Mat Diafos Sweeney is a director, writer, and composer based in downtown Los Angeles. He works with text, movement, music, and design to create original performance work, which he presents under the moniker four larks. He is the 2020 recipient of the Dorothy and Richard E Sherwood Award from Center Theatre Group.
Mat’s adaptation of Frankenstein, produced at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, swept the 2021 Ovation Awards across all categories, including awards for his Direction and for Best Play. He previously received an Ovation Award for his music for The Temptation of St Antony, produced in a disused downtown flower shop which he operated and curated as an experimental art/music lab from 2015-2019. Mat writes and composes work for cross-disciplinary performers in four larks’ continually expanding collaborative ensemble. He often creates and produces work in unexpected locations with immersive mise-en-scene collaged from found materials. His stage work has been described by the LA Times as “visually enthralling” and “the future of contemporary performance” and has been consistently listed in KCRW’s Best of the Year and LA WEEKLY’s Best of LA.
Other recent projects include Katabasis, a contemporary reimagining of ancient Greek mystery rites staged in promenade through the grounds and gardens of the Getty Villa, and Undine, a chamber opera on sublimation and sleep deprivation, presented as a work-in-progress with support from New Music USA. He frequently collaborates with other artists and composers to design experiential and transmedia events, most recently as the Creative Director for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra new music program SESSION, where he worked alongside composers including Matthias Pintscher, Derrick Spiva, and Andrew Norman.
His work-in-progress visual album / digital project, hymns was recently selected by the Society for Classical Studies for it's Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities program, and he frequently shares his research and practice with students, most recently as a guest lecturer in the Classics Department at UCLA. He was a Bogliasco Fellow in Spring 2022, and will spend this fall researching and composing a new project at MacDowell.
RECENT INTERVIEWS & LONG FORM CRITICISM: Washington Blade / Broadway World / Theatre Magazine / LA Stage Alliance / Arts Beat / Fabrik / Jacki Apple's Performance - Media - Art - Culture / RealTime / Alta Magazine / LA Times / Primitive Surveys / Arena Magazine