Milburn/Bodeen Music and Sound Design
Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen have been musical collaborators on and off since they were in high school. From 1977 through 1984, Rob and Michael composed and performed with their eclectic rock band, Fugue, including the award winning score for Remains Theatre’s production of Tooth of Crime. Since then they have created music and sound for theatre productions in Chicago (often with Steppenwolf Theatre), on Broadway, across the country and at international venues. On Broadway they composed the incidental music and designed sound for No Man’s Land & Waiting for Godot, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Miracle Worker and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and designed sound for Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, This Is Our Youth, Of Mice and Men, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Superior Donuts, reasons to be pretty, A Year With Frog and Toad, Hollywood Arms and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Off Broadway they designed sound and directed music for Ruined and composed music and designed sound for Guards at the Taj, Sticks and Bones, Checkers, Inked Baby, After Ashley, Boy Gets Girl, Red and Space. They also designed sound for The Spoils (also London’s West End), Family Week, reasons to be pretty and Brundibar. Recent collaborators include directors Amy Morton, Anna Shapiro, Sean Mathias, Pam MacKinnon, Kate Whoriskey, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Terry Kinney, Tina Landau, Maria Aitken, Emily Mann, Greg Boyd, Chey Yew, Scott Elliot, Jonathan Demme, Theresa Rebeck, Eric Ting, David Esbjornson, Marion McClinton, Joe Hanreddy, Tony Taccone, Richard E.T. White, and Gary Griffin. Recent awards include New York’s Lucille Lortel for Outstanding Sound Design 2016 and Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Sound Design 2015. Both Rob and Michael have received the Michael Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration. They have also composed music and sound for film, computer games, and both museum and civic installations.
Rob Milburn (before beginning his partnership with Michael Bodeen in 1999) was a composer and resident designer at Goodman Theatre for seventeen seasons and worked extensively with Steppenwolf Theatre composing music and sound. Broadway credits include sound designs for King Hedley II, Buried Child, The Song of Jacob Zulu (featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Grapes of Wrath and music composition for The Speed of Darkness. Off Broadway he composed music and sound for Sin and Marvin’s Room and it’s productions in Chicago, Boston, L.A., D.C., and London’s West End, designed sound and directed music for Sam Shepard’s, Eyes for Consuela and designed sound for August Wilson’s Jitney. He also designed sound for the national tour of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and national resident theater tours of Dinah Was, Jitney and King Hedley II. His music or sound has traveled to the Kennedy Center and Arena Stage in D.C., Guthrie Theatre and the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, Huntington Theatre in Boston, the Public Theatre, Circle in the Square, Second Stage, Minetta Lane Theatre, Union Square Theatre and Playwrights Horizons in New York, Brooklyn Academy of Music, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, Dallas Theater Center, Hartford Stage Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Rhode Island’s Trinity Rep., Seattle Rep., Arizona Rep., Milwaukee Rep., Rep. of St. Louis, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson in L.A., the Comedy Theatre in London’s West End, Barbican Center, National Theatre of Great Britain, Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv, Subaru Acting Company in Japan, and festivals in Sydney, Perth, Dublin and Galway. He is the recipient of a Drama Desk nomination, a Lucille Lortel nomination, two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, an Adelco Award, an Adelco nomination, three Helen Hayes nominations, a L.A. Drama Critics nomination, three L.A. Ovation nominations, a NAACP Image nomination, a Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards nomination, a L.A. Garland Award, an Acclaim Award and twenty-five Joseph Jefferson nominations (receiving the award ten times; three for original music and seven for sound design). Rob and his wife, Amy Morton, have lived in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood for 20 years.
Michael Bodeen is a composer, sound designer, and guitarist. Prior to his partnership with Rob Milburn in 1999, Michael created music and sound for the Goodman Theatre productions of The Baltimore Waltz, Mirror of the Invisible World, The Odyssey (which toured McCarter and Seattle Repertory Theatre), Journey to the West (which toured Boston’s Huntington Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, which traveled to the Serious Fun! Festival at Lincoln Center, Second Stage, Berkeley Repertory and Seattle Repertory Theatre; and sound for Philip Glass’ opera, Galileo Galilei which travelled to BAM and the Barbican Center in London. He also created music for Henry VIII and Measure for Measure at The New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, as well as music and sound for A Midsummer Nights Dream at Boston’s Huntington Theatre (all above directed by Mary Zimmerman). Additional Goodman theatre productions include As You Like It, (dir. Michael Maggio) Oo-Bla-Dee, Escape from Paradise, The Ties That Bind, (Regina Taylor), and Somebody Else’s House (David Cale). Other projects include The Glass Menagerie (dir. Mark Brokaw) at Steppenwolf Theatre and sound design for Nomathemba, featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at the Schubert Theatre in Boston. His music and sound have also been heard in productions at Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Trinity Repertory, Yale Repertory Theatre, and the Subaru Acting Company in Japan. Michael’s compositions and performances have also been heard in several dance pieces. He is the recipient of a Drama Desk nomination, a Helen Hayes nomination, an LA Ovation nomination, a Beverly Hills/ Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards nomination, an Acclaim award, an LA Garland award, three Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards; two for original score and one for sound design, and sixteen Joseph Jefferson nominations resulting in six awards; four for original music and two for sound design. Michael graduated with a BA in History from Depaul University in 1983. He currently resides in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.