Sound Design & Original Music: Theatre

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SHOTGUN PLAYERS | Berkeley, CA | Directed by Michelle Talgarow

Photo Credit: Benjamin Krantz


In Anna Ouyang Moench’s script, three teenage girls envision revenge fantasies after their pastor commits a shocking transgression on church mission trip.

I wrote music in the style of revenge movies for each of the three fantasy sequences (Kung Fu, Mob, Noir/Horror).


Samantha’s Fantasy:


Jen’s Fantasy:

Transition and Underscore:


Transition Out:


Mimi’s Fantasy:


San Francisco Shakespeare Festival |Virtual Production | Directed by Elizabeth Carter





Audio Samples Coming Soon


SAN JOSE STAGE | San Jose, CA | Directed by Tony Kelly

Lana Palmer’s sound design is peppered with thunderously booming thumps that made the person sitting next to me jump every single time. Nobody knows what actually causes those deafeningly loud noises except that the upstairs neighbor must be doing something pretty dramatic. It’s either that or the house is haunted, which honestly feels more and more likely as the play goes on.

– Sam Hurwitt, San Jose Mercury News


Then, from the depths of the basement hallway, a new sound.

… click-clack, click-clack, click-clack…
Erik’s heart pounds, he looks toward the door.
… click-CLACK, click-CLACK, click-CLACK…

– Stephen Karam, The Humans


KANSAS CITY REP | Kansas City, MO | Directed by Chip Miller

(Photo Credit: Cory Weaver)

For this piece, Miller called on the skills of his creative and design team who never fail. The lighting, set design, costumes, sound, props, wigs–all aspects get excellent marks.

– Bob Evans, KC Applauds






LOS ALTOS STAGE | Los Altos, CA | Directed by Jeffrey Lo

(Photo credit: Richard Mayer)

Then there was the subtle mood music, which felt both genuine and lovely. Music director Lana Palmer (who doubled as sound designer) starts things off when she plucks at her banjo strings, supported perfectly by Emily Chiet’s violin and Bruce Avery on guitar. Flawless snatches of music and song are scattered like dust particles throughout the entire play.

– Joanne Englehardt, The Mercury News

Lana Palmer’s sound design may be the best I’ve ever heard in the old Bus Barn Theater.

– John Orr, Palo Alto Weekly


Audio Samples Coming Soon


INFERNO THEATRE COMPANY | Oakland, CA | Directed by Giulio Cesare Perrone

This production used sound design to build the world of Dracula’s Transylvanian castle and reflect the inner state of Jonathan Harker, Mina and Lucy as their world is ruptured.  In this cue, the ensemble builds a hypnotic, surrealistic train as Harker travels to Transylvania.

Along with violinist Carole Braves, I also supplied original music (Piano/Accordion) for this production, earning a 2018 Theatre Bay Area Award nomination for Best Original Music.


TOWN HALL THEATRE COMPANY | Lafayette, CA | Directed by Susan Evans

It was an honor to work on the Bay Area premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists, produced with an all-female cast and creative team.  For the opening sequence, I arranged and produced an instrumental music theme based on Gunderson’s melody. From the script:

In the dark. A time of unrest in Paris-crisis-danger-threat… Then a sharp white light on, or the engorging shadow of… A guillotine, its blade rising to the top. A gasp.


AFRICAN-AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE COMPANY | San Francisco, CA | Directed by Elizabeth Carter

In For Colored Girls, my goal was to organically incorporate the many popular songs written into the script while providing room for the voice of the actors to be heard. Several monologue sections had ambient underscores to help build the world of each character. This excerpt begins,

‘I usedta live in the world then i moved to HARLEM & my universe is now six blocks’

The soundscape takes her from city street to subway to deadbolt-locked apartment.

For Colored Girls… Received the 2018 Broadway World Regional Award for Best Local Play in the San Francisco Bay Area.



SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY | San Francisco, CA | Directed by Bruce Avery

In this ambitious production of Pericles, a simple song reunites a family torn apart. I used Mediterranean instruments as well as waterphone, prayer bowls and chimes to create the landscapes of Tyre, Antioch and Ephesus.

Most heavenly music! It nips me unto listening, and thick slumber Hangs upon mine eyes.




THE DUEL: Pericles fights other suitors in a bid for Thaisa’s hand in marriage.


THE WALTZ/CURTAIN CALL: Pericles and Thaisa dance as suitors compete for her favor.


THE STORM: In this sequence, newlyweds Pericles and Thaisa are caught in a storm while traveling home to Tyre. Thaisa dies in childbirth and is buried at sea, leaving Pericles with baby Marina. As this cue plays, Pericles watches Thaisa being swept out to sea.


DIONYZA: This theme recurs several times throughout the play: The riddle in Antiochus, Dionyza’s plot to kill Marina, and again (as a piano rag) in the Bawd’s brothel. 


EPILOGUE:  Pericles, Thaisa and Marina are reunited.


SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY | San Francisco, CA | Directed by Bill Peters

A delicate production featuring beautiful work by a brave and committed ensemble.  My goal was to build a ‘nest’ to hold and support the emotion of the work. This cue was used in a chilling meditation as McKinney and Henderson build the fence.


STANFORD UNIVERSITY |  Palo Alto, CA | Directed by Karola Kreitmair

I was thrilled to work on the World Premiere of Homo Ex Machina, supported by Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse initiative. Bird song plays an important role in the story, and sound design was a major element in several scenes.

The sample cue is a piece of original music I wrote for the first Act Out.


Music cue by Lana Palmer

Written for a short film, this piece has now been used on several televsion shows.


Original Sound Design by Lana Palmer

A piece of original sound design.