A Dish of Food
by Alan David Perkins
Copyright © 1992


Full-length drama.


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.


Click here for an excerpt (first act) in PDF format.


MARY LYNN - Female, early 30's. Attractive, dynamic, articulate and business-like.
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DUNCAN FERGUSON - Male, 30's. Withdrawn, insecure, needy.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 Lilly's bedroom.

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.


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.