Dead Ringer (DiIorio)

by  Gino DiIorio

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  2m, 1f

"You don't see a lot of film noir westerns, but that genre turns out to be a winning combination." – The New York Times

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Dead Ringer (DiIorio)

by  Gino DiIorio

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 1f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Mystery/Thriller, Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Tyrus Cole, a horse trainer, lives on a ranch with his invalid sister Mary. Because he can't watch her during the day, Tyrus has Mary confined to a root cellar. When Dwight Foley arrives at the ranch seeking help with his horse, he and Mary fall in love and begin plotting the demise of Tyrus and their eventual escape. Their plan escalates and in the end, the three find themselves trapped in a complex web of greed and secrets.
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  • Winner! 2005 BBC International Playwriting Contest



"You don't see a lot of film noir westerns, but that genre turns out to be a winning combination... Humor was never a big factor in 1940s and '50s film noir, but it has a place here. Mr. DiIorio's low-key jokiness comes from attitude and from the smooth use of western vernacular... Forcefully absorbing. – The New York Times, Read More 


The Very Strange World of Dead Ringer 
by Gino DiIorio
January 29, 2013


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget


  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: Wild West, 19th Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Sunset Valley, Texas
  • Additional Features: No intermission, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)


2m, 1f
DWIGHT FOLEY – 30. A heavyset man with a thin beard. He has an innocence about him that borders on naiveté. He is not confi dent and can easily be hurt with harsh words.
MARY COLE – 28. The woman in the hole. She is never seen throughout the course of the play. She has many physical ailments and deformities. Her head is misshapen and she cannot walk. But she manages to feed and clean herself as the strength of her arms allows her to move about her small space. Mary is very intelligent, carrying herself with a hard edge of sarcasm and wit. She has a voice like an angel and at times, displays a mystical quality. Mary has no selfpity whatsoever and one gets the impression that had it not been for her physical defects, she could easily win a fi st fi ght with her brother.
TYRUS COLE – 35. Mary’s older brother. He is tall and muscular, clean shaven with hard, angular features. Ty wears the burden of his sister’s ailment on his sleeve. His cruelty toward her is born more of self-loathing than sadism.
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Cast Attributes

  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)



Gino DiIorio

Gino DiIorio is a Playwright and Professor of Theatre at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. ( Plays include: The Jag (winner, 2010 Firehouse Theatre’s Great American New Play Award; finalist, 2011 Laurents Hatcher Award Competition and 2010 Kean University Premi ...

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Dead Ringer was first produced by the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, New Jersey on October 15, 2009. It was directed by Suzanne Barabas.

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