BRIAN BREEN is an award-winning composer, arranger, teacher, and musician/performer. Among his compositions are a musical adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, which received a reading at the York Theatre in New York City in 2003; a score for a film short called Pray, which was included in the 2003 New York Film Festival; a children's musical The King Who Stole Spring, finalist in the 1997 Jackie White Memorial Children's Playwriting Contest; a soap-opera spoof called As the Moment Burns; an original version of Pinocchio; Hey, Cinderella!; The Autobiography of Santa Claus; KidZone, a pilot for a children's variety TV show; and Far Out! (a sci-fi musical), which received a staged reading at the York Theatre in 2008.
Brian's music has been well reviewed. The music for Santa Claus was described as "sweetly composed." The music for Far Out! was called "diverse and fabulous…"; another review praised the fact that "each composition alternates between rock and show tempos, melodies and harmonies, rhymes and free verse, creating a rich musical hybrid." His music runs the stylistic gamut from folk to swing, calypso to pop-all the ingredients of contemporary musical theatre.
Brian has also arranged musical works that have been performed off-Broadway, including A Little Princess, an original musical written by Robert Sickinger and Mel Atkey, based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett book that was also made into a movie starring Shirley Temple. Sickinger's version was well reviewed in The New York Times, which said it "had charm,…adventurous subplots,…and lovely music; Backstage wrote "A Little Princess…enchants with carefully drawn characters, nicely written songs, and a comfortably old-fashioned feel." Brian also produced the recordings of A Little Princess and Bob's latest project, Topsy Turvy Loves, a New Gilbert & Sullivan Musical!
He also performs as a vocalist & guitarist, playing his own songs as well as classic favorites by Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and others.
Brian has worked with many wonderful musicians, including Elena Shaddow, who appeared on Broadway in Nine; Kristin Danielle Klabunde, who played Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway; Jeanne Montano, who played Grisabella in Cats on Broadway; Scott Beck, who appeared in Broadway's Saturday Night Fever.
Brian has also directed productions of Fiddler on the Roof, The Laramie Project, The Trojan Women, Iphigenia 2.0, The Miracle Worker, The Wizard of Oz, The House of Blue Leaves, Smile, No No Nanette, Godspell, Man of La Mancha, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Steel Magnolias, The Importance of Being Earnest, Don't Dress For Dinner, Driving Miss Daisy; and Groucho: A Life in Revue. Brian has also worked as a sound designer, for both his own productions and others. Memorable sound designs include The Effect of Gamma Rays, A Christmas Carol, Don't Drink the Water, and The Trojan Women.
Brian has played guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, and keyboards for many regional musical productions, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Annie, Chess, Evita, Anything Goes, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Pajama Game, Bye Bye Birdie, Batboy, Seussical, Batboy, Once on this Island, Godspell, and Pippin. Brian has also entertained, directed, and taught hundreds of children of all ages: he was one of the originators of The Meadow Kids, a musical & theatrical group of children who sing and dance to family and children's music (traditional, patriotic, and Disney). With the Meadow Kids, Brian has performed his Children's Music Program at parks, summer camps, and beaches & boardwalks throughout New Jersey.
Brian is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 399. He has taught theatre classes at Monmouth University, where he was an adjunct professor. Currently he teaches theatre at Collier High School, an alternative school in Wickatunk, New Jersey. In addition, he teaches guitar privately, and directs a summer musical theatre camp.
He has a bachelor's degree in theater and a minor in music from The Catholic University of America.
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