PINS the stage adaptation
"A strong, well-staged world premiere production. Provenzano shows great skill with naturalistic dialogue and a healthy dose of wry humor."
– SF Examiner
"Provenzano shows a deep fondness for his characters and a sure understanding of the wrestling milieu. He's particularly adept at handling the crosscurrents of fear and lust produced by the conflict between the sport's potential homoeroticism and the team members' homophobia ... nicely captures the tender ache of adolescence." – Chicago Reader
"PINS wrestles with his themes thoughtfully and to entertaining effect. The center of the play, though, is a gay coming-of-age story compounded by the homophobia that seems rampant in so many sports, especially those with obvious homoerotic overtones. – San Francisco Chronicle
photos from the 2002 commissioned stage adaptation of PINS at New Conservatory Theatre Center,
August-October 2002. c. Jim Provenzano
"Scenes flow into one another with graceful fluidity, and the wrestling action, choreographed by playwright Provenzano, is visceral and smacks of authenticity.” – Oakland Tribune
“A fine example of the virtues of compelling drama: spare, incisive writing ... Impressively written, this almost minimalist drama skillfully builds an empathic tension.” – San Francisco Bay Times
"One of the more insidious things about homophobia is that it's not always obvious who the homophobe is. Sometimes it's a gay kid whose internalized self-hatred makes him lash out at other queers.
Without perpetuating the stereotype that gay-bashers are usually gay bashers (because if it's believed that only queers attack other queers - and this is certainly not the case - it's much too easy to dismiss it as a "gay problem"), Jim Provenzano explores the nuances of this phenomenon in his sensitive work on the unlikely topic of high school wrestling. Joey Nicci is in love with a fellow wrestler but still participates in the ostracizing of an openly gay teammate, with tragic results. The treatment of adolescent sexuality and the pressures and pleasures of team sports is perceptive and honest, and offers a unique view of growing up gay." – SF Bay Guardian
PINS audiobook, narrated by Paul Fleschner
“What starts off as yet another coming-of-age tale of gay youth in suburbia takes a dramatic turn and careens into a full-fledged miracle of writing.” – NY Blade News
“Fully captures the reader ... a descriptive writer of the Ernest Hemingway model; terse, stripped down, and to the point.” – Lambda Book Report
“Provenzano has a swift and flexible style that cuts against sentiment and reveals, in moments of grace, something like true feeling. He’s also funny. He has an ear for teenage banter, and he’s tartly lyrical about Jersey towns, Italian families and homemade mix tapes with titles like GRAPPLE and AURGH. Most urgent, he shows how gay bashing is still an outlet for kids who grew up in the so-called gay ‘90s.”
– The Advocate
“PINS is an auspicious debut, sort of a Catcher in the Rye about disillusioned gay jocks. It firmly establishes Jim Provenzano as an important new voice in early 21st-century fiction.” – Torso Magazine
“The author brings evident personal knowledge and a crisp, uncluttered prose style to this coming-out saga.” – East Bay Express
“A brilliant piece of fiction… The plot is very complex with many layers, each well-developed and passionately expressed. No sensitive reader will make it to the end without giggling, anxiety, joy and tears.” – Gay People’s Chronicle
Wrestling Team - German translation of PINS
Kids können grausam sein. Und das gilt noch mehr, wenn sie in Cliquen auftreten. Der Sportjournalist Jim Provenzano hat in seinem hochgelobten Roman Literatur aus diesem Thema gemacht. Es ist die Story vom Erwachsenwerden des Joey Nicci aus New Jersey. Als 10jähriger sieht er erstmals im Fernsehen Männer beim Wrestling. Als 15jähriger mischt er dann selbst im Wrestling Team seiner High School mit. Dabei fängt er an, homoerotische Gefühle für seinen Kumpel Dink zu entwickeln, der dies auch erwidert. Im Wrestling Team aber herrscht eine Hackordnung, wie bei allen Teenagern. Schwule stehen dabei auf der untersten Stufe. Es kommt zu einem grausamen Mord an Anthony, von dem alle annehmen, er sei schwul. Joey und Dink werden von ihren Mitschülern zum Schweigen verdonnert. Die anschließende polizeiliche Untersuchung bedeutet fast das Ende ihrer Freundschaft. Mit "Wrestling Team" hat der Autor einen packenden Roman geschrieben, der ein drängendes Problem amerikanischer High Schools thematisiert.