Playable Theatre Speakers

    Sam Liberty

    Playable Theatre Project ~ He/Him

    Sam is a designer obsessed with how games make meaning. He was Senior Game Designer at the Engagement Lab at Emerson College, where he designed impactful games for organizations at the highest levels of government and civil society. He has created and run workshops on games for real world impact for organizations like the United Nations Development Programme and the MIT Media Lab. As a consultant, he’s designed games for clients such as the U.S. Department of Defense and MIT Lincoln Labs. He is the co-founder of the consultancy Extra Ludic, where he designed games for the World Bank, Overseas Development Institute, and DARPA, among others.

    Sam has designed award winning tabletop roleplaying games, including Forsooth!, which enables players to improvise a new work of Shakespeare in about 120 minutes. Additionally he is the chair of the Playable Theatre Project, a non-profit that seeks to promote audience agency in theatrical productions. Sam teaches a variety of game design courses at Northeastern University where he is a visiting lecturer in the school of Communications, Art, Media, an Design.

    Jamie Harper

    De Montfort University ~ He/Him

    Jamie Harper is a theatre director, play designer and performance researcher. He trained on the Directors’ Course at LAMDA and went on to win the JMK Directors’ Award and National Theatre Cohen Bursary. In 2013, he received a Churchill Trust Travelling Fellowship to research the intersection of game design and drama at University of Miami. Following this project, he has made several participatory performance works that incorporate play including: Here is the Place (with artist Adam James) for Serpentine Galleries, Nudge, which was the runner up for Headlong Theatre’s 2016 Digital Artist Award and Washing Machine for the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle. In 2019, he completed a practice-led PhD in participatory performance at Newcastle University. His academic research work has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, The Drama Review and Ambiances: International Journal of Sensory Environment, Architecture and Urban Space.

    Tassos Stevens

    Coney ~ He/Him

    Tassos Stevens @tassosstevens is director and a maker frequently representing Coney @agencyofoconey – a BAFTA-winning charity making all kinds of play – theatre, adventures, and games – to spark positive change. Coney’s approach designs smart gameplay with bespoke reflection for active embodied engagement and connection, and using playful comms to connect with players wherever and whenever they are in the arc of an experience. Coney HQ is the producing engine assembling teams for projects from a network and guild of makers of diverse backgrounds, skills, and geographies. Coney follows principles of adventure, curiosity and loveliness in making play.

    Projects TS has made or co-made for Coney include: A Small Town Anywhere, theatre for a playing audience of ~30, a parable about the rise of fascism; Adventure One, an adventure in a secret location in the financial district of London, for solo or pairs of players guided by a smartphone; Telephone, a storytelling piece live over zoom with gentle interactions and conversation, about connections across distance and time; The Magic Trick, live and online with an offer to help magic a small positive change into your life. He wears many hats, sometimes interactive dramaturg, writer, game designer, director, facilitator, secret agent trainer.

    Chloe Mashiter

    Roll/Flip/Draw ~ they/she

    Chloe is a game- and theatre-maker who specialises in interactive and game-based performance. Their work spans both live and digital performance, for which their roles often include game designer, narrative designer, coder, facilitator, performer or creative technician. They also publish original tabletop role-playing games and live-action role-playing games as Roll/Flip/Draw.

    Chloe’s practice focuses on drawing on tools from tabletop role-playing games, live-streaming and interactive theatre to create performances with space for meaningful audience interaction and input. Their extensive experience of immersive and interactive theatre, live-streamed and Zoom-based performance, and tabletop roleplaying games is expressed in work that is typically a hybrid of different platforms to create unique and tailored experiences.

    Recent projects include The House of Cenci (a text-adventure mystery featuring periodic video calls with live performers); The Incognito Society (a fictional university society’s annual contest, facilitated via WhatsApp, Zoom and Youtube) and Alongame (a series of solo games and interactive livestreams, connecting players in building a wider world together).

    They have worked with a number of companies exploring different hybrids of performance and play, including A Door In A Wall, Fire Hazard Games and Upstart Theatre. Chloe is currently an artistic associate of playful adventure makers Coney, and a regular collaborator with interactive and immersive specialists Parabolic Theatre.

    Evan Torner

    University of Cincinnati ~ He/Him

    Evan Torner is an associate professor of German Studies and Film & Media Studies at the University of Cincinnati, where he also serves as Undergraduate Director of German and the Director of the UC Game Lab. His research specialties include East German genre cinema, science-fiction, role-playing games, and critical race scholarship. He co-founded the journal Analog Game Studies and the freeform larp contest the Golden Cobra Challenge, as well as co-organized events such as Games on Demand, Living Games, and Generation Analog. He has been an IndieCade juror since 2018.

    Sharang Biswas

    ~ He

    Sharang Biswas is a writer, interactive artist, and game designer, currently Game Artist in Residence at the Musem of the Moving Image in New York. He has showcased interactive works at numerous art institutions including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. He has contributed essays to Dicebreaker, Eurogamer, and Unwinnable, and fiction to Fantasy Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and Neon Hemlock Press among others. He is the co-editor of HONEY & HOT WAX: AN ANTHOLOGY OF EROTIC ART GAMES (Pelgrane Press, 2020) and STRANGE LUSTS / STRANGE LOVES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF EROTIC INTERACTIVE FICTION (Strange Horizons, 2021). Sharang’s roleplaying game FEAST won the Dark Horse Award in IndieCade 2017, while HONEY & HOT WAX was a finalist in 2020. This year Sharang is on the IndieCade Awards Jury.

    Caro Murphy

    Playable Theatre ~ they/them/theirs

    Caroline Murphy– or Caro (CARE-oh) for short– is a game designer, producer, and community organizer that lives and works in the Greater Boston Area. They received their MBA from Babson in 2011, and have passionately focused on building games and game communities. They are co-founder and CEO of BostonFIG, a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to cultivating the next generation of game creators. Caro is Chief Creative Officer of Incantrix Productions, a game company that specializes in interactive theater events. Caro a founding member of the Playable Theatre Company, a nonprofit that supports interdisciplinary creators who are engaged in designing, producing and disseminating interactive live performative works. They teach game design and the business of games at Northeastern University for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Caro is also Lead Designer at Brain Power, an education-focused company that aims to empower those with invisible neural differences; specifically ADHD and autism.

    Caro also does freelance narrative design for a number of larping and interactive theater companies across the U.S., including Sinking Ship Creations, Jackalope Live Action Studios, Hanging Lantern Studios, and more. They act in many immersive productions as well, including works by Green Door Labs, Mirror World Creations, Reverie Studios and others. They are a cast member on the popular Fast Times at D&D High actual play podcast, and do voice acting work for Earplay’s interactive audio games. They are also releasing their first fantasy novel, co-written with Elise Nguyen, in 2021.

    Jason Morningstar

    Bully Pulpit Games ~ he/him

    Jason Morningstar is Creative Director of Bully Pulpit Games. Best known for his game Fiasco, which earned him his second Diana Jones Award for Gaming Excellence, Jason’s game design credits include The Shab Al-Hiri Roach, Grey Ranks, Durance, Night Witches, and many other games. His larp “The Lesser Players’ Tale” (written with Lizzie Stark) won the Golden Penguin for Best Scenario at Fastaval in 2020.

    Beyond roleplaying, Jason consults on the use of games for teaching and learning in medical education at institutions like the University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kaiser-Permanente Health Care, and the Innovation Learning Network.

    In addition to design, Jason has written extensively on game-related topics. His article “Beyond the Game Master,” co-written with Emily Care Boss and Ivan Vaghi, appeared in States of Play: Nordic Larp Around the World. His essay on improvisation, “Agreement, Endowment, and Knowing When to Shut Up” was recently featured in the anthology Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters.

    Regine Vital

    Playable Theatre ~ she/her/hers

    REGINE VITAL, Manager of Curriculum & Instruction (she/her/hers) is a theatre artist, administrator, educator, scholar, and storyteller from Somerville, MA. As an actor, director, dramaturge, and coach, she has worked with several Boston area theatre companies, including Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, ArtsEmerson, Company One, Central Square Theatre, HUB Theatre Company, Fresh Ink Theatre, and Flat Earth Theatre. She has taught composition and introductory literature at the college level; text and performance to high schoolers; and continuing adult education classes in literature. She is a current member of the Playable Theatre’s board and has been featured as a few different characters in Green Door Lab’s CLUB DROSSELMEYER. Regine holds degrees from Boston University, UMass Boston, and studied Shakespeare at King’s College, London and Shakespeare’s Globe. When she isn’t telling stories on stage or talking too much about Shakespeare, Regine loves a good book, a good show, a good dance, and/or a great chat with great friends. Merde, folks! 😉

    Dani Snyder-Young

    Northeastern ~ she/her

    Dani Snyder-Young is a scholar/artist whose work focuses on theatre and social change, applied theatre, and contemporary US activist performance. Her most recent book, Privileged Spectatorship: Theatrical Interventions in White Supremacy (2020, Northwestern University Press) examines white spectatorship of mainstream anti-racist theatrical events. Dani is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northeastern University; she holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA and PhD from New York University.

    Mark Marino

    University of Southern California ~ He/Him

    Mark C. Marino is a writer and scholar of electronic literature living in Los Angeles. His works include “a show of hands” (http://hands.literatronica.net), “Living Will” (http://markcmarino.com/tales/livingwill.html), and “The Ballad of Workstudy Seth” (http://www.springgunpress.com/the-ballad-of-workstudy-seth). With Rob Wittig, he is a co-founder of Meanwhile… Netprov Studios (http://meanwhilenetprov.com). His recent work includes “Salt Immortal Sea” (http://www.lucidbard.com/elit/saltimmortalsea/) and Mrs. Wobbles and the Tangerine House (http://markcmarino.com/mrsw/), a collection of interactive stories he writes with his children. He was one of ten co-authors of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (http://10print.org) (MIT 2013) and was a collaborator with Jessica Pressman and Jeremy Douglass on Reading Project: A Collaborative Analysis of William Poundstone’s Project for Tachistoscope {Bottomless Pit} (Iowa Press 2015). His latest book, Critical Code Studies, was just published by MIT Press. Mark is also the Director of Communication of the Electronic Literature Organization. He currently teaches writing at the University of Southern California where he directs the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab (http://haccslab.com), a collaboratory exploring the explication of computer source code. (Full portfolio here: http://markcmarino.com)

    Rob Wittig

    Meanwhile Netprov Studio ~ He/Him

    ​​Rob Wittig plays at the crossroads of literature, graphic design and digital culture. He co-founded the legendary IN.S.OMNIA electronic bulletin board with the Surrealist-style literary and art group Invisible Seattle. From this came a Fulbright grant to study the writing and graphic design of electronic literature with philosopher Jacques Derrida in Paris. Rob’s book based on that work, Invisible Rendezvous, was published Wesleyan University Press. He then embarked on a series of illustrated and designed email and web fictions. Alongside his creative projects, Rob has worked in major publishing and graphic design firms in Chicago, leading R&D teams. Rob holds a Master’s in Digital Culture at the University of Bergen, Norway. His book Netprov, Networked Improvised Literature for the Classroom and Beyond appears this Fall from Amherst College Press.
    Rob is Assistant professor in the Art & Design and Writing Studies departments of the University of Minnesota Duluth. Rob directs Meanwhile… Netprov Studio, along with Mark C. Marino. meanwhilenetprov.com

    Celia Pearce

    IndieCade ~ She/Her

    Celia Pearce is an award-winning game designer, author and Professor of Game Design at Northeastern University. She is the co-founder and Co-Executive Director of Playable Theatre (www.playabletheatre.org), a nonprofit devoted to supporting creators of participatory theatrical works that focus on meaningful audience agency, as well as co-founder of IndieCade, the international festival of independent games, launched in 2007. Her games have appeared in SAAM Arcade at the Smithsonian Museum, the Incubate festival in Tilburg, Netherlands, and Boston FIG, where her game eBee received the 2016 award for Most Innovative Tabletop Game. Her live action roleplying games have appeared in Living Games – A Week in Boston, Sandcon and part of the participatory theatre show The Night Café in Boston. In March of 2021, she co-organized SLarpFest, a mini festival of live action roleplaying games in the virtual world Second Life, where she presented Angel Falls, an original site-specific work co-created with Swedish designer Annika Waern. Her publications include Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds, and IndieCade: A History – The Interdependence of Independents, as well as chapters on playable theatre and larping for The Oxford handbook of critical improvisation studies, volume 2 (2016, G. Lewis & B. Piekut, Eds.), and Impacting audiences: Methods for studying change (Routledge 2021; D. Snyder-Young & M. Omasta, Eds.). She co-edited Meet Me at the Fair, a collection of essays on World’s Fairs, as well as the upcoming Playable Theatre Special Issue of the game journal Well Played.

    Kellian Adams Pletcher

    Green Door Labs ~ She/Her

    Kellian is FableVision Studios’ Director of G.L.A.M. (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums). Prior to joining Fablevision, Kellian spent ten years as the founder and Mastermind of Green Door Labs creating games, immersive theater, and physical/digital interactive experiences in informal learning spaces with her company, Green Door Labs. Green Door continues with independent titles such as Club Drosselmeyer and the American Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures. You may know some of Kellian’s work from games like Murder at the Met, the Mystery of the Megatherium Club at the Smithsonian or AVATAR at the Peabody Essex Museum. Kellian is an avid swing dancer, a vintage movie nerd, and a lifelong vegetarian. She loves tater tots and peas.

    Gary Izzo

    Interactive Artists ~ He/Him

    Gary Izzo, author of the groundbreaking book, The Art of Play, The new Genre of Interactive Theatre is known throughout the country as a pioneer of the interactive theatre genre, and an innovator in improvisation, and personal creativity awareness.

    He was one of the first directors to experiment in the interactive genre. As a teacher, he has trained hundreds of actors in improvisation, interactive, and participatory theatre, throughout the US and abroad.

    As a director and producer, he began his work in Renaissance festivals in the 1980’s, and founded Creative Entertainment, Inc., a company dedicated to the exploration and production of audience inclusive theatre styles. As Interactive Artists, he has produced outdoor interactive festivals, participatory plays, murder mysteries, theme park attractions, and convention entertainment events.

    Gary is a veteran comic Improvisationist and sketch writer. A renown teacher of improv, Gary’s students appear regularly on Broadway, network television, and in major motion pictures.

    Some of Gary’s credits include: Show Director/Writer and entertainment consultant for the Walt Disney World Co., where he has been a founding influence in Disney’s use of live actors, and has designed and developed numerous interactive shows and attractions there.

    He was also a Director/Consultant for Paramount Parks where he directed the Star Trek World Tour, a 30million dollar interactive experience that toured Europe. He is now in his 43rd season as Creative Director of the Sterling Renaissance Festival, an interactive Elizabethan village and Shakespeare festival.

    Monica Miklas

    Capital W ~ She/Her

    Monica Miklas is a theatre artist whose boundary-pushing lived experiences connect people to ideas, causes, and stories which are larger than themselves. Her career-long focus on new work and live events manifested in the 2015 founding of radical theatre collaboration Capital W, which specializes in transformative immersive experiences for intimate audiences. Monica’s work as a writer, performer, and producer translates concepts that seem “of the mind” into experiences “of the heart,” with a particular affinity for stories related to the environment, sexuality, spirituality, and mental health.

    Lauren Ludwig

    Capital W ~ She/They

    Lauren Ludwig is a writer/director who specializes in comedy, interactive storytelling and creating communities for artists. Their work explores complex people navigating identity, community, and emotional mess, often in heightened or surreal circumstances. Lauren uses jokes, magical realism, ritual, discomfort, film and live performance to ask: how do we live with ourselves and each other?

    Lauren co-founded the award-winning Los Angeles theater collaboration Capital W which specializes in intimate experiences for small audiences. Under their banner, Lauren has written and directed six original shows, including a commission for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Hamlet-Mobile, their adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet staged in a cargo van, was published in the anthology Best Plays from American Theater Festivals 2015, and won the IndieCade “Game Design” award. Lauren returned to IndieCade in 2019 with Red Flags, a highly interactive recreation of a bad first date for audiences of one. Lauren and Capital W are currently touring Fire Season, their immersive audiowalk exploring the impact of wildfires.

    Kat Jones

    University of Cincinnati ~ she/they

    Kat Jones (she/they) is a queer Latina game designer and scholar. Kat’s games explore identity and community, while offering playful social commentary. She and Julia B. Ellingboe have co-authored several scenarios together including #WeAreNecropolis which is played on Discord, and The Sleepover which was recently adapted for play in Second Life. #TheRealColdtown, a live action version of #WeAreNecropolis premiered at BlackBox Copenhagen in 2019. The Sleepover can be found in Honey & Hot Wax: An Anthology of Erotic Games.

    Tom Mansfield

    Upstart Theatre ~ he/him

    Tom is a director, game designer and theatremaker and Artistic Director of Upstart Theatre.

    On stage, his work as director for Upstart includes Beneath the City, Republic, Phone Home, Silent Planet (“remarkable” 4 STARS The Guardian), The Situation Room (4 STARS“Immersive theatre at its very best… highly original” WhatsOnStage) and The Falling Sickness. He launched a balloon into space as part of the Andover Space Programme, and co-created The Chorus podcast with citizen artists in Birmingham and sound artist Duncan Grimley.

    As a digital artist, he created the viral immigration game BritQuest which was played by over 70,000 people in its launch week, and is currently working on a digital political thriller, Red Planet: Revolution. He co- founded Upstart Theatre’s DARE Festival, for which he has been artistic lead since 2016.

    As a producer, his work for Upstart includes Marco, The Last Ones, The Identity Project, and The Maddening Rain.

    Alongside his work with Upstart, Tom is a Connections Mentor Director for the National Theatre, and a visiting practitioner at the University of Birmingham. He has delivered teaching and productions for the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama; Birkbeck, University of London; University of South Wales; St Mary’s University; and the University of Cumbria. He has previously worked as Youth Theatre Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Assistant Director at Opera North, and as Resident Assistant Director at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

    Persis-Jadé Maravala

    ZU-UK ~ Her

    Persis Jadé Maravala is Artistic Director of award-winning interactive theatre and digital arts company ZU-UK, pioneers of the UK’s grassroots immersive theatre movement. Ethnically Iranian /Yemeni /Indian and raised in East London, Maravala is committed to reclaiming public spaces to reduce barriers to audience participation and fairer opportunities for working-class people. Recent work focuses on mediating relationships between strangers through the use of sound and instruction-based performance.

    Persis-Jadé is currently developing DATUM – a ghost hunt in a shopping mall. Her work has been commissioned by LIFT Festival, FACT Liverpool, Southbank Centre, Summerhall, British Council, Macau International Festival and the Brazilian Ministry for Culture. In 2021 Persis-Jadé was a keynote speaker at FutureFest and inaugural recipient of the Stephen Joseph Award for “groundbreaking work that widens the scope and imaginative possibilities of live and multimedia performance, her experiments with audience engagement, and her exploration of topics of direct relevance to diverse audiences in contemporary Britain”.

    Maravala’s radical methodology is taught as an MA in Contemporary Performance by Maravala and ZU-UK at the University of Greenwich. She has co-written the Post-Immersive Manifesto, following a 5-year collaboration between ZU-UK and T.A.G. (Montréal).

    Notable works include Hotel Medea, Binaural Dinner Date, Pick Me Up (& hold me tight), #RioFoneHack, Goodnight Sleep Tight and Missing.

    Des Bennett

    Central Square Theater ~ they/them

    Des Bennett (they/them), is a theater maker, facilitator, and visual artist dedicated to continued learning, iterative experimentation, and collective care as the framework for their artistic endeavors. They are the Connectivity Coordinator at Central Square Theatre (CST), where they use their dramaturgical skills to strengthen relationships between artists, audiences, and community leaders through conversations and events diving into the themes and issues presented in CST’s main-stage productions.
    They are the dramaturg for Melinda Lopez’ upcoming play Young Nerds of Color, composed of over sixty interviews with BIPOC scientists. Young Nerds of Color had its first premier at the Brit d’Arbeloff Women in Science Theatre Festival, and will be making its stage debut in Spring 2021 at Central Square Theater. Their directorial credits are primarily digital-based theatre; their most recent work includes Nico Pang’s debut play, My Body Is A Season at SpeakEasy Stage, a lyrical play about trans(formation). Their Capstone project, a queer, digital, episodic production of Scenes From Metamorphoses, was housed on a website featuring games and other interactive interludes relating to the play.
    Des graduated from Northeastern University with a BA in Theatre and minor in Psychology. They are the recipient of the Blackman Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in the Art of Theatre (2019), and the co-recipient for two Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor Awards (2018, 2019).

    Christina Bryan

    Capital W ~ She/They

    Christina is a professional multi-hyphenate who specializes in managing theatre and live events. They have worked all over the country, creating experiences ranging from music festivals to weddings to televised award shows, and many other incredible events in between. In addition to their work in the theatrical space, some of the other hats they’ve been known to wear include unit production manager, dialogue editor, studio manager, and script supervisor.

    In 2019, they discovered the intersection between their passion for emotionally-driven experiential art, and their professional production expertise when they joined Capital W as it’s production manager and newest company member. Since then, they have had the opportunity to push their creative boundaries by not only managing the company’s live and virtual productions, but also by aiding in the development process as well.

    In her rare but precious free time, Christina enjoys searching for the city’s best burrito, making friends with neighbourhood cats, and hula hooping.

    Kol Ford

    Omen Star ~ He/Him

    Kol is a larp organiser based out of London. Starting with UK festival larps, he quickly moved into running weekend long larp experiences all over England. Eventually he moved onto writing and designing chamber larps and freeforms while also writing for international larp organisations. He is now the creative lead for Omen Star delivering online immersive events and offline weekend larps.

    Yan Xie

    Archimedes Inspiration Ltd. ~ Ms.

    Like the majority of escape owners, I started as an enthusiast who had played escape games globally since 2013. Soon my passion took over and led to the creation of Archimedes Inspiration. The initial purpose was to export and adapt some of the handpicked and most-loved Chinese games to a less matured foreign market. To date, we have successfully modified and brought three games to the UK. All of our multiple award-winning games are narrative-driven and fully automated with a focus on immersion to facilitate the storytelling. The advantage of being in London has introduced us to many enthusiasts worldwide, earning a place on their “bucket list.” Being both an owner and an enthusiast, it enabled me to connect to both sides of the industry and to have a much broader perception behind the games. I was also invited as a panellist and a speaker at China’s Escape Game Alliance Conference between 2017-2019. I would like to share my knowledge, experiences and insights into the Chinese escape room industry and to bridge the gap between China and the rest of the world.

    Graham Walmsley

    Thieves of Time ~ He/Him

    Graham is a game designer who writes tabletop and live-action roleplaying games. His games include “Will That Be All?”, a card-based game about love and servants, “A Taste For Murder”, a murder mystery, and “Cthulhu Dark”, a horror tabletop roleplaying game. He has also written for Doctor Who: Adventures In Time and Space, Trail of Cthulhu and other games.

    He also writes books about games, with a focus on storytelling. These include Stealing Cthulhu, about Lovecraftian narrative, and Play Unsafe, a book about improvisation in roleplaying games. He is currently working on A Little Guide To Designing Roleplaying Games.

    Alessandro Giovannucci

    Chaos League ~ He/Him

    Is an italian award-winner larp designer. He co-founded Chaos League and write the Southern Way – New Italian Larp manifesto. He organised international larp (Sahara Expedition, Bunker 101, Black Friday) and chamber larp tranlsated in several languages. Alessandro believes in the social and political power of games, that allows us to explore other people lifes. He has published many articles on larp and is regularly invited to give lectures and workshops at international events. Alessandro is also a musicians and a lecturer. And he is a horrible writer of short bios.

    Michaela Portychová

    Rolling ~ she/her or whatever

    Author of Czech larps (for example Pod Prahou), begginning photographer, avid player of international online games.

    Lu Larpová

    NotOnlyLarp ~ she/her

    Lu is an international larper based in Germany. She started larping in 2004, and made the transition to international larping in 2016. Since then she has worked with a number of international organisations, like Rolling and NotOnlyLarp on various larps, and played a good number herself.

    Esperanza Montero

    NotOnlyLarp ~ She/them

    Espe is a feminist, LGBTQ+ activist, and a firm believer in larptivism, i.e. larp’s potential to raise awareness and inspire social change.

    They started NotOnlyLarp with Enrique and other friends, and is usually the project manager, head designer and producer of NOL’s larps. She finds that running a larp requires similar abilities as organizing a human rights demonstration.

    NotOnlyLarp, a nonprofit organization, has organized weekend experiences for over a thousand players during the last 5 years, for players over 30 different countries with larps as Conscience, Red Center, Blue or Mission Together.

    She has also participated in organizing teams of larp conventions in Spain as Para Jugar, EntreRevs and EnVivo.

    She is a usual speaker of larping, plotwriting in larps, larp production but also feminism, LGBTQphobia or bisexuality.

    In her past, she has worked in the indie cinema scene as director, screenwriter and first assistant director (that is why they usually are in charge of making tasks happen on deadline).

    She lives with endometriosis, a chronic pain condition, that makes them the designated LARP runner from a bed.

    She is owned by two cats, day job spent selling digital marketing and preaching SEO and SEM value. Currently located in Madrid, Spain.

    Stephanie Allen

    Punchdrunk ~ she/her

    Steph is the Creative Lead at Punchdrunk, an award-winning theatre company known for pioneering a new approach to experience design. Working across theatre (Sleep No More, The Drowned Man), television (The Third Day), VR (Believe Your Eyes), and games (Silverpoint), the organisation places the audience at the heart of the action and aims to ignite a sense of childlike wonder and adventure through innovative design and performance.

    Since joining Punchdrunk in 2011, Steph has worked as a creative, writer and producer. She launched the company’s first Research & Development programme in 2017, and has designed both live and digital experiences. Steph is interested in non-linear, multi-platform storytelling, looking at ways theatrical worlds can come to life in unusual places. Her most recent work for Punchdrunk includes Kabeiroi, a 6-hour long show across the streets of London, and The Third Day, the company’s first television series.

    Zheng Chen

    Immerging Inc. ~ He

    Born in China. Raised in the United States. Schooled in Atlanta (Emory University, Goizueta Business School BBA 2014). Currently residing in Shanghai, China.

    After college, I worked in New York in the financial consulting industry performing valuation services for companies and funds. A few years ago (before the world shut down), I moved back to China, where I managed pricing and sales strategies for WeWork China. (Heavy finance background, eh?)

    During Covid, I stumbled upon the emerging immersive market in China. In late 2020, my partners and I co-founded Immerging Inc. We are an immersive production/content creation start-up based out of Shanghai, China. We seek to bring new and innovative immersive experiences to China. We also hope to share our knowledge of the distinct Chinese market with the world.

    Currently, I am in charge of finances for our company and my main duties revolve around financial modeling and business feasibility of new immersive projects. (More finance, eh?)

    Aside from what may seem like my heavy lean towards numbers and money, I am a sarcastic Capricorn that can’t get enough of coffee and whisky (occasionally the two are mixed at 9 AM).

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