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Sunset Monologues / Extracts



Sunset, a 35 minute one-woman play by Martin Foreman, features a grandmother talking to her (unseen) husband in northern California at the end of the day. As the sun goes down she remembers their life together, from their first date up to the present day.


A good monologue for an older actress who can convey the ups and downs of long marriage and the turbulent emotions that come with motherhood.


Conditions of use


The monologue and extracts on this page may be used without charge for auditions and teaching only. They may not be used in any public performance, whether paid or unpaid, in any medium, without the written approval of the author.


If used in auditions or teaching, the author would appreciate being informed here.


To apply for performance rights for part or all of the play, contact the author here.

Californian Lives by Martin Foreman


one of three one-(wo)man plays in Californian Lives
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pp 39 - 40 Opening scene


Another fine evening, David. A beautiful sky. Pale, pale blue with clouds like cotton candy.


Remember when we first moved here? Every evening I'd come in here to watch the sun go down. The first few times you joined me. Then you said one sunset was like any other and you had better things to do. I probably did too. But it's an old woman's privilege to do what she wants, especially if what she wants is to do nothing at all. Besides, why else had we moved here, if not for evenings like these? So most times I'd sit by myself and watch the day end. Only the last few months have been different, you beside me, holding my hand as the light fades and the mountains disappear.


Do you remember the first time we held hands? The Goldrusher at Magic Mountain. Our first date. I'd asked you to take me there and you were not impressed. You were a young lawyer going places and sitting on some damn roller coaster wasn't one of them. But you took it in your stride. "Sure," you said and took me there.


That day was so hot. You were sweating and trying not to show it. Kids all around us screaming, but I didn't hear them. All I saw and heard was you, five foot ten, slim and handsome, quiet and polite. Pigheaded too, though it took me time to find that out. Anyhow, you waited till I was seated with my skirt tucked under me, then you got in, pulled down the safety bar and, without even asking, took my hand.
pp 46 - 48 admitting an affair


I started my own business. Not just as an agent, but buying, selling and renting too. I wanted to be as good as that first mistress of yours. I proved myself her equal in more ways than one. Robert was as good-looking as Rock Hudson in his Doris Day days. Unlike Rock Hudson, he was married. And unlike you, he could talk as well as listen.


I would call him when the office was empty. We would meet for lunch in Fremont or San Josť, then we'd go through the pretense of my showing him houses before checking into a motel. The first few times I returned home guilty, horrified that I was betraying you and the children. Then I saw, as years before you must have seen, that we can keep our emotions in separate compartments. In the evenings and at weekends there were you and the children. The days were for Robert.


We might have married, if we had both been single. He asked me once; we were both relieved when I said no. It ended soon after and I wondered about another affair. With someone different: a younger man or an artist; even a black man or foreigner. Of course they were fantasies. An African-American? Too many people would notice. A toy boy? He would have wanted too much or offered too little. Besides, by then you knew. An old letter from Robert at the back of a drawer.


You should have kept quiet. Because I would only confess to Robert when you confessed to your women. You denied it. Your voice rose. It was good to see you for once in your life expressing some emotion. Then Lisa came in. She was used to my anger, but not yours. You reassured her and put her back to bed. Tomorrow, we said; we'll talk about it then.
pp 50 - 51 death


It had to be Richard. The child we loved most. Who drifted from school to college, to politics, to protest, to drugs and despair. The boy with no friends who saw injustice everywhere. The young man who was always alone. I knew about the drugs long before you did. "They're like alcohol or tobacco, Mom; they're ok if you know what you're doing." The most passionate I ever heard him speak. What do you say? How do you reach out to a twenty-three year old when you're over fifty and you have no idea the life he leads? How could I have stopped him? What could I have done? I saw the hurt. I never understood where it came from, I could never put it right, but I could see it, I could feel it. And he died from it, David, he died, he died!




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