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The Perfect Game


The Perfect Game uses musical theater to weave together two narratives in an uplifting comedic story:


The historic invention of basketball at the turn of the 20th century, where a young man named James Naismith, out on his first teaching job, is given an assignment by his boss: Devise a new game for physical education students that can be played indoors during the colder months.

James fulfills his assignment and using a ball and 2 peach baskets, invents what he hopes will prove to be The Perfect Game - what his students like to call "Basket-Ball.”

In the contemporary story, two present-day basketball coaches, Nancy and Frank, have issues to overcome. They wind up coaching together and fall in love.


Both stories are woven together when the historic Jim Naismith becomes a mentor to present-day coach Nancy. They have some intense friendly discussions over the true nature of basketball.

Then, it all comes down to the big game: The Home Team against their Arch Rivals. The desperate, last second shot may or may not go in.

The Perfect Game has been performed at Xavier University under the direction of Cathy Springfield, with Musical direction by Jim Hart. And, on the stage of The Hartke Theatre at The Catholic University of America with Executive Producer Dr. Tom Donohue, Director Carrie Klewin, and musical direction by Dominic Traino.

I offer my respectful thanks to all mentioned above, plus special gratitude to former Catholic University Drama Department Chairman, Mr. William H. Graham, who believed in The Perfect Game enough to recommend production.

John Grissmer

John Grissmer began his education at Catholic University after being accepted into the Rome School by Fr. Gilbert Hartke.


While a student at CUA he met his wife, Patricia (Patty) Vollmar, who was also a student in the Master’s of Fine Arts program.


 Following graduation, he began his career as a drama professor at the University of Connecticut and American University. While teaching at American University, he made the decision to move to New York City, where he and Patty formed PJ Productions.


For a short time, Grissmer served as President and Chairman of his father’s company, The Earl Grissmer Company which was sold in 1970.


​Grissmer spent most of his career in New York City working as a producer and a writer.


In 1970, he produced the Broadway play The Candyapple. He also produced two Off-Broadway plays, multiple films, and published books, including The Ghosts of Antietam.


His musical, The Perfect Game was performed at The Hartke Theater in 2006 to rave reviews. It is the only play written about basketball’s inventor, Jim Naismith. Grissmer sought to highlight Naismith’s unique contribution to the sports world through this engaging musical theater production. Grissmer said, “The play needs to reach basketball and theater fans across the globe.”


Today, John continues to write from his home in Connecticut. His next work, The Memoir File, will be published in 2021. 

John Grissmer - Playwright
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