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Lines in the Sand

A Full-Length Play
By Jim Dalglish

“It gets better.” That’s what the high school teachers, coaches, and counselors tell Billy. He knows that’s bullshit. So does Tom, the middle-aged man who rescues him from a gang of violent senior boys. Tom seems like the kind of guy Billy needs in his life. But when he gets into Tom’s car, can Billy trust where this older man is about to take him? 


Boy – Fifteen years old.  Scrawny and a little timid. 
Man – Thirty three years old.  Something in his face betrays hard times.


Place - A small American town. 
Time - Spring.  Just before everything wakes up


90 mins.

The Best Actor Oscar Wilde Awards won by Tony Travostino and Nick Bucchianeri for their work in "Lines in the Sand" at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

The Best Actor Oscar Wilde Awards won by Tony Travostino and Nick Bucchianeri for their work in "Lines in the Sand" at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.


Two-hander; edgy, contemporary drama


Rape, bullying, gay identity, masculinity, religious faith, prison reform, father/son relationships

Script Completed

Summer 2015

Production History

Limited New York Run
August 16 - 20, 2107
The Workshop Theater
New York, NY
(Full Production)
MAN: Tony Travostino
BOY: Nick Bucchianeri
Directors: Jim Dalglish & Ian Ryan
Illustrations: Jackie Reeves
Music: Sam Holmstock
Lighting Designer: Alex deNevers
Technical Director: Jasmyn Abuarab

International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, May 2017 (Full Production)
Cotuit Center for the Arts, March 2017 (Full Production)
MAN: Tony Travostino
BOY: Nick Bucchianeri
Directors: Jim Dalglish & Ian Ryan
Illustrations: Jackie Reeves
Music: Sam Holmstock
Technical Director: Erin Trainor


International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
Nominee: Best New Play (Jim Dalglish), Best Aspect of Production/Art Design (Jackie Reeves)
Winner: Best Actor (Tony Travostino & Nick Bucchianeri)


"'Lines In The Sand' by Jim Dalglish is a real thriller on so many levels. It is a dramatic thriller as this older man rescues a 15 year old boy from a violent altercation in the woods. Why has he been stalking him? It is a production thrill in the quality of the on stage work at all levels. This very fine production co-directed by Dalglish and Ian Ryan is edgy, atmospheric and gripping. You won’t have seen a play quite like this before under the banner of lgbt theatre and you won’t wonder why it is such a worthy inclusion in the programme – it is so well done.
- IDGTF Read the full review >>

"The complexity of the characters’ lives emerges in a way that makes even the off-stage ones seem real, so though the boy’s unseen mother is at first presented as a woefully neglectful parent, by the end of the play you have an unexpected empathy for her and the choices she has made. It requires very skillful writing to achieve that."
- Sean Denyer, The Out Most. Read the full review >>

“… a string of surprise twists transform the play from an intense, unnerving mystery to an equally intense but ultimately moving drama…  the story is engaging, with terrific performances… The play takes place over a period of less than 24 hours, and packs a wallop…  By intermission on this particular night, several members of the audience seemed visibly overwhelmed… it is worth seeing for its unforgiving look at complicated people in extraordinary circumstances, and for the food for thought it offers the audience about bullying, self-judgment, trust and mistakes.”
- Kay Keough, The Inquirer and Mirror. Read the full review >>

"Thought-provoking, gripping piece of theatre... Tautly directed by the playwright and Ian Ryan, the 90-minute play moves along at a crisp pace. Just when you think you have it figured out, the plot takes off in another direction before it results in a shocking revelation." 
 - Johanna Crosby, Barnstable Patriot. Read the full review >> 

“A brave psychological thriller, Lines in the Sand explores the struggles of growing up gay and the dangers boys and young men face whilst they try to desperately ‘find a place where you aren’t afraid to be who you are inside’.”
- IDGTF Review. Read the full review >>

"Taut direction by Dalglish and co-director Ian Ryan keeps the energy level in the small theater bristling with the threat of violence... The production offers some genuinely illuminating moments..." 
- Cindy Nickerson, Cape Cod Times. Read the full review >>

"Well written and executed... The acting by both performers is outstanding. Raw, emotional, and believable, Mr. Dalglish has written a script that’s both gritty and, in some instances, lyrical."
- Joanne Brina-Gartner, The Enterprise. Read the full review >>

"A two-hander by nature is extremely dependent on the skills of the actors portraying the two roles, and in this case they're exemplary. Both Bucchianeri (belying his age and relative inexperience) and Travostino (so memorable in the former play, Unsafe) are, to use an adjective too often loosely applied, riveting. In such a tiny black box, each threatens to blow the place apart. As Directed by Dalglish and Ian Ryan, they come close to doing just that. The play has been selected to be performed at the fourteenth annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival this May, and it's easy to see why. Presented here with Artwork by Jackie Reeves and Original Music by Sam Holmstock, it's another example of Dalglish's mixing of powerful “in your face” writing and wise restraint, not a mix that an awful lot of playwrights have the wit to threaten as well as to withhold."
- Jack Craib, South Shore Critic. Read the full review >>

Playwright Notes

Lines in the Sand is not an easy play.  A play you can sit back and watch for 90 minutes, smile a few times, and then go home content with yourself and the choices you have made with your life.  I didn’t want to write an easy play.  I wanted to write a play that would take people to places they were unprepared to go.  To coax them to empathize with people they may not normally feel any sympathy.  To re-evaluate their pre-conceived notions of crime, rehabilitation, faith and forgiveness.  I wrote the play to change people’s lives.

Over the course of the play, my two characters – an ex-con and a 15-year-old boy who picks up men in public parks – take the audience on a journey that will make them look at masculinity, sexuality, paternal relationships, and faith from a new perspective.

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