Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.

        We accept PayPal, Visa & Mastercard
        through our secure checkout.

 

Mastercard                              

 

Men's Lives

Men's Lives
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Joe Pintauro
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 61
Pub. Date: 1994
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0822213818
ISBN-13: 9780822213819
Cast Size: 1 female, 7 male

About the Play:

Men's Lives is a deeply powerful full-length drama adapted for the stage by Joe Pintauro, from the moving book of the same name by Peter Matthiessen. The play chronicles the onslaught of modern Hampton's culture on the lives of the traditional fishing families on the East End of Long Island, New York whose way of life has been nearly eradicated by the transformation from a close-knit fishing and farming community to a playground for tourists and wealthy landowners.

Men's Lives is the story of a hardworking fishing family on the East End of Long Island, New York. Walt, father of the family, is a quiet and decent man, who senses he may be the last of his line to make a largely subsistence living from the sea. Alice, his wife, is cut from the same cloth, giving all her strength and love of the sea to her men. Lee, their oldest son, is full of anger, realizing that the fishing life is virtually finished and that he is too old to learn a new trade. William, the youngest son, is bright, happy and stubbornly in love with the sea. Peter, a writer living in East Hampton and trying to make a living working the sea, serves as the narrator of the play as well as a friend of the family. The baymen, he tells us, have been making a good living fishing off the coast of the island for three hundred years. Over the last few decades, however, their already hard life has become tougher, as pollution, over fishing and downturns in the natural life cycles of the fish have led to ever diminishing catches. The strain on their lives is more acute with the growing population of affluent urbanites who see the East End as their weekend and summer playground. The baymen are determined to persevere despite financial troubles and loss of life, but the nail in the coffin comes as the baymen's last dependable method of catching saleable fish, a net fishing technique called haul-seining – which the Montauk Native American tribe had taught to them generations ago – is outlawed by the New York State government. While claiming to protect the Striped Bass from over fishing, the government is really responding to pressure from the powerful sports-fisherman's lobby. The family is unable to survive this blow. Walt dies soon after, as if his heart had broken. Lee drowns in a boating accident, and, after Alice's death, William ends up mowing the lawns of the rich urbanites' weekend homes. All that remains of the family are the details that Peter captured in his journal as part of a promise to them to try and save their way of life.

Men's Lives received its New England premiere at Provincetown Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts. It was previously presented in 1992 by The Bay Street Theatre at the Long Wharf in the town of Sag Harbor on Long Island, New York, and subsequently revived on the same wharf in 1993 for its 20th anniversary in 2012.

Cast: 1 female, 7 male

What people say:

"'It's not fish ye're buyin', it's men's lives.' The quotation from Sir Walter Scott provides the basis for the whole play, as well as its title. While the play deals with a fishing family on Long Island, it could easily be extended to the plight of fishermen anywhere; or farmers, or ranchers, or anyone else whose way of life is being lost in our ever-changing world. The knock-out punch live theater can deliver – to jolt us into a heightened awareness of some facet of the human condition – is abundantly in evidence in Men's Lives." — EastEnder

"We are somehow galvanized by this work, by its poetic language and its immediacy. We feel we are witnessing crucial events, and we are moved and newly inspired." — East Hampton Star

"…an evening of absorbing, touching and thrilling theater." — Southampton Press

"a finely written … observation of a passing culture … a somewhat melancholy portrait of frontier characters bowing to modernism, but it is also a masterful celebration of craft, of pride in one's work, of community, of endurance." — Library Journal

About the Playwright:

Joe Pintauro (1930-2018) was an award-winning American author, poet and prolific playwright in late 20th century New York. A former priest, he graduated from Fordham University in New York City with an M.A. in American Literature before studying Theology for four years at Niagara University. He is the acclaimed author of two novels, several volumes of poetry, and a plethora of plays. He is best known for works such as Raft of the Medusa, Cacciatore, and Men's Lives.

 

Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014) was an American novelist and wildlife author. In a varied career, he worked for the CIA, founded the influential Paris Review literary journal, was a commercial fisherman on Long Island, and traveled to remote regions of the world on assignment for the New Yorker magazine. He also became a Zen master, a passionate defender of Native American rights, and an environmental activist.

Related Products

Raft of the Medusa
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Raft of the Medusa
Joe Pintauro
By the Sea By the Sea By the Beautiful Sea: Three One-Act Plays
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
By the Sea By the Sea By the Beautiful Sea: Three One-Act Plays
Joe Pintauro, Lanford Wilson & Terrence McNally
Metropolitan Operas: 27 Short Plays
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Metropolitan Operas: 27 Short Plays
Joe Pintauro