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The Gin Game

The Gin Game
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: D.L. Coburn
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 78
Pub. Date: 2011
Edition: Acting Edition
ISBN-10: 0573609764
ISBN-13: 9780573609763
Cast Size: 1 female, 1 male

About the Play:

Winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The Gin Game is a full-length dramatic comedy by D.L. Coburn. A two-hander about a man named Weller and a woman named Fonsia. In their 70s, they meet on the porch of a rundown "old folks home," play cards (she always wins) and learn about each other's lives and infirmities. The one-upmanship doesn't end until the last card is dealt.

The Gin Game uses a card game as a metaphor for life. Weller Martin is playing solitaire on the porch of a seedy nursing home. Enter Fonsia Dorsey, a prim, self righteous lady. They discover they both dislike the home and enjoy gin rummy, so they begin to play and to reveal intimate details of their lives. The Fonsia and Weller you meet at the beginning of the play are not the same Fonsia and Weller you see by the end. Fonsia wins every time and their secrets become weapons used against one another. Weller longs for a victory to counter a lifetime of defeats but it doesn't happen. He leaves the stage a broken man and Fonsia realizes her self-righteous rigidity has led to an embittered, lonely old age. The Gin Game is a fascinating look at the facades we put up and what may lurk underneath as well as some of the issues we all face as we age.

The Gin Game premiered in 1976 at American Theatre Arts, a tiny 56-seat theatre in Hollywood. The following year it was produced at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and the John Golden Theatre on Broadway, and became the first two-character play ever to receive a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It has since had productions in virtually every country of the western world, as well as heralded productions in Australia, Japan, China, and two revivals on Broadway.

Cast: 1 female, 1 male

What people say:

"A thoroughly entertaining lesson in the fine art of theatrical finesse. The closest thing the theatre offers to a duel at 10 paces." — The New York Times

"Extremely intelligent ... fine bittersweet comedy ... Funny, sad, profane, eloquent, touching, beautiful." — WABC-TV

"Perfect ... A vibrant study on loneliness, disillusion, old age and death yet fiercely funny." — The Boston Globe

About the Playwright:

Donald L. Coburn is an American playwright. He worked in advertising and was a consultant to several corporations before first attempt at playwriting, The Gin Game, a two-hander that debuted on Broadway in 1977 and earned him the Pulitzer Prize a year later. The play is in near-constant production all around the world.