Design Philosophy:

Honors: Nominations and Awards.

             David Dwyer holds a Master of Fine Arts in production design from Michigan State University, a Bachelor's in theatre and an Oral Communication Certificate with distinction from Marietta College.  

         As a free-lance designer with over 150 realized productions his designs have been seen at The Boarshead Theatre (Lansing, Michigan), Theatre Winterhaven (Winterhaven, Florida), Dance Ocala (Ocala, Florida), Gemstone Productions (Jacksonville, Florida), The Gorilla Theatre (Tampa, Florida), Theatre Santa Fe (Gainesville, Florida), Carolina Actor’s Studio Theatre (Charlotte, North Carolina), Weathervane Theatre (Newark, Ohio), The Downstairs Cabaret Theatre (Rochester, New York), SUNY The College at Brockport (Brockport, New York), and The Jewish Repertory Theatre (Buffalo, New York).

         Some of his favorite designs include Tartuffe at Live Arts Theatre, (Charlottesville, Virginia), Blood Brothers and The Full Monty at Mt. Washington Valley Theatre Company (North Conway, New Hampshire), Dancing at Lughnasa at Southern Virginia University (Buena Vista, Virginia), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Urinetown, The Learned Ladies, Into the Woods, Bat Boy, The Philadelphia Story, Stage Door, and Sweeny Todd  at Niagara University Theatre (Lewiston, New York), Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare in Delaware Park (Buffalo, New York), Pumpboys and Dinettes Deathtrap, and Tuesdays with Morrie at The Mountain Playhouse (Jennerstown, Pennsylvania)  Plough and the Stars, The Liar, Equus and After Miss Julie  at Irish Classical Theatre Company (Buffalo, New York), and The Conversion of Ka’ahumanu at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.).

         He has served as technical director for the Showboat Becky Thatcher, Northern Michigan University and Shakespeare in Delaware Park, as well as Technical Director and Scenic and Lighting Designer at Southern Virginia University. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Fine Arts at Niagara University, where he is the principal scenic designer as well as teaching courses in theatre design and technical theatre. He resides on a small farm in Hartland, New York with his wife and children.


         More details in this interview:

         Complete Chronology of design work: here.


Staunton, Virginia, News Leader Article regarding the set designer

You Tube Video produced by the National Museum of the American Indian features interviews with the production staff.

You Tube Video about this production– an interview with the playwright.

A link to the NMAI
Blog for this production.

The set. . . was of a quality that I have seen at small regional theatres or universities with professional staff and/or graduate students responsible for construction. The fact that this magnificent set was built by undergraduate students at a small university with fewer than 800 students is an extraordinary achievement. “  - From the Kennedy Center American College Theatre festival Adjudication

“It is no accident that David Dwyer’s set design for Tartuffe incorporates dramatic, gilded picture frames that stretch from the stage to the Live Arts balcony. Like the title character of Molière’s play, the frames are attractive on the outside and empty on the inside. They are bloated, eye-grabbing symbols of hypocrisy, so it makes sense that Tartuffe should gesticulate in their figurative shadow. “

- Winstar Watts Murry,  “False piety goes down easy in Tartuffe “
C-ville News and Arts, May 18, 2009.



Nominated for a 2009 New Hampshire Theatre Award - in the Professional Theatre category.


Best Scenic Designer Nominations

-Around the World in 80 Days - Winnipesaukee Playhouse (David Towlun)  
Heartbreak House - Peterborough Players (Charles Morgan)  
On the Town - Papermill Theatre / NCCA (Matt Kizer)  
Sweeney Todd - Weathervane Theatre (Gibbs Murray & Xiapo Wang)
The Producers - Mt. Washington Valley Theatre Company (David Dwyer)

Scenic designer interview
A link to the NMAI
Blog for this production.

Nominated for a 2010 New Hampshire Theatre Award - in the Professional Theatre category.


Best Scenic Designer Nominations

Crossing Delancey - Winnipesaukee Playhouse (Melissa Shakun)
Freud's Last Session - Peterborough Players (Charles Morgan)
Hair - Mt. Washington Valley Theatre Company (David Dwyer)
Scotland Road - Winnipesaukee Playhouse (David Towlun)
The Pirates of Penzance - New London Barn Playhouse (Jarrod Bray)

“David Dwyer's spare set works very well.” -March 30th, 2012

“I was very impressed with the transformation of the space into a very impressive performance environment. The inclusion of fire, water, air, and earth were particularly effective. Again the demands of the production values and the commitment to their execution by a small program was very impressive. Clearly the director and designers had communicated and collaborated to accomplish an integrated production.”

 – Joel Williams, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Respondent.

“The set is remarkable, using lighting to emphasize the scene's mood. In particular, they used a projection of the moon to make the nights more romantic for clandestine wooing. The stage itself is built to feel grand and lofty while also allowing for the action to take place fluidly across the stage and even the audience. “- The Newark Advocate—June 2, 2012




-Scenic Designer

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Weathervane Theatre

Nominated for a 2011 Metrolina Theatre Association Award.

Outstanding Set Design Nominations

Chip Decker - Blue Door - Actor's Theatre of Charlotte
Chris Timmons - 
The Glass Menagerie - Theatre Charlotte
David Dwyer and Michael Harris - 
The Elephant Man - Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST)
Michael R. Simmons, Buddy Hanson, and Charles LaBorde - 
When You Comin' Back Red Ryder - Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST)
Timothy Baxter-Ferguson - 
Agnes of God - Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Niagara University Theatre

Trojan Women

Southern Virginia University

The Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers

Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian

The Conversion of Ka’Ahumanu

Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian

Dancing at Lughnasa

Southern Virginia University

This production received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Meritorious Achievement Award in Scenic Design, 2005.


The Elephant Man

Carolina Actor’s Studio Theatre

Dancing at Lughnasa

Southern Virginia University


Mount Washington Valley Theatre Company

The Producers

Mount Washington Valley Theatre Company


LiveArts Theatre

Excellence in scenic design, firmly rooted in a solid relationship to the text, is established and complemented with sound research in style and context. Collaboration and communication are essential to the successful execution of the design. While most of my design work is completed electronically, I have found sketching and rendering are best accomplished by hand and bring a personal touch to the design. All designs, great and small, should exceed expectations with creativity and flair.

The Plough and the Stars

Irish Classical Theatre Company

There’s also a nice and minimal set from David Dwyer...” - THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS Andrews Theatre/Irish Classical Theatre Company by Augustine Warner,— May 2, 2014,

Fallen Angels

Irish Classical Theatre Company

The technical features of Fallen Angels match its sharp performance. Both ladies look like they could have walked out of a 20’s catalogue, classically gorgeous, thanks to the acute costume and make-up design by Dixon Reynolds (and their heavenly-graced genes). The set, designed by David Dwyer, is also stylistic and smart. - Theatre Review: ‘Fallen Angels’ at Irish Classical Theatre by Marisa Caruso. June 11, 2014.

David Dwyer

The Liar

Irish Classical Theatre Company

“The Irish Classical Theatre’s wonderful production of The Liar, expertly directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti, employing a simple set of green blocks and pyramids by David Dwyer. For scene changes Pezzimenti smartly directs the cast to simply shift similar set pieces (giant cones and boxes) such that despite the constant lateral movements, in homage to the vertically challenged Sisyphus, everything remains the same, a clever physical and psychological twist.” - Buffalo, New York's Irish Classical Theater - a gem & this is no lie!, Trip -Reviewed October 16, 2014 by Mike Keenan

Nominated for a  2015 Artie Award

Outstanding Set Design:
Paul Bostaph, 
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Dyan Burlingame, 
Water by the Spoonful
David Dwyer, 
After Miss Julie
David King, Journey’s End
Kristina Siegel, 

After Miss Julie

Irish Classical Theatre Company

* My professional page on Facebook.

Updates of my most recent work are   regularly posted on Instagram.

(follow me at dwyer.david)

IMDB Profile

From Fortunato Pezzimenti’s thoughtful and effective direction to the small cast’s touching, funny, and nuanced performances, this production of Outside Mullingar understands and does not overplay this subtle, realistic dynamic.  The creative combination of David Dwyer’s cozy farmhouse set design, Brian Cavanagh’s soft, intimate lighting, and Tom Makar’s stormy Irish-folk infused sound design perfectly set the play in modern-day Ireland, matching well with the working class markers of Susan Drozd’s simple hair and makeup design and Jessica Wegrzyn’s purposefully drab costuming.  "Outside Mullingar" - New York Theatre Guide by Dianne Gebauer,

“Set Designer David Dwyer, has converted the arena setting of the Andrews Theatre into a deep thrust in order to lend the space the more traditional feel, compatible with a naturalistic piece. He has devised a grand and convincing kitchen, the perpetual off-stage life of a privileged family we never see—except through the unwelcome visitation of Miss Julie.  “ Anthony Chase “Strindberg Redux” Artvoice, March 5, 2015


“David Dwyer’s set removes the Andrews’ southern fourth wall of seats and replaces with it a simple, convincing set that used to stop you in your tracks at Studio Arena. This stage has never felt bigger, and yet with more things. His hanging pendant lights, utilized breathlessly in Brian Cavanagh’s design, are some of the fine details that italicize this largely exquisite production.” A juicy "After Miss Julie" turns up the heat in Andrews Theatre by Ben Siegel, The Buffalo News


After Miss Julie

Irish Classical Theatre Company

A Woman of No Importance

Irish Classical Theatre Company

“Josephine Hogan’s production of Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance is delightfully satisfying on so many levels. Her steady directorial hand has guided the company through Wilde’s epigram-packed script, from witticism to witticism, with an even pace, fueled by emotional suspense. Moreover, she has used the circular space of the Andrews Theatre, an insurmountable challenge for many a director, with fluidity and style, creating an ever-evolving range of stage pictures that heighten the drama within a handsome setting by David Dwyer.”  - A Woman of No Importance by Anthony Chase. January, 2014.

“David Dwyer’s set works well in the theater .” - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE Andrews Theatre/Irish Classical Theatre Company by Augustine Warner, -Jan 21, 2014,


Irish Classical Theatre Company

Copyright © 2017 by David Dwyer


Honors and Press:


Outside Mulligar

Irish Classical Theatre Company

Where the production shines brightest through the gloom is in its haunting design, featuring graceful human-horse hybrids that act out the boy's self-devised rituals according to Gerry Trentham's excellent choreography. David Dwyer's set, with a floor of wooden planks and a floating crown of jagged boards suggesting the outline of a stable, blurs beautifully the boundaries between Martin's dank office and his patient's tortured memory. By Colin Dabkowski “Despite creaks, Irish Classical's 'Equus' remains jarring” The Buffalo News, October 29, 2016


“Oliver's imaginative staging was complemented by David Dwyer's highly effective turntable set.” -Michael Rabice, Stellar Cast Delves in Drama of "Equus"


“David Dwyer’s staging is very realistic with rough wooden planks that you might find in part of a stable, and in the middle a large turntable which helps when presenting theater in the round.” -Peter Hall,   “Strong cast revives EQUUS”  Buffallo Rising.