The Beauty Queen of Leenane Press Release
  • 2023-10-09

The Beauty Queen of Leenane Press Release

April 25, 2013

Publicity photos are available online.




May 23 – June 16, 2013 | Opening Night: May 28

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company closes its 2012-13 Season with a revival of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane in Mill Valley from May 23 to June 16. Named San Francisco Chronicle's MVP of 2012 Bay Area theater, Mark Jackson (Shotgun PlayersAurora Theater Company) directs this “gloriously funny; wickedly amusing; unalloyed delight” (The Telegraph). Opening night is on Tuesday, May 28.

“I'm delighted to finally have local director Mark Jackson bring his unique vision to MTC,” artistic director Jasson Minadakis said. “Mark and I have been talking for quite a while about finding the right project to introduce his aesthetic to our audiences and I know Martin McDonagh's searingly funny The Beauty Queen of Leenane is the perfect vehicle. This is the play that launched McDonagh's career as one of Ireland’s most important contemporary writers. It is also the third play we have explored this season that marks a seminal point in modern theater. The others were Suzan-Lori Parks’s Topdog/Underdog, the first Pulitzer winner by a black female playwright, and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, considered by many to be the most important play of the 20th century.”

“Hilarious, dark and utterly brutal” (Evening Standard), The Beauty Queen of Leenane is known for getting “the audience gasping with surprise (and sometimes horror) in between bursts of laughter” (The Herald). Middle-aged, unmarried and embittered, Maureen is locked in a stalemate with her elderly mother Mag, who is as selfish as she is manipulative. Their simmering relationship boils over when Maureen takes a lover and finds hope for escape in this black comedy filled with “venom-tipped sarcasm, disorienting plot twists and characters that are simultaneously endearing and repulsive” (The New York Times).

“Perhaps the best Irish play of the last 20 years” (Chicago Tribune), The Beauty Queen of Leenane premiered at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, Ireland, in October 1996 as part of a touring production by the Druid Theatre Company that traveled through Ireland to London's West End and later to Australia. The Druid production also went on to have successful runs Off Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company and on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theater in 1998, winning that year's Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Drama League Award for Best Play and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Play. Recently, the Young Vic Theatre staged a highly regarded production in London and Dublin in 2010 and 2011. The play has been produced locally at Berkeley Rep in 1999, San Jose Stage in 2002 and Northside Theatre Company in San Jose in 2012.

Written when the playwright was 27, The Beauty Queen of Leenane was Martin McDonagh’s break out hit. He went on to write A Skull in Connemara (1997), The Lonesome West (1997), The Cripple of Inishmaan (1997), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001), The Pillowman (2003) and A Behanding in Spokane (2010), as well as the films In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012). He won an Academy Award for the short Six Shooter, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for In Bruges and Laurence Olivier Awards for The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Pillowman. While often compared to Quentin Tarantino – which McDonagh does not welcome, saying “there’s a moral conundrum to both of my films that I haven’t really seen in Tarantino’s for a while” (New York Times) – the Irish writer is known for his distinctive voice: his “gift for extended gags, seemingly innocuous scraps of dialogue building up to savagely ironic punchlines, and sly, sadistic details that are unnecessary, appalling, yet curiously entertaining” (The Guardian). Most recently, his work has been produced in the Bay Area at SF Playhouse (A Behanding in Spokane, 2012), Cal Performances (Druid Theatre Company’s touring production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, 2011), Berkeley Rep (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, 2009) and San Jose Stage (The Pillowman, 2009).

MTC’s production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane features the MTC debut of Bay Area director Mark Jackson. Named best director in 2009 and 2004 by East Bay Express, best theatrical auteur in 2007 by SF Weekly and among the top 100 Bay Area artists in 2002 by San Francisco Magazine, he was the San Francisco Chronicle’s MVP of 2012 Bay Area theater, with theater critic Robert Hurwitt writing, “every show is exhilarating in its intellectual challenges, sharp visual images and expressive physical acting, and every year at least one of his shows makes my Top 20 list.” His directorial work was most recently seen at Aurora Theatre Company in The Arsonists and Salomania, which he also wrote, and at Shotgun Players in Woyzeck and God’s Plot, which he also wrote.

MTC’s production also features a cast of local actors, including returning MTC veterans Joy Carlin (MisallianceMy Old Lady) and Rod Gnapp (Edward Albee’s Tiny AliceFrankie and Johnny in the Claire de LuneFrozen), as well as the debuts of Joseph Salazar and Beth Wilmurt, who were both most recently seen at Shotgun Players.


The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Marin Theatre Company
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Mark Jackson
Featuring Joy Carlin,* Rod Gnapp,* Joseph Salazar and Beth Wilmurt
* member, Actor’s Equity Association

May 23 – June 16, 2013
Opening Night: Tuesday, May 28
Previews: Thursday, May 23 - Sunday, May 26

Performance Days
Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat 8:00 pm
Wed 7:30 pm
Sun 7:00 pm
Matinees: Every Sun 2:00 pm | Sat 6/1 & 6/15, 2:00 pm | Thu 6/6, 1:00 pm

Check or call the box office at (415) 388-5208 for exact performance dates and times.

Marin Theatre Company | 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

“Gloriously funny; wickedly amusing… an unalloyed delight” – The Telegraph

Middle-aged, unmarried and embittered, Maureen is locked in a stalemate with her elderly mother Mag, who is as selfish as she is manipulative. Their simmering relationship boils over when Maureen takes a lover and finds hope for escape. When you see this first hit by award-winning Irish writer Martin McDonagh, known for his plays The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore and films In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, expect to be “gasping with surprise (and sometimes horror) in between bursts of laughter” (The Herald).

Winner of the 1998 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Drama League Award for Best Play and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Play

$36–$57, details below (discounts available for Seniors and those Under 30)

Ticket Prices
Previews: $36 all
Opening Night & Sat Evenings: $52 side | $57 center
Tues: $36 | $41
Wed, Thu, Sun Evenings & Matinees: $41 | $46
Fri: $47 | $52

Discounts available:
RUSH tickets: $15, available one hour prior to show, based on availability
Under 30: $20, all performances
Senior discounts: varies by performance, please call
Military personnel, their families and US veterans: $5 off, all performances, must show ID

For group sales, contact Julie Knight, (415) 388-5200, ext. 3302

“MTC Engaged” invites patrons to join MTC’s artistic staff, designers and casts in conversation. A member of MTC’s artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) hosts a Q&A talk back after every performance, except Saturday matinees and evenings, and Opening and Closing Nights.

MTC Engaged Special Events:

• Theater Lecture Series at Mill Valley Public Library: FREE public lecture by MTC artistic staff, 375 Throckmorton Ave., 5/15, 7:30 p.m.
• Theater Lecture Series at Belvedere-Tiburon Library: FREE public lecture by MTC artistic staff; 1501 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon; 5/21, 7:30 p.m.
• Theater Lecture Series at Larkspur Library: FREE public lecture by MTC artistic staff; 400 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur; 5/23, 7:30 p.m.
• After Words: post-show interview with special guest: Sun 5/26, 2:00 p.m.
• Director’s Night: post-show conversation with director: Wed 5/29 & 6/12

• Perspectives: pre-show topical lecture: Thu 6/6, 12:00 p.m.

“MTC All Access” strives to make theater accessible to all audiences. For visually impaired patrons, Large Print playbills are available at the box office at all performances, Digital playbills that are compatible with screen reader software are available online starting one week before the first performance of a production, and Braille playbills are available with two-weeks advance notice through partnership with LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. To request a Braille playbill, call MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208, or use the California Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing “711.” For hearing impaired patrons, amplified sound Listening Devices are available.

CONTACT | (415) 388-5208 |


Martin McDonagh (playwright) makes his MTC debut with The Beauty Queen of Leenane, his first play. Since its 1996 premiere, Beauty Queen has been produced worldwide, including London’s West End, Off Broadway and Broadway and won numerous awards, including Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Drama League Award for Best Play and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Play, as well as a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. His produced plays include A Skull in Connemara, The Lonesome West (1997 Tony Award nominee for Best Play), The Cripple of Inishmaan (1997), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2003 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy; 2006 Tony Award nominee for Best Play), The Pillowman (2004 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play; 2005 Tony Award nominee for Best Play) and A Behanding in Spokane. He’s also written and directed the films Six Shooter (2006 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film), In Bruges (2009 BAFTA Film Award for Best Screenplay) and Seven Psychopaths. His other work includes “The Tale of the Wolf and the Woodcutter” and other radio plays. Though born in England to Irish parents and having lived his entire life in London, McDonagh is considered one of the most important living Irish playwrights.

Mark Jackson (director) makes his MTC debut with The Beauty Queen of Leenane. A Bay Area-based playwright, director and performer, he most recently directed The Arsonists at Aurora Theatre Company and Woyzeck at Shotgun Players. He was artistic director of Art Street Theatre in San Francisco from 1995 to 2004, during which time he wrote, directed and performed numerous productions for the company. Jackson’s work has also been seen at locally at Encore Theatre Company, EXIT Theatre, Potrzebie Dance Project, San Francisco International Arts Festival, Z Space, the American Conservatory Theater MFA Program and San Francisco State University; nationally at the Catamounts in Denver and the Studio Theatre in Washington D.C.; and internationally at Arts International Festival IV in Japan, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Deutsches Theater Berlin. His plays are published by Exit Press and have been developed at American Conservatory Theater, Capital Stage, Playwrights Foundation, Magic Theatre and Z Space. Jackson is a company member of Shotgun Players. He is a German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and has been a resident playwright of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, where he was awarded the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Honorary Fellowship. Among other awards and honors, Jackson is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award and a Magic Theater/Z Space New Works Initiative commission.

Joy Carlin (Mag Folan) has appeared at MTC in Misalliance and My Old Lady, as well as the New Works Series stage reading of That Good Night. She has been the associate artistic director, as well as a director, lead actor and teacher, at A.C.T. She was the interim artistic director, as well as an actor and resident director, at Berkeley Rep. She has performed many roles, winning numerous San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and Drama-Logue Awards. She has directed productions for TheatreWorks, Aurora Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle and Shanghai Youth Drama Troupe, where she directed You Can’t Take It With You. She returned to acting recently, performing in Harper Regan at SF Playhouse and Our Practical Heaven at Aurora. This summer, Carlin can be seen in Woody Allen’s new film Blue Jasmine and she will direct Amy Herzog’s After the Revolution at Aurora.

Rod Gnapp (Pato Dooley) has appeared at MTC in Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Frozen, Visions of Kerouac, The Crucible, The Blood Knot, Molly Sweeny, Keely and Du, And a Nightingale Sang and Orphans. He most recently performed in Se Llama Cristina at Magic Theatre, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at the Aurora Theatre Company and A Behanding in Spokane at SF Playhouse. A veteran of Bay Area stages, Gnapp’s other local credits include A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, San Jose Rep and TheatreWorks. His regional credits are Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Virginia Playhouse and Pittsburgh Public Theater. Gnapp has appeared with Ed Harris in the independent feature film Touching Home by the Miller Brothers, Valley of the Hearts Delite, Calendar Confloption by Pixar and Return to the Streets of San Francisco. He is the recipient of many San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards and is a graduate of A.C.T.’s MFA program.

Joseph Salazar (Ray Dooley) makes his MTC debut with The Beauty Queen of Leenane. His Bay Area theater credits include Hamlet at Cal Shakes; The Coast of Utopia: Shipwreck, The Coast of Utopia: Voyage and God’s Plot at Shotgun Players; Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and The Seagull at the Livermore Shakespeare Festival; The Pride at New Conservatory Theatre Center; and The Glass Menagerie and The Way of the World at the Pear Avenue Theatre.

Beth Wilmurt (Maureen Folan) makes her MTC debut with The Beauty Queen of Leenane. She has been performing throughout the Bay Area and beyond for the past 25 years. Recently, she appeared in Eccentricities of a Nightingale at Aurora Theatre Company and several roles for Shotgun Players, where she is a company member, including Woyzeck, Mary Stuart, God’s Ear and the New York production of Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage. Other performance highlights include The Companion Piece, which Wilmurt conceived and performed at Z Space, and Yes, Yes to Moscow, a dance-theater piece based on Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters that premiered at Deutsches Theater Berlin in Germany and was later presented at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. She received a 2010 Belle Foundation Award and a 2009 San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award.

Founded in 1967, Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season of provocative plays by passionate playwrights from the 20th century and today in our intimate 231-seat proscenium theater. We are committed to the development and production of new plays by American playwrights, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards, new play readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging playwrights and a leadership position in the National New Play Network. Our numerous education programs serve more than 6,000 students each year. MTC in a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.


Sasha Hnatkovich, Communications Director

(415) 388-5200, ext. 3313 |

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