Ethan McSweeny
5 Helen Hayes Award nominations including Best Director
Ethan McSweeny's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream is a feast for the senses.-Jeffrey Walker, DC Theatre Scene
What elevates the show above so many others, however, is McSweeny's boundless creativity in dealing with the fairies and his deft hand with the rude mechanicals. Lee Savage's set is deceptively simple, [allowing] Puck and company to appear, disappear, and leap in the air, as if by, well, magic… But this thoughtful, relatively risky take on a familiar classic is well worth experiencing.Sophie Gilbert, Washingtonian
Director Ethan McSweeny uses a decrepit theater as the setting for his scintillating production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company, with the twist that the fairies are just as enamored with stagecraft as the mortals are with theater…
…McSweeny demonstrates an easy confidence with the play on many levels, proving himself just as adept with the pageantry of the fairies' court as he is with the slapstick during the play-within-a-play.
Susan Berlin, Talkin' Broadway
McSweeny, who has become artistic director Michael Kahn's go-to guy for visual panache (a beautiful "The Persians") … [achieves] The initial beckoning of the fairies…with breathtakingcleverness: the flickering on of a ghost light on a bare stage. …Peter Marks, Washington Post
The entrance of Oberon is just as enchanting: A door slides open, revealing Campbell in matinee-idol profile, set off by the whiteout of a blizzard.Peter Marks, Washington Post
The Shakespeare Theatre Company has turned McSweeny loose to traffic in the magic of the theatre that weaves its potent spell in Sidney Harman Hall. From the opening scene in the court of Athens – circa late 1940s – to the final tableau's fairy farewell, McSweeny's production evokes fantasy and wonder… In a production with many delights, director McSweeny's finest achievement was his casting of the mechanicals…Jeffrey Walker, DC Theatre Scene
When we see the world of the supernatural meld with the world of the ruined playhouse, the magic of Shakespeare's contrived world and McSweeny's production find welcome companions. There is no leftover prop or tattered costume the fairies won't take on as a found treasure.Jeffrey Walker, DC Theatre Scene
Whether you are a seasoned expert to Shakespeare or fresh newbie to his works, Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream is divinely entertaining and a magnificent show to see.Grace Kim, DC Metro Theatre Arts
What the production really seems to remind you of is a circus, a carnival, a sideshow, and bits of the most excessive parts of operas that don't involve music. It's theater and show business in all of its guises. It is, too, a dream we can swim in.Gary Tischler, The Georgetowner
Puck suggests to us that 'we have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear.' Fat chance of that. This 'Midsummer' may feel like a dream, but it's a vivid dream we won't soon forget.Gary Tischler, The Georgetowner


by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare Theatre Company
Washington, DC 2012

Sets - Lee Savage
Lights - Tyler Micoleau
Costumes - Jennifer Moeller
Sound & Music - Fitz Patton
Choreography - Peter Pucci