SmartTalk is a fantastic series of conversations featuring strong women ranging from celebrities to politicians to your neighbor who has overcome extreme obstacles and risen to the top. Last season I was invited to cover the series held at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ, and was given an all-access VIP pass that gave me the opportunity to see behind the scenes. You can read the recaps of last season’s series here.
The State Theater is host to the local series, and last season had author/playwright Nora Ephron, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran (above), explorer/professor Allison Levine, author/humanitarian Liz Murray, and actress/playwright/professor Anna Devere Smith as headliners. This was a wonderful mix of determined women, who all had the most fascinating stories to tell on stage, and were even more charismatic backstage. It was amazing to meet them in the Green Room for an after-performance reception.
I found out in the Green Room that Nora Ephron loves to cook, and we had a conversation about a 7-course French dinner party I had just hosted. I told Barbara Corcoran how inspirational this series would be for young women in urban areas, and a collaboration started on funding tickets for some. Allison Levine mentioned how amazing the next speaker is, and I passed that on to Liz Murray who was deeply touched by her words. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for Anna Devere Smith’s after performance gathering, but was able to stop by to say hello. These moments were so amazing that I’m still talking about them.
The line-up for next season has just been announced. From left to right, primologist Jane Goodall, political analyst Donna Brazile, author Frances Mayes, Olympian gymnast Cathy Rigby, and actress Sigourney Weaver will surely motivate you to live up to your potential. And just so you know, last season there were a few men in the audience who felt equally inspired. A friend of mine brought her husband, and they both can’t wait for the upcoming season. This series will open your world to new possibilities.
Tickets are on sale starting October 18th to those without a subscription! You can get them one of three ways. Visit the State Theatre in New Brunswick, call (732) 246-7469 or purchase them online at SmartTalk. Series ticket prices start at $99.00.
Last season VIP tickets were sold to get the best seats and a backstage pass after the performance to meet and greet the speakers. This year it’s no longer possible, but keep reading Princeton Found for a chance to win VIP tickets for two!
All photos for the 2011 series were provided by Kim Schmidt Photography.