Bechdel Testing The Mono Box
The Mono Box is a London-based collaborative network who, amongst other fabulous things (running workshops, panels, and advice forums), own a collection of over 3000 plays which they regularly open for anyone who wants to browse their mighty shelves of scripts in search of monologues, duologues and general inspiration. If you haven't visited yet, get some of these dates in your diary to join in with some of their autumn events.
All of the plays in The Mono Box's ever-growing library are donated by industry professionals in response to the question, “If you could recommend one play to a young actor to read, what would it be?" - and many of them contain lovely handwritten messages of recommendation from their donor. It's a brilliantly encouraging thing to pick up a text you like the look of and find a note from a personal hero or theatre legend telling you why they love this play and which line, scene, or monologue is their favourite. As a browsing experience, this is a mega step up from impersonal bookshop or library browsing - and some of the plays they've gathered are less often available in libraries or shops. It's a vital resource for anyone without the disposable income to throw at ordering every play you've ever heard of - especially considering the sad recent closure of Samuel French's central London bookshop.
The geniuses at The Mono Box have devised a clever page-marking system for anyone seeking great monologues or duologues - so if you're browsing with purpose, whether you have an audition or showcase looming or just want to freshen up your repertoire, there are colour-coded tags in many of the scripts to help you find recommended scenes. This summer they've been taking this system further, diving in to look in more detail about the collection and explore the contents and contexts of the plays that have been donated so far.
This is where Bechdel Theatre come in!