Cover photo by Rita Koehler

The Dead Boy

Joe Pintauro
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A much-beloved Roman Catholic priest is suddenly thrust into the midst of a scandal. THE DEAD BOY is a story of longing and taboo.

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (1 female, 4 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Whether you see the play as a loss of innocence, an abuse of power or an ill fated love story, THE DEAD BOY is a modern-day gothic drama, every bit as tragic and sensational as the headlines about the Catholic church.” —Marlene Canty, Asbury Park Press

“When the boy, only symbolically dead, stands up, stares at heaven to look god in the eye, and swears he’ll never do what he’s about to do, then goes ahead and does it, the earth stands still. But when the boy cuts his throat, noiselessly, with an invisible blade, the world stood still again, and even god was appalled. THE DEAD BOY is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a theater.” —Mark Howell, Solares Hill, Key West

“More than I could have expected from all aspects of this emotionally startling and passionately performed play.” —Dan Johnson,

About the Author


  • Joe Pintauro

    Joe Pintauro's three one-acts about Italian-American life in New York, entitled CACCIATORE, earned his first major theatre reviews. SNOW ORCHID, his first full-length, was a selection of the Eugene O'Neill Conference and was later produced with Olympia Dukakis, Peter Boyle, and Robert Lupone at Circle Rep. A revival in London starred Jude Law and Paola di Ognisotti. Short plays: AMERICAN DIVINE, in Chicago, and MOVING TARGETS at New York City's Vineyard Theater, Metropolitan Operas, Milennium Group, New York. Full-length plays: BESIDE HERSELF, with William Hurt, Lois Smith, Calista Flockhart, and Melissa Joan Hart; RAFT OF THE MEDUSA: Minetta Lane and London's Gate Nottinghill; MEN'S LIVES, an adaptation of Mattheissen's nonfiction book, which was the inaugural production of the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor; THE DEAD BOY, about faith and trauma: workshopped at London's Royal Court under Stephen Daldry and again there with Ian McKellan. Pintauro directed THE DEAD BOY in the Dutch language in the Netherlands as: DODE JONGEN, with Anton Lutz, and with Roy Scheider and Mercedes Ruehl, again in workshop in Key West. His collection of some forty short plays called METROPOLITAN OPERAS (Dramatists Play Service) has been produced in various languages worldwide, and was produced at the Commedia dell'Arte in Venice under Carla Poli. The trilogy BY THE SEA, BY THE SEA, BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA, a collaboration with Terrence McNally and Lanford Wilson, was produced by The Bay Street Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. HEAVEN AND EARTH, about American farm life, also a Bay Street production, was directed by Jack Hofsiss. Pintauro wrote BEAUTIFUL DREAMER, a Civil War screenplay about the only woman to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor and two full-length plays with The Pacific Theatre Company in Los Angeles: KARMA BOOMERANG and DANCE NITE ON THE RIVER QUEEN. Joe studied poetry with Leonie Adams at Columbia University. He taught fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence and NYU's Tisch, filmmaking at Marymount College and The School of Visual Arts, NY. He taught playwriting at Southampton College. Pintauro was playwright for the 2003 Southampton Writers Conference. THE DEAD BOY was a selection of the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference. His novel State of Grace was published by Times Books. His novel Cold Hands, Simon & Schuster, was widely reviewed and singled out by the New York Times as one of the best novels of the year. Pintauro studied cinematography under George Stoney, NYU, had a B.B.A. from Manhattan College, a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Jerome's College, Kitchener, Ontario, and four full-time years of Theology at Our Lady of Angels Seminary, Niagara University. He was awarded the Margaret Hill inaugural chair in theatre at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, and was named recipient of the 2005 John Steinbeck award for literature. He died in June 2018.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 3/4/2019
Pages 82
ISBN 9780881458053

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

First produced at the Royal Court Theater

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
The Dead Boy is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC