By Dan Hoyle and Tony Taccone
Directed by Rick Lombardo
Originally produced at San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose, CA.
March 27, 2014 through April 19, 2014
(Pictured: Marco Barricelli, Craig Marker, in rehearsal.)
About the Premiere Production
Vinne and Alvin care about the environment — almost as much as they care about winning at fantasy baseball. The two fast-talking sports fanatics sequester themselves in front of a ballgame in the media room of a swanky Los Altos home during a cocktail party to raise funds for green projects, certain of their path to success. But they just might be out of their league as they try to close the biggest deal of their lives. Will the venture save the earth, make them rich, or will Vinnie and Alvin strike out in the 9th?
This thought-provoking comedy, set at a fundraising party to help environmental causes in a swanky Los Altos home, follows two fantasy baseball junkies as they try to close the biggest deal of their lives. The only question is which is it – the fantasy baseball trade they are debating, or the multi-million dollar venture capital deal to start a green “insect protein” business they are there to pursue?
The two lead characters are the mismatched pair of Vinnie and Alvin. Vinnie drives a cab and has stumbled on the idea of saving the world’s food supply, which is being threatened by global warming, by marketing food products made from insect protein. Alvin is a failed wall street whiz-kid who is putting together the plan to create a new company to put Vinnie’s idea into action – if they can get the attention of one particular billionaire venture capitalist at the party. With a tray of spring rolls made from grasshopper and worm protein, they hope to win over the investor – if they can lure him into the living room where they are obsessively watching a baseball game, and proposing fantasy baseball deals. In this hilarious and thought-provoking play the hapless pair forges a deeper friendship over worms and baseball, and just maybe finds a way to save the planet.
Game On is the type of play the American theater is hungry for right now - smart, funny, tackling big social issues and small personal ones – and in a one set, 5 character play. I anticipate that Game On will receive many subsequent productions across regional theater - not just because it is smart and funny and eminently producible, but also because Tony Taccone, Dan Hoyle and I have already successfully excited several other theaters to consider producing the play. Currently the Arizona Theater Company and ACT Seattle are both considering future productions, an early indication that it will find a home at many theaters across the country. This play has already received prestigious industry readings at both The Public Theater in New York and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival here on the west coast – another indication of its appeal. Dan and Tony have also come up with the unique idea of being able to tailor the play to different regions of the country by incorporating local baseball references and stars to make the play more attractive and immediately accessible to a wide range of the audiences.
Game On appeals to those interested in feeding and saving our planet, those interested in the venture capital world, and anyone interested in baseball. That Tony and Dan have managed to put all three together in such an entertaining comic drama is a delicious triumph.
This grant allows San Jose Repertory Theatre to extend the rehearsal period for Game On from the budgeted 3.5 week process to 5.5 weeks. The extra time will be especially useful given our need to craft this new comedy, and to give Tony and Dan the time they need to create their collaborative writing process. The ultimate result is that the script’s potential is fully realized to the playwright’s vision for the San Jose audience’s enjoyment and for a continued life after its world premiere.
Director: Rick Lombardo
Cast: Marco Barricelli, Craig Marker
Additional Funders: Myra Reinhard Family Foundation
Game On: New play spoofs Silicon Valley
San Jose Mercury News, March 31, 2014