Tony Award-winner Len Cariou, currently featured on the hit TV series “Blue Bloods,” will join his wife Heather Summerhayes Cariou, writer and actor, in a reading of the two-character Pulitzer Prizewinning play “The Gin Game” at Milford Theater & Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, Sept. 16, opening night of the fifth annual Milford Readers & Writers Festival.
“The Gin Game” is a tragi-comedy about two people near the end of their lives who unexpectedly begin a friendship out of necessity. Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin are living out their lives in a shabby, run down nursing home. Weller plays gin and teaches Fonsia how to play the game. She wins almost every time, which brings out the temper in Weller.
Playwrite D.L Coburn uses quick, humorous and relatable dialogue as a build-up to the palpable tension between the two characters. The card game soon becomes a metaphor for life and acts like a mirror for both Fonsia and Weller reflecting the intimate details of their lives. As they sit across from each other and play their hands, they learn about past spouses, jobs and family members. By the end of the play, both of these characters bring out the truth in one another as well as use it against each other in an unforeseen twist.
The dialogue between Fonsia and Weller engages the reader to ponder on mortality, truth and life decisions. It is easy to become invested in these two characters as we see there is always something to learn about ourselves in life no matter where we are in the game.
The reading is produced by Michelle Oram and is the opening program for the festival.
Individual tickets for each of the Main Stage conversations, including the Gin Game, are $35. They will go on sale on September 5 and can be purchased at milfordreadersandwriters.com or at the Box Office on the evening of the performance. The theater’s cocktail lounge opens at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. curtain.
The Carious previously performed at the theater in a reading of the play “Love Letters” at the 2017 festival.
All Main Stage programs on Saturday will include an opportunity for conversation between the authors and the audience.
On Saturday evening, there will be a private reception for festival speakers, open only to festival pass-holders.
In addition to the ticketed events, the festival also offers a variety of free programs, including the fantasy-themed science fiction panel “Choose Your Reality” at the Columns Museum, “Gifford Pinchot & America’s Public Lands” at Grey Towers, book signings by the authors, as well as events all around Milford.
By the end of the play, both of these characters bring out the truth in one another as well as use it against each other in an unforeseen twist.