Ethan McSweeny

ethan mcsweeny american shakespeare center artistic director
Artistic Director

“Ethan’s keen intelligence, creative rigor, executive acumen and deep, instinctual love for the job of making great art — and particularly art rooted in the Bard — make him a perfect choice to lead ASC. The audiences, artists, staff and students of the ASC are in for an exceptional journey.” – Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director, PlayMakers Repertory Company

Ethan was named Artistic Director of ASC in June 2018. His internationally acclaimed work over the past two decades has been distinguished by both its remarkable diversity and breadth of achievement. In New York, his direction includes the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards) and the premiere of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill; the off-Broadway premieres of John Logan’s Never the Sinner (Outer Critics and Drama Desk awards) and Ellen McLaughlin’s adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Persians, as well as world premieres by Kate Fodor, Jason Grote, and Thomas Bradshaw, among others.

Nationally, his work on new plays, musicals, and revivals has been seen at most of the major institutional theatres in the country including the Guthrie, the Goodman, the Old Globe, the Denver Center, the Alley, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Rep, Center Stage, the Wilma, the Pittsburgh Public, Westport Playhouse, the Arena Stage, and the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, DC, where his string of acclaimed classics includes: The Tempest, Much Ado about Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Ion, and Major Barbara.

Internationally, he has spent two seasons at the celebrated Stratford Festival in Canada, staged multiple productions for The Gate in Dublin, and recently toured his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Macao Arts Festival in China. His productions have been nominated for more than 75 awards and claimed 30 wins, including four for Best Director: Twelfth Night (Helen Hayes Award, 2017), A Streetcar Named Desire (Irish Times Award, 2013), A Body of Water (San Diego Critics Circle, 2006) and Six Degrees of Separation (Star-Tribune Award, 2003).

Ethan served as the Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Theatre Company from 2004- 2011; as a Trustee of SDC, the national labor union representing directors and choreographers, from 2005-2017; and as Treasurer on the inaugural board of the SDC Foundation since 2018. He received the first-ever undergraduate degree in Theatre and Dramatic Arts from Columbia University.

More information (and pictures) is at www.ethanmcsweeny.com.