Panel Discussions

Keynote Speakers

Kim Weild Smaller

Moderator: Kim Weild

Option Head, Associate Professor, The John Wells Directing Program. Kim's Bio.

Keynote Panel | May 18, 6:00 pm EDT

Creating a Culture of Abundance in a Time of Uncertainty and Transition

A lively and open discussion about what it means to be entrepreneurial in this history defining moment, finding opportunities in challenging times, and examining how adversity can drive a future of innovation, unbounded creativity and social change.

Kim Weild, Head of the John Wells Directing Program leads noted industry guests in this frank discussion about "what is next".

Keynote Panel:

John Wells

John Wells

One of the most prolific Writers, Directors and Producers in television, film and for the stage. Over the past three decades, Wells has been a creative force behind some of primetime’s biggest hit series including ER, Third Watch, The West Wing, Southland, Shameless, Animal Kingdom and American Woman.

John's Full Bio
Molly Smith Metzler

Molly Smith Metzler

A Playwright and Screenwriter from Kingston, New York.  She is the Creator and Showrunner of Maid, a forthcoming Netflix series based on Stephanie Land’s memoir of the same name.  She is best known for writing on Orange Is the New Black and writing and Co-producing Shameless.

Molly's Full Bio
Sheldon Epps

Sheldon Epps

A leading Director, Producer and Educator in the realms of Theater and Television.  He has served as Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre, directed on Broadway and at major theaters across the world.  Epps also has a prolific career as a television Director and Producer.

Sheldon's Full Bio
Daniella Topol

Daniella Topol

The Artistic Director of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in the West Village.  She is a New York based theater director primarily focused on working with writers to develop and direct relevant, theatrical and adventuresome new plays and musicals.

Daneilla's Full Bio

Keynote Conversation | May 18, 7:00 pm EDT

A Conversation with Paula Wagner on The Future of the Entertainment Industry

Paula Wagner

Paula Wagner

Wagner is a co-founder of Cruise/Wagner Productions, where she produced notable films such as MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE I, II, III, THE LAST SAMURAI, VANILLA SKY, THE OTHERS, SHATTERED GLASS and executive produced Steven Spielberg’s WAR OF THE WORLDS.

Broadway producing credits include the new hit, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL; THE HEIRESS starring Jessica Chastain, GRACE starring Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon, and the Tony-nominated play MOTHERS AND SONS. Paula's Full Bio

Peter Cooke, AM PhD
Moderated by

Peter Cooke, AM PhD

Peter Cooke is an internationally recognized performing arts educationalist, administrator, researcher and practitioner. Born in Brisbane, Australia, and educated in Kuala Lumpur, Canberra, Southport, and Sydney, Peter was the first graduate of the Theatre Design Course at Australia’s premiere theatre school, the National Institute of Dramatic Art [NIDA] in Sydney, Australia. He earned his PhD at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Peter's Full Bio

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