The Gin Game
March 26, 2013 - April 28, 2013
By D.L. Coburn
Directed By JoAnn Johnson

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.


Weller Martin Allen Nause*
Fonsia Dorsey  Vana O'Brien^



Set Designer Jeff Seats
Costume Designer Elizabeth Huffman
Lighting Designer Kristeen Willis Crosser
Sound Designer Rodolfo Ortega
Props Designer Rusty Tennant
Stage Manager Tozzi McDowell*
Production Assistant Eric Lyness





*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
^ Member of Artists Rep's Resident Acting Company


Strobe lights are used in this production.

The Gin Game replaces the originally scheduled production of The Invisible Hand. Your tickets to The Invisible Hand will serve as your tickets to The Gin Game. You’ll keep your same seats, dates and in-hand tickets!  If you’d like to move your tickets to another show this season, our Box Office can take care of you. We plan to move The Invisible Hand to next season. 
Click here to learn more about this change in our programming.

Join the cast for a Post-Show Discussion after the 2pm matinee performances on March 31, April 7,14, 17 and 28.

Happy Hours, Surprise Nights and Book Clubs! Click here to see a full schedule of Audience Enrichment Events.

Click here to see photos from the production by Owen Carey.

STUDY GUIDE! Click here to download the Study Guide for this production. A great resource!

Click here to read the production's playbill.

Our new partner librarians from Multnomah County Library have chosen books for us to read, informed by the scripts from this season. Click here to see what they have picked for The Gin Game.


The Gin Game premiered on Broadway in 1977, starring Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy and directed by Mike Nichols. The play was an immediate hit, garnering four Tony award nominations: Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director. In 1978, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 1997, the play was revived on Broadway, starring Charles Durning and Julie Harris. Once again, The Gin Game was a stunning success and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Production of a Revival. Since its premiere, The Gin Game has been performed in virtually every theatre-going country in the world.

For much more information on this production, visit its offical website at

D.L. Coburn was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1938. He came to prominence in 1977 with The Gin Game, which was his first play. The Gin Game ran on Broadway for 516 performances and subsequently toured the nation with its original cast of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy to sold-out houses in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and a half dozen other cities before going on a tour of England and Russia. It has since had productions in virtually every country of the western world, including France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania, Israel, Hungary, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and South Africa, as well as heralded productions in Australia, Japan and China. In 1978 the play garnered four Tony nominations and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Plays Mr. Coburn has written since The Gin Game include Bluewater Cottage (1979), Guy (1983), Noble Adjustment (1985), Fear of Darkness (1995), Firebrand (1997), The Cause (1998). Return to Bluefin 2009. Additionally, he has written television pilots for CBS and ABC and several screenplays, including Flights of Angels (1987), A Virgin Year (1991), and Legal Access (1994).

Mr. Coburn lives with his wife, Marsha, in Dallas, Texas. He has two grown children: Donn, who is a writer with DART, in Dallas, and Kimberly, who is with Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. He has three grandchildren, Neil, 20; Alexander, 6; and Ryan, 4.

Dates: March 26 - April 28
Performances: Tuesday - Sunday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2:00pm
Opening Night is Friday, March 29 



 The Oregonian


Hugh & Mair Lewis
Charlotte Rubin

The Reviews...

"So much of life, it sometimes seems, is just about the luck of the draw. And yet, some of us know better than others how to play our cards right..." begins Marty Hughley's review for for The Oregonian. He goes on with accolades for the set, the cast and Director JoAnn Johnson, read it here. 

“Such a treat to see two such talented actors in such a moving piece. It was wonderful.” - Audience Member

Marty Hughley's preview in last week's A&E explains more about this production and the long-seated chemistry between these two phenomenal actors (and their director). Read it here.

“We are new to Artists Rep, and if this is the caliber of work you do, we will definitely be back! Thank you for a wonderful evening!” - Audience Member 

“It was extraordinary! I can see why it won a Pulitzer Prize!" - Audience Member

"...a perfect play. An important play. A stunning piece of theatre. I urge you to see it without hesitation." - The Boston Globe

“This was wonderful. I have seen both Allen and Vana onstage for years, and they’ve never been better!” - Audience Member


Tickets for Artists Rep's 2014/15 season are on sale now! Click on the link below to purchase or call our Box Office at 503.241.1278.