Shannon (April) Sweeney

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Shannon (April) Sweeney

Professor of Theater; Chair, Department of Theater

Department/Office Information


April Sweeney is an actor and theater maker originally from Dallas, Texas. She holds a bachelor of fine arts in acting from Marymount Manhattan College and a master of fine arts in acting from Columbia University.  She has performed internationally in theaters and festivals in Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Ireland, and Hungary. In the United States she has performed in regional theater,  a national tour, off-Broadway and downtown New York theater over the past decade.  

Ms. Sweeney has taught a number of master classes and workshops throughout Bolivia and Argentina while in residency with Laboratorio Teatral Willaldea. Directing credits include: Fauna (Torn Page, NYC); Avalon (co-director, Stonington Opera House, ME); MEDEA and Admissions (COLD READ, Syracuse Stage); She, and the Empty Living Room (undergroundzero festival, NYC); Atardecer 43 (Teatro Comunitaria Villa Traful, Argentina); A Short Play for 3 Spanish Speaking Actresses Stuck in a Cherry Orchard and Contemplations on a 4 Minute Macbeth at (Laboratorio Teatral WILLALDEA, Argentina); and PMURT a performance lecture by Kevin Doyle (Vooruit, Ghent, Belgium).

At Colgate University Erin Courtney's Map of Virtue, Federico León's 1500 Meter's Above Jack's Level, Melody Bates' R & J & Z, Clare Barron's Dance Nation and Antigone. She has also developed several TYA works PUNCHjudyJUDYpunchThey Say Her Name is Alice, Wald, a wondertale , and an adaptation of Kate DiCamillio's Flora and Ulysses.

Projects in development include a 4 episode trans-media, performance member entitled I DIGRESS: The Intimate Insights of a Childhood Weirdo by Sauda Jackson, Expanse of the Hudson River as Painted by Thomas Cole (an adaptation of Djuna Barnes' first novel Ryder), and a festival of works by Romina Paula.


  • At Black Lake, The TANK, New York City, 2019 
  • Distancia, 13th Festival de las Artes [FIA], San Juan, Costa Rica, 2017
  • Witness (LONEtheater), Matías Umpierrez and BOOM Arts, Portland, OR 2016
  • The Irresistible, Immersive Gallery, Williamsburg, NY 2015
  • Distancia, Festival Internacional de Teatro de Manizales, Colombia 2014
  • Witness (LONEtheater), undergroundzero festival, NYC 2014
  • Any Other Normal a film by Brok Labrenz 2014, Sydney World Film Festival 2015, Swedish International Film Festival 2016, Hamilton International Film Festival 2016
  • Distancia, Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires [FIBA] and Teatro San Martín 2013
  • The World is Round is Round is Round, The Mill, Albany, NY 2013
  • The Good Person of Szechwan, Columbia Stages 2012
  • Orchardless: Decay of Cities, New Orleans Fringe Festival 2012
  • The Rover, New York Classical Theater 2011
  • Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, Kitchen, NYC 2010
  • Untitled Mars (This Title May Change), Performance Space 122; National Theater of Hungary, Budapest 2008
  • This Place is a Desert, ICA Boston; Under the Radar Festival/Public Theater 2008
  • Women Dreamt Horses, BAIT/Buenos Aires in Translation Festival Performance Space 122 2006
  • Streetcar Named Desire, National Tour Montana Repertory Theater 2004
  • Grapes of Wrath at the Arkansas Repertory Theater 2000

The above work has been written about in Theater Heute, ARetez Revista de les Artes Escénicas, La Nación, Tiempo Argentino, American Theater MagazineThe New York Times, The New Yorker, and Time Out NY.



  • Fauna, Torn Page, New York, NY, 2022
  • I DIGRESS, The Intimate Insights of a Childhood Weirdo, Episodes 1-4 (web series)

             Episode 2: New York City Independent Theater Film Festival, February 2023 
             Episode 1: Outdoor Film Festival Hi-ARTS, NYC,  July 2022, (featured work-in- progress)
             Episode 1: Arts at the Palace, Hamilton, NY, September 2022

  • Medea, Cold Read Festival, Syracuse Stage, CNY, 2020
  • An evening with Romina Paula, excerpts of FAUNA, Martin E. Segal Center for Theater Research, NYC, 2019
  • Avalon, co-director, Stonington Opera House, ME, 2019
  • Admissions, Cold Read Festival, Syracuse Stage, 2019
  • PMURT, a performance, Vooruit, Ghent, Belgium, 2017
  • Atardecer 43, Teatro Comunitaria Villa Traful, Argentina, 2014
  • She, and the Empty Living Room, undergroundzero festival, NYC, 2008
  • A Short Play for 3 Spanish Speaking Actresses Stuck in a Cherry Orchard  & Contemplations on a 4 Minute Macbeth,  Laboratorio Teatral WILLALDEA, Argentina, 2004

    Colgate University Theater directing projects:
  • We Are Pussy Riot or Everything is PR, by Barbara Hammond, 2023
  • Antigone, translated by Anne Carson, composed by Paul Pinto, 2020
  • Dance Nation, by Clare Barron, 2019 
  • R & J & Z, by Melody Bates, 2018
  • Map of Virtue, by Erin Courtney, 2016
  • 1500 Meter's Above Jack's Level,  by Federico León, 2010
  • Devised TYA works (2006-) PUNCHjudyJUDYpunchThey Say Her Name is Alice, Wald, a wondertale, and an adaptation of Kate DiCamillio's Flora and Ulysses, and Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince.



Sweeney, April.  “The Flight of the Golden Falcon by Anna Correa.” Analola Santana and Jimmy A. Noriega (Ed.), (Re)Positioning the Latina/o Americas: Theatrical Histories and Cartographies of Power. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. 2018.

Sweeney, April and Werth, Brenda, (eds). Fauna and other plays by Romnina Paula. Translated by Jean Graham Jones, April Sweeney and Brenda Werth. Chicago, Illinois: Seagull Books, University of Chicago Press. (forthcoming 2023).

Produced Plays 

-Fauna by Romina Paula, co-translated with Brenda Werth, Torn Page, NYC, 2022
-Distancia by Matías Umpierrezco-translated with Patricia Masera
  2017 Festival Internacional de las Artes, San Juan, Costa Rica  
  2014 Festival Internacional de Teatro de Manizales, Manizales, Columbia
  2013 FIBA and Teatro San Martín, Buenos Aires 
- WITNESS (LONEtheater) by Matías Umpierrez
   2014 undergroundzero festival NYC 

- FAR (LONEtheater) by Umpierrez, co-translated with Ben Mandell
  2014 undergroundzero festival, NYC 

-1500 Meter's Above Jack's Level by Federico León, co-translated with Brenda Werth
  Colgate University Theater production, 2010

BFA, Marymount Manhattan College, 1995; MFA in Acting, Columbia University, 2000

  • Colgate University, Professor of Theater, 2021-present
  • Colgate University, Associate Professor, 2012-2021
  • Colgate University, Assistant Professor, 2006-2012
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Guest Artist, 2005
  • Puerto Villaroel, Chapare, Bolivia, Artist in Residence, 2005
  • Casa de Cultura, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia-Artist in Residence, 2005

2022    New York City Women's Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre award by the City of New York         Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment in association with the New York Foundation of the Arts for post production of I DIGRESS: The Intimate Insights of a Childhood Weirdo.

2022    New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for development of I DIGRESS: The Intimate     Insights of a Childhood Weirdo.

2018    National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Literature Translations Collaboration Fellowship 
with Brenda Werth for the translation of Fauna into English by Argentine playwright Romina Paula.

2015    National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) Summer Fellowship Latin American Theater Summer Seminar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Acting, Movement for Actors, Improvisation, Live Hybrid Theater/Cinema, Argentine Contemporary Theater, Theater in Translation

-THEA 254 Acting I
-THEA 257 Performance I Main Stage Production
-THEA 259 Children's Theater Workshop
-THEA 353 Theater, Play, and Improvisation
-THEA 355 Acting II
-THEA 357 Performance II Creation Studio
-THEA 363 Narrative Improvisation and Storytelling
-THEA 495 Senior Seminar in Theater