Brian Rogers
Artist, Co-Founder / Artistic Director

Small Songs
Premiere Listening Party and Vinyl Release
December 6-9, 2023

4 Fixations – Online Premiere
as part of Onassis USA’s ENTER Program
May 25, 2020

Reprise Screenings of Screamers:
University of Colorado, Boulder
September 13-15, 2019

Reprise Screenings of Screamers:
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
March 17, 2019

Reprise Screenings of Screamers:
Baryshnikov Arts Center
February 7, 2019

Reprise Screenings of Screamers:
Zukor Theater at Kaufman Astoria Studios
November 15-17, 2018

Reprise Screening of Screamers:
Gund Gallery at Kenyon College
October 30, 2018

Premiere Screening of Screamers:
The Playhouse at Abrons Arts Center
August 24-25, 2018

First Premiere Screening of Screamers:
Museum of the Moving Image
as part of the Queens World Film Festival
March 17, 2018

“A Movie That Creeps to Its Own Choreographic Beat” – Gia Kourlas, New York Times

“We all scream for Screamers” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinite Body

“While the main draw is the fun of watching these folks adapt their sensibilities to horror-flick conventions, the movie is actually good, a cross between “The Shining” and “Gaslight” in the mode of David Lynch.” – Brian Seibert, The New Yorker

“…as taut and tight as a nerve stretched to its breaking point.” – Erin Bomboy, The Dance Enthusiast

Brian Rogers is a director, video and sound artist, co-founder and artistic director of The Chocolate Factory Theater, which supports the creation of theater, dance, music and multimedia performances at its post-industrial facility in LIC, Queens. Since 1997, Brian has conceived and/or directed numerous large scale films and performances at The Chocolate Factory and elsewhere including Small Songs (2023), Screamers (2018), Hot Box (September 2012, co-presented with FIAF’s Crossing The Line Festival / January 2013, PS122’s COIL Festival / February 2013, EMPAC Center, Troy NY – supported by a MAP  Fund grant), the Bessie-nominated Selective Memory (July 2010, Mount Tremper Arts / September 2011, The Chocolate Factory / January 2011, PS122’s COIL Festival) and the horror the horror (Movement Research Festival 2011, Abrons Arts Center / 2012). Brian recently completed his first feature film; composed the soundtrack for Shaun Iron & Lauren Petty’s film Standing By: Gatz Backstage; and has collaborated as a sound and video artist with numerous experimental dance and theater artists in NY and elsewhere. In addition to his own work, Brian curates The Chocolate Factory’s artistic programming (now in its 19th year) which supports the work of more than 100 theater, dance, music and interdisciplinary artists each year.

Small Songs

Premiere performances took place at The Chocolate Factory Theater in December 2023.

In his first major project since Screamers, an experimental feature film (which premiered at Abrons Arts Center in 2018, and was screened nationally throughout 2019), Brian Rogers continues his habit of interdisciplinary makeovers with Small Songs, a long form recording of textural synthesizer music.

In late 2019, while at an artist residency, Brian Rogers assembled more than 100 hours of audio material, recorded solo, generally late at night, via modular synthesizer. Throughout 2020 and 2021, these recordings were meticulously (and exhaustively) condensed and sequenced into twenty nine very short compositions (or “small songs”), which unfold as a kind of abstract, auditory, autofictional narrative of shifting interior states, informed by a month-long cross country road trip Rogers undertook, solo, in 2021. Writer and cultural critic Claudia La Rocco composed the song titles in the form of a 29 line poem; the recordings were mastered by Stephan Mathieu; and the album was pressed in a very limited edition of vinyl LP’s which, due to a global vinyl shortage, only recently arrived.

For the public launch of Small Songs, Rogers and longtime collaborator Madeline Best will transform The Chocolate Factory into a multisensory listening environment centered around a custom designed and constructed hi fi speaker system and an array of LED light strips, surrounded by a series of intimate “salons” filled with sofas, carpets and comfortable chairs. Cocktails and natural wine will be served; and the album will be played, its contours amplified by, and reflected within, the Chocolate Factory’s industrial architecture and a stark, subtly advancing lighting score.

Small Songs (the album) is composed, recorded and mixed by Brian Rogers; mastered by Stephan Mathieu; and features song titles by Claudia La Rocco, and cover art by Michael Reardon.

Small Songs (the listening event) features music and co-direction by Brian Rogers; and co-direction and Lighting Design by Madeline Best. Sound Engineer and Audiovisual Technologist: Mike Rugnetta. Object Design and Construction: Matt Shalzi. Poem performance by Claudia La Rocco. Sofa Whisperer: Joanna Levinger.


Screamers (the film) is a 70 minute feature film. A kind of conceptual ghost story, Screamers was conceived during a year-long residency at a former Catholic Church owned by the artist Dan Hurlin in Stuyvesant, NY – and was subsequently filmed over the course of two weeks in September 2015. Screamers can be screened in cinemas, film festivals, galleries and performance spaces; and is available for streaming and purchase online.

Written and directed by Brian Rogers. Produced by Madeline Best. Edited by Brian Rogers. Director of photography: Jeff Larson. Production design: Sara C. Walsh. Lighting: Jon Harper. Sound recording: Stephen Bruckert. Sound Mixing and Mastering: Jim Dawson. Dramaturgy and Directorial Consultation: Madeline Best. Music by Brian Rogers. Assistant Production Design: Jessie Bonaventura. Production Assistants: Youree Choi, Ben Demarest, Jonathan Ginter, Kenneth Olguin, Nicole Simonson.

Starring: Andrew Dinwiddie, Jim Findlay, Daniel Fish, Vallejo Gantner, Keely Garfield, Jon Kinzel, Quinn Larson, Molly Lieber, Jay Wegman.

Hot Box (2012/2013)

co-presented with FIAF‘s Crossing The Line Festival, September 13-22, 2012.

re-presented as part of PS122‘s COIL Festival, January 12-15, 2013.

re-re-presented at The EMPAC Center, Troy NY, February 15-16, 2013.

Conceived, Directed and Performed by Chocolate Factory Artistic Director Brian Rogers in collaboration with Madeline BestHot Box is a companion piece to his 2010 Bessie-nominated performance Selective Memory. Where Selective Memory was extremely clean and minimalist in its approach, Hot Box is loud and messy. Hot Box draws inspiration from a cinematic vocabulary – pans, zooms, cuts etc – while attempting to find a sustained kind of stillness within a totally chaotic and uncomfortable environment. Inspired by films like Apocalypse Now and FitzcarraldoHot Box creates a live performance situation that is violent and chaotic; and from that chaos, attempts to compose a sequence of video images that are quiet, sustained, focused, and organized – but somehow coated with an intense emotional residue. Concept, Direction, “Choreography”, Sound: Brian Rogers. Director of Photography: Madeline Best. Performance: Madeline BestBrian Rogers. Set: Brad Kisicki. Lights: Jon Harper. Costumes: Maggie Dick. Technology Design: Mike Rugnetta.

“despite the beauty of some of the images, it is less interesting” – Brian Seibert, New York Times

Director Brian Rogers and Dancer Madeline Best talk about Hot Box – Gia Kourlas, Time Out New York

Hot Box is an immersion in subtlety and intensity.” – Dance Enthusiast

Hot Box and Einstein On The Beach Put The Audience In Charge – Elizabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

“It was hard to tell…if Rogers was smashed” – Elizabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

Selective Memory (2010/2011)

Selective Memory is a real time video performance about nostalgia for relationships that never took place, events which never happened; a film which was never made, but which everyone remembers; exploiting the misappropriation of “real” sounds and images to confound, distort, remake and ultimately erase the truth. Inside a claustrophic “film set” comprised of computer-controlled moving cameras, a shapeless dioramic background, embedded monitors and microphones, a single performer establishes a hyper-intimate relationship with the cameras; and a simultaneously elusive/remote relationship with the live audience. Using simple cinematic techniques – extreme closeups, slow pans, jump cuts, and tiny movements – all executed in real time – the performer cycles through a series of meticulously choreographed gestures in tandem with composed “shots” designed not to construct a narrative but rather to suggest an endless number of possible narratives, creating an enormous blank space in which the spectator will imagine characters, relationships, conflicts and emotions that are never literally present. Through the gradual repetition and manipulation of images, the “literal” materials of cinema – locations, backgrounds, sets, establishing shots etc. – are discarded, leaving only the camera and the performer in a sustained, neutral but intensely focused exchange that resembles a high wire act or an oscillating sine wave; erasing the distance between camera, performer and spectator; and in the end, erasing all traces of meaning, leaving only light.

Concept, Direction, Sound: Brian Rogers. Director of Photography, Performance: Madeline Best. Technology Design: Mike Rugnetta. Costumes: Maggie Dick. Set Design: Brad Kisicki. Lighting Design: Chloe Z. Brown.

Selective Memory was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance (aka “Bessie”) Award in 2010.

Selective Memory was reprised as part of PS122?s COIL Festival in January 2011.

“The Mystery of a Face, Up Close” – Alastair Macaulay, New York Times