King of the Mutants
by Alan David Perkins
Copyright © 1992


Full-length comedy -- Sci-Fi "B"-Film homage.


John Drissel is a lowly computer programmer who, for some reason, has survived nuclear Armageddon. The only other normal survivor, Karen, wants nothing of John's plan to re-populate the earth, so John sets off to find life. He eventually finds a small band of ex-Three Mile Island employees who have mutated. Since John has apparently not mutated, is smarter than all of them and is the only one who can sire children, he is hailed as their king. John's first duty as king, aside for impregnating all of the mutant women, is to find Karen while avoiding the evil mutant forces who wish to rule.


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

Click here for Production History.


JOHN DRISSEL - Male, 30's. The last unmutated man on Earth.
KAREN - Female, 30's. The last unmutated woman (who later mutates).
BOB - The unofficial and original leader of the Mutants. A clear thinker and good spokesman.
MORRIS - Large and extremely simple-minded mutant sentry. Morris becomes manipulated by Kibbler into betraying John.
KIBBLER - The bitter former leader of the mutants.
OLIS - Modern female mutant who defends John against the evil Kibbler.
FETTERLY - Female mutant with low self-esteem who ultimately becomes the mutant's queen.


85 - 100 minutes.


The play is setless. Set pieces include benches and a chair.

The play is in two acts. Each act is divided into multiple scenes.

The Mutants are relatively normal, though I have allowed the full interpretation of how they are to be portrayed up to the individual director and costume designer. They should be slightly physically deformed, but only enough to signify that they are different. Female mutants are obviously smarter than male mutants, speaking more clearly and with more refined mannerisms.

Michael DeStefano, Carter Cochran and Clayton Bartner in King of the Mutants

I love science fiction "B"-films. This play started out as what has become the second scene -- when John finds Karen and explains to her that they are the last man and last woman and it's their duty to procreate -- and she promptly tells him to take a hike. I was studying playwriting at the HB Studios at the time. We read it in class and, though it went over well, the instructor told me that he's never seen science fiction work on stage and that I would eventually become blocked and never finish it. Determined, I completed the first act and there it sat for a year and a half while I was blocked. Finally I got unstuck and created not so much a spoof or parody of the old 50's sci-fi B-films, but a homage. This will always be one of my sentimental favorites because it's so different from anything else I've written. Oh, one good thing about this play, aside for the fact that it is extremely funny, is that it's deliberately EASY to produce (with the only possible exception of some sound cues).

Oh, not for nothing... being that music is always important in the B-film, you can use some real over-the-top incidental music in between scenes and as underscoring. I personally recommend the music of Vaclav Nelhybel, particularly "Appassionato," "Symphonic Movement" and the second movement of "Trittico." Recordings are available here and there.


The entire script of King of the Mutants is available upon request from the playwright. No production of this play can take place without permission from the playwright.


Theatre on a Limb - June 1994

Theatre on a Limb presented King of the Mutants in June
Michael DeStefano and Christina Cass in Theatre on a Limb's presentation of King of the Mutants
of 1994 at the New Actor's Workshop. It was Theatre on a Limb's fourth production, and their first full-length venture.

The show was presented nicely minimal. The only pieces used were a bench and a lawn chair (as King Johndrissel's royal throne). The set flats depicted a deserted urban area with a looming image of Three Mile Island hanging in the back. Joan Lea's wonderful set paintings gave an almost surreal look to the production, combining very dark hues and shapes. For the costumes, orange jumpsuits were used which were eventually trimmed by the actors to reflect their character. Craig Lindberg's makeup consisted of veins, bumps and
Michael DeStefano and Clayton Bartner in King of the Mutants
cracks in greens and yellows.

As recommended, the music of Vaclav Nelhybel was used between scenes and as underscore in some parts. Additionally, Johndrissel's monologues were done as voiceovers.

For the curtain call, all the mutants meandered onto the stage calling "Curtain! Curtain!" while looking for the curtain (get it?). King Johndrissel put them in their places and conducted them in their bows.

The play was directed by Thom Purdy. Stage Manager was Elisabeth Macaulay. Lights by Tim Ballard. Set painting by Joan Lea. Mutant makeup by Craig Lindberg. The show was produced by Cara Lea.

JOHN DRISSEL.........Michael DeStefano
KAREN...................Christina Cass
BOB....................Clayton Bartner
MORRIS..................Carter Cochran
OLIS......................Allison Hope
FETERLY....................Julie Levis
KIBBLER..................Larry Milburn