The TEDxBroadway TEN stage is now set as organizers today reveal the final speakers rounding out the complete lineup for the milestone event being held Tuesday, May 17 at 1pm Eastern. The hybrid event – at New World Stages and exclusively livestreaming on Stellar, will gather a global community of changemakers to consider the central mission question, “What’s the BEST Broadway can be?”
The TEDxBroadway TEN speakers and performers now include:
Britton & The Sting is a funk liberation band taking New York City by storm, providing an intergalactic, Afrofuturistic sanctuary of healing sold out show after sold out show. Their waves of funk, gospel, rock, testimony collide with mesmerizing melodies that carry their journey driven music deep into your soul. “Let’s Get Drunk and Go to Church,” their anthem, is listened to in over 44 countries. Front man and songwriter Britton Smith leads the pack with electric passion for radical community. Recently featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Fault Magazine, and The New Yorker, Britton & The Sting’s latest single “Burn” was highlighted on Paper Magazine’s “Bops Only: 10 Songs You Need to Start Your Weekend Right” list, as well as a featured 2020 NPR Tiny Desk Submission Top Pick. Britton Smith’s Broadway credits include: Be More Chill, Shuffle Along, After Midnight and Off-Broadway: to my girls, Bella, Fortress of Solitude, Wild Goose Dreams, Wild Party and Cotton Club Parade. He’s the Founding member and President of the 2021 Special Tony Award Recipient Broadway Advocacy Coalition and an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School.
Irene Gandy, winner of the 2020 Tony Honors Excellence in Theatre Award, has recently been appointed to Drama League Board of Directors. She is the only Black female press agent member of ATPAM (Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers) for over 50 years. Working with Producer Jeffrey Richards for over 3 decades, she is a Tony-Award winning producer on Broadway for The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and was a producer for Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill starring Audra MacDonald. Upcoming 2022-2023 Producing credits include a revival of Pal Joey co-directed by Tony Goldyn and Savion Glover and Ohio State Murders starring Audra MacDonald. She was also co-producer with Voza Rivers on the National tour of South African musical Sarafina. In 2008, she became the first female press agent to be immortalized with a Sardi’s caricature. A fashionista known for her furs, in 2015 she launched a signature collection featured in Vogue Magazine and debuted the Lady Irene Fur line in 2022. Other credits include The Great Society, American Son, China Doll, Fiddler on the Roof, and You Can't Take It With You. Gandy began her career in 1968 as a publicist with Douglas Turner Ward and Robert Hooks’ Negro Ensemble Company. Since then, she has worked on over 100 Broadway shows. including August Osage In addition to her work in theatre, she was Associate Director of Special Markets for CBS Records, working with such artists as Earth, Wind and Fire, and The Jacksons. Gandy is the Press Consultant for Harlem Week and is the recipient of the 2021 “Broadway Comes Uptown” 2019 Appreciation Award from the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, “Pioneer Award" for Excellence she was honored with the NAACP-LGBQT David Weaver Prize for Excellence in the Arts. In 2020, Gandy was inducted into New York Public Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library as part of The League of Professional Theatre Women’s Oral History Project. Gandy currently serves on the boards of City College for the Arts, HARLEM WEEK, and New Heritage Theater.
Jonathan Rockefeller and Rockefeller Productions have received global acclaim for their adaptations of such iconic works as Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Paddington Bear. Rockefeller’s production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, based on the books of renowned author/illustrator Eric Carle, tours in over 12 countries. Its debut run in New York City, along with New York Times Critic’s Pick Paddington Gets In a Jam, both resulted in a Drama Desk and Off-Broadway Alliance nominations. Most recently, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation (produced in association with Disney Theatrical Productions) premiered Off-Broadway in 2021. The show is currently playing in Chicago, returning to New York this summer. Alongside Rockefeller’s theatre work, ‘Paddington’ was commissioned by Studio Canal to be filmed as a holiday special: Paddington Saves Christmas. That Golden Girls Show! is a 16-part mini-series available online, and the award-winning short film, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, narrated by Bernadette Peters, continues to delight fans of Eric Carle’s work.
Ruth Yomtoubian is a veteran of the first wave of corporate-startup innovation centers in Silicon Valley. With her deep knowledge and wide-ranging experience as an innovation expert and leader, she joined VSP Global to launch the VSP Global Innovation Center, where she leads a multi-disciplinary team to scale emerging solutions into existing structures. She is recognized for her fearless ability to fuse unexpected elements into bold new work.
Previously Ruth worked as a global consultant, with clients from the Bay Area to Latin America, facilitating their innovation initiatives, creating and supporting thought leadership necessary for organizations to internalize innovation opportunities, and generally combating “faux-innovation” in its many forms. As Director of the AT&T Foundry, she drove the adoption and alignment of numerous start-up solutions across various lines of business.
Ruth has traveled the world speaking on shifting the paradigm of business. She holds a BA from the University of Southern California and holds an MBA and a Masters in Global Management from Tulane University. She attributes her willingness to get in the trenches to her time working with small businesses in New Orleans.
Broadway For All (BFA) is a Manhattan-based national organization which equips young artists and professionals with the programming, community, and vision to build a more inclusive and powerful arts industry. Founded in 2012 by Osh Ashruf through Harvard University’s Presidential Public Service Fellowship program, BFA strategically integrates teens of diverse socio-economic statuses, ethnic identities, and zipcodes–who were designed not to meet–and bursts ideological bubbles to foster discourse among the young artists. Through donor-funded programming, students train with stage and screen trailblazers, while exchanging ideas and expanding their worldviews to develop into passionate artists and socially conscious leaders to change the world. Today, BFA operates its flagship conservatory (with tracks in Musical Theater, Drama Performance, Playwriting, and TV/Film Production), “BFA 365” to coach students applying to arts high schools and colleges, and “Access For All,” to connect historically excluded communities to experiences in theater and arts entertainment. Learn more at broadwayforall.org.
They’re joining previously announced TEDxBroadway TEN speakers:
Nicole Javanna Johnson
Bryan Joseph Lee
Michael J. Bobbitt
For ten years, TEDxBroadway Co-Founders, Jim McCarthy CEO of Stellar and Damian Bazadona President of Situation, have asked anyone who has a stake in the Broadway ecosystem to set aside a single day to come together to share new ideas and explore the possibilities to drive an industry forward.
“The response has been overwhelming. The event sells out every year, more than 3 million people have watched our talks in 14 languages online and this positive community just continues to grow,” says Damian.
Adds Jim, “And, we’re just as committed to giving this community our all to help Broadway realize its best even sooner. We’re leaving it all out on that stage.”
Livestream tickets for the event are $40. Tickets for the New World Stages event are $100. All tickets to TEDxBroadway are available here.
TEDxBroadway is made possible thanks to the generous support of The Shubert Organization. They have continuously supported this event every year from the beginning.
The presenting sponsors are: NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment and Broadway.com. Contributing support comes from TodayTix, Goldstar and ShowScore. The TEDxBroadway Young Professionals program is sponsored by Jujamcyn Theaters & EBG. Hospitality Partners include Brazen Tavern, The Dawson and The Civilian Hotel. And, finally the organizers would like to thank the hard-core, fired-up dedicated community who contribute so much to this important mission.
The TEDxBroadway Leadership Board includes: Zachary Baer, Arvind Ethan David, Mark Fisher, Felicia Fitzpatrick, Osh Ghanimah, Laura Heywood, Jim Joseph, Becky Leifman, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Brian Moreland, Rachelle Pereira, Eva Price, Jillian Robbins, Emily Simoness, Katie Sweeney, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Natasha Tsakos, Daniel J. Watts, Alton Fitzgerald White, and Kyle Wright.