2018 TCG National Conference Plenary Speakers


Please see the TCG Conference App for a complete list of speakers.

Devon Berkshire

Director of Conferences and Fieldwide Learning, Theatre Communications Group

Devon leads the conference producing team at TCG, and has an expansive background in event management, non-profit administration, business development, and theatre. With TCG she has produced and helped to curate the programming for six national conferences, including the record-breaking 2016 Theatre Nation in Washington, DC; she has also been on the producing team of every Fall Forum on Governance since 2012, and TCG’s two Audience (R)Evolution Convenings. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and received her M.F.A. in acting from the American Repertory Theater’s (ART) Institute at Harvard University and Moscow Art Theatre, after which she founded an arts-centric events production company, attended NYU’s summer intensive on events marketing, and did a stint planning business development events in the corporate sphere. Devon was a co-founder, former Producing Director and President of Studio 42, a NYC-based company dedicated to producing the most adventurous work of emerging playwrights from 2000-2015. She has performed off Broadway in New York, regionally, and internationally. Read more about her and her thoughts on theatre, producing, and parenthood on her blog: fempresario.wordpress.com.

Adrian Budhu

Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer, Theatre Communications Group

Adrian Budhu comes to TCG after five years at The Theater Offensive (TTO), an LGBTQ not-for-profit arts organization in Boston, MA. The strategies he implemented there have strengthened The Theater Offensive’s brand on a national scale, increased its profile in the community, broadened its support base, and built capacity and resources for its sustainability – retiring the organization’s debt, growing revenue from $0.5 million in 2011 to $1.3+ million in 2016, and building cash reserves. Other professional experience includes: GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project, XAMOnline.com, Metro Boston Newspaper, and John Hancock Financial. Adrian lives in New York City with his fiancé Chris, a surgical resident at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Boston terrier named Jack. He’s an avid runner and completed numerous marathons fundraising over $200K to benefit LGBTQ youth, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, homeless people, survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and victims of domestic abuse. Adrian has won numerous awards for his leadership and activism. His prior affiliations include: the Boston Cultural Change Network (committed to collective action for social justice through Arts & Culture), the Boston Creates Leadership Council, where he advised and helped shepherd Boston's cultural plan into implementation; TCG’s Board of Directors (from which he has since resigned); and Point Foundation’s National Board of Directors.



Teresa Eyring

Executive Director, Theatre Communications Group (TCG)

Teresa Eyring joined TCG in March 2007. Prior to arriving at TCG, Eyring spent more than twenty years as an executive in theatres around the U.S. Positions included: managing director of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis from 1999-2007; managing director of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia from 1994-1999; and assistant executive director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis from 1989-1993. She began her theatre career as director of development for the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., in 1983. She holds a B.A. in international relations from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in theatre administration from Yale School of Drama. Eyring is currently active as an executive committee member of the Performing Arts Alliance, chair of the follow-up process for the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, board member of The Actors Fund and was previously a member of the Tony Awards nominating committee.


Maria Goyanes

Incoming Artistic Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre

Maria Manuela Goyanes was recently named the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, DC. Prior to Woolly, Maria spent 15 years at The Public Theater in New York City, most recently as The Director of Producing and Artistic Planning. There, she oversaw the planning and execution of a full season of plays and musicals at The Public’s five-theater venue on Astor Place as well as Shakespeare in the Park. She has taught in the MFA program at The Juilliard School, and curates curriculum for the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. She was the Executive Producer of Obie-award winning 13P (13 Playwrights, Inc.), a playwrights collective that included Sarah Ruhl, Young Jean Lee, Anne Washburn, Lucy Thurber, and Sheila Callaghan, among others. Maria is also a Board Member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and former co-chair of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She was the recipient of the Josephine Abady Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women. Previously, she was the Associate Producer at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI. Maria is a first-generation American of Spanish and Dominican descent and hails from Jamaica, Queens. She starts at Woolly Mammoth in September 2018.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Award-winning Palestinian-American Poet, Writer, Anthologist, and Educator

Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” She has spent 40 years traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspir­ing students of all ages. Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jeru­salem, and San Antonio. Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow (Library of Congress). She has received a Lavan Award, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, four Pushcart Prizes, the Robert Creeley Prize, and “The Betty Prize” and numer­ous honors for her children’s literature.

In January 2010 Nye was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets, she is a laureate of the 2013 NSK Neustadt Award for Children’s Literature, and in 2017 the American Library Association presented Naomi Shihab Nye with the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award. Nye is Professor of Creative Writing - Poetry at Texas State University.



Jer Thorp

Data Artist, Innovator-In-Residence at the Library of Congress, Former NYT Data Artist In Residence

As a data artist, Jer Thorp shows us the human stories within endless scrolls of information, expressing trends, movements, and economics through vibrant graphics (and public art) seen by hundreds of millions of people. The new Innovator-in-Residence at the Library of Congress, a National Geographic Fellow, former Data Artist-in-Residence at The New York Times, and Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Modern Art, Thorp is also a brilliant marketing speaker.

From 2013 to 2017, Thorp operated The Office for Creative Research, where he and his team implemented ingenious projects—like counting all the endangered elephants across the African continent, which helped influence ivory poaching policies. In February of 2017, amidst a rising tide of xenophobia, the OCR installed a sculpture in Times Square that depicted New York City’s rich history of immigration. One of the OCR’s most ambitious projects to date is the cross-country “Map Room” series, a project with COCA in St, Louis, which invites people to draw maps of their cities that reflect community history not seen on regular maps. From 2010-2012, Thorp was the Data Artist-in-Residence at The New York Times, where he brought information to life by combining data science with a love of colorful design.

Native to Vancouver, Thorp now lives in New York City, where he teaches in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program. He has been a vocal advocate around data, ethics, and privacy, spearheading a project with The OCR called Floodwatch, a collective ad monitoring tool that empowered individuals to see how advertisers were profiling them (often inaccurately, and unfairly). With the aim was to help combat discriminatory practices, such as targeting specific demographics to fill a housing development over others. His award-winning work has been exhibited, read, and implemented in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. He has over a decade of teaching experience, and has presented at The Ford Foundation in New York City, the National Academies, and the Library of Congress.

Stephanie Ybarra

Director of Special Artistic Projects, The Public Theatre

Stephanie Ybarra is a New York-based artistic producer with nearly 20 of experience at theaters across the United States. As the Director of Special Artistic Projects at The Public, she leads the Mobile Shakespeare Unit and Public Forum programs. In addition, Stephanie serves as curator and casting director of Crossing Borders Latinx Festival at Two River Theater; as the Producer's Lab Liaison for WP Theater; and as Resident Dramaturg for the Sol Project.


Stephanie is the recipient of numerous awards, including the inaugural Producer’s Chair Award from the Foundry Theatre, the Josephine Abady Award in producing from New York's League of Professional Theatre Women, and the Congressional Award for Achievement in Excellence from international non-profit Zara Aina. She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and a deep belief in the power of the Post-it note.

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