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 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.
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.
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.