The Gin Game
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The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn. Directed by Christian Lebano. Winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize. Weller Martin tries desperately to retain some control over his life despite falling into ill health and becoming a reluctant resident of a nursing home. Fonsia Dorsey serves as the symbol of all gone wrong, and his battles with her, though over a simple game of gin, become not only a conflict with the woman but with divine will itself.
“When life deals you a bad hand, do you give up the game?” It’s Visitor Day at the ‘home for the aged,’ and Weller is playing a solitary game of cards on the sunporch when a tearful Fonsia, troubled by her new environs, seeks a private moment. Weller invites her to a cheerful game of gin rummy to pass the time, but as the days and conversations pass, the game becomes more than either of them anticipate. Through laughter, tears, frustration, and fear, the truth of their lives is dealt. In this tragi-comedy, the upper hand is shuffled between two souls who play their lives out to each other over a well-worn score pad. Starring Katherine James (SMP’s Amanda in The Glass Menagerie) and Alan Blumenfeld (company member A Noise Within and Theatricum Botanicum).