The Promise of Romance Collides With Family Tie To Elderly Parent For Burntout Caregiver
Much attention in recent years has been given to the problem of caregiver burnout . The stresses of caring for an ill family member can pile up and become overwhelming, leading to hopelessness, anger, and the feeling that you’re on a treadmill – constantly in motion but never getting anywhere.
That’s the situation Maureen (played by Cindy Pastorius) finds herself in at the beginning of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, by acclaimed Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. She’s spent 20 years caring for her elderly mother, Mag (played by Heather Hausmann). Her youth is gone and the rest of the world has moved on without her. Then one day a neighbour, Ray (played by Colin Zorzit), arrives with an invitation to a party. His older brother Pato (played by Joey Ouellette) will be there – a man Maureen has had a crush on since high school. Now that the promise of romance has arrived, Maureen feels hopeful about her future. She has decisions to make. But so does Mag.
“We’re all enamored with McDonagh’s scripts here,” says Post Productions managing director Michael K. Potter. “The guy writes ridiculously good stories about characters who feel real in their complexity and flawed humanity. Last year we produced his play, The Pillowman, and this follow-up is right in our wheelhouse. It’s a fascinating story that grabs on to your heart and won’t let go. It’s the sort of play people will be thinking and arguing about hours, even days, after they see it. It’s romantic, tragic, and funny.”
The Beauty Queen of Leenane is Post Productions second production since performing arts venues were allowed to re-open. Potter says audience response to Fatboy, staged in October, encouraged the company to continue with the other productions in their pipeline. “Fortunately, with Fatboy, not only did we sell out many of the performances – with limited seating due to social distancing guidelines – every patron was incredibly cooperative with our Covid-19 health and safety policies. That’s been essential to our own confidence. It isn’t enough for our company to care about the health and safety of our patrons, casts, and crews. We need our patrons to care, too – and thankfully they do.”
The Beauty Queen of Leenane is written by Martin McDonagh, directed by Michael K. Potter and Fay Lynn, and produced by Potter and Lynn with Nikolas Prsa. It stars Cindy Pastorius, Heather Hausmann, Joey Ouellette, and Colin Zorzit.
Performances: Nov 27 & 28; Dec 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 & 12 at The Shadowbox Theatre (103 – 1501 Howard Ave, the corner of Howard and Shepherd). Doors open at 7:30 PM for an 8:00 show. Tickets $25, available online only at postproductionswindsor.ca, where patrons can also review the venue’s Covid-19 health and safety policies.