Comedy. By Richard Dresser.
Cast: 2m. ROUNDING THIRD is the tumultuous journey of two Little League coaches through an entire season, from their first tentative meeting to the climactic championship game. The audience is the stand-in for the team, so the coaches speak directly to the audience about competition, character, punctuality, and the importance of wearing the right equipment.
Don is the tough, blue-collar, win-at-all-costs veteran coach whose son is the star pitcher. Michael is a newcomer both to the town and to baseball. He's a corporate executive who agrees to be Don's assistant because he wants a special activity with his son, who's never played baseball before.
Despite their differences, Michael and Don form an uneasy alliance for the benefit of the team. And over the course of exhilarating victories, heartbreaking defeats, and interminable rain-outs, the two men battle over how to lead the team.
Michael believes that the job of the coaches is to shield the kids from the intense pressure of competition while making sure everyone has a good time. Don thinks they should be teaching the kids how to win. Out of these conflicting philosophies, the real issues of the play emerge: how should we raise our children? Since we live in such a ferociously competitive society, do we protect our children as long as possible? Or do we prepare them to be tough enough to win? And what does it mean to be an American man?
By the end of the play, Don's personal life has come crashing down around him and he's forced to see both his son and the team in a different light. And Michael must confront an unfamiliar but powerful sensation: he really wants to win. Unit set. Two acts. Approximate running time: 2 hours.