A Dish of Food
by Alan David Perkins
Copyright © 1992
Mary Lynn is young, beautiful and ambitions Artistic Director of a small
theater group. After producing and directing many plays, one finally gets
the interest of Roland Thomas, slightly bigger-time producer. He's ready to
take Mary's latest play to Off-Broadway. Mary has two problems. The first is
Duncan Ferguson, the author. Though a brilliant writer, he's reclusive and
uncooperative. The other problem is Jared Oglethorpe, the leading man and
editor. He bulldozes through each situation and takes no prisoners.
In order to get Duncan's cooperation, Mary and Jared hire the assistance
of one of their actresses, Lilly Sprinkle, to function as the proverbial
dish of food to get the cat out from under the sofa. They realize in order
to get Duncan to cooperate, he will need self-confidence. Duncan fears that
it's his lack of self-confidence that fuels his writing, and if he can't
write he'll kill himself.
MARY LYNN - Female, early 30's. Attractive, dynamic, articulate and
ROLAND THOMAS - Male, late 30's to early 40's. Stiff and also business-like.
JARED OGLETHORPE - Male, late 30's. Rugged, energetic, impeccable comic
timing, very obnoxious.
DUNCAN FERGUSON - Male, 30's. Withdrawn, insecure, needy.
LILLY SPRINKLE - Female, late 20's to early 30's. Offbeat good looks.
120 - 140 minutes.
The play takes place in many locations, and all can be very minimal.
Important places are Duncan's apartment, which is tiny and cluttered. Other
sets include a rehearsal stage, Roland's office, Mary's apartment and
The play is in two acts, which are divided into multiple scenes.
Imagine taking a photograph, then looking at the photograph and writing a
story around just what you see within that photograph. That's what happened
here. I had just come off of producing One Desperate Hour and was
pretty disgusted with everyone. I had also just finished studying up on
Rational Emotive Therapy, so I used some of that, too. Okay, the characters
are definitely fictional, but some are not entirely fictional. Yes, Duncan
is based on me, but I'm nowhere near that neurotic. I do, however,
understand Duncan, and I think we share many feelings and experiences.
Overall, this a sweet story and one I felt had to be told.
CONTACTING THE PLAYWRIGHT:
The entire script of
A Dish of Food is available upon request from
the playwright. No production
of this play can take place without permission from the playwright.