Theodore Swetz

The Patricia McIlrath Endowed Chair in Theater Arts, Acting

Grant Hall

Phone: (816) 235-5207



Mr. Swetz began his career with the New York Shakespeare Festival, performing at Lincoln Center and the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Ted has had the privilege of studying with legendary teachers Morris Carnovsky, Phoebe Brand and Stella Adler, all founding members of the Group Theater. For ten years, as an original member of American Players Theatre, a “Tony” nominated classical repertory company founded by Randall Duk Kim, Anne Occhiogrosso and Charles Bright, he acted, taught, directed and served as assistant artistic director. As a principal actor, Ted has appeared in many regional theaters throughout the country. Some representative roles include Bottom in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Gloucester in King Lear, Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, Claudius in Hamlet, Touchstone in As You Like It, Argan in The Imaginary Invalid, Max in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Percy The Boyfriend and Donny The Lieutenant of Inishmore. His work as a director has been varied in style and venue and includes MojoSide ManAll in the Timin’Rabbit Hole (Unicorn Theatre), Misalliance and Room Service (Commonweal Theater Company), The Comedy of Errors and The Shorts Fest (Kansas City Repertory Theatre), Talley’s Folly (Kansas City Actors Theater), Ferdinand the Bull (Coterie Theater), The Cripple of Inishmaan (Nebraska Repertory Theatre) and Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Riverside Shakespeare Festival, Iowa City where he is an artistic associate. For twelve years Ted was a faculty member in the professional training program here at UMKC as well as serving as resident artist with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. He returned to UMKC from Binghamton University where he held the title of Head of Acting and Directing. He serves UMKC Theatre as The Patricia McIlrath Endowed Professor of Theater, Acting.