In alphabetical order.
Kim has a passion for working with genius artists and engineers to create things that have never been done before. Specializing in leadership and team development on creative innovation teams, she has deep experience in the entertainment, software, and hardware industries. Before co-founding Adventure Lab, Kim led a creative team at Facebook in creating the AR “Storytime” app for Facebook’s Portal video device. She was also the Head of Production at Emmy Award-winning Oculus Story Studio, and an Executive Producer on Emmy-winning experience Wolves in the Walls. Previous to that, Kim made her transition into VR at Google Spotlight Stories, where she was a part of the leadership team and produced some of the first VR projects released world-wide; Rain or Shine with partner Nexus Productions, and Special Delivery, with Aardman Animations. From 2009-2013, Kim was a Producer at Pixar Animation Studios. There she led the creation of a new short film division, heading a team of 125 across Pixar and Pixar Canada. Partnering with eight new directors, she produced 13 Toy Story and Cars short films while shepherding the development of a multitude of additional Pixar short-format projects, including two television specials.
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.
Fri Forjindam leads global business development, branding and communications for Mycotoo, Inc., an experience design, production and “top media” company by Inc. 500. Voted “Top 50 Theme Park Influencer” by Blooloop Magazine, Fri has created distinctive guest experiences in film, theatre, publishing and special events. She has worked as a creative director for Bollywood Parks, as project manager, Executive Creative lead for Prince's Paisley Park Experience and Producer for Los Angeles Downtown Latin Museum Gala Opening and T-Mobile HTC’s corporate tours. As a Cameroonian-born, MFA graduate of Columbia University in NYC, Forjindam brings her rich, diverse background in content development and experiential marketing to facilitate development strategies for regional, national and international tourism. Forjindam has been featured on Huffington Post, Essence Magazine, KTLA, and sits on the board for the Ryman Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of young artists through visual arts education.
Nataki Garrett is the Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the largest theater-producing organizations in the U.S., and is widely recognized as an innovative and influential arts leader. She has led the 85-year-old OSF through one of the most cataclysmic periods in its history, raising $6 million while mobilizing federal support for the non-profit theater industry during the pandemic. At the start of her tenure, in 2019, she conceived an interactive and immersive digital platform, O!, which became all the more vital in live theater’s absence as a source of groundbreaking performance, art, and discussion.
Nate Koch is a Lortel-award winning (Sweeney Todd, 2017) and Drama Desk-award winning (Queen of the Night, 2015) experience designer and executive producer for large-scale immersive and site-specific works, theatrical productions, and art + hospitality hybrid projects. He combines his creative passions with a concomitant interest in the business and logistics-art side of the immersive business, most prominently as the founder and owner of ENVEEKAY, a consultancy and general management company that models, develops, and executes immersive projects for a range of artists, producers, and businesses. Next up: the world premiere of David Byrne’s neuroscience + immersive hybrid Theater of the Mind (Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 2022).
Recently profiled as “Variety’s 2020 Top 10 Broadway to Watch”, Brian Moreland is a Two-time Tony Award Nominated creative lead producer for Broadway and the CEO of B More Now Productions. With a passion for universal stories that bring new narratives into the mainstream form of entertainment. Brian, firmly believes in the ability of theatre to foster empathy, and enlighten while entertaining audiences. Upcoming projects for Broadway include: American Buffalo with Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss, and this October at the Golden Theatre on Broadway Keenan Scott II’s Thoughts of a Colored Man, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III. His previous works include: The Lifespan of a Fact with Cherry Jones, Daniel Radcliffe and Bobby Cannavalle, The Sea Wall/ A Life with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge, The Sound Inside with Mary-Louise Parker for Broadway to name a few. Charles Randolph-Wright’s Cuttin Up starring Blair Underwood, Joe Morton and Tisha Campbell, and While We Breathe. Although originally from California, Brian, currently resides in New York City. In addition to being an adjunct faculty member at NYU, Brian, devotes his spare time to the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) and is active member of the Board of Governors at The Broadway League, where he is also Co-Chair of the Multicultural Task Force and a Trustee of the board for Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids.
A former Disney Imagineer and Refinery29/Vice Media Experiential Creative Director, Stephanie Riggs has been bridging storytelling and immersive technology for over two decades through ground-breaking projects across theatre, theme park, film, experiential and XR. Her collaborations with international corporations (Facebook, Google, Netflix, Amazon), start-ups (InceptionVR, JauntVR, Lightframe.co), non-profits (IndieFlixFilms, The Nantucket Project), and academia (Yale Blended Reality Lab, NYU Future Reality Lab, CMU Entertainment Technology Center) have pushed the boundaries of technology and story. Stephanie's VR work has premiered at Tribeca, Future of Storytelling, SIGGRAPH, and Stereopsia, prompting an invitation to film President Barack Obama’s historic speech in Nairobi, Kenya in 360. In traditional media, she directed the New York Times Critics Pick documentary “The Standbys” about Broadway understudies and standbys and produced the cult classic film “Banshee Chapter” with Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek”), which was also the first feature film released in VR (Oculus DK2). Stephanie's acclaimed book, “The End of Storytelling" presents a powerful new paradigm for narratives in immersive technology. Passionate about inspiring diverse, interdisciplinary teams, she frequently mentors and speaks around the world (TedX, SXSW, SIGGRAPH, Yale, Harvard) and is a co-founder of the 5th Wall Forum and the World Experience Organization. Stephanie is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama (Directing) and School of Computer Science (Human-Computer Interaction).
Andrew Scoville is a NYC-based artist specializing in immersive layouts, technological landscapes, and hybrid-genre theater-making. Much of his work integrates science ideas into theatrical experiences. Current project: Theater of the Mind by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar (premiering in Denver with DCPA). He has been commissioned to create unique experiences for The National Museum of Math, The New York Hall of Science, and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Associate Director credits include: Tooting Arts Club's immersive production of Sweeney Todd at Barrow St Theater (NYC) and David Byrne’s musical, Here Lies Love (NYC, Seattle, UK). He is a co-Founder/co-Director of Fresh Ground Pepper NYC, and is a head of Project Track at Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU Tisch Drama. www.andrewjscoville.com
Laika Young O'Brien (they/them) is the Lead Experience Designer at Meow Wolf and the founder of No Sleep Studio, a full service experience design company that specializes in the creation of waking dreams. They have an immense passion for crafting meaningful interactive experiences that invoke wonder, expand the spectrum of emotion, and invite participants to more fully connect with their inner and outer landscapes. Laika is honored to be joining the Immersive Industry Homecoming Summit, where they'll be speaking about Meow Wolf's Las Vegas and Denver exhibits, and what immersive entertainment can teach us about being deeply human.
Founded by Los Angeles immersive theatre producer Lyndsie Scoggin, CoAct Productions is independent immersive design company. A collaborative of artists, storytellers and designers that believe that stories are more than just a passive activity. Rather, we focus on presenting narrative as an embodied experience. Immersive theatre has provided us a platform to create intimate performances that are uniquely engaging. We are deeply passionate about developing these one-of-a-kind experiences and look forward to sharing more of our work with audiences! Past work includes The Sideshow (2018), The Severance Theory: Welcome to Respite (2019), and Cold War Lounge (2019). www.coactproductions.com
Ferryman Collective is a group of theatre-makers dedicated to furthering the art of live theatre in virtual reality. Drawing from the experience gained developing their previous productions, PARA and Krampusnacht, they look to push the boundaries of what the medium offers in both their in-house productions and to serve as a resource for third-party creators by providing a diverse set of artistic and logistical talent to bring their plans to life.