a full-length play by David Douglas



Length: 90 minutes (w/ intermission); 80 pages
Genre: suspense/thriller
Cast: 5 men, 1 woman
Setting: A dining room / living room inside an uninviting, sparsely furnished house.


Over a year ago, Trip beat the odds, winning more than money at a high-stakes poker game. Now, hosting a game of his own, he is again challenged by the same disrespectful, sore loser of an opponent. As cards are dealt, so too are old accusations, and, before long, the bitter rivalry erupts beyond the felt. It’s hearts versus diamonds, and the winner takes all — but this is no regular game of chance. In fact, everything has been carefully planned, yet no one predicted the cards fate has up its sleeve.

About the Play

Railbird is the reworking of David's 2007 (never produced) short film script, Fire Lake, which was inspired by the Bob Seger song of the same name. Even though Railbird is much improved over its predecessor, many of the original story elements remain, including the minimal set, unexpected twists, and the use of fortune-telling cards to foreshadow the fates of the characters.

Production History

  • February 23, 2019 – reading

    • First Impressions FestivalImprint Theatreworks (Dallas, TX)

      Directed by Nick Leos

      CAST: Damian Gomez, Jacob Neal Hopson, Jonathan Hardin, Anthony Holmes, Michael Speck, Robin Clayton

  • January 18, 2018 – reading

  • October 27, 2017 – draft completed


The haunting and the haunted play a game no one can win.
— "No Man's Land" Bob Seger