Born to be Wide
by Alan David Perkins
Copyright © 1991


Full-length comedy/drama.


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.

Click here for an excerpt in PDF format.


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 and slick.
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 props.

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.


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.