ENTERTAINMENT & PERFORMING ARTS INDUSTRY CONFERENCE
The 10th of January of 2022 was held the first Entertainment & Performing Arts Industry Conference (a.k.a. EPIC). The conference was meant as an online gathering bringing together a collection of directors, performers, technicians, producers, designers, writers and more from all over the globe, crossing the Americas, EMEA, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
In this EPIC virtual event, there were 4 main pillars: CREATE, DESIGN, PERFORM and PRODUCE. Hence, englobing everyone working in the arts and entertainment industry. During this full 24h conference, each pillar welcomed different panellists to talk about different aspects of the industry.
This conference was made possible thanks to Matthew Stern (Founder of the Broadway Stage Management Symposium, experienced Theatre & Event Stage Manager and Educator) and Anna Robb (Co-Founder & Managing Director for TheatreArtLife and experienced Producer/Production Stage Manager) and the team behind them.
The conference had guests, presentations and discussions as varied as:
• Billy porter (interviewed by Lisa Dawn Cave - Broadway stage manager and production supervisor of Frozen) --> The outspoken artist and activist, talked about his journey to stardom and shared his views on race, politics, gender equality… in an inspiring and emotional interview.
• Bringing Art and Creativity to Public Spaces in War Zones and Beyond --> Samantha Robison (Founder of Awareness and Prevention through ART - AptART) and Safen Muhammad shared their fascinating humanitarian experiences in war and conflict zones such as Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon… Their projects are dedicated to “creating art and artistic experiences with marginalized, war and conflict-affected youth”. AptART is “an organization of artists and activists, often working in partnership with the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations, that creates workshops, refugee camp art projects, and architectural murals that result in large-scale public art”.
• Producing Your Own Work --> Ken Davenport (producer and Tony Awards winner for Kinky Boots and the revival of Once on this island) shared his strategies to get a show produced.
• Sustainable Practices for Productions --> Molly Braverman (Broadway Green Alliance), Christian Bjerrum (Actor, Climate Activist with Bæredygtig Scenekunst NU in Denmark), and Peter Maccoy (Author, Stage & Company Manager, member of Association of British Theatre Technicians - ABTT) shared their work on sustainable practices (e.g. assigning a Green captain at the theatre) and gave advice on how each person can help make the industry eco-friendlier.
• Working Through Mental Health and Finding Success: Actors Sharing Their Experiences --> Pearl Sun (Come From Away) and Bret Shuford (Wicked) openly discussed their personal experiences in regards to mental health issues and overcoming addictions. As well as addressed the stigma surrounding this topic nowadays and highlighted the importance of actions such as allowing a ‘mental health day’ from work.
The event’s platform allowed to ask questions to the panellists and through the main event’s chat meet and discuss with other attendants, as well as visiting and chatting with the sponsors in their separate booths.
Keep an eye on their webpage and social media - @globalepicevent (instagram/fb) @globalepic1 (twitter) - if you would like to join next year!