Talks for theater geeks

A collection of our most inspired talks and performances highlighting the passion, importance and brilliance of theater.

  1. 9:06
    David Binder The arts festival revolution

    David Binder is a major Broadway producer, but last summer he found himself in a small Australian neighborhood, watching locals dance and perform on their lawns — and loving it. He shows us the new face of arts festivals, which break the boundary between audience and performer and help cities express themselves.

  2. 21:00
    Sarah Jones A one-woman global village

    In this hilariously lively performance, actress Sarah Jones channels an opinionated elderly Jewish woman, a fast-talking Dominican college student and more, giving TED2009 just a sample of her spectacular character range.

  3. 20:25
    Eve Ensler Happiness in body and soul

    Eve Ensler, creator of "The Vagina Monologues," shares how a discussion about menopause with her friends led to talking about all sorts of sexual acts onstage, waging a global campaign to end violence toward women and finding her own happiness.

  4. 12:44
    Ben Cameron Why the live arts matter

    How can the magic of live theater, live music, live dance compete with the always-on Internet? Ben Cameron offers a bold look forward to a world where live arts matter more than ever — to link humans together at a primal level of shared experience.

  5. 18:28
    Julie Taymor Spider-Man, The Lion King and life on the creative edge

    Showing spectacular clips from productions such as Frida, The Tempest and The Lion King, director Julie Taymor describes a life spent immersed in theater and the movies. Filmed right as controversy over her Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was at its peak, she candidly describes the tensions inherent within her creative process, as she strives both to capture the essence of a story—and produce images and experiences unlike anything else.

  6. 18:11
    Handspring Puppet Co. The genius puppetry behind War Horse

    "Puppets always have to try to be alive," says Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, a gloriously ambitious troupe of human and wooden actors. Beginning with the tale of a hyena's subtle paw, puppeteers Kohler and Basil Jones build to the story of their latest astonishment: the wonderfully life-like Joey, the War Horse, who trots (and gallops) convincingly onto the TED stage.

  7. 18:42
    Joshua Prince-Ramus Building a theater that remakes itself

    Can architects re-engineer their design process? Joshua Prince-Ramus shows how the results can be spectacular. He walks us through his fantastic re-creation of the Wyly Theater as a giant "theatrical machine" that reconfigures itself at the touch of a button.

  8. 14:39
    Natasha Tsakos A multimedia theatrical adventure

    Natasha Tsakos presents part of her one-woman, multimedia show, "Upwake." As the character Zero, she blends dream and reality with an inventive virtual world projected around her in 3D animation and electric sound.

  9. 23:05
    Anna Deavere Smith Four American characters

    Writer and actor Anna Deavere Smith gives life to author Studs Terkel, convict Paulette Jenkins, a Korean shopkeeper and a bull rider, excerpts from her solo show "On the Road: A Search for American Character."