The Gin Game

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Gabriola Sounder
Monday, May 6 2013

by Lawrence Spero

How do you play the cards you are dealt in life? To what do you attribute your successes and/or failures? To fate? God? Your own hard work? Are you right? Does it matter? These are the questions posed in The Gin Game, presented by the Gabriola Players. It is a two-act play by D.L. Coburn which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for 1978. Anne Drozd is the director, and it will be at the Rollo Centre on May 18 and 19. 

Mark Smith and Lesley Hazeldine (seen right, photo courtesy Lawrence Spero) play two lonely, older people who live in a chronic care residence. Neither Weller Martin nor Fonsia Dorsey have any visitors, so during one Visitor’s Day they meet and play gin and talk about their lives and children and spouses. They really do want to become friends, but their differences soon become apparent. The atmosphere of their games and their revelations of their histories run parallel to each other. What starts out as a relaxing card game and friendly talk becomes a serious cut-throat business. Is Weller just a wonderful player/businessman only in his imagination? Is Fonsia just a nice person/mother only in her imagination? 

We all want to do the best we can. But do we see how we truly live our lives? We do have illusions, too. How can we keep them intact? Should we? What would happen to us if we lose them? 

Tickets are $15 at Artworks or online at

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