Live theatre thrives in Santa Cruz

by Martin McDonagh

September 5 - 30, 2018
Directed by Susan Myer Silton

This Tony Award-winning dark comedy is set in the provincial Irish town of Leenane. Forty-something spinster Maureen Folan lives with her manipulative aging mother Mag, stuck in a caretaking relationship that has them both seething with resentment. When a romantic encounter finally sparks Maureen's hopes for an escape from her dreary existence, Mag's interference sets in motion a chain of events that is as tragically funny as it is terrifying. Written in 1996, BEAUTY QUEEN is one of a trilogy and was the very first play from McDonagh, who is also a notable screenwriter known for In Bruges and the recently acclaimed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

"A tragedy that will make you roar with laughter." – Hollywood Reporter

This production is funded, in part, by grants from the following organizations:



Stephen MuterspaughStephen MuterspaughSusan Myer Silton (Director and Dramaturge). The Beauty Queen of Leenane is the ninth play Susan has directed for Jewel; other season openers were A Streetcar Named Desire (2016), Saint Joan (2014), Arcadia (2013), Mary Stuart (2012), House of Blue Leaves (2011), and Clouds (2010). She directed Silent Sky in January 2018 and Master Class in March 2016. Susan was dramaturge for The Odd Couple, Always … Patsy Cline, and All My Sons in the 2017/18 season; The Dance of Death, The Book Club Play, and Next to Normal for the 2016/17 season; Talley's Folly and The Price in the 2015/16 season; Woman in Mind and Harper Regan for the 2014/15 season; Three Days of Rain, What the Butler Saw, and Arcadia for the 2013/14 season, as well as the dramaturgy associate for Fallen Angels (January/February 2016). A visual artist her entire life, she took her first theatre class in 1990, and went on to study with the National Shakespeare Conservatory under a Merit Scholarship. Susan acted with, among others, Pacific Repertory, Central Coast Theatre Works and Actors Theatre. In 1999, she co-founded Pisces Moon Productions, Inc., where she was Producing Artistic Director for 12 years. Susan has served on the advisory committee for the Arts Council's Arts in Education program, is a Rydell Visual Arts and Gail Rich Awardee, and is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.


Jesse CaldwellAndrew Davids (Pato) is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and has performed in many off-Broadway productions in New York City, including Heat and The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie. Later, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the avant garde theater troupe Elephant Off Main in Hollywood. There, he performed in many acclaimed productions, such as ZZYZX and Gecko Chestnut Super Genius. Since arriving in Santa Cruz he has performed in several Jewel Theatre productions: Mary Stuart, The Lover, Arcadia, Saint Joan, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Odd Couple. Other local credits include The Nether, The Mystery Plays, and Julius Caesar.


Shaun CarrollJulie James* (Maureen) is the founder and Artistic Director of Jewel Theatre Company where she has acted in several shows including Always... Patsy Cline, Sylvia, The Dance of Death, A Streetcar Named Desire, Guys and Dolls, Complications from a Fall, Harper Regan, What the Butler Saw, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Arcadia, One for the Road, Mary Stuart, Hello and Goodbye, The House of Blue Leaves, Sylvia, Women on Fire, and Raised in Captivity. She has also performed with several other theatres, including Marin Theatre Company, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, California Conservatory Theatre, Center Repertory Theatre, The Willows Theatre, and VITA Shakespeare Festival. Julie holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University.


Scott CoopwoodTravis Rynders (Ray) is an actor, dancer, and performer in the San Diego area and is excited to be returning to the Jewel for his role as Ray. He graduated from UCSC in 2017 with a degree in Theatre Arts and his most recent acting credit was performing as Prince Harry in King Charles III at the Coronado Playhouse. Travis also enjoys performing modern dance and spends time learning the art of Contact Improvisation. He would like to thank Susan and Jewel Theatre for putting together such a wonderful and hardworking group of people and hopes you will enjoy the show.



Andrew DavidsKarel K. Wright* (Mag) is thrilled to back at Jewel Theatre. Her previous credit here was Alison in Harper Regan. Other favorite roles include Ben Franklin in 1776, Ruth Steiner in Collected Stories, Big Mama in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Lavinia in The Heiress, Williamina Fleming in Silent Sky, and Mrs. Rittenhouse in Animal Crackers (Mad Cow Theatre). Other credits include Mattie Fae in August Osage County and Delia in One Slight Hitch (American Stage), Mrs. Bradman in High Spirits starring Georgia Engel (TheatreZone). Karel's next show after The Beauty Queen of Leenane will be It Shoulda Been You at The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol. Karel received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. Karel would like to thank her husband and brother for all of their support. Karel's website:

*Member, Actors' Equity Association.