"The minute you walk into the performance space, you know what you’re in for, and not just because a sign is posted for audience members in the first few rows warning that the substance about to be liberally spilled can be washed out of clothing. The smartly geometric set by Ethan Sinnott is another tip-off: It is spotlessly white. But not for long. Wilson’s panache comes on this occasion in liquid form. Blood will soon be spurting — mercilessly, merrily, messily...sanguineous bliss."
"Under the direction of Artistic Director Matthew R. Wilson the company has embraced the violence and absurdities of the original text; rather than explain away or avoid the play’s difficulties, the cast gleefully employs them to better show the costs of violence and revenge. The set by Ethan Sinnott...[is] entirely white, serving as a literal canvas for the show’s bloody demonstrations...[t]his Rome is pristine, untouched by the costs of its foreign ventures until Titus’s triumphant return from war leads to deaths in the street."
"Perhaps the most delightful of the sick ideas Wilson and the Fools have come up with is one of the simplest – using almost exclusively the color white in the design. With so much blood being spilled, set designer Ethan Sinnott’s choice to make the expanse of the stage pure white is such a masterstroke it seems a necessity. We can see everything, and we can’t forget any of it. (Moreover, Sinnott’s clever shapes and steps allow plenty of opportunities for deliciously awkward deaths, falls and reveals.)"
"The Titus set design by Ethan Sinnott is a constructed imperial city that fills the stage at the Elstad Annex at Gallaudet University. There are multi-level play areas, doorways for entrances and exits along with several trap doors and well-positioned windows. It is painted a luminous pure white made even brighter by the white-hot lights from Michael Barnett. Over the course of the performance the pure white becomes a crimson red abstract expressionist canvas of blood splotches, splatters and swirls courtesy of designer Casey Kaleba."
"There is a serious point behind all the lunacy, and that point is also made visually. Ethan Sinnott’s set and Denise Umland’s costumes are white, as are the actors’ comedia makeup and Aaron Cromie’s well-executed masks. As the production proceeds, everything white becomes covered — saturated is not too strong a term — with the free-flowing gore, as the production displays the craziness of unrestrained violence to the audience in vivid red-on-white. Director Wilson’s program note underlines the point, when he says 'There is nothing funny about murder or rape but there is something absurd about the culture of violence and patriarchy that produces these atrocities.' FoF turns a problematic script into a stylistic and darkly funny triumph."
"The pristine white set and costumes don’t stay clean for long, quickly becoming a canvas for the darkening hues that catalog the ever-rising body count. Not that we mourn for these ambitious and conniving characters when they meet their violent ends. Although Titus is considered Shakespeare’s first tragedy, director and co-choreographer Matthew R. Wilson has transfigured it into a dark comedy, the better to take in a cruel and unforgiving world with a spoonful of sugar."
"Dramatizing the celebrated ancient Middle Eastern epic, this world-premiere production conjures up — among other mythic events — the forging of an improbable friendship between the title character, a swaggering tyrant, and a mysterious figure named Enkidu. As they wander through a spirit-haunted landscape in director Allison Arkell Stockman’s staging....Enkidu, curled up on the ground, is the first figure we see on Ethan Sinnott’s elegant sand-colored set, whose cuneiform-peppered panels evoke the tablets on which the Gilgamesh legend was recorded as far back as 2100 B.C."
"With the help of Klyph Stanford’s evocative lighting, Ethan Sinnott’s spare but imaginative set, and Kendra Rai’s exotic costumes, not to mention this production’s marvelously stylized, poetic script, Constellation actually approximates the look, feel, and sensation of a story at once ancient and contemporary. Sinnott’s rocky, cave-pocked, cuneiform-marked set conjures up to a surprising degree the sense of a harsh, Tigris-Euphrates desert space, likely now part of modern Iraq, where the mythic story of Gilgamesh unfolds."
"The mythmakers at Constellation Theatre Company, who previously produced The Ramayana, The Green Bird, and Metamorphoses, have now gone after the world’s oldest story. Gilgamesh, the ancient Mesopotamian tale of a king’s quest to defeat death, teaches that death is eternal; the production relishes in the fact that legends are, too. The epic resurrects looking pretty splendid, considering it’s at least 4,000 years old. With Constellation’s characteristic cocky flair, a host of Babylonian gods and demons come to life looking decadent in costume designer Kendra Rai’s swaths of silk and chiffon...Rai’s partner in weaving the story’s lavish aura is composer-percussionist Tom Teasley. Stabled stage left, Teasley unleashes a stampede of sounds including drums, flutes, and a magic xylophone. Along with Ethan Sinnott’s set of sandstone ruins riddled with cuneiform, these excellent designs conjure a Mesopotamian dream-world."
"It’s not often that a company can so completely remake a piece of history and claim it as their own. Gilgamesh is an amazing display of storytelling, and the production is a fantastic example of Constellation Theatre Company’s dedication to integrating multiple art forms in their work."
"Audiences, prepare to be enthralled; Constellation Theatre's poetic staging of the ancient Sumerian saga Gilgamesh is an absolute delight for the eyes and ears....What makes the journey of this "Gilgamesh" so utterly delightful is Constellation's commitment to the eye of the beholder; Kendra Rai's costumes evoke all the exoticism and eroticism of the tale, and Emma Crane Jaster's choreography is spell-binding; her turn as the the seductive Woman of Red Sashes is one of the highlights of the show. Ethan Sinnott's multi-level set, complete with ancient cuneiform figures carved in stone, succeeds in reminding us of the story's antiquity but with a touch of the region's geographical features as well. Klyph Stanford gives the lighting grid a good workout, and achieves some stunning effects."
A Commedia Christmas Carol
"If you’re in search of a new take on the old story, head to Gallaudet and be assured that once the action hits the stage, A Commedia Christmas Carol crackles and amuses with abandon over a swift 90 minutes....The Fools commit high-spirited revelry on a London street of storefronts and mansard roofs designed by Ethan Sinnott to lean slightly askew, as if the carpenter’s level had been a half-bubble off."
"The set by Ethan Sinnott is a masterpiece. Eight exits and four balconies and a staircase provide more than enough nooks and crannies for every complicated action and the stacked doors, windows, and chimneys perfectly convey the chaos of rapidly expanding and industrializing Victorian England. The actors seem to have great fun running all over and through every door and window during the play."
Maryland Theatre Guide:
"The production’s scenography is also excellent. The set design by Ethan Sinnott marvelously conflates the Town Square with the living room, offering a whimsical vision of folk art in the guise of high aesthetics. The costume designs of Denise Umland provide plenty of comic pizzazz to the spectacle, as does the sound and music designed and composed by Thomas Sowers and Jesse Terrill, respectively. And, of course, the masks, designed by Tara Cariaso and Aaron Elson of Waxing Moon Masks, are eye riveting, particularly the Tiny Tim / young Scrooge mask that beseeches the entire audience whenever it takes the stage." (2012)
"The other stars are the production team. The set by Ethan Sinnott...with lighting design by Andrew F. Griffin, is beautifully executed and lit. Slightly skewed in perspective with many entrances, staircases and “balconies,” the Victorian English setting is rich in detail. Scrooge’s bedroom wallpaper is a collage of masks. A chestnut seller’s cart miraculously transforms into Scrooge’s desk and back again as the seller pops out of the desk. A shop window becomes a movie screen projecting a surreal black-and-white film – giving Scrooge a look into Christmas yet to come." (2013)
P. Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical
All of the design elements work together for a cohesive, well-turned effect, starting with the brilliant colorful two-tiered set by Ethan Sinnott, with bulb-lit doorways for entrances and exits. Perfectly timed sound effects and costumes by Nick Hernandez and Kendra Rai maintain the appeal, and the director’s great pacing keeps everything in flow. Innovative use of video and projections by Erik Trester pop the production into an ultra modern dimension.
If you missed P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical the last time it played at Imagination Stage earlier this February, or if you have not heard of it yet, grab your kids, your nephews or nieces, or some kids in your hood and go see this encore presentation of a ‘Pinocchio meets Hip-Hop’ play at Imagination Stage. Delivering a triple knock-out by writing, directing, and acting, Psalmayene 24 impressed the heck out of me and my 8 year-old. And the design is stunning: Ethan Sinnott’s two-tiered set, great sound effects by Nick Hernandez, hip costumes by Kendra Rai, and cool projections by Erik Tester added to the fun!
The small cast and production staff of P.Nokio does an amazing job of making this show look and feel like a large Broadway musical. Each actor has multifaceted talents that contribute to the vitality and flair of this contemporary and interactive hip-hop fairy tale. Jiminy Cricket himself could not wish for more.
"The relatively solid production values help. Ethan Sinnott’s cement-gray set, roomy enough for the show’s acrobatic hamming, vaguely suggests a Giorgio de Chirico painting."
"The shows’ design elements enhance the topsy-turvy world that is a Shakespeare-turned-Commedia dell’Arte production....The show makes mobile Ethan Sinnott’s stark, chilly set that sets the tone well for the eerie, ghost-filled nights and disordered days that characterize Shakespeare’s – and Faction of Fools’ – play."
"At first glance, the set (Set Designer Ethan Sinnott) is some eerie concept derived from a Fritz Lang film. The lighting (Lighting Designer Andrew F. Griffin) supports that initial impression until the music (Composer and Adapter Jerry Terrill) starts and the dissonance develops. Elsinore is not reconfigured as German silent film Expressionism but as the sinking Titanic fatally listing in the ocean minutes before the lights go out forever."
"The show provides its share of off-kilter surprises. An early scene between Hamlet (Wilson) and his father's ghost (David Gaines) is exasperatingly funny, as the players chase the spectre through Ethan Sinnott's expansive marble-esque set, a melange of hidden, slamming doors."
The Wind in the Willows
This must-see 75-minute musical adaptation by Richard Hellesen follows the novel as closely as possible....To keep us in touch with where we are, scenic designer Ethan Sinnott has concocted a clever amphibious set made up of labyrinthine paths that wander off upstage. Hanging water plants suggest a river. But when daylight dims (well-synchronized lighting is by Andrew F. Griffin), ominous cattails that stand straight up like popsicles become darkened trees that blink with the flashing eyes of nocturnal animals, and we’re in the scary “Wild Wood,” where Mole gets lost."
"Christopher Baine’s sound design evokes a wooded enclave in early twentieth century England as imagined by Set Designer Ethan Sinnott. Stalks of rigid willows stand at attention in the backdrop as if guarding the wood. When a wooden picnic table rolls out onstage carrying a carousing trio of rodents you can’t help but smile."
"These charming and sometimes raucous adventures are set against a lovely backdrop of fanciful willow branches and enormous cattails evocative of the unspoiled countryside with which Grahame was familiar, designed by Ethan Sinnott...The actors make full use of Imagination Stage’s theatre space, with little or no separation between the stage and the house."
Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!
"Adapted by Allison Gregory and directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer, Junie B. captures the crayon-bright chaos of childhood—enhanced by Ethan Sinnott’s primary color schoolroom set–and portrays the first-grade set as they truly are—sometimes petty, sometimes aggravating, always worth your time."