Playwright Joe Pintauro, a former priest, died May 29 at age 87.
Starting off writing short, one-act plays about Italian-Amiercan life, Pintauro's first full-length play Snow Orchid premiered in 1982 at New York City's Circle Rep starring Olympia Dukakis, Peter Boyle, and Robert LuPone.
The play, a family drama set in Brooklyn during the ’60s, was revived in London at the Gate Theatre in 1993 starring a young Jude Law and Paola di Ognisotti; and at Off-Broadway’s Lion Theatre in 2015 starring Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli and Angelina Fiordellisi.
Pintauro’s 1992 play Men’s Lives, an adaptation of Peter Matthiessen’s book about the struggles of Long Island’s baymen, inaugurated the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, where the playwright lived. The play received a reading at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, in 2016.
Among his other plays were Heaven and Earth, which also received its world premiere at the Bay Street Theater; Raft of the Medusa (Minetta Lane); Salvation (London's Gate); Reindeer Soup (Actors Repertory Theater); Cacciatore (Actors Theater); Beside Herself (Circle Repertory Theater); and The Dead Boy (Royal Court).
He co-wrote a trilogy of short plays with Terrence McNally and Lanford Wilson titled By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea, which premiered at the Bay Street Theater in 1995 before debuting Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1996.
Pintauro was also a novelist, poet, and photographer. His novels include State of Grace and Cold Hands. He is the recipient of the John Steinbeck Literary Humanitarian Award and Guild Hall’s Lifetime Achievement Award.