Wednesday, May 1, 2019 from 6pm to 9:30pm
The Birchwood Manor, Whippany, NJ (directions)
Seats are $250 each
Who wouldn’t be curious about what it’s like to stage Broadway shows, relay critical news as an award-winning journalist, promote concerts by the world’s top rock stars or evaluate belongings of the rich and famous ? You can satisfy that curiousity at this year’s Great Conversations – by dining with any one of the fab four below.
Jay Duckworth, Props Master Designer & “Proptologist”
Jay boasts over 20 years’ experience in LORT (League of Resident Theatres) & Off-Broadways theatre, independent films, TV, music videos and over 65 off-Broadway shows credit his name as a Props Master and Props Designer. The roll call of shows for which he has created original work, starts in Classic Greek Theater, re-imagined Shakespeare plays as well as being part of the artistic team that created musicals including Hamilton, Fun Home, Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson and the highly controversial Julius Caesar at Shakespeare in the Park 2017, at his over a decade long residency at The Public Theater. As well as being a writer for Stage Directions Magazine, Jay teaches Properties and the Philosophy of Aesthetics at Pace University. He has been a recurrent Keynote Speaker for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and the United States Institute of Theater Technology, curating USITT’s very first Prop Lab in 2018.
Michael Hill, NJTV News Correspondent
A 2018 National Fellow of the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, Michael is an award-winning news anchor and reporter with stints in New York, Dallas, New Orleans and beyond. He has covered some of the world’s most memorable events over the last three decades. Michael’s interest in covering news runs the gamut and he feels right at home discovering and re-discovering his native New Jersey. He was Student Council President at Barringer High School where he ran track and played on the state-championship-winning football team. Barringer is where Michael’s passion for investigation and storytelling were channeled in to broadcast journalism. Michael feels the truth is worth the pursuit.
Bruce Moran, Live Nation Entertainment – President, Latin America
Identifying closely with Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” lament, “…the echoes from the amplifiers ringin’ in your head,” Bruce’s ears ring too since he has booked, produced and been tortured at more than a thousand concerts. As President of Live Nation, Latin America, he books major concert attractions from Mexico to Argentina to the Caribbean and everywhere in between for the world’s biggest concert promotion firm. He produced Coldplay’s year-long 122-show Head Full of Dreams tour (2016-2017) and expanded the definition of Latin America by bringing Metallica to Antarctica in 2013. He promoted Paul McCartney’s famous 2012 performance before 160,000 fans at the Zocalo in Mexico City and Rihanna’s 777 secret club date before 1,000 people in Mexico City that same year. Bruce works with the world’s biggest talents (U2, Bruno Mars, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, etc.), but started when a college roommate encouraged him to join a club. Soon, he headed R.U.M.P. (Rutgers University Major Programs) and his efforts culminated in Bruce Springsteen’s post-Born To Run 1976 show at the old Rutgers Gym, the springboard to a music industry career. Stops at NJ promoter John Scher’s shop, talent agency ICM, Madison Square Garden and Mexican promoter OCESA were all enabled by loving wife Gina and three music loving kids.
John Nye, Nye & Company – President & Principal Auctioneer
As Principal Auctioneer of Nye & Company, John and his staff service 500 clients annually, including major corporate/unique private collections as well as celebrity estates such as those of Dizzy Gillespie, Luther Vandross and Perry Como. Appearing regularly on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow, he was featured on Fox Business News’ Strange Inheritance, with the $1.1 million sale of a long-lost Rembrandt. His career began at Sotheby’s, first as a Loan Portfolio Manager and then (after a brief hiatus) as a cataloguer and eventually, as head of the Arcade Furniture Department. He then joined the American Furniture and Decorations department, becoming Senior Vice President and department head. He serves on the board of the Nye Family Association, dedicated to preserving the 1685 Benjamin Nye House, an historic museum built by his ancestor, a founder of Sandwich, Massachusetts. A member of the Friends of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Decorative Arts Trust and Co-Chair of Friends of Collections at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, John is cited in national publications including the Wall Street Journal and frequently lectures on topics in the field of Americana. An architecture enthusiast and avid outdoorsman, he retreats to the Adirondacks to hunt and fish. He and his wife have three children and reside in South Orange, NJ.