jamesbeard

A lot of fuss is made over composers who write the musical scores for movies and stage musicals, and rightly so.

But there’s a lesser-known category of compositions for theater, known as “incidental music,” primarily used in plays in the background and/or between scenes.

Trained musicians write that, too.

One of them is Santa Rosa native Jonathan Beard (at left in photo), now living in Los Angeles and working as a composer, mostly for movies and television.

The Sierra Madre Playhouse commissioned Beard to compose incidental music for its production of “Driving Miss Daisy,” the classic play about the relationship between an elderly Southern white woman and her African-American chauffeur.

Beard and Sierra Madre Playhouse sound designer Barry Schwam (at right in photo) have been nominated for an award for “Best Sound Design – Local” from the National Association for the Advance of Colored People (NAACP).

Now the Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma is using Beard’s music for its production, said Beard’s mother, Mary Beard.

The Cinnabar Theater production of “Driving Miss Daisy” continues through Nov. 2 at 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

Information: 763-8920, cinnabartheater.org.