Saturday, 17 May 2014

ONstage Tonight at Festival: Peterborough Theatre Guild

Our final performance at Theatre Ontario Festival 2014 is a play seen at Festival back in 2001.  The theatre company that hosted that 2001 Festival is now the producer of the 2014 production, as Peterborough Theatre Guild presents Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, representing the Eastern Ontario Drama League (EODL).

Peterborough Theatre Guild began in 1965, purchasing and renovating an old church that had been gutted by a fire.  They have hosted our Theatre Ontario Festival three times, in 1980, 1993, and 2001.  Peterborough Theatre Guild has represented EODL many times at Festival—most recently in Sault Ste. Marie in 2012 with the original script The Mouse House by Robert Ainsworth, which won Peterborough their third Elsie Award for Outstanding Production (following wins in 2006 in Sarnia for Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, and in 2008 in North Bay for Proof.)

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Peterborough Theatre Guild
Alex Saul, Scott Drummond, Patricia Young
Photo by Theresa James
Set in the village of Leenane, Connemara, Ireland in the early 1990s, the play centers on Maureen Folan, an emotionally-taut, middle-aged spinster and her relationship with her malevolent mother, Mag, who manipulates and exploits her daughter to keep her psychologically enslaved as a caregiver. Into this scenario of domestic toxicity comes Pato Dooley, a gentle, long-time admirer of Maureen who is leaving to work in the U.S.A. and wants Maureen to come with him. It’s a last chance opportunity for Maureen to escape her prison and Mag quickly recognizes the threat to her own selfish comforts.

At the 2014 EODL Festival, Peterborough Theatre Guild won the Leslie M. Frost Award for Best Production, Best Actress in a Major Role (Alex Saul as Maureen Folan), and Acting Excellence—Male (Scott Drummond as Pato Dooley), with honourable mentions for Best Director (Jerry Allen), Actor in a Major Role (Luke Foster as Ray Dooley), Ensemble, Set Design (Al Tye), and Use of Speech (Sharon Guildea, Dialect Coach).

Read more about Theatre Ontario Festival 2014 on our website

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