American Literature of the Sea and Great Lakes

SEA MARKS (first perf. 1971; pub. 1982). From 1959 to 1962 playwright Gardner McKay (1932- ) starred in the television series Adventures in Paradise, in which he played Adam Troy, a sailor who traveled the seas in his schooner Tiki. He later turned to playwriting.

His works include Sea Marks, a two-character play that charts the romance between Colm Primrose, an Irish fisherman from the Western Islands, and Timothea Stiles, a woman from Wales who works for a publisher in Liverpool. They become acquainted through a series of letters, which Timothea excerpts into a volume of poetry called Sea Marks. After their brief affair in Liverpool, Colm rejects both a new wardrobe and his literary success, returning to the sea and continuing his correspondence with Timothea. The climax of the play comes during Colm’s speech to a ladies’ club describing his relationship with the sea and mourning the drowning death of his foster father. [See also DRAMA OF THE SEA]

Brian T. Carney