By Jim McCarthy Sep 12, 2012 0 comments

TEDxBroadway 2013!

Earlier this week, we announced to last year’s attendees that TEDxBroadway 2013 will be taking place on January 28th at the New World Stages in New York!

The purpose of TEDxBroadway is to ask a simple, but demanding question: What’s the Best Broadway Can Be? The reason we think this is an important question to ask is that it’s neither cynical nor unrealistic.  The goal is to paint a picture of the best possible future for Broadway (and by extension to some degree, theatre in America and beyond) and then lay down the challenge to attendees and people watching on video after the fact to try to live into that future.

We got a little criticism last year for not being “practical” enough or not tackling some hard core issues that people wanted to see addressed on the stage, and I understand that criticism, but it’s also somewhat misplaced.  The purpose of TEDxBroadway, as distinct from any other discussion of Broadway, the health of New York City, or theatre or the arts in general, or live entertainment, or whatever, is not so much a nuts-and-bolts look at how to do your job better tomorrow.  Instead, the goal is to change the trajectory of your thinking TOWARD the best possible future.  There are places and forums in which the nuts and bolts stuff is done well, and we’re not trying to duplicate those.  What we’re trying to do is embed some powerful ideas in the minds of people who do or will have influence on the way Broadway functions, the way it sees itself, and the way, therefore, it will one day be.

Put differently, it doesn’t bother me if an attendee walks out of TEDxBroadway without “five take-aways you can put to use tomorrow at work.” The purpose of this particular discussion is to give people ideas that might take years to gestate, but just might change the world, or at least Broadway.  On the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to know that people come across ideas that change the way they work “tomorrow” too.

We’re not announcing any speakers so far, so stay tuned for that.  Our commitment once again is to get people with insight in various areas and fields to address the question “What’s the Best Broadway Can Be?”

Like last year, we’re expecting a full house, and we’ve already gotten the generous support from all of last year’s sponsors, including Jujamcyn Theatres, Google, all of whom are Co-Organizing Sponsors and have been critical to the development of the program.  We’re also delighted to have supporting sponsors in Audience Rewards (back again from last year), Camp Broadway, Chase Bank, and the lawfirm of Davis Wright Tremaine.  We thank them all because not only are they critical financially to the event, but they have also been important in helping think through the program itself.

So, the tickets are on sale now, and I personally urge you to do three things: 1.  buy a ticket and come, 2.  spread the word, and 3. send me ideas for speakers/presenters/performers who would do a good job helping us answer the question “What’s the Best Broadway Can Be?”

Here’s the link.  Please post it everywhere:

And of course, there’s more information at the site,

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