Men's Lives was originally produced at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island. I assume it had particular significance there for its well-to-do and cultured audience, whose summer stomping grounds, the Hamptons, border the fishing community whose history the play relates. Like that resort area on Long Island, where immense homes line the dunes and people stand on line to buy overpriced fish caught by folks whose hardships they know nothing about, South Florida is a region once rich with natural resources and now dependent on tourist dollars for its revenues. In light of the recent ban on net-fishing that passed this November, Men's Lives tells a story that is just as poignant for audiences here.
While Men's Lives never sugarcoats the fate of its characters, it does insist on a larger faith -- in the cycles of nature and in the power of storytelling. "Tell them about us," William says when Peter announces he's finally writing the book he promised he'd write. "Tell them, because it ain't ever going to happen again like this." Peter did, and at the Pope Theatre we're lucky enough to hear the tale.