LESLIE SWACKHAMER

STAGE DIRECTOR -  THEATRE | OPERA

REVIEWS

ORFEO ED EURIDICE

Houston Press:

"Gluck's Orfeo is a blast of fresh air. It will always be. It's a classic of its kind, albeit an early exemplar, but a classic nonetheless. It is simple and pure, ravishing in its simplicity, pure melody and pure expression. Opera in the Heights produces a lovely rendition, formal and clean, updating the antique but not making it too cluttered to harm the old opera's impact. OH, under Leslie Swackhamer's compressed direction, turns Gluck into gold."

 

 

MADAMA BUTTERFLY (SAN FRANCISCO OPERA)

Opera Today:

"Gesamtkunstwerk, synthesis of fable, sound, shape and color in art, may have been made famous by Richard Wagner, and perhaps never more perfectly realized than just now by San Francisco Opera.  It was an Italian opera, the abstract visual images of a Japanese born American and an American fable that converged magically into artistic totality.

The 2006 production itself (design and staging), is from Opera Omaha. It has since traveled to Madison, Dayton, Vancouver, Honolulu, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Charlotte. It would hold the stage in any opera house in the opera world. It is a masterpiece."

 

San Jose Mercury News:

"...by isolating the characters in those enormous landscapes of pure color, the production simultaneously intensifies the setting and strips away potential distractions. Memories of past "Butterfly" productions are erased, that's for sure. We're newly focused on action and transformation. The story takes on the power of mythology."

 

 

MARIE ANTOINETTE

WINNER OF 2015 HOUSTON PRESS AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR

"With David Adjmi’s pop-bio Marie Antoinette, Swackhamer proves she is a good director. No, she’s the best director...Director Swackhamer delivers all of this intimate epic with affection and slight irony, moving these historic pawns as if they’re in a music video, balancing the sweeping ensemble scenes with jewellike tête-à-têtes."

 

Houston Chronicle:

"Audiences will not only be taken by Neves' Marie Antoinette, but also by Adjmi's cleverly constructed script and director Leslie Swackhamer's ingenious production, which makes this multifaceted consideration of the queen an intimate epic to savor... 'a triumph of writing, production and performance. ...at Stages, Marie Antoinette rules!'"

 

Applause!Meter:

Adjmi’s play in Leslie Swackhammer’s astonishingly talented directorial hands, fizzes and pops and ultimately claws  its way into our full enjoyment.

 

WATCH: Interview with Houston Public Media

 

 

FAILURE: A LOVE STORY

Broadway World:

"Direction by Leslie Swackhamer is vibrant and full of color, bringing a vaudevillian air to the piece. Her cast deliciously over-exaggerates and over-emphasizes their actions during the innumerable moments of narration."

 

 

IN THE NEXT ROOM

Houston Chronicle:

"Leslie Swackhamer's direction is smart and sensitive, with a light touch in the comedy and genuine feeling..."

 

 

GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL

Houston Chronicle:

"Leslie Swackhamer’s direction is raucous and rowdy as anyone could wish..."

 

 

RABBIT HOLE

Houston Chronicle:

"Director Leslie Swackhamer gives Stages’ production depth, naturalness and sensitivity. She finely calibrates the play’s delicate emotional shifts and makes the most of its meaningful silences."

 

Houston Press:

"And the cast that director Leslie Swackhamer shapes this subtle story with has stepped inside this world with grace and tender respect for the pain and joys each character feels. These don't feel like performances so much as lives lived in quiet agony.Swackhamer finds the truth of this story and spreads it out with hushed care over the space at Stages."

 

 

AMY'S VIEW

Houston Press:

"...detailed, consummate direction.... Hare's haunting play whirls right through our hearts and inside our brains. It's a provocative evening in the theater, wonderfully realized, and that is something both rare and welcome."

 

Leslie Swackhamer 2015 | Website by Peter Ton