Joan Sheehy is from Limerick and has been acting professionally since 1980. She has worked extensively with the Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre, and Project Arts Centre in Dublin and Moscow, Leningrad, New York and the Almeida Theatre in London with the Abbey Theatre’s acclaimed production of THE GREAT HUNGER: she toured Australia with Druid Theatre Company’s production of THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD which also played at the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden. Theatre work includes CONVERSTAIONS ON A HOMECOMING (Druid), MY SISTER IN THIS HOUSE (Project), THE RECRUITING OFFICER (The Gate), THE MIDNIGHT COURT (Project), THE GREAT HUNGER, THE GENTLE ISLAND, DANCE FOR YOUR DADDY, YERMA (all at the Abbey Theatre). YERMA for Galloglass Theatre Company, CELL for Calypso, and PIGTOWN for Island Theatre Company.
Film and Television roles include ESCAPE FOR VERGIE for Hill 16 Films, THE STRANGER for Thames TV, HARD SHOULDER, ANN DEVLIN, THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD for Channel 4, ROS NA RUN, FAIR CITY, AN TURAS, TEENAGE CICS, THE LAST FURLONG, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, WATERMELON, KILLINASKULLY, MATTIE, FAMILY, DETOUR, THE RUN OF THE COUNTRY, FATHER TED (Channel 4), THE BOXER and THE FIELD (directed by Jim Sheridan), INTO THE WEST, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, TALES FROM THE POOR HOUSE, DOWNSHIFTING and UNTITLED COMEDY for Umberto Pasolini.
Other stage appearances are A DOLL’S HOUSE, SAME OLD MOON, TWELTH NIGHT, CARTHAGINIANS, THE CRUNCH, CHICKADEE, THE CHASTITUTE, SHEEP’S MILK ON THE BOIL, DUN NA MBAN TRI THINE, THE MAI, FEAR AN TAE, THE FIELD, THE CARNIVAL KING, THE SPIRIT OF ANNIE ROSS, FAITH HEALER, AN TRIAIL, HANSEL & GRETAL, LOVERS, WHERE HE LIES, THE GREEN FOOL, SMALLONE, LESS THAN A YEAR, PHILADELPHIA HERE I COME and LAST BEAUTY SPOT.
In the past six years Joan has directed some acclaimed productions. She created THE COLLEEN BAWN TRIALS for Limerick City of Culture. She directed ANYTHING BUT LOVE and EXCESS BAGGAGE, both by Mary Coll at the Belltable Arts Centre and MAYBE THE NIGHT by Kevin Barry for the 2013 Limerick Experiment. In 2008 Joan produced and directed BUCK JONES AND THE BODY SNATCHERS at the Georgian House in Limerick. It was nominated for Best Production (Irish Times Theatre Awards) and played at the Dublin Theatre Festival the following year. For Friars Gate Theatre, Joan has directed THE HUNT FOR RED WILLIE, IN THE SHADOW IN THE GLEN and THE TINKER’S WEDDDING. More recently, Joan directed Cathy Belton in the Irish premiere of THE MATCHBOX by Frank McGuinness, performed as part of the Galway International Arts Festival 2015.
Joan has a long association with Frank’s McGuinness’s work. She performed in CARTHAGINIANS (Druid) and in his versions of JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN and YERMA (Abbey Theatre Co.) and THE STRONGER (Bewley’s Café Theatre). Frank directed Joan in the Abbey Theatre’s production of THE GENTLE ISLAND by Brian Friel. She recently appeared in John B. Keane’s BIG MAGGIE directed by Garry Hynes for Druid.
Joan is currently appearing in SACRIFICE FOR EASTER, a new play by Pat McCabe at Elizabeth Fort on Barrack Street, Cork; presented by Corcadorca as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2016.