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Virtually Burbank: Creativity in the Digital Landscape

August 7, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm



Join us for a panel discussion on the nuts & bolts of creating and sharing your creative work online. This will be the first in our new monthly “Virtually Burbank” series, focused on connecting artists and community during these unprecedented times. 

Panelists to include: 


  • Tom Pease – Composer, Choral Director for VocArte Voices, Photographer

Tom Pease, a native of Burbank California, received both his BM and MM from USC in music composition. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he taught secondary choral music, most recently at Taft High School. Under his direction, Taft’s Vocal Ensemble earned 17 straight superior ratings. As the Visual and Performing Arts chairperson, he helped Taft become a GRAMMY signature school, oversaw all arts programs at the school, and wrote and coordinated the distribution of several grants.

In addition to teaching choral music, Mr. Pease taught orchestra, music history, AP music theory, guitar, and drama. While teaching at Taft he was also the Lead Teacher (12 years), a School Site Council member and chairperson, Technology Coordinator, chairperson for Taft’s WASC Accreditation visit, and a writer for the school’s Single Plans for Student Achievement.

While a teacher, Mr. Pease wrote three musicals, dozens of student video scores, choral and orchestral compositions, band arrangements, and a ballet. Mr. Pease has recently retired to devote himself to composition. His most recent compositions include works for the Italian piano duo, Biondibrunialti (2Play), the Los Cuatro Amigos Sax Quartet (Return to Serenity), the Burbank Children’s Theater company (The Three Sillies), the Alias Brass Company (Gabrieli Dreams), and the Burbank Chamber Society (Generation #1). He also conducts the chamber vocal ensemble, Vocarte Voices, and is a photographer specializing in live performance photography.


  • Marya Sea Kaminski – Artistic Director, Pittsburgh Public Theater

Mayra is honored to co-lead Pittsburgh Public Theater with Managing Director Lou Castelli. She came to Pittsburgh after four years as the Associate Artistic Director at Seattle Repertory Theatre. One of the highlights of her tenure there was spearheading a collaboration with New York’s Public Theater and Dallas Theatre Center to create Public Works Seattle. This initiative was based on long-term, authentic partnerships between regional theaters and local non-profits and designed to make theater of, by, and for the people. Earlier in her career, Marya co-founded the Washington Ensemble Theatre and served as Co-Artistic Director there for five years, leading season planning and new play development. She has worked as a director, writer, producer and actor and is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Actors’ Equity Association, and the Society of Authors and Dramatic Composers. Marya has taught and lectured on Theater at Hollins University, the University of Washington, and at Cornish College of the Arts, where she was awarded the Drama Department’s Award for Teaching Excellence. She has also been honored with the Genius Award in Theater from the Seattle newsweekly, The Stranger, and has been recognized as an Artist of the Year by Seattle Magazine. Marya holds a BA in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Washington’s School of Drama.


  • Suzanne Weerts – Writer/storyteller, Artistic Director for JAM Creative

JAM Creative founder and producing artistic director Suzanne Weerts is a former television marketing executive turned arts education advocate. She has shared her own stories on stages across Southern California including Expressing Motherhood, Story Salon, WordNOW!10×10Flappers Comedy Hour andStorytime, and her writing has been published in The Sun MagazineGood Old Days and on Grown & FlownRedTricycle and Mamalode.  She co-directed two seasons of Listen To Your Mother Burbank and has produced her own shows, Diversity: Stories of Connection in an Urban JungleMomnipresent, Manecdotes and Stories from the HeART, raising over $25,000 for local charities. Suzanne has served as speaker coach for TEDxPasadenaWomen, a mentor for Young Storytellers and is currently a member of the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission and sits on the Board of Directors for the Burbank Arts For All Foundation.


  • Eric Conner – Instructor/Podcast Writer & Host, New York Film Academy

Eric is a producer on the feature length documentary Aswat Acherim, centered on unlikely friendships across the Israel / Gaza border.

At New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, Eric has served as the Dean of Students and Chair of the Screenwriting Department. He is currently Zooming as a graduate and undergrad writing instructor while hosting and writing The Backlot podcast available on iTunes. Eric has also taught for StarCoach (in China), the Animation Guild, the Writer’s Store and the Young Storytellers.

Eric’s first solo feature screenplay Just Enough won a Sloan Scholarship while his short Tito Stern was a finalist for the first (and last) Howard Stern Film Festival. Other writing credits include The Mysteries w/ Robert Gardner and an adaptation of the NY Times bestselling young-adult series Vampire Kisses w/ Chad Rocco. They also developed a project based on Knotts Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt and a book about the lows and lowers of aging ungracefully.

Eric serves on the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission, the board of Burbank Temple Emanu El and lives near a Taco Bell with his wife Lauren, sons Alex and Judah & Fezzik, who might be a dog.


  • Lauren Zaslansky Conner – COO & Co-Founder, GatheringUS


Friday, August 7th  @  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Zoom Meeting ID: 949 6892 1354 / Telephone (audio only) +1 669 900 6833






August 7, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Burbank Arts