[VIDEOS] The 2019 TheaterMaker Super Conference

Last week, we started dripping out videos from our most recent conference daily.  And then I said, “Why am I acting like an old fashioned TV network.  Let’s let ’em binge watch like our SuperConference is Tiger King on Netflix!”

So here they are . . . every single panel from our 2019 TheaterMaker Super Conference.

Enjoy!  (And then check out what we have in store for our 2020 Super Conference!)


“Welcome to the 2019 Super Conference with Ken Davenport”

When you get passionate people in a room who all want the same thing, things happen. Now is the right time for Theatermakers: Broadway is booming and the theater world is about to be disrupted the same way movies and music have (changes in production and distribution). Power is going back into the hands of content makers

Click here to watch “Welcome to the 2019 Super Conference with Ken Davenport”!


“Getting Press for Your Projects & Yourself” with Jessica Johnson, Rick Miramontez, and Keith Sherman

How to help the producers make the show a hit, even if there isn’t even a chance it will win a Tony award (Jessica Johnson with Anastasia), and how to work with the digital, marketing, and advertising teams and coming up with a strategy for the greater good of a show.

Click here to watch “Getting Press for Your Projects & Yourself”!


“Getting 80 Hours Out of Your 29-Hour Reading” with Donna Feore and Nathan Gehan 

It is important to know what the equity rules are for readings in order to work around them, and from a director’s point of view, it is key to hire a good stage manager.

Click here to watch “Getting 80 Hours Out of Your 29-Hour Reading”!


“Preparing Your Pitch- The Art of Pitching Producers” with Dori Berinstein, Hal Luftig, and Aurin Squire

Go into specifics early on in the pitch to hold the attention of the producers and then go into broader themes and “artistic things” at the end because that is what draws audiences in when a show is actually being performed. 

Click here to watch “Preparing Your Pitch- The Art of Pitching Producers”!


“Launchpad for Your Projects – The Power of Festivals To Propel Your Project” with West Hyler, Ciera Iveson, and Rob Walport

When it comes to festivals, the readers will be excited to see your work come through again another year to see the growth and development a piece has gone through.

Click here to watch “Launchpad for Your Projects – The Power of Festivals To Propel Your Project”!


“Budgeting for Every Stage of Development” with Adam Hess, Brian Moreland, Margaret Skoglund, and Charlotte Wilcox

They talked about the differences between a Capitalization budget and a Weekly budget as well as the main parts of both types of budgets: labor, publicity, and fees to department heads. This panel discussed how profit is distributed and how royalties are earned.

Click here to watch “Budgeting for Every Stage of Development”!


“Raising Money For Your Show at All Stages of Development” with Mara Isaacs, Tom Kirdahy, and Brian Moreland

Reach out to people who you think would believe in your work and would want to see it succeed in order to raise funds. Invite them to your readings, workshops, and labs to get investors interested in your piece. 

Click here to watch “Raising Money For Your Show at All Stages of Development”!


“Keynote from Joe Iconis”

He got into the theater because he wanted to create art with a community. He was always told that niche show concepts were too specific to appeal to a large audience.

Click here to watch “Keynote from Joe Iconis”!


“Casting Superpowers Share How They Cast a Project and What The Right Cast Can Do For You” with David Caparelliotis, Daryl Eisenberg, and Tara Rubin

Casting Directors try to be “creatively in service” to the vision of the writer and director of the piece. They try to get as close as possible to your vision and the story you want to tell.

Click here to watch “Casting Superpowers Share How They Cast a Project and What The Right Cast Can Do For You”!


“What Dramaturgs Do And Why/When You Need One” with Ashley Chang, Jenna Clark Embrey, Jack Phillips Moore, and Jill Rafson

If you’ve ever wondered what a dramaturg does, then this panel from last year’s Super Conference is for you.  And something tells me you’ll want to run out and get one for your show when you’re done watching (email me if you do – I can give you a rec).

Click here to watch “What Dramaturgs Do And Why/When You Need One”!


“Securing Rights To Sought After Source Material” with Ted Chapin, Scott Landis, and Darnetha Lincoln M’Baye

The panel offered a definition and explanation of what Grand Rights are and how the terms of the usage depend on the owner of the rights themselves. If you are a producer looking for a writer, line up the rights to the source material and discuss with possible writers the potential for the piece.

Click here to watch “Securing Rights To Sought After Source Material”!


“Diversity In The Arts” with Arvind Ethan David, Aisha Jackson, Douglas Lyons, and Melvin Tunstall III

Most of diversity is perceived as who is on stage, not who is behind the process. For writers of color: their work doesn’t often fit into the “race slot” or the “color slot” because the show itself isn’t race-driven, but rather family or humanity driven; the characters could be any color. Diversity doesn’t just mean color but also means gender, ability, age, etc.

Click here to watch “Diversity In The Arts”!


“What Do Critics Look For in 2019” with Adam Feldman, Elysa Gardner, and Michael Riedel

This panel discussed the life of a theater critic and how every critic is different and looks for different things when they go to see a show.

Click here to watch “What Do Critics Look For in 2019”!


“Get Your Show Off The Ground with Ken Davenport”

If you have an idea for a show, write it and put it out there to see where it goes. The secondary schools are a growing market for theater and lots of royalties can be made from them. Get a General Manager so you can spend more time focusing on what needs to be done.

Click here to watch “Get Your Show Off The Ground with Ken Davenport”!


“Keynote And Chat With Stephanie J. Block”

She subbed in at the last minute as the keynote speaker for the 2019 Super Conference. Her first mantra is to say yes to opportunities that arise for you. Do more “yes and…” (specifically with ellipses) because it is not over: we keep working and we keep hustling, rather than “no because.” Her second mantra is to stop “shapeshifting”: what you believe in and what you are creating is important.

Click here to watch “Keynote And Chat With Stephanie J. Block”!


“Closing Remarks from Ken Davenport”

Ken talked about the successes of members of the Inner Circle in 2019 and announced the winners of the Inner Circle Investment Contest. Listed top favorite moments of the conference: the Diversity Panel was the most attended panel, heard someone humming into their phone while in the bathroom, and lastly, a group of people went down to Marie’s Crisis, a piano bar, and had a good time with each other.

Click here to watch “Closing Remarks from Ken Davenport”!

Related Posts


Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.