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Kiwis contribute to impressive lineup of industry leaders from around the world at new global online conference

EPIC: The Entertainment & Performing Arts Industry Conference
Touch Compass at EPIC: The Entertainment & Performing Arts Industry Conference
Dayna Grant at EPIC: The Entertainment & Performing Arts Industry Conference
Kiwis join a diverse and dynamic group of speakers and panelists at EPIC to share their stories and perspectives in 50 unique sessions.


Touch Compass & Dayna Grant (Stunt Performer) appear alongside David Henry Hwang, Sergio Trujillo, Gilles Ste-Croix, Misty Copeland, Patti Murin, Ken Davenport, Natasha Katz, Michael Curry, Tara Rubin and more for

EPIC: The Entertainment & Performing Arts Industry Conference

January 11, 2022
(New Zealand Time)
Tickets Available Now

GLOBAL (November 29, 2021) The Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry Conference (EPIC) is thrilled to announce a multi-national and highly regarded group of entertainment industry leaders to participate in the first-ever, 24-hour global online event for everyone working in, aspiring to work in, or wishing to explore the arts and entertainment sector.

A diverse and dynamic group of speakers and panelists are coming to EPIC to share their stories and perspectives in 50 unique sessions, representing four pillars: CREATE, PERFORM, DESIGN and PRODUCE.

New Zealand’s Touch Compass will feature on our main stage, discussing their 25 years  as a disability led company. Internationally renowned kiwi stunt performer and coordinator, Dayna Grant will contribute to an all women panel talking about creating safe spaces in high risk storytelling. The organizational team also features NZ input from associate producer Jonathan Hodge

Never before have these leaders come together on one platform and in one conference for interviews, panels, and discussions about the evolution of the arts and entertainment industry. A full list of confirmed speakers is below, with still more to be announced in the coming weeks.

The CREATE Pillar features directors, choreographers, writers, composers and creative visionaries. Among them: David Henry Hwang (playwright, librettist, and screenwriter, Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, three-time OBIE award winner, and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist), Gilles Ste-Croix (Co-founder of Cirque du Soleil), Sergio Trujillo (Tony Award®-winner for Ain’t Too Proud and Olivier Award®-winner for Memphis), and On Keng Sen (Award-winning Singaporean director, former director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts).

The PERFORM Pillar features actors, dancers, circus performers, physical therapists, casting agents, and more… featuring: Misty Copeland (Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre), Patti Murin  (Broadway’s Frozen, Lysistrata Jones, Xanadu), Rodney Hicks (Come From Away, The Scottsboro Boys, RENT), Shannan Calcutt (Multi-Award winning performer, and clown coach for Cirque du Soleil) and powerhouse casting director, Tara Rubin (Six, Ain’t Too Proud, Dear Evan Hansen, The Phantom of the Opera).


The DESIGN Pillar features designers from every discipline: sound, lighting, scenic, projection, puppets, special effects, automation, as well as the technicians and engineers who make these designs happen. Including: six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer, Natasha Katz (Aladdin, An American In Paris, Follies, Aida), Emmy, Tony, and Drama Desk Award winner, visionary production and puppet designer, Michael Curry (‘96 & ‘02 Olympics, The Lion King, Frozen), Tamás Vaspöri, co-founder of Maxin10sity, multi award-winning projection mapping expert (LUMA Festival, HAILstorm! and projection projects on
the Brandenburg Gate, Bolshoi Theatre and palaces throughout Europe) and international award-winning Istanbul-based sound artist and designer, Mehmet Unal (Red Dot Design Award, Codawards, ADC Awards, Aesthetica Art Prize).


The PRODUCE Pillar features producers, stage managers, company managers, production and event leaders, as well as press and marketing professionals. Featuring: two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, Ken Davenport (Once On This Island, Kinky Boots), large-scale event producer and president of Five Currents, Scott Givens (62 global ceremonies seen by a combined audience of 21 billion people),
the Creative Producer, Joyce Arbucias from The Imagination House, global leader in content creation for theme parks and cruise ships (Disney, Carnival, Princess, Busch Gardens, Dubai Parks), and Susan Sampliner, Company Manager for Wicked and co-founder of the Broadway Green Alliance.


Sitting down with any one of these industry leaders would be an invaluable experience for anyone. EPIC provides access to ALL of them, plus more, for a total of 50 inspiring and informative sessions. Learning from industry leaders around the world and across all disciplines while connecting with colleagues from around the world makes EPIC a unique opportunity that isn’t to be missed.

Each attendee can choose their own agenda, focusing on one Pillar, or moving between the four Pillars of CREATE, DESIGN, PERFORM and PRODUCE, going where they are most inspired.

A Standard Ticket gives you access to the live conference for 24 hours.

A Premium Ticket gives you the 24-hour live conference and on demand access for 1 month to watch all of the sessions. With the premium ticket you can view all sessions from all four Pillars in your own time.

EPIC will be hosted on Hopin, an incredibly intuitive and immersive virtual venue that encourages interaction and engagement. To learn more, visit The conference platform will have live translation that will be available in many languages through Wordly.

The confirmed list of panelists and speakers are:


Priti Gandi - International Opera singer and Artistic Director at Portland Opera

Lulu Helbæk - Director and Creative Director for international ceremonies, shows, and theater

David Henry Hwang - Playwright, librettist, and screenwriter, Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, three-time OBIE award winner, and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, (M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Flower Drum Song, Disney's Tarzan)

Leslie Ishii - Artistic Director of Perseverance Theatre

Matías Jaime - Director and choreographer, founder of Malevo, Argentine dance company

Natasha Jean-Bart - Dancer, coach for circus, Creative Director of WÄTTSSOUL INC

Michael Moloi - Award winning South African choreographer, director, performing artist, designer

Safen Muhammad - Founder and Executive Director at Art +, working with refugee and IDP children throughout the Kurdistan region

Giuliano Peparini - Italian director and choreographer of ballet, circus, and TV

Samantha Robison - Executive Director of aptART, focusing on sharing artistic experiences with conflict-affected and marginalized youth throughout the world

Ong Keng Sen - Award-winning Singaporean Director former director of Singapore International Festival of Arts

Gypsy Snider - Co-founder and Artistic Director of The 7 Fingers Creative Collective

Gilles Ste-Croix - Co-founder of Cirque du Soleil

Sergio Trujillo - Tony Award-winning Choreographer for Broadway, circus, and TV


Shannan Calcutt - Canadian, multi award-winning performer and instructor of comic acts

Misty Copeland - Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre

Isaac Hernández - Lead principal dancer, English National Ballet, co-founder Soul Arts Production, Arts and Tourism ambassador of Mexico

Rodney Hicks - Broadway’s Come From Away, The Scottsboro Boys, RENT

Taaj Jaharah - Trainer and physical therapist for performers and professional athletes

Pavel Kotov - Senior Casting Director at Cirque du Soleil, based in Montreal

Patti Murin - Broadway’s Frozen, Lysistrata Jones, Xanadu

Lorenzo Pisoni - Actor, Broadway Movement, stunt, and fight director, and Circus performer

Cha Ramos - Multi-disciplinary performing artist, Intimacy and Violence Choreographer (Company, Jagged Little Pill)

Tara Rubin - Casting director for Broadway, Off-Broadway, Tours, and Regional Theatres

Bret Shuford - Broadway’s Wicked, Paramour, The Little Mermaid

Boris Verkhovsky - Belorussian acrobatic and Human Performance Designer, Director-Expert of Human Performance at Cirque du Soleil

Niki Winterson - Theatrical Agent for film, theatre, and TV in the UK


Gabriel Chan - Singaporean lighting designer for theater, dance, and concerts

Jeremy Chernick - Broadway Special Effects Designer and Head Designer for JandM Special Effects (Beetlejuice, Harry Potter…, Frozen, American Psycho)

Dawn Chiang - Lighting Designer for shows across the world, from Broadway and regional theaters to Disney and circus (Zoot Suit, Show Boat, The Life, New York City Opera resident LD)

Michael Curry - Creative director for in theater, spectacle, opera, dance, film, ceremonies, and themed entertainment (Olympics, EPCOT, The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil)

Kerem Demiraqyak - Turkey based, studio director at Audiofil,specializes in combining technology and audio-visual performances

Joe Dulude II - Makeup Designer for TV, theater, and film (Wicked, Beetlejuice, Anastasia, Allegiance, Spongebob Squarepants the Musical)

Carin Ford - Sound Engineer on Broadway (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Prom, Shuffle Along)

Natasha Katz - ​6-time Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer for theatre, opera, dance, and concerts (Aladdin, An American in Paris, Once, Follies, The Addams Family, The Little Mermaid)

Craig Leo - South African designer, puppeteer, and performing artist (War Horse, The Handspring Puppet Company)

Vinnie Macri - Market Outreach Manager of Clear-Com

Peter Milne - Australian projection designer and technical director at The Electric Canvas, specializes in large scale and architectural projection mapping

Chris Moylan - German lighting designer for theater, circus, events, TV, concerts, installations, raves, and clubs

Omar Serna - Senior Event Producer & Video mapping Expert, Senior Producer, Proshow in Mexico

Paul Tazewell - Tony Award-winning costume designer for Broadway, Regional Theater, Film and Television, Dance, and Opera (Ain’t Too Proud, The Wiz Live!, Hamilton, Memphis)

Mehmet Ünal - Istanbul based composer and programmer, combining music and technology

Tamás Vaspöri - Co-founder of Maxin10sity and Projection Mapping Artist, based in Budapest



Narda E. Alcorn - Stage Manager, Educator and Author, Chair of the Stage Management Program at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University (Choir Boy, Fences, The Lion King)

Christian Bjerrum - Actor, co-director of Bæredygtig Scenekunst NU, leader of sustainability in performing arts in Denmark

Chris Boneau - Theatrical publicist, communications strategist, media training consultant, and professor (Mrs. Doubtfire, American Utopia, Six, Waitress, Moulin Rouge)

Molly Braverman ​- Stage Manager and Director of Broadway Green Alliance (Wicked)

Ken Davenport - Tony Award-winning Broadway Producer and founder of

Scott Givens - President of FiveCurrents, International Ceremonies and Large-Scale Events

Richard Hester - Production Supervisor for Jersey Boys around the world

Daniel Hoyos - Company manager on Broadway (Be More Chill, Mean Girls, American Psycho)

Gareth Hulance - UK-based show caller and PSM of Large-Scale Events, founder of cue2cue

Peter Maccoy - Stage Manager, Company Manager and Educator, Senior Lecturer in Stage Management at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in the UK

Lisa Porter ​- Stage Manager, Educator and Author, head of the MFA in stage management in UCSD

Susan Sampliner - Company manager on Broadway, Co-chair Broadway Green Alliance (Wicked, Chicago)

Kim Shaw - Company Manager on Broadway (Fiddler on the Roof, A Bronx Tale, Amelie)

Tickets are available now.

More information and registration available at:



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Written by

Jonathan Hodge

29 Nov 2021

Interests I'm a freelance theatre producer, production manager and an actor and voice artist.