A Skull in Connemara

By Martin McDonagh

Directed by Paul J. Potenza

Mar. 17 – Apr. 9, 2017

Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Tickets: $28

Preview Performances: Mar. 15 – 16 | Wed. – Thr. 8pm | Tickets: $14

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Creative Loafing Best of the Bay

Theatre Tampa Bay Award

Populated by misfits and miscreants all digging for the truth, A Skull in Connemara is a blasphemously funny whodunit set in rural western Ireland complete with flying skulls and bloody mallets. Martin McDonagh’s plays (The Pillowman, The Lonesome West) are undeniable favorites of the Jobsite faithful, and the company is thrilled to once again bring his signature dark wit, kooky characters, on-stage mayhem, and crackling dialogue back home.

Mick Dowd is hired one week a year to disinter the bones in certain sections of the local cemetery in Leenane (a small town in County Galway, Ireland) to make way for the new arrivals. As the time approaches for him to dig up those of his own late wife, strange rumors surrounding his involvement in her sudden death seven years ago begin to resurface.

If the name Mick Dowd sounds familiar it is because he has been gossiped about in the other plays. Leenane is a tight-knit but badly fraying community where everyone knows (or thinks they know) everyone else’s business. You’ll hear about Mag Folan, freshly murdered by her daughter Maureen, the ironically nicknamed title character of The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

You’ll also be reminded of Ray Dooley’s extralegal exploits, as well as the ministrations of the young priest Father Welsh (“Walsh? Welsh!”). The latter is so despairing of his flock in this God-forsaken place that he drowns himself after having burned his hands to “skitter” in the molten wax of boiling Catholic figurines — a last desperate measure to get the violent Connor bothers to stop beating the hell out of each other after the murder of their father in The Lonesome West.

Jobsite and McDonagh

Jobsite began what is commonly referred to as the “Leenane trilogy” in 2003 with The Beauty Queen of Leenane, chosen as a top production of the year by both Creative Loafing and Tampa Tribune. Beauty Queen was also the show Jobsite was performing when granted resident theater company status by Straz president Judy Lisi.

The company followed Beauty Queen up 10 years later with The Lonesome West, a production that was nominated for eight Theatre Tampa Bay Awards and earned David Jenkins a spot of Creative Loafing’s Top 9 Performances of the year list. In between 2003 and 2013, Jobsite also produced McDonagh’s The Pillowman (2006) and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2009), both to high acclaim. McDonagh is probably more widely known as the Oscar-winning filmmaker of In Bruges, Seven Psycopaths and Six Shooter.

About The Playwright

After writing a number of plays in a very short period of time, McDonagh has since become a successful screenwriter, winning awards and enjoying box office success with films like Six Shooter, In Bruges, and most recentlySeven Psychopaths. His most recently play, A Behanding in Spokane, starred Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken on Broadway.

Brian Shea in Jobsite's A Skull in Connemara. (Photo by Ryan Finzelber.)
Brian Shea in Jobsite's A Skull in Connemara. (Photo: Ryan Finzelber.)
(L-R) Brian Shea, Diana Rogers and Brandon Mauro in Jobsite's A Skull in Connemara. (Photo by Ryan Finzelber.)
(L-R) Brian Shea, Diana Rogers and Brandon Mauro in Jobsite's A Skull in Connemara. (Photo: Ryan Finzelber.)


Paul Potenza on Acting

Paul J. Potenza has been a Jobsite favorite for years. A deeply-valued Artistic Associate and former board chair, “Paulie” has turned in a number of

Read More »

Cast & Crew

  • Paul Potenza – Director
  • Matthew Ray – Stage Manager


  • David M. Jenkins – Thomas Hanlon
  • Brandon Mauro – Mairtin Hanlon
  • Diana Rogers – Maryjohnny Rafferty
  • Brian Shea – Mick Dowd


  • Teah Banks – Stage Management Intern
  • Ryan E. Finzelber – Lighting Designer
  • Spencer Meyers – Properties
  • Shawn Paonessa – Sound Designer
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic Designer
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer

Patron Reviews

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One Response

  1. A Skull In Connemara, was a powerfully entertaining evening of theatre, challenging, funny, frightening and filled with a sense of history and Irish contrapuntal wisdom. Godot always waiting to pounce. Direction by Paul J. Potenza brings those detailed moments to the foreground, and the fearless actors, Diana Fye Rogers, Brian Shea, Brandon Mauro, David M. Jenkins embody the characters with a wicked reality that makes for a great evening of theatre that deserves to live and continue. The sets were a marvel, clever and poetically real. Shimberg, till April 9th. Go see these terrific players in this artful piece of theatre. Martha Velez, PhD, Artistic Director, ProComm Theatre Troupe

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