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American Shakespeare Center Artistic Director, Ethan McSweeny, Resigns

McSweeny’s resignation comes amid “festering tensions over his treatment of actor and staff.”

American Shakespeare Center Artistic Director, Ethan McSweeny, Resigns

American Shakespeare Center's artistic director since 2018, Ethan McSweeny, has resigned, effective February 11, The Washington Post reports.

The reasoning behind McSweeny's departure was not revealed, and there was no statement made, aside from the ASC board wishing him well.

McSweeny's resignation comes amid "festering tensions over his treatment of actor and staff." He was trying to find a way for ASC to enter 2021 with a clean slate-which, he concluded, wound up meaning removing himself from the company altogether.

A lawyer was retained by the ASC board to investigate the accusations, though the details of the investigation were not referred to in the theatre's press release.

Read more on The Washington Post.

Ethan McSweeny's work as a theatre director includes the Broadway premiere of John Grisham's A Time to Kill and the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Awards); the New York premieres of John Logan's Never the Sinner (Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Awards), Kate Fodor's Rx at Primary Stages, her 100 Saints You Should Know at Playwrights Horizons, and Jason Grote's time-bending 1001 for Page 73 (both named "Top Ten" in TimeOut and Entertainment Weekly magazines), as well as Willy Holtzman's Sabina at Primary Stages, and a landmark revival of Aeschylus' The Persians in a new translation by Ellen McLaughlin for Tony Randall's National Actors Theatre.

His work has been recognized with multiple Helen Hayes, Jefferson, Barrymore, San Diego Critics Circle, Ovation, OCIE, Star-Tribune, and "Best Of" nominations and citations. From 2004-2011, McSweeny was the co-artistic director of the Chautauqua Theatre Company, a summer theatre on the grounds of the renowned Chautauqua Institution that under his leadership built a national reputation for the cultivation of the finest emerging theatre artists in the country and the development of exciting and relevant new work for the stage. Originally from Washington, DC, McSweeny received the first degree in Theatre and Dramatic Arts ever conferred by Columbia University. He is an Affiliated Artist at The Shakespeare Theatre, a member of the Wingspace Design Collective, Resident Director at Chautauqua Theatre Company, and serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of SDC, the national labor union representing stage directors and choreographers.


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