At rise: VLADMIR LENIN, 47, enters. He’s short, but menacing. Behind him is an image of a Hammer and Sickle. He’s greeted by ROARING applause.
The Tsar has abdicated his crown.
The cheers continue.
Today, we rebuild. We will create a worker’s paradise, and soon, Russia will be the envy of all the world!
The cheers fade away.
We know it’s near Christmas from the music that plays in the distance. Enter OLGA, twenty-two, and her younger sisters, TATIANA, twenty, MARIA, eighteen, and ANASTASIA, sixteen.
All are bundled up to protect themselves from the cold, but their clothes are tattered. A fire crackles. They’re lost in thought.
A Bolshevik GUARD watches them. Anastasia looks at the guard. They make eye contact, and she sticks her tongue out at him.
I hope Mama and Papa never wake up from their nap.
Anastasia, you shouldn’t say that.
Why not? I hate them.
One day, this will be over. We’ll live in England in the countryside.
Maria looks at the guard, and smiles at him. She turns away, blushing.
I’ll tell you later.
Olga hugs her arms to her chest, trying to stay warm.
I heard they’re going to let us have real meat for Christmas.
The girls all smile at the thought.
A brief moment of silence hangs in the air. For a moment, they listen to the wind.
Do you think we’ll ever go back to Petrograd?
I don’t know.
Just then, the Guard catches their attention.
The girls nod.
The girls enter to find their mother ALEXANDRA knitting. She eyes them, but they don’t say a word. They are watched by the same Guard.
How was your nap, mama?
The beds here are harder than wood.
Alexandra gives Anastasia, Maria, and Tatiana a look.
Girls, go find your brother.
All exit except Alexandra and Olga.
I thought I’d make Alexei a new scarf. It gets so cold here.
He’s not a child anymore, mama.
You’re all children, darling.
What did we ever do to make them hate us so?
Olga opens her mouth but says nothing.
They’ll send us to England, won’t they? As soon as it’s safe.
Your father and I are sure of it.
Just then, NICHOLAS enters, standing. Looking tired.
Was it cold outside?
Well, I suppose this your first Siberian winter.
Olga smiles tiredly.
He’s with the girls. I told them to be ready for dinner.
Did your mother and I ever tell you about the year we first met? This was before you.
Refresh my memory.
As Nicholas tells the story, Alexandra can’t help but smile.
When I first saw your mother, I fell madly in love with her. But she turned me down when I first asked her to marry me.
What made you change your mind, mama?
Your father was persistent.
I’d like to be married.
So you shall, darling.
Alexandra, Nicholas and their eldest daughter share a smile. Just then, Olga notices the guard seems to have been listening to their conversation.
Perhaps you’d like to marry me.
The Guard looks away. Olga stands up.
I’m going to find my siblings.