection to American troops by bombing enemies on the ground visible via video cameras attached to the belly of the drone. One press of a button by her thumb can and does kill human beings and destroy vehicles or anything else in the telescopic crosshairs on the screen in front of her.

She still a fighter pilot, but she goes home to her house in the suburbs, sleeps with her husband, kisses her child good night, takes her to daycare in the morning, and gets in her car to head to her job "driving to war like it's shift work."

"Every day they greet me home from the war."

The audience gets to witness how this extreme dichotomy of her existence takes its toll and because the activities of her day job are so classified, she cannot even share her stress with her husband. 

She begins to notice, and thus so does the audience, that what she does as "the eye in the sky" is nowadays a job that many others all around the world also do. The little black surveillance cameras are everywhere, looming above us and recording gray images of our movements.

"There is always a camera," she tells us. And she's right.

We witness the dull stress of her days. The pilot who so deeply loved the blue is sentenced to "a month of gray, of nothing" on the screen that has become her world.

But then, within all that gray on the screen, there's something. There's something that she, thousands and thousands of miles away, can destroy in seconds by depressing her thumb. This is not a video game that she is playing with the joystick that she controls. This is life and death.

Grounded deftly explores the consequences and anguishes of war conducted on the screen. It's a rich resource of multiple monologues that range from light to raunchy to informative to intense for female actors.