Sound Design and Web Strategy for Arts Organizations


Sound Design, Engineering
and Equipment Rental

Making the theatre louder
through Sound Design and Communications Strategy

I develop web applications and websites for theater through my creative agency Marshall Creative.

We've built new web platforms for companies and venues large and small, including The Paramount Theatre Aurora, the Neo-Futurists and (formerly that has seen 7500 listings for theatre professionals and an average of 1200 active theater job listings around the country.

I'm a teacher of Sound Design, including a new post as adjunct faculty at DePaul University in Feb 2013.

I was awarded the first-ever 2010 Michael Philippi Certificate of Excellence for an Emerging Designer for my portfolio at the Michael Merritt Awards - an annual celebration and exposition of the incredible design talent in the Chicago and regional theatre community.

Sound Design Portfolio

Because theatrical sound design uses more dynamic range than studio-mastered recordings, you'll get a better picture of what my work sounds like in the theatre if you listen to this portfolio on headphones. Thanks!


Nick Keenan's soundscape is a potent match [to Grant Sabin's collage-like set]
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, Feb 2, 2013 - Everything is Illuminated

"Nick Keenan’s the kind of guy you can’t wait to see a few years down the road. You know he is going to be doing something stellar because he is already one of the most exciting artists in town. The young designer’s resume has blown up to include many of Chicago’s major theaters, and he is is a thinker to boot."
- New City, Jan. 13, 2010

"Sound designer Nick Keenan has done his homework. This is the first time where I've nearly crapped my pants due to a theatrical sound effect ... It's a powerful moment that makes you want to start repenting on the spot."
- EDGE, Nov. 6, 2009 - End Days

"[Ron] Parson and his sound designer Nick Keenan crank enough wails, ghostly music and gusts of wind that even Jacob Marley would be impressed."
- Chicago Tribune, May. 18, 2009
- The Piano Lesson

Nick was featured in a Nov. 6, 2008 Chicago Reader article about the intensifying average volume of theatrical performances. Read the full article here.

"Nick Keenan's tremendous AM-radio sound design [helps] to suggest the way a life is remembered in bits and pieces: Memories are triggered by the smell of a blanket or the sound of a Moody Blues song, and can be reassuring and discomfiting at the same time."
- Time Out Chicago, Feb. 14, 2008
- How I Learned to Drive

"New Leaf seems to have selected The Dining Room to showcase its two most rarefied assets: its queerly elegant found space ... and its invaluable resident sound designer. As the cast pantomimes all the props to Nick Keenan's recorded, carefully placed effects of delicate papers being rustled or rattling flatware getting polished, you suspect the designer knows even better than the playwright the sound of a WASP's nest."
- Time Out Chicago, Oct. 18, 2007
- The Dining Room

"... the distant gunshot that echoes throughout [Book of Days] (a masterful, haunting effect by sound designer Nick Keenan) is the stuff of nightmares."
- Windy City Times, May 3, 2006

"... Nick Keenan's performance piece Lexicon ... is ambitious, challenging, and entertaining ..."
- Chicago Reader, May 27, 2005

Curriculum Vitae

2013 and upcoming

Neo-Futurists - The Sovereign Statement
Peninsula Players - Sunday in the Park with George
Striding Lion - Dada Gert
Next Theatre - Everything is Illuminated
DePaul University - Measure for Measure
Northwestern University - Occupy Dance 2013


New Leaf Theatre - Arcadia
Seth Bockley & Devon DeMayo - Guerra, A Clown Play
Northwestern University - Danceworks 2012


Remy Bumppo - Changes of Heart
New Leaf Theatre - Burying Miss America Peninsula Players - God of Carnage
Northwestern University - Brighton Beach Memoirs
Northwestern University - Danceworks 2011
UMass Amherst - Twelfth Night
Next Theatre - The Metal Children


New Leaf Theatre - Redeemers
A Red Orchid Theatre Youth Ensemble - The Iliad
The Hypocrites - K
Peninsula Players - Panic
Court Theatre - Sizwe Banzi is Dead
New Leaf Theatre - Curse of the Starving Class
Court Theatre - The Illusion (co-design with Josh Horvath) (EQUITY JEFF NOMINATION)
Next Theatre - Return to Haifa
TUTA - The Wedding


Next Theatre - End Days (EQUITY JEFF NOMINATION)
New Leaf Theatre - The Man Who Was Thursday
Chicago Dramatists - Lucinda's Bed
Court Theatre - The Piano Lesson
New Leaf Theatre - The Long Count
Remy Bumppo Theatre - American Ethnic
Goodman Theatre & Neo-Futurists - Strange Interlude
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble - These Shining Lives


New Leaf Theatre - Six Years
Chicago Shakespeare - Amadeus (Assisting Michael Bodeen)
A Red Orchid - Not a Game for Boys
New Trier High School - Little Women
Attea Middle School - 30 Reasons Not to Be in a Play
Noble Fool - Oliver!
New Leaf Theatre - Girl in the Goldfish Bowl
Metropolis - Sylvia
Goodman Theatre - The Trip to Bountiful (Assisting Brett Jarvis)
Backstage Theatre Company - How I Learned to Drive
The Neo-Futurists - Contraption
Goodman Theatre - Shining City (Assisting Obadiah Eaves)


The Side Project - Butt Nekkid
The Side Project - Smart
New Leaf Theatre - The Dining Room
Collaboraction - Siddhartha Project
Metropolis - High School Musical
Greasy Joan & Co. - Wake Up, Apocalypse (Awake!)
Goodman Theatre - Mirror of the Invisible World (Assisting Michael Bodeen)
Goodman Theatre - Oedipus Complex (Assisting Todd Barton)
Greasy Joan & Co. - Sueno
Dog & Pony - Mr. Marmalade
New Leaf - Vox Pandora
Metropolis - A Streetcar Named Desire
White Horse Theater - The Wiz
the side project - Katzelmacher
the side project - Thief River
New Leaf - The Permanent Way
Neo-Futurists - You Asked For It!


Greasy Joan & Co. - Woyzeck
Dog & Pony - Dead City
Raven - American Buffalo
Metropolis - I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
New Leaf Theatre - The Master Builder
Serendipity / Live Bait - Vegas Baby, by Gerrit O'Neill
Prop Thtr / Curious Theater Branch - Choice, by Courtney Berne
Metropolis Performing Arts Center - The Nerd
New Leaf Theatre - Accelerando
Steep Theater - Of Mice and Men
Neo-Futurists - A Child's History of Bombing


The Side Project - Crave
Raven Theatre - A Few Good Men
New Leaf Theatre - Limbo Tales
Metropolis Performing Arts Center - War of the Worlds
The Side Project - Galileo
The Free Associates - Improvisation with the Vampire
Apple Tree Theatre - Uncle Vanya
New Leaf Theatre - Lexicon (In the Spotlight 2005)
Bailiwick Repertory - Planet of the Bisexuals
Apple Tree Theatre - Hello Again
Raven Theatre - Dancing at Lughnasa
Metropolis Performing Arts Center - The Odd Couple


Visions & Voices - Arrangement for Two Violas
Raven Theatre - A Streetcar Named Desire
New Leaf Theatre - Brilliant Traces
Visions & Voices - [the] Violent Sex
Apple Tree Theatre - A Man of No Importance
New Leaf Theatre - Girl in Hyacinth Blue
Raven Theatre - The Man Who Had All the Luck


Download Resume in .pdf format