WHILE YOU WERE AWAY – A play by the Fall 2015 Documentary Theatre Class (RCHUM 334)
Scene #2: “Waiting” written by Caleb Glover
The setting is minimal. Connor Johnson, age 18, stands downstage left. Robert Johnson, age 63,
stands downstage right. Both face the audience. Connor is the grandson of Robert.
CONNOR: It was so cold.
ROBERT: It was so cold.
CONNOR: As I sat in my cell at the police station.
ROBERT: As I walked outside to answer that call.
CONNOR & ROBERT: Nothing could have prepared me for that.
CONNOR: I had never been arrested before.
ROBERT: I had never thought that something like this could happen to him.
CONNOR & ROBERT: This was completely unexpected.
CONNOR: The first time I tried making that call, no one answered.
ROBERT: I remember seeing the voicemail later that night.
CONNOR: They said I could try again in 10 minutes.
ROBERT: That voicemail was left at six o’clock. I answered the phone at eight.
CONNOR & ROBERT: Two hours.
CONNOR: That’s how long they really made me wait.
ROBERT: I stepped outside.
CONNOR: When they finally let me try to make the call again, my grandfather answered the phone.
ROBERT: I said hello, and asked who was speaking, as if this call was the same as any other. And it
was, before I heard Connor’s voice.
CONNOR: The first word out of my mouth was
CONNOR & ROBERT: Help.
ROBERT: That’s what he said. I could hear the fear in his voice.
CONNOR: I tried my best to articulate. I really did. But the words just couldn’t come out right.
ROBERT: He seemed panicked. I didn’t understand a thing he said until I picked up the word
CONNOR & ROBERT: Jail.
CONNOR: That was as close as I got to an explanation.
ROBERT: I think I nearly dropped the phone.
CONNOR: There was silence on the other end.
Connor sits at the edge of the stage. Robert turns towards Connor.
ROBERT: I’m coming to get you.
CONNOR: I’m sorry.
Robert places a hand on Connor’s shoulder.
ROBERT: Yeah, I know.