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2016 TEDxBroadway Talks Now Available Online


Today, the organizers of TEDxBroadway released videos of the talks and performances from the fifth annual event held February 22, 2016 at New World Stages in New York City.

Nearly 20 speakers and performers from fields as varied as opera, dance, acting, law, venture capitalism and even the art of paper cutting shared inspiring ideas to a sold-out house. All contributed to the cornerstone question of the day: "What is the BEST Broadway Can Be?" Now, these talks are available online -

A bit about each TEDxBroadway 2016 video:

· Essam Abadir, techie entrepreneur and CEO of Aspire Ventures, discusses the power of two little words: "what if." By suspending disbelief, you can experience magic. Abadir's firm is using the "internet of things" (which puts a computer into everything we own, from toys to toilets) to change the future of healthcare.

· Beth Clayton, a soul-centered health coach who's helped hundreds of people ditch shame, dieting and deprivation, shares her personal struggle with self-sabotage and how she's developed a better relationship with her inner saboteur.

· Lindsey Croop, a performance artist with acclaimed ballet company Dance Theatre of Harlem, uses words and dance to show how every movement you make tells a story. She encourages viewers to stand courageously and glide through life.

· Alex Dinelaris, writer of Broadway's On Your Feet and the Oscar-winning film Birdman, shares his journey from kid at the movies to grown-up writing for the movies. Dinelaris shows how our life path is like the arc of a great story - always leading somewhere both surprising and inevitable.

· Meredith (Max) Hodges, executive director of the Boston Ballet, offers a clear plan for arts organizations to achieve success, both financially and artistically.

· Hannah Kohl, an artist, writer and educator, shares the story of how she became an expert in the art of papercutting. Her artwork has been profiled in The New Yorker and hangs in private collections around the world. And it all happened because she looked for the open door and said "yes."

· Miral Kotb, who used her passion for dance and technology to create iLuminate, the off-Broadway dance-in-the-dark phenomenon seen on America's Got Talent, talks about the unfortunate event that led her to create iLuminate, and how the show's use of technology is expanding the audience for dance.

· DJ Kurs, artistic director of Deaf West Theatre, explains how our perceived limitations are actually our superpowers. Deaf West's 2015 revival of Spring Awakening, performed simultaneously in spoken English and American Sign Language, broke new ground on Broadway.

· Erin Lavik, professor of chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), says that true genius is created through collaboration - a truth she learned through her studies in theater. She's currently researching ways to protect and repair the brain and spinal cord after injury.

· James Lecesne, who wrote the Oscar-winning short film Trevor and founded The Trevor Project - the only nationwide 24-hour suicide prevention Lifeline for LGBTQ youth - challenges us to question how we define "making it big." He shares stories of what today's youth are doing to make the world more inclusive.

· Kelly Leonard, president & CEO of Kelly Leonard Productions and author of Yes, And: Lessons From The Second City, says it's important to embrace your failures because they often lead to huge creative successes. Leonard shares stories - and bad reviews - from his nearly three decades with The Second City.

· Mark McEwen, TV news personality and former anchor of CBS This Morning, survived a massive stroke that kills 9 out of 10 people - a story documented in his book, Change in the Weather. McEwen talks about his career leading up to the stroke, his year of rehab, and how to get back up again after life knocks you down.

· Marcus Monroe, a juggler and comedian who won the prestigious Andy Kaufman Award, performs feats of juggling while sharing Broadway trivia. Monroe's new one-man show is opening in New York City at the end of the year.

· Charlie Rosen and his band The Callbacks perform live. Rosen is a music director, composer, arranger/orchestrator and performer whose recent Broadway credits include: American Psycho (AMD/ableton/bass), The Visit (guitar, mandolin, zither), Honeymoon in Vegas (orchestrations), One Man Two Guv'nors (MD, bass) and Cyrano de Bergerac (original music).

· Donald Schupak shares the story of how he negotiated the "sports deal of the century," which has earned a reported $800 million to date. Schupak, who created a new model for inner-city schooling when he founded New York's Leadership and Public Service High School, says he used the same approach to both the sports team merger and education reform: The Four Cs - creativity, confidence, commitment and completion.

· Katie Sweeney, founder and chief strategy officer at OutsideIn Strategies, shares her love for musical theater and her passion for being an "Autism Warrior Mom." Sweeney discusses the impact of making live theater accessible to all audiences, specifically as it relates to her younger son's experiences with Broadway.

· Jennifer Ashley Tepper, director of programming for 54 Below and author of The Untold Stories of Broadway book series, talks about the real estate of Broadway - how the size, location and availability of theaters affects which shows get produced.

· Derrick Wang, creator of the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, talks about finding inspiration in unlikely places. While finishing law school, composer Wang heard music in the contrasting opinions - and surprising friendship - of Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who became early fans of his show).

· Randy Weiner, producer, playwright and "mad genius of nightlife" (The Wall Street Journal), shares his thoughts on creating a memorable experience. Winner of two Drama Desk Awards (Sleep No More and Queen of the Night), Weiner says his approach is to create outrageous shows that destabilize audiences, because the "irrational" choice is often the most interesting and memorable.

· Wesley Whatley, a member of the Macy's Parade & Entertainment Group creative team, shares the magical experience of helping produce America's largest Independence Day celebration - Macy's 4th of July Fireworks. From selecting beloved songs to creating original scores, Whatley weaves a sensory tapestry with music and fire, stirring the emotions of millions of viewers every year.

TEDxBroadway is co-organized by Damian Bazadona, founder of Situation Interactive, and Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar. Bazadona and McCarthy welcomed back co-organizing sponsors Jujamcyn Theaters and The TEDxBroadway Loft and Young Professional Program were underwritten by the Nederlander Organization and The Shubert Organization. Tickets for the TEDxBroadway Student Program were underwritten by Disney Theatrical Group.

Additional details are available at

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