Far from the Tree

© Louis Felder

(Drama, a full-length play)
A sixteen year old boy moves in with his father and one of them will be homeless.

Four characters, time is 1989, one dressed set

Fred Beringer, 47. A breezy cool guy who doesn't want to grow up.
Nick, his son, 16. A tough kid who admires his father at first, then rejects him.
Laura Crowley, 42. A banker who loves Fred.
Cortney, 22. Cute. She likes Fred but has more in common with Nick.


A drama. Nick is an average 16 year-old, which means he sometimes behaves like a cocky foul-mouthed 18 and at other times like a vulnerable lovable 14.

San Francisco in 1989. Nick has been thrown out of his house by his dysfunctional mother and comes to live with his divorced father (Fred) in the small apartment Fred loves. It seems funny at first, like a traditional sit-com.

But Nick is rebellious and, like his father, needs direction. Laura, a trust officer, tries to get Fred a job at her bank in real estate appraisal.

But the father continues his old habits and brings home a young girl (Cortney). Because she is closer to Nick’s age, she and Nick have fun, ignoring Fred.

Fred discovers Nick has been skipping school and taking drugs. They fight, and Nick is thrown out of the apartment.

After living on the streets for a few days, Nick is picked up by the police. Fred takes him home and demands they change. Fred is willing to make the sacrifice – to get a job and a bigger apartment for them to live. But to Nick the promise is phony – a gift without love is a sacrifice and Nick doesn’t want it. Fred misses a job interview (arranged by Laura) and blames Nick. Nick realizes that his father is a flake and wants no further part of his father’s life. In the end, it is Nick who abandons his father.

There is a great deal of comedy in this play despite the violent episodes and serious subject matter. Nick uses foul language, but by the end of the play, he changes and matures – on his way to becoming a better man than his father.

Throw-away kids, dysfunctional parents, the cycle of childhood abuse– the subjects of this play resonate, especially with young audiences.

Download the script