THE STORY: Hurricane Sandy has just ravaged the lifelong Staten Island home of Marty and Mary Murphy. But the storm has ripped apart more than just the walls: with their neighbors too devastated to stay, the couple’s beloved community is in danger of disappearing forever. Determined to rebuild, Marty wages a campaign to save his neighborhood and his home, but when the Murphys’ sons arrive to help their parents dig out, past betrayals come rushing to the surface. With fierce compassion and poignant humor, BY THE WATER reminds us that the very powers that tear us apart can also bring us together.
“Rothstein’s affecting play traces the impact of a devastating natural disaster on a middleclass couple who were already trudging uphill. Drawn with acute sympathy and in gritty detail, the play dramatizes the kind of story that filled newspapers in the months after Hurricane Sandy. It’s clear from the pungent dialogue—which is seasoned with salty humor—that Rothstein knows these characters inside out.” —NY Times. “Four stars! BY THE WATER is a solid play about a dissolving world; the Murphys may have built on sand, but Rothstein builds on bedrock. This Superstorm drama is a force of nature.” —Time Out (New York). “A first-rate play. Before she reaches her bittersweet ending, Rothstein has examined a strong marriage that’s greatly tested and has probed deeply into fractious parent-child relationships. What she’s wise about demonstrating is the multi-faceted nature of love.” —Huffington Post.