The Nitrate Hymnal
The Opera The Recording Performances Credits Get Involved
Bios

CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION TEAM

Debbi Arseneaux (stage manager) works locally as a stage manager, director, technician and teacher. She has made herself useful to a variety of DC theatres including Project Y, Keegan Theatre, Round House Theatre, Signature Theatre, Phoenix Theatre DC, The Source Theatre Festival, Theatre Alliance, and most recently, Catalyst Theater Company.

Since moving to Washington, DC, in 1999, Beth Baldwin (set design) has designed sets and props for productions by the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Rorschach Theater, Washington Shakespeare Company, Source Theater and Folger Shakespeare Library. She is currently a hand props/craftsperson at the Shakespeare Theatre.

Jean Cook (producer/back office, orchestration team) is a founder of Anti-Social Music. She is part of the 11tet, a New York based jazz composers workshop, and is a member of the Punk not Rock composer salon, which brings together post-punk rockers and classically trained musicians in Washington, DC. As a violinist, she has toured and recorded with the Gena Rowlands Band, Jenny Toomey (Misra), and Edith Frost (Drag City). Jean produced and hosted "The Twentieth Century String Quartet" on 89.9 WKCR-FM, New York from 1995-1996. She was the publicist for Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) for three years before moving to New York in 2000. Current projects include guest-curating a European classical recital series for WPAS. [jean@nitratehymnal.net]

Mike Daniels is a freelance designer and master electrician in the Washington, D.C. area. Previous designs include The Nutcracker with Crossroads Dance Project; Exercises in Style with Le Neon Theatre; Dutchman with Source Theatre Co.; In the Boom Boom Room with Project Y; The Spring 2002 concert with the Arlington Center for Dance; Waiting to Be Invited with African Continuum Theatre Co; El Invitado (The Houseguest), Hagase la Mujer (Let There Be Woman), El Saludador (The Greeter), and Cuentos de Hadas (Fairy Tales) with Teatro de la Luna; A House in the Country and Stretch Marks with Charter Theatre; Red Diaper Baby and Decoding the Tablecloth with Theatre J; and Vladivostock Blues with The Theatre Conspiracy.

David Durst (music director, orchestration team) is a pianist, musical consultant and composer. He is a member of NYC's Anti-Social Music and regularly performs and records classical, improv, rock and experimental music with different groups. Also a contributor to the Punk Not Rock composer salon, he has written and arranged music for small chamber ensembles, independent film projects and bands for over ten years. In addition to The Nitrate Hymnal, he can be heard on recordings by Maritime, Travis Morrison, and Troubled Hubble and others. [durst (at) nitratehymnal (dot) net]

Emily Koonse (film editor) uses a mixture of photography, film, video, and digital imagery to open up visual storytelling. A life-long puppeteer and visual artist, she has performed in schools, video productions and street parades in Missouri, and has built puppet collections for Silver Whale Puppet Troupe and Camleon Puppet Theatre. Originally from Columbia Missouri, Emily graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts - School of Filmmaking and has worked as an editor and a producer for a variety of projects, including video projected backgrounds for "Tales of Hoffman" for the Piedmont Opera Company. Her own video-art projects include "Untitled 001", which explores themes of female experience, and meditation, using a non-traditional narrative structure, and was recently screened at the Los Angeles DIY Film Festival. Emily currently holds a position as Post Production Coordinator at the International Film and Television Workshops,and continues to freelance as a video editor/producer.

Jonathan Kreinik (sound engineer/designer) developed a love of tape and tape manipulation around 1977 thanks to Panasonic handheld tape recorder and technics rt707 1/4" machine matched with the wonder of manipulated mouth and body noises. At the same time became hooked on two records purchased by his older sister: commodores live and parliament vs. the placebo syndrome. At 12 he acquired his first synth thanks to interest in duran duran, eno, depeche mode, skinny puppy, jean michel jarre and synth pop in general. Between then and now has been (and currently is) a recording engineer for the likes of Trans Am (as well as live mixer), the MakeUp, Frodus, Knodel, Hot Snakes, Baltimore's the American, and Brooklyn's !!! (Pow!Pow!Pow!); bedroom sound maniplulator/collager; audio editor and digital radio conspirator; solo performer as Pines of Nowhere1999, as well as guitarist in the current rock incarnation of P.O.N; and solo works under the names TanLine, Doomed Union and more recently as the Limousine Unlimited. All of this in the theoretical world of Boombox Magnetica Sound System. JK remains steadfast in his pursuit of 'the good sound' and 'sounds:interesting'.

Bob Massey (the big idea) splits his time between music-making and writing for Spin, The Washington Post, and others. His music steals shamelessly from the visceral impact of post-punk, the emotional palette of classical, and the sonic range of experimental music. Massey has toured and recorded with Jean Smith (Kill Rock Stars), Telegraph Melts (Absolutely Kosher Records), and Tsunami (Simple Machines). He has composed scores for film, dance, and the web. Currently, he curates the Punk Not Rock composer salon in Washington, DC. His work has been enthusiastically received by the Sunday Times of London, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Washington City Paper, Public Radio International, Alternative Press, Magnet, Yakuza, Pitchfork Media, Ink 19, Hip Mama, and others. [bob (at) nitratehymnal (dot) net]

Kendall Nordin (set design/film team), the "Professional Dilettante," currently works on musicians' advocacy issues through the Future of Music Coalition and on the management of independent record label Misra Records. Some of her past successes include associate producing "The Ballad of Bering Strait," a feature-length documentary to be theatrically released nationwide in 2003, displaying photography in local venues, and the staging of several public art performances. Inspired by the atmosphere surrounding her alma mater Reed College, she and a few friends formed BOHICA, an unskilled girl band that released a recording "BOHICA is dead". More recently, her band Wussy Bunny garnered small attention for their rock opera "Xenoichthophobia" based on the saga of the Northern Snakehead fish found in Crofton, MD. Kendall's poetry has been published in "Wordwrights" and "Rain City Review" and won an American Academy of Poets sponsored prize in 1999. Though she attempts to move to foreign lands often (Costa Rica, Scotland, China, Sicily), DC keeps bringing her back. She looks forward to putting together some video installation/video & audio journal projects she has been recording. [kendall@nitratehymnal.net]

After working in various capacities at the Washington City Paper for 8 1/2 years, Tina Plottel (back office) finally figured out what she wanted to be when she grew up – a librarian. Currently a master's candidate in Library Science and Information Systems at the Catholic University of America, she is wagering her encyclopedic knowledge of music and pop culture at the Library of Congress, and her impeccable organizational skills helping run the Power Lunch Reading Program for Everybody Wins! at Key School in Arlington. In her spare time, she is working on her musical project of writing a song for every chapter in Ray Bradbury's the Martian Chronicles.

Cheles Rhynes (technical director) is Co-founder, Technical and Managing director for Mason/Rhynes Productions, and Production Stage Manger for Ailey II. For more than eight years, Mr. Rhynes has worked as a Lighting Designer, Stage Manager, and Assistant Director with the Pocket Sandwich Theatre in Dallas, TX. He toured with the Flying Karamozov Brothers based in Seattle, WA and Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis. Locally he has worked with Living Stage Theatre, DC Jewish Community Center, the Shakespeare Theatre, and DancePlace. He was Technical Director for Joy of Motion Dance Center Jack Guidone Theater, and Production Coordinator, Company Manager and Stage Manager for Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Mr. Rhynes' award-winning technical direction and lighting designs have been sought after by numerous groups including Ziva Spanish Dance Ensemble, Helanius Wilkins' Edgeworks Dance Theater, Sylvia Soumah's Coyaba Dance Theatre, Toni Blackman's Freestyle Union, CrossCurrents Dance Company, Baltimore/Chicago Contemporary Dance Company, Native Tongue Dance Collective and City Dance Ensemble. Mr. Rhynes is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Metro DC Dance Awards, a galvanizing event celebrating the metropolitan DC/MD/VA dance community.

David Schweizer (director) has been directing original theater, opera and performance works nationally and internationally for twenty-five years. Recent New York work includes the Obie Award winning AND GOD CREATED GREAT WHALES by Rinde Eckert which was seen in this area at Center Stage in Baltimore last spring and will be seen at the Barbicon Center in London this summer. His opera work dates back to his debut at the Houston Grand Opera with Mozart's ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO, and more recent work at Long Beach Opera includes his collaboration with Guillermo Gomez-Pena on Purcell's LA INDIAN QUEEN, Henze's ELEGY FOR YOUNG LOVERS and Thomas Ades' modern opera POWDER HER FACE. He made his New York directing debut at the age of twenty-two with Shakespeare's TROILUS AND CRESSIDA produced by Joseph Papp at Lincoln Center. His numerous extended residencies abroad launched new works and revivals in Warsaw, Lisbon, Hamburg, London, Prague, Sarajevo and Toga Village-Japan. In Washington he has directed Lisa Loomer's THE WAITING ROOM at Arena Stage and later this season he will stage Sandra Tsing Loh's I WORRY for the Woolly Mammoth Theater at the Kennedy Center. He was trained at the Yale School of Drama and teaches at UCLA and CAL ARTS.

Lynn Sharp Spears (costumes) has worked as a director, performer and designer for stage, television and film since 1984. She has won awards for her set designs, masks and acting. Penn State University has Lynn's masks on permanent display in their library. Lynn has performed with or designed for: The National, Source Theatre, Studio Theater, The Washington Shakespeare Company, The Washington Savoyards, The Creative Opera Ensemble, Toby's, The Folger Theatre, Troika National Tours and Networks National Tours, National Geographic, and The Discovery Channel. Lynn is the Artistic Director of Adventure Theater, a professional children's theater in Glen Echo Park.

David Wilson's (filmmaker) films celebrate existence of youth subcultures in an area that many view as having no culture. Beginning with Kansas Anymore (1996), Wilson's films have screened at festivals and venues around the world, including MIXfest NYC and the Melbourne International Gay and Lesbian Film Fest. With his most recent movie, Magic City (2000), Wilson organized the Punknotrock film tour, visiting more than 80 cities around the country and appearing in venues ranging from basements to Universities. Magic City had its festival premiere at the 2000 New York Underground Film Festival, and has also shown at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Lost Film Festival and the St. Louis International Film Festival. Wilson co-founded the Ragtag Film Series, which brings new independent and underground film and video into the heart of Missouri. He is a former film columnist for Punk Planet magazine and the founder of Kinofist Imageworks, a DIY distribution collective. A lifelong resident of Columbia, Missouri, David has booked underground rock shows and waffle breakfasts in and around the city for more than ten years. [david@nitratehymnal.net]


PERFORMERS

Brian Baker (cast) is currently a student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In May he will receive his undergraduate degree in vocal performance. His studies have been divided between opera, early music, ensemble singing, and jazz vocal improvisation. He has performed the role of Bob from The Old Maid and the Thief at the Arts Bank and also at the Trinity Center for the Performing Arts. His jazz recitals include Kurt Weill, Ellington and Gershwin tributes. He sings Sunday services with Trinity Episcopal Church in Swarthmore, PA. Brian's experience singing in the original rock band Scribbler over the last decade has given him a unique stage persona which is well-suited to his roll as Robert in The Nitrate Hymnal. Brian would like to thank the writers and staff of The Nitrate Hymnal for the opportunity to premiere this role. He would also like to thank his parents, his brother and his teacher Reggie for their love and support.

Nate Burke (guitar) is a former member of Real Cool Rain and Frodus and a current member of the Out_Circuit (also with Bob Massey). He got married this past New Year's Eve.

Hai-Ting Allison Chinn (cast) grew up in Northern California and studied at the Eastman School of Music and the Yale School of Music. Since 1997 she has been based in New York City, where she sings with a variety of early- and new- music ensembles, including L'antica Musica New York, Bachworks, the VOX vocal ensemble, Sequitur, and the American Composer's Alliance. Her operatic and theater credits include Hansel in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Cherubino in Mozart's Nozze di Figaro, Pitti-Sing in Gilbert and Sullian's The Mikado, Fa Mulan in Fred Ho's Warrior Sisters, Tuptim and Lady Thiang in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I (the latter on London's West End). In addition to performing, Ms. Chinn teaches voice at the Greenwich House Music School.

Mea Cook (cello) studied cello and viola da gamba for a certificate in music performance at Princeton University, and with an Emerson Fellowship at MIT, performing chamber music, new music, jazz, and various flavors of baroque. She is studying Marine Geology in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and just learned how to ice skate.

Leanne Darling (viola) uses her background in classical, blues, jazz, Arabic, and free improvisation to create her own unique sound on viola. Former assistant principal violist with the Florida West Coast Symphony and Violist with the New Artists Piano Quartet, Darling has performed in concert halls, clubs, and art galleries from New York to Austria to Missouri. She designs her own unique solo act using looping/sampling device to create many layered compositions both planned and improvised. Currently a freelance violist in New York, Leanne Darling studies and performs classical Arabic music and free Jazz, as well as teaches strings and improvisation.

Amy Domingues (cello) is a cellist and composer residing in Arlington, VA. She currently plays in the neo-classical Threnody Ensemble and with DC-improvists All Scars. Her most recent soundtrack work can be heard in Sam Green's documentary The Weather Underground, premiering at the Sundance film festival in January 2003.

Cesar A. Guadamuz (cast). Two years after graduating with a Foreign Affairs degree from the University of Virginia, Cesar continues to hold down a respectable 9 to 5 while satisfying his actor fantasies. Cesar has been seen in various roles at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, Source Theatre Company, GALA Hispanic Theatre, ETC/Globostage, & Phoenix Theatre DC among others. He has also had the wonderful opportunity to work on a number of local and national radio and TV campaigns. Currently he serves as a consultant for the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Nitrate Hymnal marks a new stage in Cesar's career as an actor for he will have devoted an entire month solely to the development of the work without the distractions of a non-theatre job... and he couldn't be happier about that.

Chris Hamley (guitar) is currently a professional gardener. Previously he created and performed music for musical groups: The Cast Iron Lawn Dogs, Circus Lupus, Antimony, and Monorchid. He completed three-quarters of a bachelor's degree in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin - Madison before dropping out. He then relocated to the Washington, DC area in 1990 to pursue music.

Sarah Kendall (violin) is a junior at Oberlin College majoring in Medieval History. This is her first out-of-school gig in four years, and first ever as a member of a theatrical orchestra. Many thanks to Mrs. Cheilek for pointing the production team in her direction.

Marcus Kyd (cast) most recently appeared in The Winter's Tale at Baltimore's Center Stage. He has enjoyed understudy assignments for the Shakespeare Theatre and Arena Stage and is soon to join the cast of Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. He received his MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre's Academy for Classical Acting. For the five years before the Academy, Marc sang and played guitar for local rock group The Most Secret Method, playing over 200 shows in 16 countries, releasing two full length albums and two EPs. Over the years, Marc's choreography has been featured in several college and alternative venues.

Vin Novara (percussion), a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Music (BM '94, MM 98), has been a drummer/percussionist and instructor in the DC area since 1992. He has toured and recorded with The Sorts, Canyon, The Crownhate Ruin, 1.6 Band, and was also a founding member of the percussion group The New Dark Age Ensemble. Vin is currently with the band The Perfect Souvenir, and the percussion trio Racing Trains.

Tunde Oyewole (bass) has studied music at Brown University, Howard University, and at George Washington University. He can be seen around town playing with the bossa nova revival group Galinha.

Since moving to New York in 2000, Susan Oetgen (cast) has sung in the world premieres of works by Anti-Social Music founders Franz Nicolay and Dan Lasaga, including a commission by Franz for Susan and guitarist Francisco Roldán. She holds an MM in Vocal Performance from Catholic University, where she concentrated in Latin American vocal repertoire at the Latin American Music Center and performed works by composers João Guilherme Ripper of Brazil and Alejandro Muzio of Uruguay. As a student and performer of folkloric Afro-Cuban music and dance, she currently trains with Xiomara Rodriguez and Luís Bauzó of the Harbor Conservatory in New York City, and participated in a program at the National School for the Arts in Havana, Cuba in 2000. Recent performances include engagements with the National Chorale, Brooklyn Music School Summer Opera, New York Opera Forum, Anti-Social Music, MTV, the New York Public Library, New Jersey Chamber Orchestra and various concerts with Francisco Roldán.

Philippa Thompson (violin) plays violin and viola and has done so for years. She also sings and plays the spoons. She lives in Brooklyn where she performs and records with the bands Gloria Deluxe, and Rosine, and has also worked with Anti-Social Music and the New Music Ensemble at Tufts University. She spends her weekdays working for Bang on a Can, a non-profit music organization in New York City, where she helps to organize the Summer Institute of Music at MASS MoCA.

James Wolf (violin) plays with From Quagmire and the Gena Rowlands Band. He works at the Library of Congress in the Music Division.