TEDxBroadway 2015 Video: Ayad Akhtar

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 11.27.59 AMEditor’s note: Jim curates TEDxBroadway each year, working with the speakers on their presentations and helping them to answer the question: “What’s the best Broadway can be?” Below is his insight into the process, so you can find out exactly how this informative and inspiring day comes together.

Wanna buy a ticket to the end of the world?

To be more specific, would you like to buy a ticket to the play that will be performed in the rubble after the end of the world? I can say two things with confidence: First, based on Ayad Akhtar’s talk, I do believe such an event will take place, and second, I will try to make sure we have it available on Goldstar.

If you don’t know Ayad’s work, I strongly recommend it. American Dervish, one of his novels, blew me away, and it’s what caused me to reach out to him to be a speaker at TEDxBroadway.

The talk is about theater, its importance and its robustness, and how despite the fact that “content” is being churned out faster and in ever more bite-sized, image-driven pieces all the time, the form of storytelling in which people get into the same room and watch people pretend to be other people just refuses to die or even lose its relevance.

And in a room full of Broadway people, there wasn’t exactly a lot of disagreement!

Very compelling and strongly argued, Ayad’s talk will bolster your faith that live entertainment doesn’t just have a future. It’s even got a post-apocalyptic future!

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