Keynote speakers


Cariani is the author of Almost, Maine, which has become one of the most frequently produced plays in the United States, with more than 2,500 productions to date, and which won the top spot as the most popular play in EdTA’s annual survey of school theatre programs for the past two years. He is also an award-winning actor who has appeared on and Off-Broadway, at regional theatres across the country, and in several films and television shows. From 2002 to 2007, Cariani played Julian Beck on NBC’s long-running drama Law & Order. Currently, he is appearing on Broadway in the musical The Band’s Visit.

White is an actor on Broadway, in film, and on television, as well as a concert and recording artist, author, and motivational speaker. On stage he is best known for his record-breaking 4,300+ performances as Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway. Other Broadway roles include: The Color Purple (Mister), Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), Smokey Joe’s Café (Ken), Miss Saigon (John), and Tommy (Hawker). His TEDx Broadway talk is Redefining Service to Dream the Impossible Dream, and his recently released book is My Pride: Mastering Life’s Daily Performance. He has been keynote speaker for Americans for the Arts, the Youth First Partnership, and others.


Hamilton is an award-winning director and acting teacher who teaches the craft and business of acting at her studio in Los Angeles and around the world. For over 10 years, Hamilton was creative/show director for Walt Disney Imagineering, directing Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, Citizens of Buena Vista Street, and Frozen shows in Anaheim, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. She has directed many productions, including the GLAAD-nominated The Break Up Notebook and Jane Lynch’s Oh Sister, My Sister. From 1999 to 2006, Hamilton was the producing director of the Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center. As an actor, she has appeared in more than 30 productions.