"Rope is a fun, delightful romp through a game of murder that perks attention from the moment it starts, and thanks to brilliant director Ken Sawyer and his outstanding cast, it's a riveting and enjoyable evening in the theatre, far, far ahead of that Hitchcock movie...Under Sawyer's detailed direction, via which he manages effectively to pull out every ounce of humor, the cast give tremendously engaging performances."
"Amid the jukebox musicals and feel-good issue plays of the moment, thank the macabre heavens for grippingly disturbing entertainments. Ken Sawyer’s creepy in-the-round production tightens around you like a boa squeezing its dinner into paralyzation for two hours."
"Rope commences with an electrifying moment — the sort of cleverly crafted theatrics one might expect from director Ken Sawyer. In a pitch-black theater, the soft strains of a popular love ballad (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) can be heard. Suddenly, a blazing white light comes up on one man maniacally strangling another. The lights go down again; when they return, the victim has disappeared. We soon learn that his remains have been stuffed into a wooden chest which the murderer Brandon perversely plans to use as the buffet table for a party he’s hosting later on in the evening."
"As he did in Deathtrap, Sawyer improves on the Hamilton’s script without changing a word of the text, first by suggesting that Mrs. Debenham might have psychic powers, and later by taking a Hitchcock-inspired script alteration and transforming it into an act of conscience and expiation."
A Walk In the Woods
"The play is masterfully staged. With minimal set pieces... the viewers perspective is shifted and it makes each scene feel fresh and interesting like we are turning around this dramatic space in a circle."
"Director Ken Sawyer has taken some liberties with the original script – and so has added layers at the already subtle and fascinating study of two people asked to figure out a way to avoid nuclear proliferation...The injection of a female into the mix has added some intriguing new dynamics....Let’s not forget another change which director Ken Sawyer made to the original script. Just imagine both negotiators finally taking off their shoes, rolling up their trousers, and splashing around in a nearby pond. This is another excellent addition... "
"Loaded with hope and futility, A WALK IN THE WOODS, directed by Ken Sawyer stars two remarkable actors.
Sawyer obviously worked hand-in-hand with his technical team of designers to create the woods as a third character in the play, adding in realistic seasonal sounds and colorful lighting on the sparse tree-ringed set."
"The current production at Actors Co-Op has been skillfully directed by Ken Sawyer... The audience comes to feel they are nearly seated on the same bench as the negotiators. Sawyer has given his talented duo a lot of movement and the simple setting presents several different views so the action never becomes static."
The Search for Signs of Intelligent
Life in the Universe: Revisited
"The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited, takes the iconic Lily Tomlin one-woman show and reconfigures it with a talented cast of twelve... Director Ken Sawyer pulls all of the show’s many elements together seamlessly, staging everything with fluid grace. His sound design, which adds details to enrich the scenes, is particularly impressive, from the squeak of a straw in a cup to the slosh of a waterbed...This revisitation of Tomlin/Wagner’s play is a successful and entertaining experiment, itself a sign of intelligent life in the universe."
"Under Sawyer’s direction (he directed the deservingly award-winning Hit the Wall last year), this company again relates a complex series of stories...The writing may be strewn with 1980s memes, but the comedy and tragedy, here and elsewhere, arise from human nature and transcend time periods."
"Over the course of two acts bursting with the lovable weirdness of humanity, audiences take an emotionally moving and profound journey...It’s a triumph of art."
"Ken Sawyer’s imaginative, detailed direction visualizes the whole and how each moment fits in, while he pulls crisp portrayals from his actors."
The Goat Or, Who is Sylvia?
"'The Goat Or, Who Is Sylvia?' commands attention...Ken Sawyer's consummately realized staging…charts Albee's torturous trajectory from the ludicrous to the harrowing.. (Ann) Noble commands our awe in a high-decibel performance that is nerve-shattering and absolutely true. Under Sawyer's astute tutelage, Noble' metamorphoses into a modern-day Fury bent on a mission of righteous vengeance that excites both our sympathy and our horror.”
LA TIMES Critic's Choice
"Utterly Devastating Equity-Waiver Landmark Alert: How to explain why "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" at the Davidson-Valentini Theatre is one of the most exceptional L.A. productions of this or any year? For starters, director Ken Sawyer -- whose invisibly manipulated staging holds us from deliciously twisted beginning to wholly shattering end... At the finish of the airtight 90-minute proceedings, this observer wandered in a daze to the sidewalk and walked for a full hour, merely to try and grasp what he'd just experienced. If you think this off-the-cuff love letter is over-the-top, you haven't seen the show, which under no circumstances should be missed."
“Director Ken Sawyer is so intelligent in his choices that I wish everybody thinking about directing at the Complex, or the Hudson, or the Celebration, would come see his work, and ask themselves whether they can contribute at this level. If not, they can certainly study here, and learn. Yes, it helps to have a sophisticated script. But to understand the potential dynamics in a plot and to exploit them so adroitly through motion and stillness, to use music this judiciously, to cast this well, to wring fine actors so thoroughly not merely of technique but of spiritual potential, is not something any given citizen can do. You have to be very very good at the whole art thing “
"…director Ken Sawyer pulls out all the stops and directs four amazingly skilled actors in what is one of the most grueling, yet rewarding actors' emotional workouts…The ensemble under Sawyer's deft direction are nothing short of sensational.“
“…the four cast members reflect the elegance and intelligence that radiates from Sawyer’s staging. “
“Just hold onto your seats and get ready for the shock of your life….In ninety electrifying, intermissionless minutes, Albee quite literally tears this family apart, and director Ken Sawyer sees that vision through to the maximum level.”
“This production hits so many right notes, from the wonderful set design…to the impeccable direction of Ken Sawyer. It takes a well-trained eye to not only fully appreciate Albee’s world, but to delve deep into it and to not fear the awkward, hilarious, awful, painful truth of it all. And it boasts brave, nuanced, and fearless performances from Paul Witten and Ann Noble….with Mr. Sawyer’s skillful direction, Mr. Witten goes for a gentle but decisive approach.”
"Saw The Goat @LACulturalArts. Actors & play both BRILLIANT! So proud of this production. Run, don’t walk! A Must See."
Hit The Wall
"...a stunning immersive production, courtesy of director Ken Sawyer. Don’t miss it."
"Hit the Wall delivers nothing less than a gut punch. Its impact under Ken Sawyer’s direction is undeniable...for taking a seminal event in gay liberation in a more artistic direction than other passes at the story have done."
"Ike Holter’s panoramic play Hit the Wall, an electrifying telling of the event as a feverish dream, becomes a brilliantly evocative and immersive experience under the assured hands of director Ken Sawyer."
"...directed by extraordinary Ken Sawyer and performed by a tightly knit ensemble, Hit the Wall is an environmental piece that tells the story as it happened that night, up close and raw. This is most definitely a great ensemble at play under a fine director's hand. Sawyer brings out all the tension and never lets us relax for a second. We are pulled in at close range to every bead of sweat and every heartbeat... Hit the Wall must be seen by everyone with a conscience and a soul."
The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later
"'The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later' is a haunting feat...Ken Sawyer’s inspired staging wraps us around the action, up close and personal. It’s a haunting achievement as trenchant as it is artful, and not to be missed."
LA TIMES Critics Choice
"Director Ken Sawyer demonstrates that, although the documentary approach is not sensational, it's nevertheless gripping, effective and deeply affecting. "
LA Weekly GO!
"...a tightly knit ensemble of outstanding actors under the stellar direction of Ken Sawyer. A must see! Not only do audiences get a sense of Matthew Shepard the icon, but most importantly feel the human side of Matthew as well. Everyone should see this play. It is a part of our history that we must not ignore."
"A life-affirming production that’s simultaneously thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and filled with hope...Sawyer’s in-the-round conceit, which mingles audience and performers, was an inspired choice in making the production a mix of its original simple conception and a communal experience that proves conducive to shared emotional catharsis."
"...a quietly splendid production helmed by Ken Sawyer. Sawyer respects the original Tectonic intent in evoking real but never overdone emotions. His ingenious production concept wisely ensures that we cannot turn our eyes and hearts away from the multiple sorrows of Laramie circa October 1998 and beyond. We become heartbroken captives within them. (Certainly I don’t think I’d want to know someone whose heart wasn’t broken by the end of this play.)"
"This was all accomplished by the director, Ken Sawyer. He did a beautiful job of simply understanding that drama doesn’t need to be manufactured through frenetic movement, but rather can be cultivated through stillness and silence....the stakes are high and the intensity level through the roof. The overall impression that is left with the audience at the end of this harrowing evening of theater is one of optimism, resilience, and hope. "
"Like the original, this is a complex play, a mix of theatricality and social history, a story of frustration and triumph, lovingly told."
"If there is any one theater-going experience to be had this year, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is the one to choose."
The Tolucan Times
“Greed, strangulation, and male nudity…Ken Sawyer delivers the boos with relish… We want torture, we want mind games, we want to shriek. Sawyer gives us live flesh and a few effective bumps in the night. Done.”
“Director Ken Sawyer has successfully added sensual passion to a play that usually succeeds solely through cleverness and scares.”
LA WEEKLY Go!
“Throughout the play we heard many a grown man yelp, and we observed audience members clutching their chairs. The suspense is interspersed with dark humor and plenty of steamy moments…The play, directed by Ken Sawyer, will make you gasp, laugh and probably sweat a bit.”
“Ken Sawyer’s staging, magnificent. Whether you've seen Deathtrap or not, see this production! It's as good as the original, maybe a tad better if you keep your eyes and ears riveted throughout, for there are unexpected treats to savor.”
“The Ken Sawyer-directed production is a prime example of LA theatre at its all-around finest…Sawyer gives the current production an eroticism that could only be hinted at on Broadway in 1978. ..Sawyer deserves kudos for not giving us “just another Deathtrap.” What we have is a Deathtrap for the 21st Century, one which preserves everything that made the Ira Levin thriller such a hit in the 1970s and ‘80s while steaming things up for the New Millennium.”
“When was the last time you heard a theatre audience scream in fright? There was a lot of shrieking going on in this theatre the other night…What unfolds is spooky, sexy, hilarious, and dramatic.”
“The current remounting ranks as one of the best produced productions in Los Angeles. Sawyer’s clever choices of haunting background music perfectly set and heighten the playful, suspense filled ambiance.”
“Director Ken Sawyer, who recently helmed the delightful Lovelace: A Rock Opera at the Hayworth, scores again with this stylish production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula…Sawyer utilizes an arsenal of haunted-house special effects, including lots of rolling fog and wolf howls, but they never come across as cheesy or overdone; indeed, there are a few scary moments during this 90-minute show, relieved by well-placed humor.”
LA WEEKLY GO PICK OF THE WEEK
“In the undead zone, evil is hot. Ken Sawyer's hip, erotically charged staging spotlights the forbidden -- and reciprocal – love… Shrewdly employing breakneck, intermission-free pacing and sensational special effects …the production builds palpable sexual tension between predator and prey….Desma Murphy's fabric-swathed Goth set and Sawyer's high-amplitude sound design help deliver all the atmosphere and chills you could ask from a Dracula production.”
“…this one can be counted on for plenty of shocks, chills, and thrills. Sawyer gives it a stylish staging-a necessity for a play that depends on its imagery.”
BACKSTAGE WEST CRITIC’S CHOICE
“Among director Ken Sawyer’s lengthy list of fine accomplishments is the British thriller The Woman in Black, an award winning production that enjoyed a long run at the Road Theatre in 2002-2003, followed by an encore engagement at the Coronet Theatre. Sawyer is a master at creating sizzling atmospherics, and in the chilling The Woman in Black he had a field day. Thus there couldn’t be a more simpatico theatrical project for this craftsman’s sensibilities and talents than a revisit to Bram Stoker’s classic tale of the bloodsucking count. The nerve-shattering results boast a stylish cinematic flair. Sawyer is once again working with crackerjack designers, whose efforts beautifully compliment his long-proven expertise with sound effects. Sawyer’s terrific soundtrack is highlighted by booming thunder and blasting organ music…This Dracula truly sucks, and if you think that is meant disparingly, you might want to check for bats in your belfry.”
FRONTIERS IN LA MAGAZINE
“…directed meticulously by Ken Sawyer, the space and set - a principal character here - enrich the visual experience. Sawyer’s imaginative staging, making use of every crook and cranny of the large space, is fascinating, as are the prolonged silent pauses that he allows in the action. The actors move in silence, and then, as if from nowhere there are instantaneous, terrifying moments like the sudden appearance of an undead child surrounded by a burst of burning light in a hall window…This entire production is a treat – one of the best Draculas I’ve seen - due mainly to the splendid creative team led by Ken Sawyer’s artful vision”
DON GRIGWARE CRITIC’S PICK
“The production is directed by Ken Sawyer, who did so well with Woman in Black a few seasons back. He gives the story the respect it deserves (it has been around quite a while now) and has put together a classy show.”
“Though he never appears on stage during the play’s 90-minute running time, the real star of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, currently wowing North Hollywood audiences, is the man who conceived and directed the supernaturally screamalicious production. In lesser hands, Hamilton Dean and John L. Balderston’s stage play might be a campy, creaky mess. Instead, it is an entirely thrilling evening of theater.”
“Frisky, inventive director Ken Sawyer, whose credits range from the spooky Woman in Black to the erotic Lovelace, combines these influences to produce a sexy scary rendition…(it) has the pace and suspense of a first-rate horror movie. At a sleek 90 minutes, this 21st century incarnation of Dracula revives all the charm that has made him a perennial symbol of our repressed erotic dreams and the impetus for an age-long battle between conventional good and scintillating evil.”
“Many of us know the story of Dracula and perhaps a few of us have seen a version of Bram Stroker’s original story, but it was nothing like this magnificent stage play…
The special effects – bat sounds, wolf sounds, fog and thunder and lightning kept the audience glued. I even jumped a few times when the spooky voices came from the audience.On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10. Go see it. “
“Sometimes you can sense you are about to see an exceptional play the moment the lights go down…the audience is instantly drawn into this seductive dramatization….the sound design is nothing short of magnificent.”
“Directed breathtakingly by the always innovative Ken Sawyer, (who also designed the frightening sound), this is a macabre must-see for all theatre lovers…flawless in all aspects of theatrical excellence. (I’m told they were sold-out for two weeks in advance of the opening night… and deservedly so!) A classic new scintillating version of Stoker’s legendary tale that mesmerizes the audience from start to finish… book your seats today! You won’t be disappointed… and I can almost guarantee that you’ll come out of it alive!”
Lovelace: A Rock Opera
“…we are undeniably watching something original, at once refined and electrifying. Under Ken Sawyer’s brilliant direction, the tale of Linda Boreman carries its own darkly empathetic energy.”
LA TIMES CRITIC’S CHOICE
“…a high energy, nonstop, rock-n-roll trip into a strangely captivating world that’s at the same time nightmarish and dreamlike, fun and unsettling…Much of the success of Lovelace: A Rock Opera’s world premiere lies in the hands of the production team and director Ken Sawyer…the production has visual bang and propels forward beautifully.” BACKSTAGE WEST
“Ken Sawyer’s well-staged production is fated to descend into hellish reds and writhing bodies, yet it’s shot through with beauty and sometimes even hope…it’s cathartic to watch (Linda Lovelace) stand strong and sing of her hard-fought independence before flashing lights that, in ironic defiance of the play’s title, beam out her real name: Linda Boreman.”
LA WEEKLY CRITIC’S CHOICE
“The direction is madly stylish!”
“Lovelace: A Rock Opera is an ambitious project but, considering Waronker and Caffey’s indelible score and blessed with the ever-imaginative staging of director Ken Sawyer, it should be on its way to becoming a great success.”
“The superb Ken Sawyer's vivid direction catches the nuances of the book and breaks the pounding rhythms of the porn world and the rock score into pulsing life… Waronker, Caffey, Sawyer and their excellent cast have found an ideal expression of the emotional and very physical truth of this story of an era where girls in Playboy bunny ears express porn's seepage into pop culture with horrifying visual imagery.”
“Ken Sawyer stages a tableaux-laced spectacle…(an) elegant portrayal of slavery and redemption..”
LAWEEKLY (Special Feature Article)
One Red Flower
“One Red Flower, produced and created by Emmy-award winning Paris Barclay, was presented at the Brentwood Theatre last weekend as a special benefit supporting New Directions and Rubicon Theatre’s Innovation Fund. A musical play adapted for the stage from the book, Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam, the production was skillfully directed by Ken Sawyer in a evening that had the audience smiling with a lump in its throat…The exceptionally talented ensemble performed masterfully and could very easily have been standing on a Broadway stage.”
SANTA MONICA MIRROR
Crime and Punishment
“Ken Sawyer’s direction for the Actor’s Co-op and the work of his talented designers envelop theatergoers in a swirl of moody sights and sounds.”
LA CITY BEAT CRITIC’S PICK
“Ken Sawyer's staging is at times gorgeous, with Jeremy Pivnick's backlighting of the ghostly figures, and Sawyer's own sound design, which amps up the melodrama.”
LA WEEKLY GO
“…there are moments of surreal and penetrating beauty. ..Raskolnikov (Ben Hunter) is on his knees in prayer-like contemplation as a single spotlight burns a silhouette of his body into the smoky air... Audiences will find more to savor in the production's visual flourishes, which are modest but effective at externalizing Raskolnikov's mind-soul schism. A shirt splattered in red (is it paint or blood?) creates a chilling moment of ambiguity between Raskolnikov and the detective. Later, we get a taste of actual violence during a flashback to the murder, which is powerfully staged using strategic bursts of light.”
“The play opens in utter blackness with Raskolnikov on bended knee, reciting, "In my dreams, I am six years old...". He is watching a crowd of men beating a horse to death. The mood of things bleak and despairing remains with us through the ninety minutes of dialogue. But we are equally privy to some rare and interesting philosophical ideas, some very effective dramatic portrayals, some excellent direction by Ken Sawyer…No matter what characters the three actors assume, they enlist your undivided attention, for Ken Sawyer keeps the action moving nimbly in any one of the four locales the rather small set represents. He uses this ninety-minute treatment of this sweeping novel as an image of people trying to find faith and make sense of the world they live in.”
“You might call it Dostoevsky's classic Crime and Punishment shot in close-up. Director-sound designer Ken Sawyer shapes the material deftly, hitting all the necessary points and never allowing our attention to flag.”
BACKSTAGE WEST CRITC’S PICK
“Director Ken Sawyer is a master of the visual, and the production looks great. In fact, its greatest asset is its look, sound, and feel, the real stars of the production being Jeremy Pivnick’s superlative lighting design and Sawyer’s sound design.”
Backward in High Heels
“This world-premiere production by the Road Theater Company is as strong as one could wish, with fluid direction by Ken Sawyer, first-rate production design and an accomplished cast...With the help of his own sound design and Jeremy Pivnick's flexible lighting, director Sawyer uses the space well, creating settings ranging from a thumping factory to a dance contest to a bowling alley.”
“Gracefully directed by Ken Sawyer, the cast transitions smoothly from one segment to another..”
“Within its first few moments, it’s not difficult to recognize the Road Theatre Co. breath-taking staging as a Ken Sawyer directing effort. Sawyer adds his own cinematic flourish paradoxically coupled with dazzling theatricality.”
BACKSTAGE WEST (Special Feature Article)
“In Emilie Miller’s imaginative one-person show…Sawyer’s swift, decisive direction lets whimsy reign supreme…superb technics…a playful creation!”
“ Sawyer manages the nonlinear script with a steady and creative hand.”
“Multi award-winning director Ken Sawyer keeps the pacing brisk and bright throughout….an amazingly magical world.”
One Red Flower (Carnegie Mellon)
“ ‘Red Flower’ grows into a profound journey…Ken Sawyer directs with a good eye for the visually poignant moment. More, he keeps the episodic structure and powerful emotions from slopping over into melodrama.”
PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE
“…well-paced and varied, covering a range of combat experiences from moments that are exuberant…to those that are poignant and distressing…(Sawyer) creates a sense of connection among the men and enhances the dramatic tension, no small task for an evening of single person narratives woven together.”
“…(One Red Flower) has exceptional professional polish. Director Ken Sawyer has staged it superbly.”
“Paris Barclay was ‘overwhelmed’ with Carnegie Mellon's dress rehearsal of his musical, ‘One Red Flower: Letters from 'Nam,’ which opened last night. It had been staged before, but, he said, ‘never at this level.’ A professional production near Boston ‘may have spent more money, but it's never looked better than here -- it's technically A-level, with some unbelievable, thrilling moments.’ …The director here is Ken Sawyer, a young award-winner from Los Angeles, ‘the first director who's actually gotten it.’”
PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE (interview with Paris Barclay)
The Woman in Black
“The Road Theatre Co. staging of Brit Susan Hill's gothic ghost story not only ensnares the audience within its tale of a thoroughly malevolent specter, it exudes a bone-chilling terror that seems to burrow right into the marrow. The transcendent performances of Joe Hart and Paul Witten are simultaneously engulfed and amplified by helmer Ken Sawyer…the environment created by Murphy, Smith and Marling/Sawyer evolves in perfect symmetry to the tale as the stuffy confines of the theatre give way to a cleverly staged train ride, a remote village, an eerie, secluded seaside estate and a thicket of fog that engulfs the surrounding marshland… Sawyer meticulously underscores every minute detail of this tale…Utilizing such age-old spine-tingling devises as mist, darkness, flickering candles, howling winds, rocking chairs, gravestones and a childless bouncing ball, Sawyer never allows this nerve-searing tale to loose its grip on the audience.”
“The show demonstrates an answer to drama theorists who insist that stage cannot and therefore should not compete with film and TV. Instead, director Ken Sawyer takes that challenge by the horns and creates something between a movie and a ride film on the stage…all of which allows Sawyer, with his fastidious eye for detail and ear for timing, to generate thrills…Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion doesn’t do it any better.”
“…director Sawyer, his actors, and technical team likely will scramble your nervous system as effectively as any decaying Scary Farm ghoul…Sawyer uses them, and all his technical toys expertly.”
THE DAILY NEWS
“A show in which all the spine-tingling jolts are struck at just the right time is a rarity. How unique then is this production, which not only operates with exact timing but, because of its intimate staging, does so in miniature; a pocket watch of terror, as it were… The point here is simply to delight and to scare, and the laughter and screams of the opening-night audience attested that director Ken Sawyer has done his job here and more… All credit must trace back to Sawyer, who had the faith to believe that this proven two-hander spectacle could work in a small space. The evening has the feeling of the small group of friends gathering around the fire for a true chiller.”
CRITIC’S PICK BACKSTAGE WEST
“If you are in the mood for a righteous scare, scurry through the gathering mist to The Woman In Black …In Ken Sawyer’s masterful staging at the Road, the theatrical version is even scarier than the film…and that’s saying something…a frightful, delightful treat!”
CRITIC’S CHOICE- LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Ken Sawyer supplies impeccable direction making even the few unchilling moments worth savoring…Miss this spine-tingling entertainment -- if you dare!”
“Shrieks tear the air in the Road Company's production of The Woman In Black...The shrieks come both from the stage and from the audience in this splendidly chilling version of Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation of Susan Hill's novel. Ken Sawyer has his finger on the pulse of this excellent adaptation's potential.”
“Under the brilliantly focused and grippingly captivating direction of Ken Sawyer, the actors performances that are so exceptional they nearly defy description…Theatre lovers, this is an A+.”
THE TOLUCAN TIMES
“Guiding all these production assets into one entity of total enjoyment is director Ken Sawyer. Sawyer's pacing is crisp and clean. His visual concept of motion, eye for the ethereal, and respect for the written word ties all aspects together into a fine package which becomes a must-see adventure into the realm of the bizarre.”
“The Woman in Black is a rare, most exciting bit of Gothic entertainment…it scared the heck outta me. How much of the tension created is the handiwork of the two brilliant performers or how much can be credited to Ken Sawyer’s precision direction, I know not. But Sawyer’s imagination is thankfully wild .”
“A breathtaking array of visual and aural effects that make this spine-tingling thriller an unforgettably spooky experience…brilliantly directed by Ken Sawyer… Halloween might be over, but this gloriously scary scream-fest is a treat for all seasons.”
“Lesser craftsmen have tried to use these same film techniques onstage and failed dismally. Sawyer brings gasps and screams from the audience…Good theatre moves you. I can’t remember theatre that actually scared me as I watched-until now. The Woman in Black is definitely a show you don’t want to watch by yourself, but is certainly a show you don’t want to miss!”
A Mislaid Heaven
“Intelligent and sensitive staging. Director Ken Sawyer, acclaimed for his superb work on the award winning ‘The Angels of Lemnos’, here re-enforces his standing as a first-rate director.”
CRITICS PICK BACKSTAGE WEST
“Thoroughly insightful direction. Sawyer achieves a perfectly balanced rapport among these hard edged folk”
THE LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
“Sawyer’s staging honors the play’s poetic sensibilities.”
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
“… precise directing drives a stellar ensemble.”
“…every once in awhile something comes along that has a touch of the poet, an aura of magic. Filmic as the script may be, its broad strokes are blended together on an impressive dramatic canvas with the skill and sureness of a late Renaissance master in the hands of director Ken Sawyer.”
“The meticulous, brilliant directorial vision of Ken Sawyer is highly evident in every scene. This ingenious young man surely has a bright career ahead him.”
THE TOLUCAN TIMES
David & Goliath in America
“Ken Sawyer’s staging is facile and inventive, utilizing the talents of a wonderfully malleable 13-person cast to capture the energy of that unique period in American life.”
THE LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
“Sawyer has a flair for rich, visual tableux.”
“..thanks to director Ken Sawyer, (DAVID & GOLIATH) gives audiences lasting, romanticized images of the radical ‘60s.”
“Sawyer’s dazzling juxtaposition of sardonic comedy and stark drama brims with originality and wit. Employing theatrical conceits ranging from surrealistic nightmare to vaudevillian storytelling, Sawyer fills the stage with cinematic imagery and visual poetry…This sleek production recalls the iconoclastic social-issue films of Milos Forman and Bob Fosse, but Sawyer boasts a potent stylistic sensibility of his own. As he proved in last year’s Ovation nominated ‘The Angels of Lemnos’, this director knows how to stir the emotions and satisfy the intellect while eliciting a marvelous sense of theatricality.”
The Angels of Lemnos
“Sawyer’s deft direction accentuates the magical elements of the story.”
“Thanks to Jim Henry’s poetic scripting and Ken Sawyer’s inventive staging, everyday events explode with boisterous vitality.”
CRITIC’S PICK THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
“It is rare that you leave the theater whistling the direction, but that is the case with director Ken Sawyer’s beautiful work…He gives the production flow and vitality…The staging is most inventive and at times looks like dance…Sawyer pulls some excellent performances out of his cast.”
“…a striking tapestry for director Ken Sawyer’s ambitious well-choreographed production.”
“Sawyer had his hands full with this complicated, intricate production and met the challenge with style. The play is really quite an experience unlike any you may have seen on stage before.”
THE TOLUCAN TIMES
“Sawyer’s directing is as subtle as it is explosive. If you ever wondered what makes theater so special, what it can do that film and television cannot, swing by (The Angel’s of Lemnos) and find out. “
“Director Ken Sawyer weaves the efforts of his exemplary design team and splendid cast into a rich tapestry of moods and ideas.”
“…an entertaining, feel good tribute to the human spirit and the heart’s nearly endless capacity to love. Ken Sawyer’s supple direction inventively transforms locales and characters in a flash.”