Monday marks the fifth time out for TEDxBroadway, a daylong convention of live-entertainment artists and producers set for the Shubert Organization’s New World Stages. The organizers are Damian Bazadona, founder of Situation Interactive, and Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar, with support from the major Broadway theater owners. The theme of the event is “What Is the Best That Broadway Can Be?”
Among the best known speakers signed up for the symposia are Randy Weiner, producer of the long-running shows Sleep No More, a site-specific riff on Macbeth set at the McKittrick Hotel, and Queen Of The Night. He’s also behind several of Gotham’s most unconventional live entertainment venues. Alex Dinelaris won an Oscar last year as one of the writers of Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance). Author of the book for On Your Feet, a new Broadway musical about Gloria and Emilo Estefan, he’s also co-creator and executive producer of the upcoming Starz series The One Percent starring Ed Helms, Hilary Swank and Ed Harris.
The “x” in TEDx indicates an event produced reflective of, but independent of the Ted series of 18-minute speeches by famous people, big thinkers and social instigators. More info about today’s event is at tedxbroadway.com.
Here’s the lineup in addition to those mentioned, per the organizers:
• Lindsey Croop is a performance artist with Dance Theatre of Harlem.
• Derrick Wang is a composer, lyricist, and librettist, creating dramatic music for an interdisciplinary world. He is the creator of the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, which was introduced at the U.S. Supreme Court, published in the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, and premiered at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival to international attention from both the musical and legal worlds.
• Miral Kotb combined her passion for dance and technology to create iLuminate, the entertainment company that combines its patented wirelessly controlled light-suits with exhilarating performers to create the ultimate dance-in-the-dark audience experience.
• Mark McEwen was an anchor on CBS This Morning and served as weather and entertainment reporter for The Early Show. He is the author of Change in the Weather, about his experience with recovery.
• Essam Abadir, CEO of Aspire Ventures, is an inventor, investor, and international expert in technology whose passion lies in applying technology toward basic human needs. An MIT graduate and IP attorney, he founded several of the earliest and fastest-growing technologies and companies in digital advertising, cloud storage, video on demand, music streaming, and mobile app platforms, most recently appMobi, which exited its tools division to Intel in 2013.
• Beth Clayton is a soul-centered health coach.
• Charlie Rosen is a Music Director, Composer, Arranger and Orchestrator, and Performer whose Broadway credits include American Psycho, The Visit and Honeymoon in Vegas.
• Marcus Monroe is a juggler and comedian with a production of his new one-man show opening at the end of this year in New York City and recipient of the Andy Kaufman Award.
• DJ Kurs has been artistic director of Deaf West Theatre since 2012. Kurs shepherded the production of Spring Awakening from its beginnings in a 99-seat theater in Los Angeles to this season’s acclaimed revival on Broadway.
• Wesley Whatley has served for the last decade as a member of the Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group’s creative team, responsible for developing and producing musical scores, creating original music and overseeing performance programs for the company’s iconic national events.
• Erin Lavik is professor of chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Lavik’s research focuses on engineering polymers to protect and repair the nervous system and treat trauma more broadly.
• Kelly Leonard is president & CEO of Kelly Leonard Productions and creative advisor to The Second City and author of Yes, And: Lessons From The Second City.
• Donald Schupak is an attorney and managing partner who negotiated for the Spirits of St. Louis during the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.
• Meredith (Max) Hodges joined Boston Ballet as executive director in 2014 and leads the company in partnership with Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen.
• Jennifer Ashley Tepper is the Director of Programming at 54 Below, and the author of The Untold Stories of Broadway book series.
• Katie Sweeney is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at OutsideIn Strategies.
• James Lecesne is a writer, storyteller and actor whose most recent show was The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. He wrote the Academy Award winning short film Trevor, which inspired the founding of The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24-hour suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ youth.