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“TEDx Broadway” Announces Updated List of Speakers for Annual Conference on 2/23/15

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NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 16, 2014) — The annual conference that brings together innovative minds and industry experts to help shape the future of Broadway has added six new speakers to the lineup for TEDxBroadway on Monday, February 23, 2015 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) beginning at 11:00 a.m.  Tickets are priced at $100.


  • Ayad Akhtar is an author, screenwriter and playwright whose debut novel American Dervish was named to several Best of 2012 lists, including Kirkus Reviews and O: The Oprah Magazine. His play Disgraced premiered at New York’s LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in 2012, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2013, and is currently on Broadway.


  • Kevin Lyman is the creator and producer of the Vans Warped Tour, the longest running traveling music festival in North America today. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the tour has played to over nine million fans.


  • Benjamin Scheuer leads the band Escapist Papers and is the writer and star of autobiographical solo show The Lion, which debuted off-Broadway this year following runs in Edinburgh and London. He’s winner of the 2013 ASCAP Cole Porter Award for songwriting and the 2013 Musical Theatre Network Award for best lyrics.


  • Leslie Koch is president of the Trust for Governors Island, which is responsible for the planning, redevelopment and operation of the 150-acre section of the island being transformed into a New York destination.


  • Kacie Hultgren works in Broadway set design (Disgraced, The Country House) and is a 3-D printing expert. Her use of early DIY 3-D printers for scale modeling led to an online following in the 3-D printing community, where she goes by the handle PrettySmallThings.

Ben Wellington is a computer scientist and data analyst whose blog, I Quant NY, uses New York City open data to tell stories about everything from parking ticket geography to finding the sweet spot in MetroCard pricing. His articles have gone viral and, in some cases, led to policy changes. Wellington teaches a course on NYC open data at the Pratt Institute and is a contributor to Forbes and other publications.


Speakers previously announced include: Songwriting team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Tony nominees for A Christmas Story: The Musical), Sreenath “Sree” Sreenivasan (Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Laurie Santos (Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University), Kirsten Sabia (Vice President of Marketing Services for the PGA TOUR), Osh Ghanimah (actor and Founder/Executive Director of Broadway For All), Elliott Masie (learning technology expert and Broadway producer), and Emily Simoness (Founder and Executive Director of SPACE on Ryder Farm). Additional speakers will be announce closer to the event.


TEDxBroadway is co-organized by Damian Bazadona, founder of Situation Interactive, and Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar. They’re proud to welcome back co-organizing sponsors Jujamcyn Theaters, Google, and Broadway.com.  Support for the TEDxBroadway Young Professionals & Students Program is provided by the Nederlander Organization and the Shubert Organization.


Additional details are available at TEDxBroadway.com.


Tickets can be purchased at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/tedxbroadway-tickets-12624455085.


Follow @TEDxBroadway on Twitter.

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About TEDx (x = independently organized event): In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDx events combine TED Talks videos and live speakers in a small group setting to spark discussion and form connections. TED provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but TED is not involved in the organization of TEDx events.


About TED: TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Past TED speakers include Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference each spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland. For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration.