Jonathan Guillen music + sound

A night with Jeff

As we all prepare dinner tonight for Tony, I want to reflect on his little brother Jeff, the Chicago Theatre award. Sound and Music are often the last recognized elements in theatre (if noticed at all) so if feels really special to be awarded the highest honor in Chicago Theatre for my work on The Mother, which included Original Music and New Adaptation (co-adapted with director Max Truax). The fierceness and vivacity of Chicago Theatre is what led me to migrate there from my homeland of Los Angeles in 2009 and it is why I still live a short 5-hour drive away in the Queen City of Cincinnati. In total, The Mother was nominated for 7 categories and won 5 Jeffs for Original Music, New Adaptation, Actress in a Principal Role, Ensemble, and Production. It was an unforgettable night for Oracle Theatre and the beautiful cast and crew of The Mother.

I often struggle with the disconnect between the ephemeral vision of music that I hear in my head and the reality of what eventually makes it on to paper. That is why I keep writing, to get closer to that perfect realization of the first moment I feel a piece of music from the dark ether of invention. Receiving this award is the validation that I am doing something right and will inspire me to continue to create many more works. Thank you Jeff Committee, Oracle Theatre, Max Truax, Katherine Keberlien, the entire cast and crew of The Mother, and especially my partner-in-crime Amy Smethurst; she is the inspiration that pushes me to continue to chase the ghost of a perfect dream.