Summary: A hearing between two people reveals the state of them both.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: approximately 5 minutes
(note: either part can be either gender)
(Setting: Room with one desk in middle of stage facing audience, and two chairs, one behind the desk and the other at one end of the desk.)
(MR. ROBERTS walks in with a folder and sits in chair behind desk. He spends a moment getting some papers out of the folder. Then he puts a pen on the desk. MISS LEWIS walks partly into the room.)
MR. ROBERTS: (standing) Please, Miss Lewis, have a seat. (Motions to chair at end of desk. Chair is angled partly to him and partly to audience. MISS LEWIS sits.) In case you've forgotten, my name is Jim Roberts. (he sits)
As you know, this is your second hearing, the first being… (he looks through some papers and takes one and reads from it) … back on January 5th (note: make this date a few months back from your current date).
At that time it was determined that you would be seen by a psychiatrist. Remember, Miss Lewis, (looking at her) you are not on trial. You've done nothing against the law. The court, however, was concerned that certain of your behaviors could injure yourself or even others. That's why they appointed me to help with the hearings. You do remember and understand all this. Right? (pause- MISS LEWIS nods slightly; all this time she has been looking at him intently)
And I want to commend you for keeping all your appointments with the psychiatrist.
Now… (looking and finding another paper) I have the psychiatrist's report. (pause- he looks slightly uncomfortable)
In layman's terms, Miss Lewis, it is his opinion that you exhibit certain characteristics associated with schizophrenia, and some paranoia. It is his recommendation that you receive six weeks of care and further evaluation at an appropriate facility. (He pauses, then looks at her)
That's what I will be recommending to the court. (MISS LEWIS just looks at him; he finally starts writing a report of their hearing)
MISS LEWIS: Mr. Roberts, do you believe in God?
MR. ROBERTS: (not looking up; still writing) Not really.
MISS LEWIS: Then how do you do it?
MR. ROBERTS: (stops writing and looks up at her) How do I do what?
MISS LEWIS: How do you live without going mad or getting so depressed that you want to kill yourself?
MR. ROBERTS: Why would I do that?
MISS LEWIS: If you don't believe in God, then where did the mountains and the trees and the planets come from? Where did the atoms and molecules come from? Where did we come from, and what will happen to us when we die?
MR. ROBERTS: I don't know.
MISS LEWIS: Well, I know I have problems, but I know how we got here, and I know where I am going after this life. So I repeat: How do you do it?
MR. ROBERTS: (starting to get slightly agitated) Well, I try to be as good a person as I can be. That way, if there is a heaven, that ought to get me there.
MISS LEWIS: But how good is good enough? You're just hoping. You don't have any reason for why you think heaven works like that. How can you not wake up at night in a cold sweat? Paralyzed with fear about dying and what might happen to you after you die?
MR. ROBERTS: (now visibly agitated; he gets up and begins stuffing all the papers into the folder) I really don't like having these kinds of conversations. I will, however, be honest and say that I have thought at times about what we've been talking about, and since I have no answers… (he pauses, stops fiddling with the folder, and looks at MISS LEWIS) …I try not to think about it. (he walks out of the room)
MISS LEWIS: (watches him leave; then rises and slowly exits, saying to herself:)
And they say I'm crazy. (slight emphasis on "I'm")
© Copyright Bob Denison, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.