Born to be Wide
by Alan David Perkins
Copyright © 1991
Though he appears content, Greg Newton, an overweight man in his thirties,
has difficulty with the people in his life and must not only identify his
own coping mechanisms, but every one else must see that they all have their
own coping mechanisms and that Greg is no better or worse than anyone else.
Through a series of fantasies, including a game show, a greek chorus,
surgery, a sword fight and scenes out of Frankenstein, we feel Greg's
frustration and anger regarding their gaining acceptance for his size.
GREG NEWTON - Male, mid 30's. Large (275+ lbs.) Quick-witted and charming.
AMBER - Female, mid 30's. Works with Greg at Gordon's Music Shop. As
quick-witted as Greg.
GORDON - Male, mid to late 40's. Owner of Gordon's Music Shop. Condescending
MINDY NEWTON - Female, late 30's-early 40's. Greg's older sister. Motherly.
SAM NEWTON - Male, late 30's. Greg's older brother (but younger than Mindy).
A true bastard.
HERSCHEL NEWTON - Male, late 60's-mid 70's. Greg's father. Second generation
Eastern European Urban Jewish.
90 - 100 minutes.
The play is setless, save for a large box in the center of the stage and a
few portable chairs. There are many props and the action can take place in
different parts of the theater.
The play is in one continuous act.
My synopsis really doesn't do the play it's due justice. There's a lot to
say here, and it's done in a real open kind of way. Each actor plays a
number of characters through Greg's fantasies. There are lots and lots of
I'll be the first one to admit that I'm fat (no, I really am). Many will
argue the fact with me, but I've been pretty hefty my whole life, and I've
suffered a lot of discrimination as a result. Face it, if someone has a
drinking or drug problem, you can't spot it visually as much as someone with
an eating disorder. Being overweight has become such a taboo that people
instinctively look away. Drugs and alcohol and AIDS are terrible problems
that effect many, many people. Fat is something that effects YOU. It all
hits too close to home.
I also address the question of what makes a disorder. Greg's disorder is
a symptom of a larger ill. But those who feed the ill can't see where it all
comes from. And, what's worse, is that once they begin to recognize where
Greg's disorder originates from, they see their own disorders.
I'll get off my soap box now.
This was the first play where I tried to open up the boundaries of the
stage and not think of it as one place, one room or one set. The central box
is used as a cabinet, table, etc., and functions as the centerpiece for any
place the actors need it to be. An old friend used to tell me (and I'm
grossly paraphrasing here), "If you limit your action to sets, you
might as well write a screenplay". He was right. My goal was to make
this play THEATRICAL.
CONTACTING THE PLAYWRIGHT:
The entire script of
Born to be Wide is available upon request from
the playwright. No production
of this play can take place without permission from the playwright.