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Nick Brooke

photo: Jani Zubkovs

Nick Brooke mixes musical sampling, lipsynching, and theater into a genre all its own. In his works, vocalists and actors are trained to mimic sampled collages of sound effects, pop songs, and musical ephemera, blurring the line between recording and live performance. His work Tone Test received its premiere at Lincoln Center Festival in 2004 and previews on NPR and in the New York Times documented its innovative aesthetic.

Brooke’s instrumental works have been performed by the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Nash Ensemble of London, Orchestra 2001, Dan Druckman, Speculum Musicae, and New York’s Gamelan Son of Lion. His work has been performed across the U.S. and in Europe, and featured at the Lincoln Center Festival, the Spoleto Festival, and the MATA Series. He has received awards and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, ASCAP, the Rockefeller Foundation, Djerassi, and the MacDowell Colony. Originally a clarinettist, he is also an avid instrument builder, thereminist, and researcher of early musical automata. During a two-year fellowship to Central Java, he studied gamelan and collaborated on musical projects with Javanese composers, dancers, and visual artists. He holds degrees in music composition and philosophy from Oberlin, and a Ph.D from Princeton. He teaches at Bennington College.

The Cabinet is a production company that creates, workshops, and performs experimental music theater works by Nick Brooke. The company supports an up to 12-member ensemble that is trained in vocal and acting techniques. The company works with larger venues to co-produce works.

Jenny Rohn (co-director) draws on a variety of experimental theater approaches in creating work with the Cabinet. She graduated from New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing and studied with Jerzy Grotowski at UC Irvine.  Rohn has appeared in director Robert Wilson’s Hamletmachine, Quartet, Salome and the CIVIL warS, and appeared in director Anne Bogart’s productions of Another Person is a Foreign Country and Spring Awakening.  She has appeared on Broadway in The Kentucky Cycle and The Crucible, and was nominated for a Dallas Theater Alliance Award for her work in Arm’s and the Man and a Barrymore Award for her portrayal of Lil’Bit in How I Learned to Drive. She has collaborated in the direction of numerous productions including Ubu Roi with Steven Wangh, and Mud Angel with Kevin Kuhlke. She is a founding member of the Point of Entry Theater Company. She teaches at Bennington College.

There are many other collaborators who work with The Cabinet, and have generously given their time and energy. Some of these are:

Sue Rees, Mike Giannitti, Mike Rugnetta , Madeline Best, Mary Montgomery, Christopher Edwards, and performers Genevieve Belleveau, Abigail Nessen Bengson, Hai-Ting Chinn, Michael Chinworth, Corey Dargel, Emily Eagen, Laryssa Husiak, Adam Lerman, Jeremy Lydic, Kamala Sankaram, and Ricardo Vazquez