This was written for a 24-hour one-act festival. We were
assigned three actors (2M, 1F), and the surprise topic was
A simple set resembling the inside of an apartment. There is
a door at stage R. The scene opens completely dark, and from
behind the door we hear...
Here we are.
You're sure nobody's home?
Yeah, I've been watching this place
for weeks. Nobody is ever home.
Betty and Dash enter stage R door, searching with
flashlights. They are dressed in typical black burglar
It's completely empty!
Mother of dick, you're right. The
place has been completely cleaned
out. Take a better look around,
I'll check upstairs. [He goes
upstage L and exits.]
Betty continues to search the stage via flashlight. Her light
eventually finds a pair of boots up against a wall - slowly
travels up to reveal a motionless figure. Betty screams and
[Quickly enters from upstage L]
Betty, what's wrong?
Betty points her flashlight at the motionless figure. Dash
screams even louder, drops his flashlight, and runs for the
Let's get out of here.
Wait. It's not moving.
Well, I am. Come on.
Don't be such a baby. Let's take a
Betty, get back here!
Betty disregards Dash's plea and walks towards the figure.
Okay then, good luck with this.
I'll meet you back at the hideout.
[Waits for her to respond]
I don't think it's even real. [She
touches its face.]
What do you mean?
It feels weird - kind of leathery.
[She pushes the figure, but it
doesn't move] It's really solid
Dash walks towards them and runs his flashlight beam up and
down the figure's body.
Hold on, I know what this is.
Some kind of party toy?
Hardly. Turn on the light.
Dash walks to the wall, and the stage lights come up. We see
the robot, dressed in typical Russian garments, including a
rabbit fur hat.
This is a robot, probably here to
guard the house.
[He looks around the empty stage]
Well, he's doing a hell of a job.
Do you have any idea how much a
robot like this is worth? Let's
carry him out - grab hold of his
The two try to move him, but can't.
Uh, next plan?
Maybe we can activate him, and
he'll walk out on his own.
Okay. So how do we turn him on?
They investigate the robot more closely.
The power switch is probably
somewhere on his body.
She pulls on the robot's ear, and nothing happens. Dash
tweaks its nose, and still nothing.
Maybe it's like a newborn baby, and
is just waiting for a smack on the
Dash spanks the robot and it suddenly opens its mouth,
unleashing an ear-piercing screech.
Well, that did something.
Just turn it off before someone
Dash tries spanking it again, but the screech continues. He
tries slapping it in other places. Nothing. Betty joins him,
and the two frantically poke and slap and yank and punch and
kick the robot in a panicky attempt to shut him off. Nothing
is working. Eventually, the lights fade, the screech fades,
and the actors freeze in their position.
With the lights completely out, cue all stagehands to shuffle
back and forth across the stage, some dragging huge props
like couches and boxes. Include lots of murmuring and sharp,
barely audible stage instructions. After about 8-10 seconds,
the lights come back up, and the screech resumes. All three
actors are in their exact position as before. The two
unfreeze, and resume their frantic assault on the robot.
Then, without warning, the robot suddenly stops screeching.
[Sarcastic] Let's do that again!
Shut up. We have to think of
Maybe it's time we cut our losses
and just get out of here.
Suddenly, the robot begins to move. He walks upstage and
looks out the window. After a moment Betty follows him.
[Turns to her and says in a
classically indifferent, yet
strangely confident Russian accent]
I am Russian Robot.
Russian Robot, huh? Well, that
explains the hat.
Russian Robot, we are your friends.
The robot doesn't respond.
And, because we're friends, we want
to take a trip with you.
I wish you to shut the mouth.
Betty and Dash look surprised.
Um, wow. Okay.
Look pal, there's no need to be
Russian Robot do what please
Dash starts to move towards the robot, but Betty holds him
Okay, we're getting nowhere. We
have to win his trust somehow.
What do you have in mind?
Suddenly, the robot begins emitting loud pings, and plop
What's wrong, Russian Robot?
System… crash… functions…
[Sarcastic] What… you… want… us…
Dash, don't be a jerk. [She turns
to the robot] Tell us what to do
Russian Robot. We want to help you.
The robot raises his arms up in a V, and rotates from his
hips. He opens his mouth in a fixed oval, and begins emitting
a cacophony of sounds ranging from bugles, sirens, and goose
Quick Dash, think of something.
Uh, sure. I'll go boil some water.
Must… restart… primary… systems.
How? What do we do?
Reset button located in… [Voice
winds down] pants.
The robot's body goes limp, and he puts his head back and his
Really? Okay. Dash, you want to
take care of this?
I've told you so many times, Betty.
I'm never going to be comfortable
with that, so quit asking.
This isn't the same thing, dumbass.
I'll just do it myself.
Betty begins to reach for the robot's belt, when Dash
suddenly grabs her hand.
Wait. [He takes a close look at the
allegedly kaput robot] I think he's
messing with us.
[motionless for a moment] Ha ha ha.
Yes, Russian Robot make big funny.
That was a terrible trick, Russian
Robot. I was really worried. Why
would you do that?
I am to pass time.
What are you talking about?
Dash, we have been here a long
time. The longer we stay, the
greater the chance of us getting
We aren't leaving here without him.
I thought you didn't care – cut our
Yeah, well that was before he got
A police siren is heard.
How did they know we were here?
Russian Robot is good at job.
You called the police?
Of course, I am security robot.
This is bad. Russian Robot, you
have to help us.
Russian Robot prefers nyet.
I loathe you, Russian Robot.
There is a knock at the door. From behind we hear…
Police, open up.
Oh my god! I can't go to prison.
You know what they'll do to face
like mine? [Puts hand to mouth] My
pretty little mouth!
Dash quickly exits through stage L door, and slams it behind
him. One second later, he bursts back through and quickly
covers the closed door with his body. A terrified expression
turns to glee as he walks toward the robot. There is another
knock at the door.
We're responding to a call. Please
So, robot, interesting project you
got going on in the other room.
Russian Robot knows from nothing.
Okay then, so I guess you won't
mind if I just invite our friends
outside to come in and have a
Invite the cops in? Are you crazy?
Don't worry. This is something
between the robot and me. So what's
it going to be?
Must calculate options.
Another loud knock.
This is your last warning. We're
The Robot slumps, and walks to the front door.
[Heavy sigh] I am Russian Robot. No
need for shooting.
The robot walks through the door and quickly closes it behind
him. From offstage, we hear him say…
People of enforcement. All is fine.
I run self-diagnostic, make big
While the robot is outside, talking to the police, Betty
God, I hope this works.
It better work, for his sake.
Why, what was in there? [She moves
toward the other room, but he
blocks the way]
Nightmares, Betty. Freaky robot
The robot re-enters, but now wears a cop's hat instead of a
rabbit fur hat.
Good night people of enforcement,
and thank you for promotion.
The robot closes the door, and looks at Betty and Dash.
Where did you get that hat?
People of enforcement give Russian
Robot hat and badge.
They deputized you? Unbelievable.
It doesn't matter. I'm just so
grateful, Russian Robot. I knew you
wouldn't turn us in.
He didn't do it for us.
I return to standby mode now.
The robot walks back to his original place, and stands as
still as before.
Not so fast, robot. Now that I know
about your little horror scene in
that room over there, I own you.
You're coming with us.
Russian Robot tired - stay instead.
Are you sure, buddy? Because I've
known robots that have been
dismantled for far less than what
you did in that room.
[Defeated] Okay, okay. Human win,
okay? Okay? Who cares? Okay?
Russian Robot just need one thing.
If you're looking for this, you can
forget it. [He pulls out a space
pistol from his pants] Yeah, I
found your Russian Ray Gun so don't
get any ideas. [Motions to the
front door] Now, let's go.
Ooohhh! [Storms out the front door
in full tantrum]
Jesus, is that Russian Ray Gun
I think so. It was burning my leg,
so I hope that means it's working.
Dash grabs Betty's hand and tries to direct it towards his
upper thigh. She yanks her hand from his grasp.
I'm not touching your leg, Dash.