TEDxAsburyPark Salons

Past TEDxAsburyPark Salons

TEDxAsburyPark Salons are held at Two River Theater the Thursday before opening night of select plays. TEDxAsburyPark Salons bring together three or more TED Talks with talent from each production in conversation with the audience. Join the conversation, hear TED talks, entertainment, and enjoy tastes and beer with no more than 100 subscribers. 

From left: Gilda Rogers (photo: Danny Sanchez), Jim Watt, Taylor Barfield, Brian Smiga, Sarah Krug, Erin Maguire

Salon #4 – Conversations on Urban Culture at the Shore

12 March 2020

The evening featured conversations exploring Belonging, Race, and Gentrification prior to Two River Theater’s production of August Wilson’s Radio Golf, directed by Obie Award® winner Brandon J. Dirden.

Tickets: $25 for the public. FREE for TEDxAsburyPark May 2020 ticket holders and Two River Theater donors and subscribers.*

Speakers discussed appreciating and nurturing the cultural identities of Asbury Park and Red Bank.

Gilda Rogers – Journalist, Author, Playwright and Community Activist
Jim Watt – Architect, Artist and Restaurateur
Taylor Barfield – Literary Manager, Two River Theater

Brian Smiga – Moderator and TEDxAsburyPark Founder


We heard from two of our May Conference speakers:

Sarah Krug – Cancer101 CEO and Patient Advocate

Erin Maguire – Comic, Writer, Actor, and Podcast host

Salon #3 – Wise Foolishness

9 January 2020

Wise Foolishness was an evening of music, comedy, and reflection on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Performers explored how their joy in artistry is informed by its opposite – not unlike the paradoxes Shakespeare uses in Twelfth Night: wise fool, male and female, excess and pleasure.

Guest speakers and performers included:

  • Sara Holdren, Director of Two River Theater’s production of Twelfth Night
  • Em Weinstein, Adapter and Director of Two River Theater’s production of A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
  • A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night cast members Megan Mulroy (Viola) and Ashley Moshett (Olivia)
  • Composer and musician David Cieri
  • Comedians Marion Grodin and Myq Kaplan

Brian Smiga, TEDxAsburyPark founder, was our moderator.

Salon #2 – Love in Hate Nation

7 November 2019

The TEDxAsburyPark Salon, Girls Like Us, was held prior to the opening of Joe Iconis’ Love in Hate Nation at the Two River Theater (from the creator of Be More Chill on Broadway, TEDx speaker/performer).

The evening featured talks by a variety of talented speakers, including the Love in Hate Nation creator himself, Joe Iconis, who joined us for this exclusive event the Thursday before opening night of the show’s world premiere at Two River Theater.

The evening was hosted by public speaking coach MK Harby and also featured talks from filmmaker/journalist Michele Mitchell, author, speaker, communication coach Olive Persimmon, musician and co-owner of comunications agency lotus823 David Hernandez, as well as performances by local musical talent Dave McCarthy. Nosh and beer tastings included.

Salon #1 – Cyrano, Panache & Nosh

19 September 2019

The TEDxAsburyPark Salon, Cyrano, Panache & Nosh, was held prior to the opening of Cyrano at the Two River Theater.

Lead speaker Dr. Womack, the Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, explored the values of the value of panache and how it creates our joy in living. He was joined by Monmouth University Psychology Professor Dr. Lisa M. Dinella and Two River Theater Literary Manager Taylor Barfield for an evening of participation, nosh, and a beer tasting.

About TEDxAsburyPark

TEDxAsburyPark is the largest, highest-rated TEDx conference on the east coast. Join us at our 8th annual all-day show at The Two River Theater, Red Bank, featuring 20 TED talks, entertainment, conversations, and network reception. Become a subscriber for exclusive invitations and ideas worth spreading.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.