Theater Company of Lafayette

The Gin Game


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“The Gin Game is a two-person tragicomedy in two acts that uses a card game as a metaphor for life. D. L. Coburn conceived of the play first as a conflict between a man and a woman and strictly as a tragedy. He felt that the simplicity of two people and a card game could have more impact because of its concentrated format.”  The play won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

“Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey, two elderly residents at a nursing home for senior citizens, strike up an acquaintance. Neither seems to have any other friends, and they start to enjoy each other’s company. Weller offers to teach Fonsia how to play GIN, and they begin playing a series of games that Fonsia always wins. Weller’s inability to win a single hand becomes increasingly frustrating to him, while Fonsia becomes increasingly confident.

While playing their games of gin, they engage in lengthy conversations about their families and their lives in the outside world. Gradually, each conversation becomes a battle, much like the ongoing gin games, as each player tries to expose the other’s weaknesses, to belittle the other’s life, and to humiliate the other thoroughly.”

Not recommended for children under 12.