Cover art by Mark Bauhs

Blind Date

Rogelio Martinez
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Two of history's most enigmatic leaders — Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev — meet to halt the arms race. A crafty game of one-upmanship ensues, while their wives engage in a passive-aggressive tango over tea in this compulsively fascinating, slyly comic backstage glimpse of a twentieth-century landmark event.

Production Info

Cast: 7 total (2 female, 5 male, plus ensemble of 6 actors)
Full Length Drama (about 135 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“BLIND DATE, Rogelio Martinez’s playfully titled and altogether amusing geopolitical romp … might very well be described as a ‘Ron-com.’ Ron as in Ronald Reagan, the actor, California governor and 40th President of the United States whose military and foreign policies some say helped bring the Cold War to an end (at least temporarily). Whatever the long-term historical assessment of all that might be, there can be no doubt that one of the most notable events in late 20th century US–Soviet relations occurred during two days in November, 1985: Reagan, (who seemed to have bounced back from a 1981 assassination attempt, but as always was somewhat indecipherable), met for the first time at a summit in Geneva, Switzerland with Mikhail Gorbachev, who had only recently been elected to serve as General Secretary of the Soviet Union, and was something short of secure in his position. As with all blind dates, the ‘couple’ … arrive in a state of both apprehension and hopefulness. And their actual meeting (‘truthy’ as it might or might not be here, and without the presence of translators who are always essential elements in the room) is marked by all the nervous humor, misunderstandings, game-playing and awkwardness of such encounters. The two men also arrive with their respective wives … Also in attendance are the all-important advisors: US Secretary of State George Shultz, and the sophisticated Eduard Shevardnadze, the Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose introductory lunch cannily reveals much about both men. Dancing around the edges of it all is Edmund Morris, the British–American historian whose much-anticipated biography of Reagan ultimately became what he described as ‘a work of nonfiction by an imaginary author’ — largely the result of Reagan’s impenetrability. Most crucially, given the moment in which audiences are now watching BLIND DATE, there is a fully ‘meta’ quality about the play, with the decorum and diplomatic interplay of the historical event free of the social media contagion of the moment, and with the press corps very much of a long-gone era. In fact, if you tend toward nostalgia, you also might delight in the witty, zestful way in which Larry Speakes, Reagan’s Mississippi–bred acting Press Secretary, handles his job. Yet more than anything, there is a sense of constructive peace-making and future-building (if far from naive ‘trust’) here — one that might just keep mutually assured nuclear destruction at bay. To be sure, BLIND DATE … is no documentary. But the Cuban-born Martinez, who has riffed on the Cold War era in several other plays, captures both the personalities and issues in play, including the Reagan administration’s ‘Strategic Defense Initiative,’ which raised the hackles of the Soviet Union, a nation already suffering from the fallout of its war in Afghanistan, a flailing economy, and Gorbachev’s untested leadership. Two more wildly different personalities than ‘Ron’ and ‘Misha’ could not have been put in a room together. And yet, for whatever reasons (a mutual wish for a sane approach to major differences), they managed to find some common ground. And now, seen with the power of hindsight, a sort of melancholy overlays the farcical aspects of the play simply because we know Gorbachev’s short tenure ultimately led to the arrival of Vladimir Putin, that Reagan’s legacy was laced with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and that nuclear war is no longer a matter of just two sides …” —Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author


  • Rogelio Martinez

    Rogelio Martinez was selected as the first ever Mid Career Fellow at the Lark. A partial list of recent work includes WANAMAKER'S PURSUIT (commissioned and produced by the Arden Theater Co.), WHEN TANG MET LAIKA (Denver Center Theater Co/Sloan Grant.), FIZZ (NEA/ TCG Grant/Besch Solinger Productions at the Ohio Theatre, New Theater Miami), ALL EYES AND EARS (INTAR at Theater Row), LEARNING CURVE (Smith and Krauss New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2005/ Besch Solinger Productions at Theater Row), I REGRET SHE'S MADE OF SUGAR (Princess Grace Award), ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES (Summer Play Festival), UNION CITY… (starred Rosie Perez, E.S.T, winner of the James Hammerstein Award), DISPLACED (Marin Theater Co.). In addition, Rogelio's work has been developed and presented at the Public Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, and the Magic Theater, among others. Rogelio is an alumnus of New Dramatists and his plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing. He has received commissions from the Atlantic Theater Company, the Arden Theater Company, Denver Center Theater, and South Coast Repertory. Rogelio has been profiled in a cover story in American Theater magazine. Along with writing, Rogelio teaches playwriting at Goddard College, Montclair University, and Primary Stages. He is a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group at Primary Stages and the Playwrights Workshop at the Lark. Rogelio was born in Cuba and arrived in this country in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 5/24/2022
Pages 110
ISBN 9780881459265

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Blind Date is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC