by Alan David Perkins
Copyright © 1995
Full-length, two character drama.
It is thirty years in the future and society has split in two: the
highly-paid telecommuters and the poorly-paid blue collar laborers who serve
them. All of the telecommuters are so reliant on their
Internet-Telephone-Television service that their need for human interaction
has halted, causing them to lose most of their social skills. When one
telecommuter's service goes out in the middle of the night he has to rely on
the help of a laborer, or "Blue," to help him. When the laborer injures
herself on the job, she has to teach the telecommuter enough skills to fix
his service and help her as well.
MAN - male, late 20's to late 40's. Overweight, slovenly, virtually no
WOMAN - female, late 20's to late 40's. Angry, quick-witted, sarcastic.
100 - 115 minutes.
The set is the MAN's Manhattan apartment. There should be one door, one
or two archways to offstage rooms and one window with a fire escape visible.
The apartment is small and VERY cluttered, appearing as though it hasn't
been cleaned in about a year. Everything from dirty clothes to food packages
are everywhere. Any available surface is taken up with stacks of comic
books. Also present is a sofa and computer station. The computer station,
centrally located and prominently featured, is the only part of the
apartment that is immaculately clean.
The play is in two acts, the second taking place approximately one hour
from the first. There is no set or dressing change throughout. The MAN and
the WOMAN should be roughly the same age.
This is probably my favorite play and, if asked, I would consider it
my best. I've been nursing the idea of a futuristic situation where someone
with no social skills loses the use of his computer and has to actually
relate to real people. My original thoughts were two men and the title
"Traffic Jam on the Information Superhighway." Well, I made one of the men a
woman and the story just took off into different directions, so eventually I
changed the title as well.
Mary Testa and Ron Palillo at the
I consulted with a friend of mine who is a psychotherapist as to the
actual manifestations of someone with no social skills -- a shut-in. This
helped immensely in shaping the character of the man. Another thing I did
was study two-character plays. I'd found that most of them were character
driven instead of plot driven. My challenge was to keep things moving even
though one character doesn't move much throughout the play. Once I came up
with the plot points, the rest fell into place quickly and I hammered out a
first draft in less than three weeks. Editing took considerably longer.
I make lots of references to comic books in this play, particularly
Mighty Man. Mighty Man was the subject of my very first play. I also make
references to Mighty Man in "The Virus."
"F2F" was chosen as Winner of the Joyce Dutka Arts
Foundation's 2003 Playwriting Competition, and was given a staged reading on
May 19, 2003 at the Irish Arts Center. The reading featured Mary Testa
and Ron Palillo, and was directed by Shari Upbin.
CONTACTING THE PLAYWRIGHT:
The entire script of
"F2F" is available upon request from the
playwright. No production of
this play can take place without permission from the playwright.
from the Queens Courier, October 12, 2006
Beari Presents "Face to Face"
by Cliff Kasden
What if the Internet's tentacles hurled us fifty years into the future?
Jimmy O'Neill and Amanda Doria
in Beari Productions' presentation of "F2F"
What if the new world was populated by warring computer wizards versus the oppressed working class? Welcome to "F2F."
Written and directed by Alan David Perkins, the sci-fi comedy is his latest creative association with Beari Productions' co-founders Rene and Debbie Bendana. They have used their venue for several of the playwright's offerings. One of Perkins's previous shows, "Nobody Knows I'm a Dog," the hopes and heartbreaks of computer chat rooms are explored.
Perkins' "F2F" is currently on stage for a limited run at the Trinity Lutheran Church. It's located at 63-70 Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village. At
Saturday night's performance, modified theatre-in-the-round staging helped create an intimate atmosphere. The entire audience was no more than a few feet from the actors.
Community theatre veterans Jimmy O'Neill and Amanda Doria are the only two performers. O'Neill is well known in Queens
with dozens of leading roles to his credit. His irreverence and gift for understatement sine through each characterization. Doria is also a
familiar face. Sometimes tough as nails, she always reveals a certain vulnerability that is appealing to
On stage, O'Neill wears an unwashed, unmended T-shirt. He has lost the ability to interact with the outside world and sees on point in
organizing his inner world. Doria's costume consists of work clothes with few feminine touches. Despite extensive
education, she is victimized by a caste system that insists she underachieve
To emphasize the dehumanized world, the two characters are nameless. They are listed as "Man, Woman." Perkins also coins several terms for his futuristic fable. O'Neill plays a clueless "nethead," Doria plays the worldly,
financially frustrated "blue."
The set is unchanging. Several computers occupy a large workstation. A well-worn sofa and assorted litter fill the downstage area. An open window leads to a power box.
Perkins' script is filled with clever ironies. Doria's character is intended to be sarcastic and emotional. However, many of her lines are dry, detailed instructions to "Man." On the other hand, O'Neill's character should be dull, emotionless. He has become incapable of understanding human interaction and its inherent excitement. Nevertheless, he is involved with a run-in with the police, driving without a license and
Are we doomed to social and emotional injustice in the computer-controlled future? Perhaps Perkins has simply crafted a futuristic Romeo and Juliet who find
common ground before "logging off." You decide.
from the Queens Chronicle, October 12, 2006
Beari Productions' "F2F" Peeks Into Future
by Mark Lord
In his best known play, “Nobody Knows I’m a Dog,” Glendale playwright Alan David Perkins placed his six characters in front of their respective computer terminals in a humorous and insightful look at the various ways people communicate on the Internet.
Similar themes are explored in Perkins’ “F2F,” a less satisfying though still provocative piece, and the latest undertaking by Beari Productions, which had previously mounted two of the author’s other works.
The company’s founders, Rene and Debbie Bendana, are to be commended for providing a platform for emerging local playwrights.
Perkins has set “F2F” some 50 years in the future. If his vision proves accurate, the world would not be a very satisfying place. The focus this time is on an automaton like young man, referred to as a “Nethead,” who has never had personal interactions with another human being. He lives his life through his computer system, which, as the play begins, is on the fritz.
Technology is the man’s “connection to the world,” and his only goal at the moment is to get it repaired. He also tends to immerse himself in his extensive comic book collection. In short, he is in major need of social skills.
Into his life pops a hard hat wearing repair woman of the working class, who is referred to only as “Blue.” She arrives prepared to replace his defective cable box and get him reconnected to the outside world, but promptly gets injured on the job and stranded in the man’s apartment. She spends much of Act I preparing our hero for his first venture into the outside world. Act II finds him recounting his experience.
Perkins has a fascination with characters who have trouble connecting with others. He has obviously been aware that the world is already heading in a frightening direction. Just think of the commuters plugged into their private headsets on overcrowded subways during rush hour.
Still, the focal character in “F2F,” which, perhaps ironically, stands for “Face to Face,” seems an exaggeration.
Could anyone, for instance, really not understand that ice needs to be put in a glass?
Though the play’s characters have already supposedly experienced World War IV and survived an Epstein Barr epidemic, and for all the advances (and inherent setbacks caused therein) in technology, not all that much appears to have changed.
People still hate their jobs and, judging by the two depicted in the play, are still trapped by their circumstances.
The cast, consisting of community theater veterans Jimmy O’Neill and Amanda Doria, were not quite ready to face an audience at last Friday’s opening night performance, but they carried on like troopers. They played well off each other and displayed good comic timing.
Staged by the author himself in a cozy space in the underbelly of Trinity Lutheran Church that is Beari’s home base, the play had a becoming intimacy.
Beari Productions - October 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15, 2006
Beari Productions, headed by Debbie and Rene Bendana, presented
F2F in their "downstairs" space, which meant Trinity Lutheran's chapel. It was a tiny space that would seat up to 50 in a three-sided thrust. As a result, the front row was only a couple of feet from the actors. It gave an up-close-and-personal experience.
The real-life off-stage couple of Amanda Doria and Jimmy O'Neill provided the talent for the onstage couple of the future (and they swore I wrote it specifically for them ... 11 years before I even knew them!).
Stage Manager was Amie Backner, and Jimmy O'Neill provided the tiny,
free-standing set -- complete with window and fire escape!
Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation - May 19, 2003
Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation presented staged reading at the Irish
Arts Center. It was presented with a barren stage, and was directed by Shari Upbin.