Looks like you are using an old version of Internet Explorer - Please update your browser
Characters: Oda Grim, Avery, Young Prof, Robo
(Theme music beginning)
(Scene begins with stage lights low. Then ODA GRIM, holding a flashlight and carrying a backpack, enters from the rear of the auditorium and approaches the stage. Meanwhile, ROBO is standing motionless near AVERY’S lab desk.)
ODA GRIM: (She enters the stage.) So this is it. This is where it all happens. Where the illustrious Professor Henry Haas comes up with all his amazing inventions. (She begins to examine the lab.) Gizmos and gadgets everywhere. Ooo . . . and look at all the plaques. Must be nice, the only plaque I ever get is the kind that sticks to my teeth! (She reads some of the plaques.) “Invention Convention 2018 . . . 1st place.” (Then she looks at the next one.) “Invention Convention 2017 . . . 1st place.” (Then the next one.) “2016” . . . wow! First place every year. He’s even smarter than I thought!
(She walks a little farther and comes upon ROBO.)
ODA GRIM: And who do we have over here? A robot? Pleased to meet you, sir! The name is Oda Grim. Also known as “The Evil Oda Grim” (sfx). Perhaps you’ve heard of me. I’ve got a reputation for mischief. In fact, mayhem is my middle name. (She intentionally knocks something over.) Oops! See what I mean? (She gets an idea.) Hey . . . what do you say we have some fun! (She pretends to open his back to access his wires.) We’ll move this wire over here (evil snicker) . . . and this wire over there . . . and this wire up . . . here (evil snicker as she pretends to close his back). Sorry, I’m just a villain. I can’t help myself.
(Suddenly, the lights come up.)
ODA GRIM: Hey! I thought they were closed on Mondays (to the motionless ROBO, loud whisper). Well, I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve gotta hide! Oh . . . and uh . . . do me a favor and keep our little conversation to yourself, okay? Bye!
(ODA GRIM quickly looks for a place to hide and ends up inside the time machine. Then AVERY enters the stage talking on her cell phone.)
AVERY: School’s fine . . . except that I have a big paper due next week (pause). Thanks, I appreciate that (pause). I know. Well, I’m at work now, so I better go (pause). Okay . . . love you, too, Mom . . . bye.
(As AVERY puts on her lab coat, she notices the mess on the floor.)
AVERY: Hmm . . . I wonder how that happened. (She quickly cleans up the mess.) Oh, well . . . (then turns to ROBO). Okay, Mr. Robot, are you ready for your first test? Power on . . . (ROBO slowly raises his head). So far so good. Battery levels full. Now, let’s see how everything is working. Ready. Right arm up. (He raises his left arm.) No, right arm. (He lowers and then raises his left arm again.) Uh-oh. Okay down. Now, left arm up. (He raises his right arm.) What’s going on? I can’t believe this! (She grabs a screw driver and makes an adjustment.) There, let’s see if that fixed it. Okay, right arm up. (He raises his right leg.) Nope, made it worse (pause). I guess we’re going to have to open you up. But, don’t get discouraged. I’m sure it’s just a couple tweaks here and there. Then all you’ll need is a voice box and a really good name—something better than “Mr. Robot.” Hmm . . . what would be good? Hey, Computer?
COMPUTER 1: (pre-recorded sfx) Yes . . . how may I help you?
AVERY: What would be a good name for a robot?
COMPUTER 2: (pre-recorded sfx) A good name would be . . . (pause) . . . Fluffy.
AVERY: Fluffy? I said we’re naming a robot, not a cat. C’mon, we need a really cool name.
COMPUTER 3: (pre-recorded sfx) A really cool name would be Mephibosheth.
AVERY: Mephibosheth? You want to name our robot Mephibosheth? Are you serious?
COMPUTER 4: (pre-recorded sfx) I am a computer, I am always serious.
AVERY: I was hoping for something more along the lines of C3PO or R2D2.
COMPUTER 5: (pre-recorded sfx) Do not be silly. Those are not names, those are numbers.
AVERY: What? Of course they’re names! You should know that!
COMPUTER 6: (pre-recorded sfx) Mephibosheth is a cool name.
AVERY: Okay, well, I can see you’re not going to be any help. Just forget it.
COMPUTER 7: (pre-recorded sfx) But I am here to help you. That’s my purpose, my reason to exist.
AVERY: I said, forget it!
COMPUTER 8: (pre-recorded sfx) Well, you do not have to get snippy about it!
AVERY: Okay, okay, I’m sorry. Just whatever you do, don’t cry. You’ll short out your circuits again.
(AVERY goes back to work on ROBO.)
AVERY: (to herself) That is one sensitive computer.
COMPUTER 9: (pre-recorded sfx) I heard that.
(Then YOUNG PROF enters wearing a lab coat and carrying a briefcase. Intensely aware of his situation, he gathers his courage.)
YOUNG PROF: (very self-conscious) Good morning.
AVERY: (She looks up and notices a boy in a white lab coat.) Good morn—oh . . . uh . . . I’m sorry, but this area is restricted. It’s not part of the tour. (She quickly turns off ROBO, and his head goes back down.)
YOUNG PROF: You don’t recognize me, do you?
AVERY: Oh . . . uh, yeah, sure. You’re trying to look like the Professor, right? Well, it’s a cute costume, but, seriously, you need to get back to your group right away. This is no place for a child.
YOUNG PROF: But I’m not a child! And I’m not trying to look like the Professor. I am the Professor!
AVERY: (skeptical) Right, and I’m Cinderella.
YOUNG PROF: No, Avery! I’m not kidding. I really am Professor Haas!
AVERY: How do you know my name?
YOUNG PROF: That’s easy—because I’m you’re boss. I’m just a much younger version, that’s all.
AVERY: Oh, yeah? Well, I’m not buying it. Names are easy to come by.
YOUNG PROF: Listen, something went wrong in the lab last night, and here I am.
AVERY: Okay, if you’re really the Professor, then prove it!
YOUNG PROF: All right, let’s see. Your name is Avery Anne Thomas. You were born in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 25, 1994, and you graduated from Springdale High School with a 4.0 GPA.
AVERY: Keep going.
YOUNG PROF: Um, you’re left-handed, you like to eat with chopsticks, and you read 50 books a year.
AVERY: Aha! Caught you!
YOUNG PROF: What?
AVERY: It’s 52, not 50!
YOUNG PROF: Okay, 52 books a year. Close enough. Oh, you’re susceptible to brain freeze, so you never drink anything with ice in it, and you still play with dolls.
AVERY: Wow, it really is you, isn’t it!
YOUNG PROF: Oh, it’s me, all right!
AVERY: I can’t believe it! You’re like, 12 years old!
YOUNG PROF: I know! You can imagine my shock when I looked in the mirror!
AVERY: So what happened?
YOUNG PROF: I don’t exactly know.
AVERY: Well, can you change back to the way you were?
YOUNG PROF: I sure hope so. Because I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to everyone—especially my wife!
AVERY: She doesn’t know?
YOUNG PROF: Not yet. She’s in New York visiting her sister.
AVERY: That’s good.
YOUNG PROF: I just need to get back to the drawing board and see where I made my error. Time travel is SO complicated!
AVERY: Wait! Did you say time travel?
YOUNG PROF: Oops.
AVERY: That’s what this is—a time machine? (She looks at the time machine.)
YOUNG PROF: Shhhhh! Keep your voice down.
AVERY: (changes to a loud whisper) Hmm, so that’s why you’re here working by yourself every night.
YOUNG PROF: Correct.
AVERY: But why are you being so secretive about it?
YOUNG PROF: Because of what it is. Do you have any idea what would happen if a time machine got into the wrong hands? Someone who might use it for their own selfish purposes, like The Evil Oda Grim (sfx)?
AVERY: Well, no, I can’t say I’ve ever thought about it.
YOUNG PROF: Well, trust me, they could literally change the course of history!
AVERY: You really think she’d come here?
YOUNG PROF: You mean The Evil Oda Grim (sfx)? Probably not. Still, you’ve got to promise me that you’ll keep all this to yourself.
AVERY: You can trust me. I won’t say a word.
YOUNG PROF: And, whatever you do, don’t call it a “time machine.” Someone might hear you. Let’s just call it “The Machine.”
AVERY: All right, “The Machine.” (pause) So, may I, uh, look inside?
YOUNG PROF: Uh, sure, go ahead.
AVERY: (as she walks to the time machine) How’d you know I still play with dolls?
YOUNG PROF: I didn’t. That was a guess.
(As soon as AVERY opens the door to the Machine, she finds ODA GRIM with a feather duster and disguised as a janitor. She’s busy dusting with her back to the audience. Because she has headphones on, she doesn’t notice AVERY and YOUNG PROF. Puzzled, they look at each other, then ODA GRIM turns toward AVERY and continues to dust around her.)
AVERY: Excuse me!
(ODA GRIM just smiles at her as she continues to dust.)
AVERY: (louder this time) I said, EXCUSE ME!
(ODA GRIM stops dusting and lifts one side of her headphones.)
ODA GRIM: Did you say something?
AVERY: Yes! We’re just wondering who you are and what you’re doing here.
ODA GRIM: Oh, that’s easy. I’m Betty, your new janitor!
YOUNG PROF: New janitor?
ODA GRIM: Yes. My agency said you needed a janitor and so here I am! And you know what? I’m SO glad you called because, well, I hate to say it, but this place needs a thorough going over! It’s just filthy. That’s all there is to it.
AVERY: (to YOUNG PROF) Should I call Human Resources?
YOUNG PROF: No. I’m sure it’s okay. They know what they’re doing.
ODA GRIM: Oh, I’m probably bothering you, aren’t I? You’re here working, and I’m not paying any attention.
YOUNG PROF: So, you didn’t hear anything?
ODA GRIM: Oh, I heard something all right—Chopin’s Funeral March (pronounced “SHOW-pan”) Dun . . . Dun . . . Dun-Dun . . . Dun . . . Dun-Dun . . . Dun-Dun . . . Dun-Dun. Don’t you love that?! But I know. I shouldn’t be listening to music when I’m working.
YOUNG PROF: (relieved) Oh, no, that’s uh—that’s totally fine. You keep listening to your music.
ODA GRIM: Really?
AVERY: Yes, by all means.
ODA GRIM: Well, all right, if you say so (then to AVERY as she looks at YOUNG PROF). So, are the schools closed today?
AVERY: No. Why do you ask?
ODA GRIM: Well, I was just wondering why he’s not in school.
AVERY: (doesn’t know what to say) Uh, well . . .
ODA GRIM: Oh, that’s okay. It’s none of my business. Besides, I better get back to work or I might find myself out of a job!
(ODA GRIM exits the stage.)
AVERY: Well, that was interesting.
YOUNG PROF: I’ll say. Hey, let’s make sure to lock the lab when we leave. I don’t want any janitors in here, especially with “the Machine.” We can just do our own cleaning—(then, with a smile) or not!
AVERY: Ha! Sounds good. I’ll let her know next time I see her.
YOUNG PROF: Hmm, the thought of grade school at my age—can you imagine that?
AVERY: Don’t remind me. Of school, that is.
YOUNG PROF: Really? Why? I thought you liked your classes.
AVERY: They’re okay. It’s just my world history class. I have a paper due next week and I’ve got a long way to go on it.
YOUNG PROF: How long?
AVERY: Like, the whole way. I haven’t started yet.
YOUNG PROF: Probably because you’ve been spending all your time on the robot. I shouldn’t have given you such a big project.
AVERY: Oh, no, that’s not it. Besides, I’m almost finished with him.
YOUNG PROF: So what’s your topic?
AVERY: That’s the problem. I don’t have one. I’m supposed to write about an important person in history, but I can’t decide who that should be.
YOUNG PROF: Well, that’s easy (as he walks over to his desk and pulls a sheet of paper out of his Bible).
AVERY: It is?
YOUNG PROF: (he begins to read)
He was born in a small village, the child of a peasant woman.
He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.
Then, for three years he was a traveling preacher.
He never wrote a book,
Never held an office,
Never owned a home,
Never had a family,
Never went to college.
He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born.
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him.
His friends ran away; one denied him; another betrayed him.
He was turned over to his enemies and subjected to a mockery of a trial.
Then they nailed him to a cross between two thieves.
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothes, the only property he owned.
After he was pronounced dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed tomb.
Twenty centuries have come and gone and today he is the center of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man as powerfully as this one solitary life.
(Adapted from an essay by Dr. James Allan Francis © 1926.)
AVERY: Hmm, that was powerful. Jesus, right?
YOUNG PROF: Correct. And you want to know why he was so extraordinary? Because he wasn’t just a man. He’s also eternal God, second person of the Trinity, and Creator of everything. Fully God and fully man. They don’t get any more important than that.
AVERY: Wow, I guess I don’t know as much about Jesus as I thought I did. (Suddenly, AVERY’S watch alarm goes off [sfx].) Oh, man!
YOUNG PROF: Got a class?
AVERY: Yeah, and it starts in 15 minutes.
YOUNG PROF: That’s okay, you get going. We can talk later.
AVERY: Okay, thanks Professor. Boy, I sure hope you can fix the machine ‘cause this is so weird!
YOUNG PROF: Lord, thank you for the opportunity to share with Avery. This is just what I’ve been praying for. Please open her heart to understand the truth about who you are.
(Theme music ending)