Northport's Bare Bones Theater's THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE Begins Tonight

Bare Bones Theater Company presents Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane for eight performances at 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays, tonight, July 11 and July 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20, 2013 and at 7:00 p.m. on Sundays, July 14 and 21, at the Bare Bones Theater, 57 Main St., Northport, N.Y. Set in the mountains of County Galway, the play tells the twisted, darkly comic tale of a lonely woman in her forties, trying to escape from the rule of her aging, cantankerous mother. When mom interferes with her daughter's dreams, the results are surprising and unthinkable. Reserved seating is $25 and available by or by calling 631-606-0026.

With its universal themes of family relationships, duty vs. self-interest, and oppression vs. freedom, The Beauty Queen of Leenane has become a mainstay in the repertory of progressive regional theaters here and abroad. It is the play that launched the prodigious career of writer Martin McDonagh back in 1996. By 1998, at age 27, he had four new plays open in Ireland and England. Today, at age 43, Martin McDonagh is an internationally known playwright, filmmaker and screenwriter. Born in London of Irish-born parents, he has been described as one of the most important living Irish playwrights. In 2006 McDonagh won an Academy Award for his short film Six Shooter.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is the story of the love-hate relationship between a spinster and her domineering mother. At age 40, the daughter finds what is probably her last chance at love, while the mother faces being left alone, or worse. The play was well received on its opening night in Galway in 1996 and was shown at New York's Atlantic Theater Company in 1998. It was later produced on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award.

The Bare Bones Theater cast members are Debbie Starker, Linda May, Sean King and James Staehlin. Jeff Bennett, the founder of Bare Bones Theater Company, is the director

Debbie Starker, who plays the mother, Mag, is well known to Long Island theater audiences. She has a decades-long career as an actor, singer, director and producer. She is also known for her comprehensive website, Deb's Web, which reports on all the regional- and community-level theater happenings on Long Island, including audition announcements, Current Productions, cast listings, actor interviews, and a monthly newsletter.

Linda May plays Maureen, the spinster daughter. Originally from Ohio, Linda settled on Long Island in 2003 and soon established herself as a leading actor within the regional theater scene. This past January, she performed at BroadHollow's BayWay Arts Center in the one-woman show, Shirley Valentine. In April, in the One-Act Play Festival at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson, Linda May portrayed the mother of a son killed in a school cafeteria shooting who is forced into a face-to-face encounter with the mother of the boy who pulled the trigger.

Sean King, of Smithtown, and Jim Staehlin, of Northport, both alumni of the Bare Bones Theater's Acting School, play two brothers who are neighbors of Maureen and Mag. Offstage, Mr. King owns the King O'Rourke Cadillac/Buick dealership in Smithtown. Mr. Staehlin is an "at-your-home" personal trainer to individuals.

Focusing on the power of performance rather than the trappings of the stage, Bare Bones Theater Company was founded in 2000 by Jeff Bennett, of Northport, as an acting school for adults. Eventually, Mr. Bennett drew on his alumni actors and others to stage high-quality, innovative productions in the intimate dance studio of the Posey School, at 57 Main Street in Northport. Bare Bones Theater produces four full-length productions and several showcases each year. More information is available at

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