When Jasson Minadakis, MTC's artistic director, emailed me about directing McDonagh's play I asked him if he'd contacted the person he'd actually intended to contact. Living room family dramas are not exactly what I'm known for. But when I read Beauty Queen I connected immediately to McDonagh's severe sense of theatrical showmanship. His near-perfect craftsmanship, and his ability to rip humor out of the most uncomfortably harsh emotional situations, made working on the production an education in dramaturgy, character construction, and the theatrical possibilities of supposedly "realistic" stage worlds. Also the play is just so uncommonly fun and heartbreaking. The cast did a bang up job in the end, and my first experience directing a living room family drama ended up nowhere near the thumb-twiddler I would have expected it to be!