The play takes place July - October, 1992, in a world with very few personal computers and no Internet.
AMANDA ADAN answers the phone. On the other end is STEPHEN HILLIARD.
He’s just learned that he was given up for adoption 22 years and now he’s trying to find his biological mother.
The only thing he knows about her is her name - Amanda Adan. So he’s calling every Amanda Adan he can find
(so far he’s found four) and asking if she’s his mother.
Amanda says no. After she hangs up, she’s not only surprised by the call but amazed to learn about the other Amanda Adans.
As she later says to her husband, STEVE, “There are these other Amandas out there. And... Who are they?”
Steve’s more concerned that the call is a scam. And his fears aren’t assuaged when, over the next several weeks,
not only does Stephen keep calling, but Amanda and he develop a relationship.
Act II introduces the Dallas Troy Show, an afternoon talk show (#2 behind Oprah)
that presents “Real life, real issues, real people dealing with real issues - Heart to Heart, Coast to Coast.”
The show’s latest feature is “Lost In America,” on which Dallas’s staff helps people reconnect with someone they’ve lost,
and reunites them in front of the cameras.
Still looking for his mother, Stephen has contacted the show. They locate an additional four Amandas,
and the show’s producer (LARRY OLIVER), who’s constantly battling to stay at #2, leads Stephen to believe
his mother may be among them. There’s a lot more Larry isn’t telling Stephen about what they’re planning to do
on this Lost In America segment, which Larry’s hotshot new intern (WOLF) is pushing further and further toward
“the great television” Jerry Springer has been doing.
Larry’s being urged in the opposite direction by his protégé (DIEDRE), who wants to return the show to the real TV journalism
she and Larry used to do. But it’s Wolf who has Larry’s ear these days.
As Stephen comes to believe he’s going to meet his mother on the next “Lost In America” segment,
Larry and Wolf plan a show that will “rip the heart out of every woman in America”
(and get Larry those numbers he so desperately wants). But Amanda discovers what they’re planning to do -
and goes head-to-head with Larry in an effort to protect Stephen.