Cards dealt for Penticton production of The Gin Game

Many Hats Theatre Company presents The Gin Game. - Submitted artwork
Many Hats Theatre Company presents The Gin Game.
— image credit: Submitted artwork

Card games become a metaphor for life with plenty of wit, humour and truth in the next production for Many Hats Theatre Company.

Two lonely, elderly residents in a home for senior citizens strike up an acquaintance over a card game in the theatre company’s latest production, The Gin Game.

Neither Weller Martin nor Fonsia Dorsey seem to have any other friends but over their card game they engage in lengthy conversations about their families and lives, developing a relationship. Weller introduces Dorsey to the game of gin rummy, a game that Dorsey always seems to win. This becomes increasingly frustrating for him, while Dorsey becomes increasingly confident.

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.

Just as the card game the production is named after, this is a two-player show. The Gin Game features Many Hats Theatre Company regulars  Jamie Eberle as  Weller and Eleanor Walker as Dorsey in the two-act production. The Many Hats show is directed by Monty Hughes and produced by Eric Hanston.

D.L. Coburn came to prominence in 1977 with The Gin Game, his first play. It ran on Broadway for 516 performances and toured the U.S. to sold out houses before going international. It has since had productions in virtually every country in the western world. In 1978 the play garnered four Tony nominations and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama

Coburn said at the time he was alarmed when the first news account published on his play called it a comedy-drama. In his mind he had written a tragedy, sprinkled with some funny moments. Later he said he came to the realization that it is the human will that is funny.

The Gin Game runs from Feb. 7 to March 2, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. at the Cannery Stage in the Cannery Trade Centre on Fairview Road in Penticton.

Tickets are $22 for adults and seniors and students are $19. They can be purchased at the Wine Country Visitor Centre or by calling 1-800-663-5052. To view the seating chart see here.

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