A Robot Father

By Gwyneth Bedford

Summary

The Mad Professor just can't program enough features into his creation for it to take the place of a real dad.

Characters

Mad Prof type - speaks with a fake german accent.
Robot
Kids.

Script

Prof: Roll up, Roll up, Ladies and gentlemen, boys und girls, catz und dogs,  und goldfish und budgies, come and see the amazing invention of Professor E. Centric. I have designed and built the worldís finest robot which can be programmed to meet your every need.  It can be your servant, your friend, your bodyguard  - in fact anything you want him to be! Let me demonstrate his amazing features.
(ROBOT MOVES MECHANICALLY ACROSS THE STAGE AND SHAKES HANDS WITH PROFESSOR. TOUCHES HIS TOES AND DOES SOME OTHER  ACTIONS)
 Do I have a volunteer who will help me to demonstrate my invention?
Kids: Me, me, me etc.
Prof: Ok, you - small person.  Vat do you vant the robot to be?  Your servant - he will keep your room tidy, or your chauffeur - he will take you wherever you need to go, or your friend?
Kid: 1. Er, how about a Dad, make him act like a Dad.
Kids: Yeah, great idea.
Prof: OK Boyz and girlz, Vat qualities will I need to programme in?
Kid 2: Heís got to be good at hugging.
Kids: Yes, really good at hugging (JUST GENERAL AGREEMENT).
Prof: OK, hugging, letís try that.
(PROF MEDDLES WITH ROBOT AND THEN THE ROBOT ADVANCES AWKWARDLY TOWARDS CHILD AND HUGS THEM SO TIGHT WITH LEGS OFF THE GROUND AND THEN DROPS THEM )
Kid 2: That was awful.
Prof: Hmm, well I can adjust that, Vat else?
Kid 3: Heís got to be fun.
Kid  4: Heís got to be kind
Kid 1: Help me with my homework.
Kid 2: Buy me lollies.
Kid 3: Heís got to love me even when Iím naughty.
Kid 4: Heís got to buy my mum flowers.
Kid 1:  Good at telling stories.
Kid 2: Pick me up from school and be at all my soccer games.
Kid 3: Do funny voices.
Prof: Wait, wait, stop I canít keep up - are you sure he has to do ALL those things?
Kid 4: Yes,  and thereís more.  Heís got to be good at rough and tumble.
Kid 1: And piggy back rides.
Kid 2: And bury my goldfish when they die.
Kid 3: Heís got to be able to fix stuff.
Kid 4: Cook Curries.
Kid 1: And do all the barbeques.
Prof: WAIT A MINUITE!  I THINK ITíS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A ROBOT TO DO ALL THESE THINGS.  I THINK YOU ARE BEING UNREALISTIC. No one can do all these things  - no one could be so multi-talented,  such sensitivity, so many skills - Bah you have unrealistic ideas. No one could possibly be like this.
Kids: Well my dad is! And mine.  And mine etc etc
Kid 1: Come on, letís go and find our dads and have a real hug.
Kid 2: (Pulling out broken toy) Heís going to mend this for me.
Kid 3: (pulling out dead goldfish ) Heís going to bury Goldie and buy me a new goldfish.
Kid 4: Our Dads rock.
 KIDS RUN OFF STAGE.
Prof: Itís incredible, that a human being is more effective than my marvellous invention. (Big sigh)  Oh well, itís back to the drawing board.
EXIT PROF AND THE ROBOT.
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© Gwyneth Bedford. August 2001, all rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: ukbedfords@xtra.co.nz