Squaresville Monologues Analysis
Using the 12 Dramatic Elements
Squaresville is an internet web series about teenagers “growing up in the suburbs with nothing to do.” The series consists of short five minute episodes dealing with common teen issues such as feeling misunderstood that come with growing up, and they also have included a monologue series. The monologues consist of confessions, frustrations, and the private inner thoughts of each character.To get back into the swing of theatre, I thought it would be a good idea to take a few of my favorites in the monologue series and analyze how they relate to the 12 Dramatic Elements
The Smell of Spray Paint with David Ryan Speer as Wayne
Speer starts spread out on the steps he is sitting on, using expansive gestures with his hands. However, as he gets more serious, he shrinks in stature, like he doesn’t want to be seen as he’s confessing his feelings.
The mood starts out comical, with Wayne joking about his tagging, but then it shifts to a more somber tone as we learn why Wayne vandalizes buildings. We see that Wayne truly is a character with feelings, and not the careless rebel he wants to appear to be. The setting reflects Speer’s character’s mood, with the dim lighting and harsh concrete surrounding the character.
Speer’s character often uses the phrase “You know?” at the end of his sentence, like he is embarrassed by revealing his feelings and he is unsure of how to express himself. He also throws out phrases like “I guess” and “or whatever”, further emphasizing that expressing himself is not something he does often.
Speer starts out quickly, talking excitedly. However, as his character gets angry, his talking starts to speed up, following Wayne’s emotional state. When his character starts to discuss his parents, and as his character’s feelings become more private, the action of the piece slows down, with Speer’s character making less jokes and drawing the audience’s attention in.
The contrast in Speer’s rhythm throughout the monologue emphasizes to the audience that Wayne attempts to act tough and pretend like nothing gets to him, but as he slows down and begins to talk truthfully about his parents we can see how his character longs for his parents’ attention. The contrast in Speer’s use of space emphasizes how what Wayne is saying is private, and he doesn’t reveal this side of himself very often.
Zelda's Counsel with Mary Kate Wiles as Zelda
Wiles starts out quickly as she talks about a time in Zelda’s life that Zelda feels nostalgia for, then her talking speed slows down as she begins talking about her private feelings about how nothing in life is ever as great as you expect it’s going to be. This has the effect of mimicking the message of Zelda’s monologue: that you can be excited for things, but they are never as great as you think they will be.
As Zelda reveals that she discovered that the animals were different every year, and that the thing she had grown up believing wasn’t true, Wiles takes several pauses in between her sentences. This happens especially after she talks about Beverly’s freckle, trailing off as she says “It was definitely something I would have remembered.” This creates tension, as the audience begins the expect what Zelda is about to say about how the animals changed every year. Another pause that creates tension is when Wiles pauses after she says "It's kind of like looking back on when you found out that Santa isn't real." She pauses for a few seconds after saying this, leaving the audience to wonder what she's thinking.
Contrast is used is Wiles’ changes in rhythm throughout the piece. Wiles speaks excitedly about her nostalgia for the petting zoo, but more slowly while talking about her feelings. One area where contrast is really apparent is at 2:52, where Wiles starts speaking quickly again, as if she is trying to brush aside her disappointment with life, but her disappointment becomes evident as she begins to slow down again.
Wiles' character often uses informal speech like in the phrase "The animals were just going to straight up die", as if Zelda doesn't want to reveal how much the disappointments she's faced have affected her.
The mood of this piece is one of nostalgia and disappointment. The mood in this piece is created in the contrast in rhythm throughout Wile’s performance. We see Wiles speak quickly, then slow down as she expresses her disappointment.
Lighten Up, Weirdo with William Horwich as Jeremy
Horwich's timing slows as he expresses his annoyance, but speeds up as his anger grows, making it seem as if Jeremy is in a rush to defend his actions. This is demonstrated in the line "Weirdos deserve a little bit more understanding!", which Horwich says incredibly quickly.
Horwich tends to lean forward as he tries to make a point during Jeremy's monologue. However, he leans back in his seat as he talks confidently about Jeremy's time spent with his brother at college, expressing Jeremy's confidence on the matter.
Horwich's focus stays steady throughout the entire piece, even as he imitates his character's bullies, staying true to the idea that his character is making a confession. Even as he divulges off onto his many tangents, he stays true to his character.
Jeremy's fedoras in this piece serve as a symbol for the so-called "tip of the weirdo iceberg". Even though Jeremy's fedoras are considered strange, they serve as a reminder to always understand someone's circumstances before you judge them, and there is always someone out there with a goofier hat or a quirkier trait.