There's something presumptuous about entitling a piece The America Play with a definite article. Nonetheless, it seems to fit here, even though the story of Susan Parks' play is so particular: it's a case of the microcosm helping to define the whole.
In Suzan-Lori Parks' The America Play (currently running at the Theatre@Boston Court in Pasadena) an average man (Harold Surratt) is defined by his likeness to a great man: Abraham Lincoln. Born after Lincoln's death, he resembles the great man. This leads to him leaving his natural calling as a grave digger for a morbid job portraying Lincoln's final moments.
The man's customers drop a penny into a container shaped like a bust of Lincoln, which lets them choose a weapon and approach the stage where he sits in a rocking chair, laughing (Lincoln, assassinated while watching a play, was reportedly laughing when he was shot) and waiting for the sound of the prop gun. When he hears the shot he slumps over and waits until the customer leaves.
Some of his customers are interested in the historical aspects of the assassination, choosing the replica of the weapon John Wilkes Booth used; others just giggle at the novelty.
This act is where Harold Surratt's character, the Foundling Father, finds his niche in life. To "follow in the great man's footsteps" - to be like and yet unlike the great man - he's willing to leave his wife and child behind. In the age of cell phones and computer simulation games, the thought of a mere man re-enacting a moment in history seems rather quaint, but it is enough for him.
In the second act, we meet his wife Lucy (J. Nicole Brooks) and his son Brazil (Darius Truly). Brazil digs for artifacts left behind by his father, searching even in the charcoal-black gravel (Nancy Keystone, the scene design, used recycled auto tires to get the effect). We learn that the Foundling Father died a "lonely death" and was troubled by a "lack of proper burial." Meanwhile his son, Brazil, is troubled by the blank pages of his personal history.