This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Another awkward silence: A dramatic reading for congregations

This post contains a script written and performed by Jessica Schrock Ringenberg at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio. It was written with “a spin and a nod to Jay Reiss’ ‘Awkward Silence.'” Download the script to perform in your own congregation. 

(Setting: Dining room table and chairs. Menus. Jessica and Sue enter opposite sides of the stage.)

 Jessica: I am so excited. Today I’m going to see my best friend since childhood.

Sue: Today I get to see my soulmate!

Jessica: We’ve been through everything together.

Sue: Grade school.

Jessica: Junior high.

Sue: High school.

Jessica and Sue: JUNIOR COLLEGE!

Jessica: She’s not just my best friend, she’s more like my sister…

Sue: We haven’t seen each other in years!

Jessica: It’s been years, but we are so close that we always pick right up where we left off!

Sue: You know when you’re with that person and it’s just natural? We think the same things…

Jessica: …believe the same way…

Sue: …have the same values…

Jessica: …finish each other’s sentences!

Jessica and Sue: It’s scary how alike we are.

(Jessica sits down first at table. Sue comes in moments later. There is a warm embrace!)


Jessica: SUE!

Jessica and Sue: Oh, I’ve missed you!

Sue: I remark on how good she looks!

Jessica: I tell her how she hasn’t aged a year!

Sue: I tell her I love her outfit!

Jessica and Sue: Have you lost weight? (Laughter)

 Sue: We laugh because it’s just like old times.

Jessica: So much like old times, we still…

Jessica and Sue: …finish each other’s sentences.

Sue: We laugh!

Jessica: So much laughter!

Sue: I ask her about her job.

Jessica: I remark on how much her children have grown.

Jessica and Sue: We laugh at how much we are still so much alike.

Jessica: (Looking at her watch) We’ve already been here for two hours…

 Sue: …and it feels like only five minutes.

Jessica: I lean in and say something really witty and wise.

Sue: I lean in and respond in a hushed tone.

Jessica: The conversation is turning serious.

Sue: I think how grateful I am to have someone just like me as a friend.

Jessica: We are feeling so comfortable again with each other and so I say, “How about the presidential election?”

Sue: I respond, “I know can you believe it.”

Jessica: I remark on how important voting is.

Sue: Again, I agree with everything she says.

Jessica: We discuss the importance of values.

Sue: We completely agree on the need for healthy families, good economy and education.

Jessica and Sue: We are both opposed to war.

Sue: Then I say, Well you know how I vote…

(Said at the same time.) Sue: REPUBLICAN. Jessica: DEMOCRAT.

 Sue: Awkward silence.

Jessica: I am embarrassed…and shocked.

Sue: I’m shocked and try to quickly move back to the topic of values.

Jessica: I think about how hard it is to listen to her talk values when I know what side she’s on.

Sue: Suddenly I feel like she doubts that I truly have values.

Jessica and Sue: I feel judged.

(Awkward silence)

 Jessica: Awkward silence.

Sue: Suddenly I don’t feel safe in this conversation.

Jessica: I feel like I have to put up my guard.

Sue: This is not as much fun anymore.

(Awkward silence)

 Jessica and Sue: Awkward silence.

Jessica: I try to say something funny.

Sue: I give a half-hearted laugh.

Jessica: I wonder how my soul-sister could be so wrong about things?

Sue: I wonder where she went wrong in her values?

Jessica: I can’t believe how much she has changed.

Jessica and Sue: Can we even be friends anymore?

Jessica: I say I probably should let her go.

Sue: I agree.

(Jessica and Sue stand up and give each other half-hearted side hugs and return to their original place opposite sides of the stage.)

 Jessica: I leave in sadness wondering why things have to be this way.

Sue: I liked it better when we shared all of the same values, hopes and dreams. I wonder…

Jessica: I wonder…

Jessica and Sue: …at what point did any of them change?

 (Both pause and then exit.)

Image from Free Stock Images. 

Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg

Jessica is on the pastoral team at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio where she lives with her husband Shem Read More

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