"McSweeny... has pursued such an eclectic career as a director that he himself is hard to figure out. ... Creating his own path seems characteristic of the man. 'I don’t tend to do well with well-trod systems,' he agrees. ... McSweeny has maintained a peripatetic and inquisitive career. ... It seems to illustrate the creative potential of being unsettled... McSweeny can always be an outside eye."
"Ethan McSweeny seems to have a Midas touch. It's not that the plays he directs turn into gold but they do sail across the footlights with a vibrant, magnetic sheen... The wunderkind director who made his Broadway debut before some directors finish graduate school, is earning plaudits for a flurry of new productions... Throughout his career, McSweeny has moved from classics to contemporary dramas to premieres with ease... His scrupulous attention to the melding of design, pacing, and performance and facility with which he presents them, feels crisp, vibrant, and cinematic." — Jaime Kleiman, American Theatre, July/August 2006
, July 8, 2011
"...for him, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is like family. Once upon a time, McSweeny was an enfant terrible with the company, interning before college, then returning as an associate director at 22. Now at 40 and as an affiliated artist with the troupe, his grandly scaled "Merchant of Venice," with Jews and Italians jostling in a tough 1920s Lower East Side Manhattan, marks the first time he has directed Shakespeare for the theater where he came of age."
"Culture Shock: Forget Brando – this is the true heart of A Streetcar Named Desire"
The Irish Times, August 10, 2013 [download]
"...one of the many admirable things about Ethan McSweeny's excellent current production at the Gate Theatre in Dublin is the intelligent manner in which Garrett Lombard as Stanley stays out of the way. He is, as Stanley must be, a powerful physical presence and a domineering bully. But his performance sets its own proper limits. Lombard does not seek to occupy too much psychological or emotional space. Stanley is what he is: an almost parodic expression of primitive maleness."
Count on hours well-spent with The Trinity River Plays
Dallas Morning News, November 22, 2010
"McSweeny is revealing himself to be the kind of directorial prodigy we read about in biographies of such auteurs as Robert Wilson and Peter Sellers. Except that he does not impose a vision or conceit on a play; he amplifies themes in the work." — Rohan Preston, Minneapolis Star Tribune (2004)