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Paul Douglas Michnewicz
  Press Quotes

7117 Tolliver Street
Alexandria, VA 22306

National Endowment for the Arts HERITAGE AWARDS
  "On Friday, September 19, I witnessed one of the most miraculous things I've ever seen on a stage......After about thirty bars of saints marching in, it finally took Nick Spitzer to shut things down. No one wanted to leave; I honestly believe the band could have played for an hour and no one would have moved for the exits. Staggering outside, I heard a woman say she was 'swimming in joy.' I myself was speechless. Then I heard someone say, 'God, I hope there was someone from the media there.' I thought of saying that I was in the media. But then I had the decency to admit there were times when language failed. Like everyone else, I just wanted to stay inside the joy."

Mark Gauvreau Judge
Lazarus Syndrome by Bruce Ward (World Premiere)
  "Under the direction of Paul Douglas Michnewicz, Lazarus Syndrome turns into that rare beauty that manages to be moving without melodrama, heartbreaking without hysteria. It is quiet. It is comfortable. And it is exquisitely real, succeeding not with flourishes, but with the strength of its language and the confidence of its cast."

Tom Avila
Metro Weekly
August, 2007

"Could a new author want a better production for the premiere of his new work? From set to blocking, pacing to casting, Bruce Ward's satisfying warm human comedy gets every opportunity to succeed and it ends up feeling as if the work and the theater each found complimentary properties."

Brad Hathaway
Potomac Stages
August 2007

"The torch at Theater Alliance has been passed from Jeremy Skidmore to Michnewicz with great care, and here the interim artistic director delivers Ward’s beautifully woven story with an inspiring production that lingers. We are assured that another small theater company in Washington will continue to thrive."

Jolene Munch
DC Examiner
August 2007
3/4 of a Mass for St. Vivian by Pheobe Rusch (World Premier)

"...And Michnewicz, whose sensitive staging of The Spitfire Grill two seasons back made that musical trifle seem ... wonderful, builds something genuinely moving on the sturdier foundation of this script. There’s a line, somewhere in the descending arc of the second half of Rusch’s lovely play, somewhere between the flaring and the dimming of a life, about wishing it were possible to hold beauty. If only: 3/4 of a Mass for St. Vivian is a thing worth holding close."

Trey Graham,
Washington City Paper
August, 2006

"Paul-Douglas Michnewicz’s direction is refreshing and without fault throughout the eighty minute production. Ms. Fritzky and Ms. Woolley are delightful, entirely enveloped in their roles, they leave us with that nice feeling inside that comes from seeing a play that just feels right. The interaction between the two always seems natural and unforced almost as if they were really close friends. The staging was simple yet imaginative, a perfect match for such an intimate yet accessible story. Soft lighting with colorful shadows wash over the rooftop stage creating a setting that seemed like home."

"There is little doubt why Arena Stage picked Theater Alliance as the smaller company they wish to support with a newly announced mentoring program that will be a huge help to this small company. Refreshing and simply brilliant writing by an award winning playwright along with quality direction and spirited acting make this a production you should not miss. The show has been extended and it is suggested to buy your tickets right away!"

Ronnie Ruff,
DC Theater Reviews
August, 2006

"Washington's best small theater company consistently presents their unique craft of beautiful, literate theatre that inspires. And when a theater produces something this honest -- this good -- you have to close your eyes and thank all the saints who hang out on the rooftops, one by one."

Jolene Munch
Metro Weekly
September, 2006

The Spitfire Grill
  “…brimming with soft country ballads and a score that sings to the heart of American dreams… as always, Theater Alliance’s strong aesthetic transforms the intimate H Street space into another world.”

Metro Weekly
The Gorey Gallery by Paul-Douglas Michnewicz, composed by Parker Jayne
  “Paul-Douglas Michnewicz, artistic director of the workshop's theater programs, had directed Gorey Stories two years ago and recently applied for permission to produce another published adaptation of the offbeat writer's tales. But, for some reason, the rights for that show were being withheld.”

“After a slew of appeals from the workshop, Gorey got wind of the project, called Michnewicz from his Massachusetts home and offered him a manuscript of the unpublished stories.”

“The result is an artistically impressive performance of 16 comic and often bizarre sketches. .....Michnewicz directs a multitalented 14 member cast through the blisteringly quick-paced production.....”

Leonard Hughes,
The Washington Post
October 31, 1996
Gospel at Colonus

2003 Production

“Acoustics are what count most these days at H Street Playhouse, where audiences can measure the joyful impact of Gospel At Colonus in every thrilling decibel. The spririted cast assembled by director Paul-Douglas Michnewicz for Theater Alliance infuses each of the 19 numbers with a relentless energy. The performers are a glee club in the truest sense; their ecstatic pleasure in making beautiful music is positively catching....Michnewicz, a founder and former artistic director of Theater Alliance, stages 'Gospel' as something between revival and revival meeting.”

Peter Marks
The Washington Post
July 3, 2003

2001 Production

“From beginning to end, this production blurs the distinction between environmental theater and audience participation, chorus and choir, musician and audience member. Michnewicz also has assembled a cast of singers whose vocal abilities are uniformaly first-rate. (You'll be hard pressed to find a better gospel choir.) S. Robert Morgan as Oedipus, and Nicole Pettus and Felicia Wilson as his daughters (er, sisters) Antigone and Ismene, respectively, are simply riveting. And it's pulled off in an un-self-conscious way that will melt even the most jaded theatergoer. If only D.C. were a little bit more like Colonus.”

Washington City Paper
December 7th, 2001

Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  Regarding Paul-Douglas’ production of Don Giovanni, “In a good-sized city, there’s a lot of opera in addition to the main event downtown- and at a cheaper price. In 1995, for example, my wife and I saw a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C., staged by an organization called the ‘In Series.’ It was performed in English, in modern dress, with an orchestra of a string quintet, keyboard, and mandolin. There was no chorus. Don Giovanni’s valet was changed to an accountant who devoured junk food. In a famous aria that summarizes the sexual conquests of the hero, a long printout from a laptop computer came down from the balcony. At twenty dollars a ticket, on an arena-type was superb entertainment.”
from Ticket To The Opera,
by Phil G. Goulding, p. xxii
copyright 1996
The Second Hurricane by Aaron Copland
  “To further make the opera credible for today’s young listeners, the three show doctors have rearranged sections of the score, subtracting and adding Copland music. Paul-Douglas Michnewicz simple but effective production throws in such high-tech devices as a video camera and video screens...;”
John von Rhein,
The Chicago Tribune
November 12, 2000
  File updated: 12/21/11, 04:30 PM EST
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