2017 F/S participants

We’re excited to announce the participants for F/S 2017 – an amazing group of storytellers who will gather at a beautiful remote location in Indonesia later this spring.

BARRIE ALDEBERG (USA)

Barrie is an imaginative play designer and researcher, equal parts builder and taker-apart of things. She is uniquely skilled at helping people transform emotions into art. Inspired by story’s ability to enchant people and connect worlds, her work explores how, why, and where people create games and share stories. Barrie has diverse experience in educational technology, including UX/UI, game design, hardware hacking and coding. As a creative technologist and content producer, she pays unique attention to the alignment of user testing and core design principles. Barrie has produced and evaluated content for entertainment studios, publishers and nonprofits including PBS Kids, Entertainment Software Association, Refinery29, Hasbro and Netflix. Her research has received National Science Foundation funding and is published in the ACM Digital Library and Kidscreen Magazine.

SUE BIELY (CAN)

Sue ignites adult professionals to strengthen their team dynamics, collaboration skills and breakthrough thinking. Her education includes a Post Graduate Fellowship and an MA in Organizational Leadership grounded in organization development, change management and adult learning. Her course work led to a specialization in supporting the conditions and capacities for groups to become innovative. Sue’s love for creative groups started in theatre school where she spent two years co-creating for performance and studying creative techniques to support well-being of individuals, groups and communities. Sue loves working with others to achieve new possibilities. She thrives when flanked by fantastic folks and given the flexibility to innovate. Sue’s directs this energy in two distinct yet complimentary ways: as a Process Designer and Facilitator in service to groups and organizations and as a Cultural Innovator in the Media Sector. Two of Sue’s playful projects include a series of 20 x 90 minute Playshops for adults to experience directed creativity and flow to support individual and collective flow states via multiple mediums; and, Inside Green, a plant-gifting, storytelling, and mapping project to green urban centres from the inside out. Sue believes that there are three pillars to preparing adults to work with complex adaptive challenges: 1. A deep wisdom practice, 2. Non-Linear Thinking and getting beyond habits of mind 3. Play: where we put into action the skills and capacities needed to do things differently. Thus, Sue loves the magic of games, stories and imagination to support the values and practices of healthy communities.

TIMOTHY BRAUN (USA)

Timothy Braun is a writer living in Austin, TX. His plays and operas have been performed in theatres, site-specific spaces, and festivals across the United States and Europe. The New York Times, British Arts Council, Huffingtonpost, Culturebot, American Theatre Magazine, and The Weeklings have published his essays, among others.. He has been an artists-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, Santa Fe Art Institute, Edward F. Albee Foundation, Ucross, Blue Mountain Center for the Arts and Humanities, Anderson Center for the Interdisciplinary Studies, Prairie Center For The Arts, Madroño Ranch: A Center for Writing, Art, and the Environment, the Osage Arts Community, HERE Arts Center, The Lilian E. Smith Center, and was a Dorothy Norton Clay fellowship at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts. The Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Hatch, John Anson Kittredge Fund, and Puffin Foundation, and the City of Austin Cultural Foundation grants have funded his projects. Braun teaches at St. Edward’s University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Braun is on the board of directors of Salvage Vanguard Theatre, and the Editor-In-Chief of New and Social Media for the Fusebox Festival. He and his dog, Dusty, are judges for the Kids PBS GO Writers Contest, are fans of the Indianapolis Colts, and George is Braun’s favorite Beatle. In 2016 Braun was named a Taco Ambassador of the “Tacos of Texas” Taco Council, a new book by Taco Journalism from the University of Texas Press.

MICHAEL EPSTEIN (USA)

I work in media that is hybrid real-world environments/handheld digital storytelling. I have always been fascinated by writing that somehow bleeds off the page and brings in elements of the real world. I am currently the lead producer for Detour in Italy creating walkable smartphone documentaries for their GPS-driven platform. I am also the creator of Pen and Place, an Audible Channels podcast that walks with authors through places that inspire their writing. And I am directing a cross-platform project on the history of affordable housing which just received an NEH digital projects for the public prototyping grant. In addition I teach, two cross-platform media production studios at the California College of Arts.

TOIYA KRISTEN FINLEY (USA)

Nashville native Toiya Kristen Finley is a writer, editor, game designer, narrative designer, and game writer. She holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University. With nearly 70 published works, she has over 20-years experience writing in a range of genres, tones, styles, and voices. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies and selected to a best-of series. In 2011, she co-founded the Game Writing Tutorial at GDC Online with Tobias Heussner and served as an instructor in 2011 and 2012. In videogames, she has worked as a game designer, narrative designer, game writer, and editor (or some combination of the four) on several unreleased and in-production indie, social, and mobile games for children and general audiences. Some of these projects shall stay locked away in dungeons for eternity (hey, that’s the game industry for ya). Published games include Academagia: The Making of Mages (Black Chicken Studios), Wooli: Return to Ploppington (CrowdCell), and Fat Chicken (Relevant Games). She co-authored The Game Narrative Toolbox (Focal Press, 2015), a book on narrative design, with Jennifer Brandes Hepler, Ann Lemay, and Tobias Heussner. She is a member of the IGDA Game Writing Special Interest Group’s Executive Board. Her current projects include a book on narrative design and game writing for mobile/social games (CRC Press, 2017); game design and narrative design on a VR game; and her own game, YA novel series, and manga series projects.

CARL HEWITT (USA)

Carl Hewitt is a scholar, an educator and a performer. He is a graduate student in the Digital Media and Design for Learning program at New York University Steinhardt. He is a child of the 1980s, when there was significant memorable interactions with progressive television programming and video and computer games, all of which shaped his worldview through story and narrative. He received his first master degree in childhood education from the City University of New York, City College. As a teacher he discovered the environments that students occupy include embedded levels of virtual interaction; that includes the internet, hand held devices and intuitive knowledge of gaming culture. In turn, it has affected how students learn and how teachers engage, inspire and challenge students within the pedagogical space. He is invested in the future of educational exchange in an American and global context.

GEOFFREY LONG (USA)

Geoffrey Long is a storyteller, scholar, designer, and the Creative Director for the University of Southern California’s World Building Institute and World Building Media Lab. Previously he was Creative Director and a Research Fellow for USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab; Lead Narrative Producer for Microsoft Studios and cofounder of its Narrative Design Team (where his projects included the HoloLens, the Xbox One, SmartGlass, Quantum Break, Adera, Ryse and Halo); in a think tank under Microsoft’s Chief Experience Officer and Chief Software Architect; a researcher and Communications Director for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab and MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Program; a magazine editor and an award-winning short film producer. Geoffrey’s writing has appeared in the extended edition of Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Joshua Green and Sam Ford; The Rise of Transtexts: Challenges and Opportunities, co-edited by Benjamin W.L. Derhy Kurtz and Melanie Bourdaa; Revisiting Imaginary Worlds, edited by Mark J.P. Wolf; The Comics Journal’s Guttergeek; and the Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, and he co-edits MIT Press’ Playful Thinking series with William Uricchio and Jesper Juul. Geoffrey holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Philosophy from Kenyon College and a master’s degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and he is currently finishing his doctorate in Media Arts & Practice at USC. In his various lives he has worked with BET, Cisco, the City of Los Angeles, DirecTV, FOX, Havas, HBO, IBM, Intel, the Los Angeles Times, MTV, Turner Broadcasting, Walt Disney Imagineering and Warner Bros.

MICHELLE SENDERHAUF (USA)

Michelle Senderhauf is a Chicago-area artist, writer, and game designer with over a decade of experience creating games and interactive online experiences for corporate and non-profit clients. She is a founding partner at Dog Tale Media and some of the company’s most notable writing work includes the World Without Oil Alternate Reality Game, Ford’s online reality show, Focus Rally: America and GE’s interactive scavenger hunt, Wonderground. Outside of Dog Tale, Michelle is the producer and writer for an interactive, theatrical haunted house group. She also designs and builds personalized gift box puzzle trails. She graduated from Indiana University in 2000 with a major in Computer Science and minors in both Fine Arts and Anthropology. The focus of her senior year work was studying computer games marketed specifically to young girls. Michelle has spoken at ARGfest and participated in Bay Area Video Coalition’s Producer’s Institute.

HANNAH WOOD (UK)

Hannah Wood is a writer at Story Juice, a studio which specialises in interactive storytelling. Her most current projects are theatre game Press Go for the Almeida Theatre, London, and Dangerous a one-woman show that she wrote, directed and performed in the Lab at Theatre Royal Plymouth. In 2016, she submitted her creative practice PhD Playable Stories: Writing and Design Methods for Negotiating Narrative and Player Agency to University of Exeter. The thesis includes a creative work in the form of a script prototype for crime drama video game Underland and a series of interviews with leading industry practitioners and writers in theatre, video games, pervasive games and interactive experiences. Hannah is committed to the development of writing for an active audience and has a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to creating work across formats. She is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Falmouth University and has worked with the BBC, on international alternate reality games, on feature films, with TEDx Transmedia and as a national newspaper journalist and online editor.

DYLAN REIFF (USA)

Dylan Reiff is an immersive and experiential artist, improviser, writer, and performer. He is the Co-Founder and creative lead for Bottleneck Immersive where he creates long form immersive games, escape rooms, and interactive happenings. Reiff is the architect of the critically acclaimed Immersive Horror Game for the Overlook Film Festival, a site-specific four day event that throws Festival-goers into a horror movie come to life. Players become the protagonists of a terrifying living narrative where anything can happen. From missing children to late night room invasions players never know for sure if the terror they’re experiencing is reality or the Game. He recently designed and produced the Satanic Panic Room a story-driven escape room designed specifically for Austin based Fantastic Fest which The Guardian called “[An] extremely clever and meticulously timed experience.” Dylan has been an innovator in the immersive space for over ten years and is widely known for other Living Theater Events like the cult classic “The Future Shock”. Dylan lives in Portland, OR where he runs Kickstand Comedy Space, builds living story-worlds, and plays a lot of pinball.

MARIA LAURA RUGGIERO (ARG)

Transmedia Storyteller and showrunner from Argentina. She’s the co-creator of the award-winning doc Surfing Favela, Co-writer/Transmedia Producer of Durazno, crowdfunding pioneer in Latin America, creating one of the first transmedia and sustainable film projects of the region. TransmediaNEXT Scholarship ‘13. Selected as Emerging Producer’ 14 (Jihlava Documentary Film Festival), two time Berlinale Talents selection and Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School Alumni. She teaches transmedia storytelling and open source creation in several programs all over the world including Cuba’s International Film School, TalentDoc Bolivia, Talents Guadalajara, TEDx among others. She runs a nomad lab called #Storyhackers.

ALUMNI

ANTHEA FOYER (CAN)

Anthea Foyer is a Strategist. Artist. Storyteller. City Builder. Experience Creator. Schemer. Dreamer. She likes to make beautiful things using technology, compelling narratives across platforms, and starting conversations between strangers & friends – on and offline. She believes that anything is possible when worlds collide. She has had an art practice for as long as she can remember. She ended up studying sculpture because it allowed her to work with a wide variety of platforms and materials – including the creation of participatory experiences. This led her to an MA in Interactive Narrative from Goldsmiths College in the UK. Anthea continues this practice under the guise Red Squid Lab where she is officially Head Squid. In tandem to her art practice, Anthea ran a new media residency program for several years; has created, produced and advised on a wide array of critically acclaimed projects; has spoken, mentored and designed and facilitated workshops about the continually evolving realm of digital media, with a focus on transmedia and multiplatform projects. Currently Anthea is working as a Digital & Creative Engagement Specialist for the City of Mississauga where she uses art and storytelling to engage the residents of Mississauga with their local government.

MICHAEL RAU (USA)

Michael Rau is an artist working at the intersection between live performance and digital technology. His most recent project was TEMPING, an immersive digital experience that used hacked office equipment (laser printer, phone system and Microsoft Excel) to create an interactive story about mortality and office culture, which premiered last fall at the 53 New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Other notable work includes, “Absent” an interactive walking tour of an abandoned subway tunnel in Cleveland Ohio, which was awarded “best-of-fest” at the Ingenuity Festival. These two storytelling experiences were for solo audience members and blurred the lines between art, theater and interactive game. As a professional director, he directs operas and plays in New York City, the UK, and Berlin. He has taught at NYU, Wesleyan University, and Columbia University, and has created developed new work with New York Theater Workshop, the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and The Kennedy Center. He most recently served as the associate director for David Bowie’s music-theater piece Lazarus.

SIMON STAFFANS (FIN)

Simon is the CEO of ReThink NMS, a production and innovation company from Finland. Storytelling is at the heart of everything Simon does, and he continues to be excited, amazed and at times slightly alarmed about all the new possibilities for telling stories and engaging audiences that crop up on an almost daily basis. He’s won awards and been Emmy-nominated, has published a lot of articles and some books, and is appointed expert with the EU:s EACEA and Horizon 2020 programmes (which is more fun than it sounds). The best thing that’s happened to him lately – apart from the wife and the three kids, naturally – is that he was forced into entrepreneurship in 2016. Since then, together with his partner at ReThink, he’s directed and produced a TV series for YLE (“TU BE or not to be”, i.e. how to be a successful YouTuber), created new media concepts (like “Energy Challenge”, challenging families to live sustainably energy-wise in the cold, harsh realities of winter-Finland), created storytelling videos that have been spread all around Europe, moved into location based storytelling in app-form, and so on and so forth. He has over 25 years of experience of all forms of media, previously having been a show host, editor and producer at the public service broadcaster in Finland, and held the position of content developer and researcher at MediaCity, Åbo Akademi University. When he’s not busy coming up with new stuff to do, he’s desperately trying to get his triathlon finishing times down to some respectable figures, or failing that, seeing how far out to the sea the ice still holds while nordic skating.

STEVE PETERS (USA)

An Emmy®-winning experience designer, Steve basically makes cool things that people do. He’s co-founder of No Mimes Media and hosts the StoryForward Podcast, a show about the future of entertainment. His current attractions include geolocation games, interactive rides and experiences, AR/VR, experiential marketing, immersive gaming, interactive creative direction, alternate reality game design, user interface design, music production, and sound design. In addition to projects at No Mimes Media, Steve’s currently designing and consulting for various game companies, studios, theme parks and more.

CO-HOSTS

CHRISTY DENA (AUS)

Christy Dena is a writer-designer-director who has worked on award-winning pervasive games, film, digital and theatre projects. Her comedy web audio adventure “AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS” won the “Digital Narrative” category at the 2-14 WA Premier’s Book Awards, won the “Interactive Media” category at the 2014 Australian Writer’s Guild Awards, and was Finalist for “Best Writing in a Game” Award at the 2012 Freeplay Independent Gaming Festival. She was commissioned to create an game installation for Experimenta’s 2015 International Biennial of Media Art: Recharge. That game, “Magister Ludi” toured Australia and was Finalist for the 2015 “International New Media Writing Prize” and Digital Narrative category at the “WA Premier’s Awards”. She was granted Australia’s first Digital Writing Residency at The Cube for her project “Robot University,” for the Australia Council for the Arts and QUT. Christy co-wrote “The Writers Guide to Making a Digital Living” for the Australian Literature Board, has a PhD in Transmedia Practice, presented and published worldwide, and is a Member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Christy is Senior Lecturer in Games at SAE Creative Media Institute, Brisbane.

LANCE WEILER (USA)

Lance Weiler is a storyteller and entrepreneur. An alumni of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and engage audiences, Lance has designed experiences that have reached millions of people via theaters, mobile devices and online. In recognition of these storytelling innovations, BUSINESSWEEK named Lance “One of the 18 Who Changed Hollywood.” Lance is recognized as a thought leader in the entertainment space. He sits on a World Economic Forum steering committee for the future of content creation, he is the Director of Experiential Learning & Applied Creativity at Columbia University and is a founding member and director of the Digital Storytelling Lab @Columbia. He also teaches a graduate course at Columbia on the art, craft and business of storytelling in the 21st Century. Lance is currently developing a slate of film, tv and gaming projects.

COLUMBIA DSL

RACHEL GINSBERG (USA)

As a multidisciplinary strategist, Rachel Ginsberg explores the space between brand and experience, and designs initiatives to bridge it. She collaborates with Columbia University’s Digital Storytelling Lab to design methodology that merges storytelling, education, collaborative practice, and emerging technology, used to address pressing global challenges. Rachel is a member of the Empathy Lab, a collaboration between the Digital Storytelling Lab and Refinery29. The Empathy Lab is an accelerator for humanity, charged with accelerating empathy across education, technology, healthcare, policy, and media. Rachel’s work has been executed widely across organizations large and small, ranging from brand strategy to experience design for clients like Target, L’Oreal, Nike, Yale Medicine, Caleres, and Clean. Whenever she can make the time, Rachel loves taking epic road trips, and getting lost in the woods with her dog, Beatrice.