The Fencers


Maddie is broke and unemployed, with a chronically ill kid who needs surgery. She has one thing going for her: she’s an extraordinary fencer, and she just turned 50, so she can try out for the Veterans’ World Championships.

When Maddie makes the controversial decision to give custody of her son to his deadbeat dad so she can train, she is knocked out of the qualifiers by Donna, a transgender woman.

“It’s not fair!” other fencers argue, but Maddie says, “Maybe we just need to pick up our game.” Donna, realizing Maddie’s extraordinary skill, bribes another woman to quit the team, so Maddie can take her place.

Bold in their defiance of expectations, resolute in their struggle against injustice, and mentally programmed to win, Donna and Maddie become compatriots and confidants in fencing and in life. They help each other navigate discrimination, motherhood, and the mistakes they made in the past, and carry Team U.S.A. to victory.

  • Reading October 11, 2021, at Urban Stages, NYC.
  • 2019 semi-finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Playwrights Foundation.
  • Reading June 2019, ArtHouse Productions and Jersey City Theatre Company.
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