Dramatists Play Service
Jack and Gillian
THE STORY: Jack comes home from a middling day at the office to quickly announce to his wife, Gillian, that he is leaving her. Suspecting for some time a midlife crisis, Gillian goads Jack about this announcement, forcing him to try it again—going outside and coming in again—twice! Jack wants his wife, whom he still loves, to really understand his fears and the reasons he must leave her. His days seem unknown to him; his secretary of fifteen years is a total stranger; his sex is by rote. Gillian understands but feels the investment of a thirty-year marriage is worth holding on to because so much is in place, and quite frankly, they’ve been through these changes before: affairs, neglect, sections of time forgotten. Jack accuses Gillian of not listening, an accusation she easily returns, and when Jack then does start to leave, Gillian blocks him and a small battle ensues. Retreating to their corners, both recount memorable points in their marriage and lives, and discovering that through it all, nothing is really enough. As the lights fade, they prepare for a departure but don’t make a move.