After a breakout production of John Logan's Never the Sinner catapulted him to the New York stage garnering Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, he made his Broadway debut at age 29 with the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Tony Award nomination).
In the dozen years since then his career has spanned a wide ranging body of work including more than 65 productions ranging from world premieres (1001, 100 Saints, and Trinity River Plays among others), to noted productions of classics (from Aeschylus' The Persians to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to Shaw's Arms and the Man), to revivals from the American canon (including Miller'sA View from the Bridge, Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Williams' The Glass Menagerie) to musicals both new and old (Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days, and The Pirates of Penzance). He has directed on many of the nation's most prestigious stages including the Guthrie, the Goodman, the Old Globe, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Denver Center, the Alley, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Rep, CenterStage, Pittsburgh Public, George Street Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Westport Playhouse, the Wilma, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, and the National Actors Theatre. among others. Internationally, McSweeny has twice directed at the Stratford Theater Festival: his acclaimed staging of Dangerous Liaisons in 2010 and a steampunk-infused revival of The Pirates of Penzance in 2012- and his spellbinding production of A Streetcar Named Desire is currently breaking box office records at The Gate Theatre in Dublin.
Long involved in the leadership of arts institutions, in addition to the Chautauqua Theater Company, Mr. McSweeny has served as Associate Artistic Director of the George Street Playhouse, Artistic Advisor to the National Actors Theatre, Resident Director at New Dramatists, and Associate Director of the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, DC. He can be heard on NPR as a frequent contributor to the LA Theatre Works audio plays series and currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, an independent national labor union. (As of October 2013)
IT’S A BEAUTY! THE CAST IS EXQUISITE. LOIS SMITH IS LUMINOUS. If KATE FODOR is not a name you recognize, this is a play you should know.—Linda Winer, Newsday
★★★★. A GENTLE, LOVELY NEW PLAY WITH A FIRST RATE CAST.—Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
Fodor’s play glows with the sense that the keenest evidence of the search for God is in the homiest details.—Ben Brantley, The New York Times
A thoughtful study in spiritual longing. Beautifully acted under ETHAN McSWEENY’s direction.—Michael Sommers, The Star-Ledger