The urban misfits who play chess in Washington Square Park have no money and no home, but they are smart, witty, and above all, terrific chess players. Al, a homeless ex-convict, hustles chess for a living with his buddies, Sammy D., a young baby-faced, part-time drug dealer, and Bobby, a Vietnam vet and Hare Krishna refugee. Their latest scheme for achieving fame and dignity through playing the game they love involves a female reporter, Margie, who happens to be an old friend of Al's, from the old days when Al was in school and had prospects. During the course of the play, we watch the three buddies ready for the biggest match in front of the TV cameras. Margie's influence has helped get the news cameras to the park, and everything else seems to be lined up. But the day of the match, the other reporters are called away for "real" news, Sammy D. pulls off one more stupid drug deal, and Al and Bobby lose their confidence. The world seems to crash in around them, until the game draws them back to start to build a new one.
"A gem of a play…These are real human beings—tough and hardened but still capable of dreams." —Boston Globe. "A tense, funny and fresh play. Critic's choice." —Drama-Logue. "Sometimes the act of reaching for a dream proves sufficient to resuscitate self-esteem; this theme of hope is the foundation upon which Matthew Witten builds his comic drama…" —Daily Variety.