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Gin Game HomeInterviewsAbout the ShowRemembering...How to Play GinGlossary

The Director
Underlying Themes
The Writing
The Actors
From Stage to Screen
Playwright D.L. Coburn
Dick Van Dyke
Mary Tyler Moore
Key Scene Study

The Writing

Tragicomedy 


The Gin Game is a beautiful blend of light and dark. This tragicomic blend is one of the most successful aspects of D.L. Coburn's writing. It isn't a simple matter of the play being funnier in the first half and sadder in the second half. In the funny part, there are little moments that certainly telegraph what's going on underneath that will be developed in the second half.

In the second half, during the saddest and most hostile, angry sections, there are moments that are hilariously funny. It's unconscious for the characters, but very, very funny for the audience. We recognize the silly extreme that their competitiveness has brought them to.
 


Forceful Language 


The language totally transcends its period, because there's nothing remotely dated about the language. The language is so firmly rooted in the characters. If you accept the people, you accept their language.

Fonsia lived her life behaving in the polite way that society and her environment made her feel was the right way to behave. Her anger could never express itself in language, whereas with Weller, quite the opposite is true. Forceful language is available to him, the language of anger, blasphemy and all the rest of it. Fonsia is both secretly attracted, and then overtly repelled at the same time by this intense language.
 

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