Debora Balardini is a performing artist, theater director, educator, producer, and Co-Founder/Executive Director of Grupo .BR. She is a director at large for the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) and recipient of the 2019 Social Impact and Innovation in Arts Award (Essence of a Boss conference) and received an official proclamation of the US National Council of Women in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council for her humanitarian work for the empowerment of women. Balardini is a SheRocks Art Innovator of the Year and a Forty Over 40 honoree (Forbes 2018).
Michael Beneville is the creative force and visionary leader behind AREA15. Unbounded by conventional thinking, artist and designer Michael Beneville and the team at Beneville Studios bring a unique perspective and a multitude of talents to the world of traditional real estate. Fusing culture, entertainment, art, and retail, Michael brings together artists, creators, and visionaries from all over the world, and invites them to collaborate within the immersive bazaar of experiences that is AREA15.
Amber Rae Black makes things. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she was taught to sew and draw as a child and subsequently began a pursuit in visual art. She practices an array of tactile mediums such as portraiture, drawing, painting, sculpture, and soft sculpture. Amber has been a contributing artist with Factory Obscura since it’s conception in 2017, and has grown into a creative lead role, working from vision to execution. Her contributions with Factory Obscura include conceptualization, design, fabrication, installation, and facilitating creativity within the team. When she is not creating, Amber can be found hanging with her three rescue pit-bulls or collecting vintage treasures.
Jon’s personal and professional life has been, and continues to be, eclectic and exciting to say the least. A Film, VR and Theatre writer/director, action coordinator, stuntman, creative consultant for Disney Imagineering and musician, Jon's unusual range of talent gives him a keen ability to deliver his original, creative vision. His work with some of the top directors in the business on titles such as Tenet, The Dark Knight Rises, Ironman, Star Trek, and Indiana Jones 4 has helped bring his passion project to life: DELUSION, the first ever interactive horror theatre company. Hailed as LA’s most successful interactive theatre experience for 7 consecutive years, DELUSION engages with audiences to play their part in fantastical and otherworldly tales. This "moving play" set the industry standards for interactive theatre nationally, placing Jon and DELUSION as vanguards in this emerging space.
Lindsey Cox is box office manager and talent booker at Factory Obscura. She is the frontwoman and manager of the orchestral dream punk band, stepmom, and plays bass in indie project Blue Morrison. In 2019 she produced The March of The Sun King, an immersive performance featuring musicians, actors, dancers, and aerialists re-imagining The Beatles’ Abbey Road through the eyes of a pagan commune looking for the one true Sun King. She also coordinated Mix-Tape Vol. 1, a concept album featuring original songs inspired by Factory Obscura’s Mix-Tape. She holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Forensic Science and Psychology from The University of Central Oklahoma, but followed her heart into the arts instead. She doesn’t regret a thing.
Nandita Dinesh holds a PhD in Drama from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and an MA in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Focused on the role that theatre can play during and after violent conflict, Dinesh has conducted community-based theatre projects in Kashmir, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. In 2017 she was awarded the Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy, and has written about her work extensively: https://chroniclesfromkashmir.org/the-books.
Muso is a tech guru and business insider in theatre. He used to develop XR experiences for Google, McKinsey, lectured at NYU, University of the Arts, and Columbia Global Center, and served as the VP of a 501c3 Art Foundation. He is also the investor of Tony Awards winner, Broadway musical ‘Hadestown’. In 2018, Muso founded NeXT SCENE, the only Chinese media and agency focusing on global immersive experiences, that produced major conferences such as China Immersive Industry Forum and experiential marketing events such as £¥€$. He initiated the China Immersive Design Industry League and invited by the government bureau to establish standards, guidelines for the industry. He also directs the leading immersive industry research institute NS ReSEARCH, which published the official Chinese version of Global Immersive Design Industry Development Report(2019,2020), China Escape Room Industry Report(with Meituan Research), and consulting for or working on projects with China Media Capital(CMC), Huawei, AECOM, SunAC, and other real estate firms and institutional investors.
A self-proclaimed “comic geek”, Winston Fisher is a partner at Fisher Brothers, a leading family-owned-and-operated real estate company headquartered in New York City. At the firm he directs financing and investing activities, property acquisitions and dispositions, and oversees all new development initiatives. Fisher is also CEO of AREA15, a wholly reimagined immersive entertainment and retail complex opening in Las Vegas in late 2020.
Andressa Furletti is a multidisciplinary artist and co-founder and artistic director of Group .BR, NY’s only Brazilian theater company. Her work includes acting, performance art, art installation, playwriting, and filmmaking, from which she received several awards. Her interest in participatory and immersive art was enhanced when she attended the Watermill International Summer Program (2011/2012) coordinated by Robert Wilson. Andressa co-created “Infinite While it Lasts”, Group .BR’s first immersive play with runs in 2013 and 2014, and “Inside the Wild Heart”, an immersive theatrical experience with successful NY runs in 2016 and 2018 and planed tour to Brazil in 2021.
Jacob Glanville is an entrepreneur, inventor and computational immuno-engineer. He is the inventor of the Centivax universal vaccine technology for influenza, HIV, and other rapidly mutating pathogens. Jacob Glanville is an entrepreneur, inventor and computational immuno-engineer. He is the inventor of the Centivax universal vaccine technology for influenza, HIV, and other rapidly mutating pathogens. Jacob Glanville is an entrepreneur, inventor and computational immuno-engineer.
Bonnie Hallman is Director of Creative at Mycotoo, Inc. Hailing from Theater, Bonnie has a BFA from Shorter University in Musical Theater and Playwriting with a concentration in Eastern Arts from Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. She has worked as Creative Director, Show Director, Writer, and Producer on projects around the world. Notable credits include Motiongate Theme Park in Dubai (Creative Director), MNC Theme Park in Indonesia (Creative Director), Lunar New Year Event at USH (Writer/Director) ; Queen Mary’s “Dark Harbor” (Stage Manager), Warner Bros. Horror Made Here (Writer/Director), Jurassic World Attraction Opening USH (Writer/Director), Jurassic World Dinosaur Streetmosphere (Writer/Director), SXSW Westworld (Assistant Director), SXSW Game of Thrones (Assistant Director), Blade Runner 209 San Diego Comic Con (Assistant Director). Bonnie also writes programming for Oxygen, OWN, Lifetime, and Hallmark and is Head Consultant for the Inkwell Theater Emerging Playwrights Lab.
Patrick Jong is Executive Director of Experiential at Giant Spoon––a fully-integrated advertising agency that focuses on the intersection of creative and media through the lens of culture––which was named Adweek’s Experiential Agency of the Year 2019. Since joining in 2017, Patrick has spearheaded the development of Giant Spoon’s experiential department, growing it to one of the most renowned activation shops in the industry. Prior to Giant Spoon, Patrick was a senior producer and account director at Pop2Life (now CNX), Conde Nast’s creative and experience marketing agency.
Kelsey Karper is a Co-Founder and Director of Logistical Creativity with Factory Obscura, an Oklahoma City-based artist collective creating immersive experiences and developing new models for sustainability. Previously, Kelsey co-founded Current Studio, a temporary experimental art space investigating the intersection of art and community, where Factory Obscura’s beginning was incubated through an artist-in-residence program. Prior to this independent curatorial work, Kelsey served as Associate Director of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC), an organization devoted to supporting artists statewide. During her time at OVAC, Karper developed a passion for working with artists and a knowledge of how to support them, which continues to influence the work she does today.
Dasha is an LA based actor and creative director specializing in interactive storytelling. She is currently an in-game live VR actor in Oculus Studios/Tender Claws' The Under Presents: TEMPEST. Immersive productions include 5 seasons of DELUSION, Angela in THE WILLOWS which is available on AmazeVR, ATLAS with The Speakeasy Society at Two Bit Circus, ROCHESTER 1996 with Capital W, ABC Project's C(OVELL), HAUS OF CREEP and LORE with JFI Productions, and CRIMSON CABARET with The Unmarked Door. TV and VO credits include Showtimes' NURSE JACKIE, THE AFFAIR and TUMBLEWEED on Amazon Prime. Dasha holds a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch and additionally trained at UCB and the Moscow Art Theatre. She creative directs immersive experiences with #Metaforyou including the recent HUNTERS GRINDHOUSE EXPERIENCE for Amazon Prime Video. Say hallo @dashakittredge
Jay Kong is CEO/founder of ILLUTHION which is the Top 30 Most Valuable Enterprises in China's Immersive Industry, co-founder of China Immersive Industry Alliance, the founder of Immersive Committee of China Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the immersive industry researcher at the Institute of Culture and Tourism, the immersive industry expert of the National Alliance of Culture Technology and Innovation, mentor of Zhixue Academy. He led the development of the database FUTURE ENTERTAINMENT which contains over 13,000 immersive projects all over the world, wrote and published White Paper of Chinese Immersive Industry (2018,2020). He is the director of immersive experience Fall Into Mist, Dream: Dragonfly, Dread: 48 Hours, Secret of Tang Palace and producer of Immsersive World Time City, The Great Calamity of the Enchanted Ocean. He is also a connecting bridge for Chinese immersive industry, planned and hosted China's First Immersive Project Investment and Operation forum, hosted and organized the First China's Immersive Industry Development Forum in 2019, and developed five immersive experience business study tours all over the world.
Nayantara Kotian is a world-builder, director and designer working across the mediums of performance and film. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of immersive experience company Crow. She is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, India and has a Masters in Performance Design from Central Saint Martins, London. Her films have won multiple awards world-wide and she has been participant director at the Berlinale Talent Campus, Germany 2008, artist- in- residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany 2016 and was awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust scholarship in 2013-14. She is also an educator and teaches at design schools across India.
Oliver Lansley founded Les Enfants Terribles in 2001. As Artistic Director he writes all of the company’s shows including Olivier nominated hit "Alice's Adventures Underground” and the most recently seen “The Trench." Other works include 'The Terrible Infants”, 'Ernest and the Pales Moon' and “The Game's Afoot”. He also writes for television and created the series “Flack” starring Anna Paquin and Sophie Okenado which will be shown on Amazon later in the year. As an actor, when not performing in Les Enfants Terribles productions, his TV credits include ‘Kenny Everett’ in the BAFTA winning BBC4 film “The Best Possible Taste”; “Sherlock” and “Dr Who”.
After 28 years working as a professional DJ playing techno and house in clubs around the world, Chris decided it was time for something completely different. His first escape game experience in London in March 2013 was the ignition point for the decision to open his own escape game in Berlin. Together with his business parter Jochen Krüger and their former geocaching crew, he opened THE ROOM on the 3rd of October 2014 after a year of planing and six months of building. Their first two rooms, GO WEST and THE BEAST OF BERLIN were more successful than they ever imagined and the business quickly grew to a point where a third room made sense. The goal with the third room was to create something groundbreaking in terms of set design and technical equipment, thus the team was expanded to include Malte Eiben, who is responsible for programming, and Wilko Drews, with whom Chris designed HUMBOLDT, or THE LOST TREASURE as it is known today. After 8 months of building, THE LOST TREASURE opened to the public in November 2015 and has been extremely well received with many very positive reviews from both new and experienced players. End of 2018 THE ROOM opened BRANDON DARKMOOR. A one of its kind immersive adventure.
Niyia Mack is a consultant with an intense love for producing traditional theatre, live events, and experiential work. Notable clients include: Speakeasy Society, Pasadena Playhouse, Spy Brunch, Red Bull, Haunted Play, The Players Theatre, and Sunnyspot Productions. A southerner now living in Santa Fe, Niyia is currently working with Meow Wolf on their Denver exhibition set to open in 2021. www.niyiamackmanagement.com/
Using technology for aesthetic purposes is his Sngmoo Lee’s ongoing focus. He experimented this in his first feature film “Warrior’s Way” (featuring Jang Dong Gun, Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush and Danny Houston), a fantasy Western shot entirely on green screen stages putting real actors inside CGI generated Wild West. His passion for going beyond the limits of the traditional cinema lead him to VR, which he believes to be the storytellers’ ultimate medium. His first VR cinema “Eyes in The Red Wind” has been invited to various film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and Geneve and received a few awards. “Rain Fruits”, his second 360 cinema using volumetric technology, was invited to Tribeca, Vrham and Cannes XR 2020. His latest VR immersive theater project “Scarecrow” has been invited to Sundance New Frontier 2020 and described by the press as “one of the most visceral digital experiences ” and to be “simply ahead of its time.”
Kevin Pan is an interactive designer and VR evangelist. He founded VRplay, the most well-known VR community in China, and has been organizing meet ups as well as an annual VR expo since 2013. VRplay dedicated to the popularization of consumer level virtual reality technologies and the growth of a healthy, diverse ecosystem. He also co-founded two companies, ARGO and KATVR, to bring new VR hardwares, solutions, and experiences to life. In 2016, his team launched the very first “full sensory VR interaction” system in China, to establish higher standards for location-based VR entertainment.
Prashant Prakash is an actor and writer currently based in Goa, and has been working in the performing arts since 2006. His 2009 play The Skeleton Woman, co-written with Kalki Koechlin, won the Hindu MetroPlus Playwright award of that year and was subsequently published by Penguin. In 2016, he was artist-in-residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany. Over the last few years, he has been especially interested in exploring site-specific, multisensory forms of storytelling and is also a co-founder of Crow, a company that creates immersive theatre experiences for audiences in India.
Aruna founded Visual Respiration in 2012, after making a performance by the same name, where she told human stories of digital photographs. She is presently the Artistic Director of Visual Respiration. She also uses Art practices to create sensory learning experiences. She is a trainer where she engages with students in the craft of performance making. She holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Her work goes beyond the linear and she generates performance material through research and embodied practice. The audience is part of the making process from the word go, given that the work is intimate and immersive in nature. She is interested in the performance to present multiple perspectives without resorting to the single narrative. From Yoga and Kalaripayattu to physical theatre (Lecoq) to View Points (Anne Bogart), her work is inspired by various frameworks and forms - being interested in constant exploration of creating a new vocabulary for her work. From promenade performance to Immersive work to blindfolded experiences, she has crafted various sensory experiences.
Secretary General of China Culture and Entertainment Industry Association, Live Entertainment Branch Member of the Technical Committee for the Standardization of Chinese Cultural Entertainment Team Founder of EGA (Escape Games Industry Alliance) which is has more than 4,000 members of live-action entertainment companies, hosts Chinese largest Escape Room Summit and the most authoritative selection of the best escape room themes every year.
David Israel Reynoso is a costume, scenic and exhibit designer. He is the Obie Award-winning costume designer for Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More (Boston, New York City, and Shanghai) and the creator/director of Optika Moderna’s Waking La Llorona, a multisensory immersive theatre experience inspired by one of Mexico's most legendary tales. Mr. Reynoso is recognized for his wide-ranging designs for theater and dance companies; his scope of work beyond theatre includes touring concert designs for artists such as Amanda Palmer. David is the recipient of the Creative Catalyst Grant, an Elliot Norton Award, and multiple Craig Noel, IRNE, and BroadwayWorld award nominations.
James Seager joined Les Enfants Terribles in 2003. He has twenty years of experience in theatre, television and film, both as an actor, producer and director. As Creative Director of LET, he oversees the day to day running of the company, producing and directing all of the company’s shows including the Immersive smash hit "Alice's Adventures Underground” and the most recently seen “The Trench”, The Terrible Infants” and “The Game's Afoot”. As an actor his theatre credits include: “Whipping it up” in the West End and his TV credits include “The Bill”, “Eastenders”, and Steven Poliakoff’s “Perfect Strangers”.
Sean Stewart is one of the world’s most influential digital storytellers and the co-creator of the genre of Alternate Reality Games. Sean served as the lead writer on the seminal ARGs I Love Bees, and Nine Inch Nail's Year Zero. Sean has written twelve novels, along with the world’s first transmedia novel, the international best-seller Cathy’s Book. He won a Primetime Emmy Award for the transmedia comedy Dirty Work, and designed and wrote the interactive story game Sherlock Holmes: The Art of Detection. Sean previously served as the Creative Director of Xbox Studios, and founded four companies devoted to new kinds of storytelling.
David has worked for over 30 years as a producer, director, writer and executive, including films as Scent of a Woman and Meet Joe Black; he has also written, produced and directed several plays. David was one of the original Creative Directors of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and was the Lead Creative Director for Bollywood Parks. David has directed the live haunt event Dark Harbor, and has written and directed major live marketing activations including Blade Runner 2049, Happytime Murders and Westworld.
Monica Vilela is an actress and producer. Co-founded Momi Films an independent production company in NY and she’s also a producer at Group .BR, NY’s only Brazilian Theater Company. Produced “Inside the Wild Heart’, an immersive theatrical experience with successful NY runs in 2016 and 2018 and planned tour to Brazil in 2021. Momi Films NY projects include the films: “Benches” “Banho Maria aka Bain Marie”, “502”, by Miguel de Oliveira, “Flipside” by Moema Umman and “The Boy and the Balloon” by Kyle Glasow. As a performer, graduated from Atlantic Acting School Conservatory and has been working with the company “Thinkery & Verse”. www.monicavilela.com
Stuart spent the last 6 years establishing an immersive culture in Singapore. He has directed, scripted, food and drink consulted, designed and adapted over 45 shows. He is a visionary in the field of immersive dining, often pushing the boundaries of the genre. As the co-founder of ANDSOFORTH, he and his wife Emily png, built the company from pop-up events into running a 8000 square foot venue with 2 custom built in kitchens that has served over 40,000 adult audiences and is currently Asia’s largest immersive dining experience. In 2019, they founded Andsoforth Junior and conceptualised 22 Stories, Asia’s first theatrical interactive museum housed in a 20,000 sq. ft warehouse for 3 months with an estimated attendance of 35,000.
Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Linda was a member of the original Roy Hart Theatre and founding member of the Roy Hart Centre (South of France). Ms. Wise won the 1988 Jean Vilar Prize for her direction of Melville's Moby Dick, performed Nedda in the OBIE award winning adaptation of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, has directed for the Boreas Theater and the Oslo National Theatre and taught voice in National theatre schools in Copenhagen, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Scotland. She is co-director of Pantheatre Company and a collaborator of by Group .BR.
With her academic background in Chinese Communication (BA), Art and Media (MA) and Cultural and Creative Industries (MA), Yi has worked in culture and media industries with broad experience in various sectors. Yi starts working on theatre projects since 2014, including the immersive You Me Bum Bum Train, The Wind in the Willows the Musical (2016), the immersive Great Gatsby (2019) and the immersive Wolf of Wallstreet (2019). As a producer originally from China, Yi presented and produced the immersive Alice’s Adventures Underground (Shanghai) in 2018. Other immersive projects she is presenting include immersive dinning and immersive gaming show.
Dillion ZHANG is a promoter and explorer of Chinese art and technology interactive transformation ecology, who engaged in the application and practice of art and academic, art and public, art and life, art and commercel, art and cultural tourism, cultural and creative industries. Founded in 2013, the Chronus Art Center (CAC) is one of the earliest non-profit organization dedicate to new media art exhibition, research / creation, academic exchange and public education in China. CAC has opened up a diverse and dynamic platform for discussion, production and communication of media art in the global context, and with high popularity and reputation in the global new media art field. In March 2016, MANA, an international new media art content sharing and promotion platform, was jointly founded with Zan. XIE. It is the first domestic platform for the integration of global art and technology creative content and combination with commercial market. It is the first industry media platform for new media art industrialization.