Maria began acting in Ireland in 1999 but her first work professionally as an actor was with Shakespeare & Company, a Boston-based theatre company producing both Shakespeare and modern works, and she then moved on to star with the Irish company The Sugan Theatre Company in ‘Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off’ by Scottish playwrite Liz Lochead. In the late 1990’s she moved to Ireland and her first acting role was with Roger Corman’s Irish-based company Concorde Anois/New Horizons. She acted in 5 of Roger’s films (all speaking and featured roles) as well as Irish short films, feature films, and television commercials. Her stage debut came in the play “Eclipsed” in 2000 and she continued to perform on stage to Irish audience as with her multi-media company “extempo”, where she was director and co-producer, composing, arranging, and performing in the productions. Maria produced 3 shows in Galway under the ‘extempo’ umbrella at The Town Hall Theatre and site-specific venues. Maria also began collaborating with members of Poland’s Gardzienice Theatre Company in 1999 and continues to work with them both in Poland and London.
Maria founded the Bare Bards Theatre Co. in 1999, an improv and street theatre performance company, and gained a reputation in the West of Ireland as “innovative, wild, and highly entertaining” performance group that invaded the streets of towns all over the West coast during arts and cultural festivals, their slew of characters and scenarios ranging from filthy medieval street urchins to slightly remedial but sincere culchie cheerleaders from hell, and everything in between. Nothing was sacred and irreverence was the order of the day.
Maria found an acting agent in Dublin in 2002, and was cast in speaking roles in films with actors such as Angela Lansbury, Patrick Bergin, Mia Farrow, Keith Carradine, and Patsy Kensit.
Maria landed her first television role in Ireland’s popular soap opera ‘Fair City’ as American boss ‘Camille Barnett’ in 2002. Although the character so far only appears in 10 episodes of the show it was more than enough time for her to create a stir and make her presence feared and loathed amongst the population of fictitious Carrigstown. Maria’s TV debut was quickly followed by a leading role with the Cork-based Corca Dorca Theatre Company (who produced the smash hit “Disco Pigs”) in their highly acclaimed sell-out production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Maria played the two main men’s roles, ‘Oberon’ and ‘Theseus’, and was touted as ‘mesmerizing’.
Maria also co-starred as lesbian cowgirl ‘Lee’ in the European premiere of the Canadian play “Very Heaven” by Ann Lambert running in the Stalislavsky-based Focus Theatre in Dublin 2004. A role was especially written for her to act in the recent American re-make of “The Honeymooners”, shot on location in Dublin in 2004 and stars the likes of Eric Stoltz and John Leguizamo (“Romeo & Juliet”, “Moulin Rouge”) and Oscar-winning director Jim Sheridan wrote her a role for his movie “In America” after meeting the actress in Dublin. Maria then toured with Storytellers Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed and award-nominated “Dream of a Summer’s Day”, and starred in the Theatre Royal’s production of the German one-woman cabaret show “Tonight: Lola Blau” to ecstatic critical praise.
Maria co-starred in Big Telly Theatre Co.’s (U.K.) production of “The Country Boy” on its 2 month international tour in 2007 and in 2008 she was snapped up to play murdered wife Isabella alongside British star Martin Shaw in the new BBC television series ‘Inspector George Gentley’ while also appearing in a cameo role as a cabaret singer in the new ITV television series ‘Rock Rivals’. 2009 saw Maria as the leading lady in the originally spoof short musical film ‘I Hate Musicals’ with legendary cult Irish singer Jack L and co-starring in ‘Roman Fever’, an Edith Wharton adaptation by Irish playwrite Hugh Leonard. Maria was invited to take a plum role in The Gate Theatre’s 2010 production of ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ as the feisty, saucy courtesan Emelie and played alongside Nicolette Sheridan (‘Desperate Housewives’) in the Hallmark Channel’s ‘Honeymoon for One’.
In 2011 fate decided to throw in a curve ball and Maria was approached by Irish comedy legends The Nualas to join them in re-launching the act in Ireland. She currently performs with them as performer, accompanist, co-writer, and musical director. Maria also stars in the upcoming web-series ‘Rising’, directed by Laura Way and produced by Pull The Trigger (Ireland).