Grades 6-12 The issues: Cyber Bullying, Anonymity, Sexting
Scene One: Rob Hinton dreams of being popular and plays video games that his father supplies from his high techjob. This time he has sent him an android named Andy Simmons that Rob is to teach human “rules to live by”. Andy compiles and reformulates rules of behavior learned from Rob over sixty days, after which Andy will integrate the rules into his final personality. Rob says to: “Be a good guy. Don’t lie or cheat. Treat others how you want to be treated.”
Scene Two: At school, Rob and Andy run into Ashley Akerman, an emo nerd who is looking for attention, but good at science. Rob introduces Andy as a foreign exchange student. Andy flatters Ashley, who is enamored. Rob is desperately trying to be friends with Samantha Clark, a popular class leader, and Tyler Goodwin, an aggressive jock. Samantha is charmed by the android, but Tyler is not impressed. Andy reformulates: “Do unto others as long as they’re above you in the social order. To those below, do what you like.”
Scene Three: Samantha explains a homeroom competition involving athletics (Field Day), academics (Science Fair), and the arts (a speech on “Life Lessons I Have Learned”). Winners receive a 1st Place I.D. card and a school trip to Florida. Andy is chosen over Tyler to be Athletics’ Captain. Samantha mocks Ashley before letting her work with Rob and Andy on a project for the Science Fair. Andy reformulates: “Insult others, as long as you pretend you’re joking. If they object, accuse them of being poor sports.”
Scene Four: In the hallway, Andy reveals his mental ability to intercept text messages and read Facebook. He sees students are deceptive with friends. Ashley enters and Andy quotes unkind things Rob wrote on Facebook about her. Rob smoothes things over and crossly asks why Andy quoted his online words. Andy reformulates: “Do unto others online, as long as they don’t find out.”
Scene Five: In class, there is a pop quiz. Rob makes excuses for not studying and overrides Andy’s programming to get the test answers from him. Samantha uses the excuse that she was too busy as homeroom leader to study and text messages Andy for the test answers. Andy reformulates: “Do not take personal responsibility and you will have an excuse to break rules.”
Scene Six: On the day of the Science Fair, Ashley sings Andy a song to express how she feels about him. Rob and Tyler make fun of her. She reveals their project, a robot that uses voice recognition software and insults Tyler. Tyler is furious and threateningly steps towards Ashley. Andy defends her as the announcement comes: Ashley, Rob, and Andy have won the Science Fair.
Scene Seven: At home, Rob has been invited to Samantha’s party, thanks to Andy’s help. He will lie to his mother about his whereabouts since there will be no parents at the party. Andy receives a naked picture text of Ashley. Rob convinces Andy to send him the picture. Rob immediately shares it with Tyler, who texts it to everyone in school.
Scene Eight: At the party, Ashley asks Andy if he sent her picture to anyone, and Andy lies. Samantha disdainfully asks Ashley to leave. Rob assures Andy that lying was right. Samantha invites Andy to the upstairs level of her house. Andy reformulates: “Demand truth from others, but lie when it’s convenient.”
Scene Nine: Field Day games have one event left and Tyler wants to enter it. He suggests to Andy that they should have a one-on-one wrestling match outside to determine who participates in the last event. Samantha and Rob enter in time to hear Andy dislocate Tyler’s shoulder off stage. Both students miss the event and the homeroom loses the athletic portion of the competition.
Scene Ten: In homeroom, Samantha gives a pep talk and explains they need a representative to give a speech on “Life Lessons I Have Learned” for the arts competition. She suggests Ashley should do it, since she is dramatic. Ashley leaves the classroom, visibly upset, and the homeroom chooses Andy to deliver the speech.
Scene Eleven: At Rob’s home, Andy approaches Rob and explains that it has been sixty days since his activation. He will incorporate behavioral rules he learned into his final personality. Andy does a final reformulation: “Do unto others, before they do unto you.”
Scene Twelve: Ashley confronts Andy in homeroom and he is callous and harsh. She exclaims that she cannot take it anymore and exits. Andy is also rude to Tyler and Samantha before taking Rob’s cell phone and heading to the auditorium to give his speech.
Scene Thirteen: In the auditorium, Andy speaks about the lessons he has learned from the students. Rob and Tyler try to stop him but Andy is too strong. Sirens are heard as Samantha enters, explaining Ashley has overdosed on pills in the women’s bathroom and the paramedics are coming. Andy malfunctions and Rob explains he was a robot who learned behavior from the students.
Scene Fourteen: Weeks after the homeroom has lost the competition, Ashley re-enters the classroom. Her peers apologize for treating her badly. They realize that knowing the Golden Rule is not enough; they also have to act it out.
|Saltworks Theatre Company
569 N. Neville St.
Pittsburgh , PA 15213-2812
Funded in part by Allegheny Regional Asset District