Meet the 2017 TEDxZumbroRiver Presenters: Doug Scholz-Carlson

Doug Scholz-Carlson

Doug Scholz-Carlson is Artistic Director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival where he has directed productions including As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Cymbeline, and played more than 20 roles including Henry in King Henry V, Feste in Twelfth Night, and Guildenstern in Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern are Dead. Recent directing credits include The Liar at Park Square Theatre, La Fanciulla del West for Minnesota Opera, Romeo et Juliette for Madison Opera and Austin Opera, The Barber of Seville for Madison Opera, and Lucia di Lammermoor for Portland Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Austin Opera.

Also known as a fight choreographer, Doug’s fights have appeared in productions at theaters including New York City Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Utah Opera, The Guthrie Theater, The Children’s Theater Company, Opera Montreal, Michigan Opera Theater, Park Square Theatre, Minnesota Opera, and the Seattle Police Department, and were featured in the world premiers of the operas, The Grapes of Wrath and Silent Night which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013.

As an actor, Doug has performed at theaters including The Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theater Company, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Jungle Theater, Chanhassen Theaters and the Seattle Repertory Theater.

Doug is a graduate of St. Olaf College and holds an MFA from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington.

Asked a few interview questions about his experience with the 2017 TEDxZumbroRiver, he had this to say:

Why did you want to be a TEDxZumbroRiver speaker?

This is a great venue to communicate fresh ideas to people who are open to hearing them and open to change. We talk about the value of art in our lives all the time, but what does that really mean? I’d like to get people thinking about the way art affects us and causes us to think differently. Experiencing art is part of what makes us human. To understand why, we need to go in depth with a single artistic experience. I am looking at a sonnet by Shakespeare which is perfect for a 10-minute look at how art can cause us to think differently.

Describe your TEDx talk in three words.

Art opens minds.

What do you hope the audience walks away with from your TEDx talk?

That we are not trapped in a style of communication where we simply hurl entrenched beliefs at each other. It is possible to talk and to listen in a way that admits the possibility of change. We can discover each other’s humanity rather than discover more reasons to stay in our own camp. Experiencing a great work of art, like a poem by Shakespeare, can become a part of how we learn to be fully present with each other.

What are you most looking forward to as a presenter at TEDxZumbroRiver?

The conversations after. It was such an engaging group of attendees and presenters last year. I can’t wait to see where the conversation leads after we’ve all presented.

Listen to Doug’s entire presentation at the 2017 TEDxZumbroRiver event on May 18, 2017, at Autumn Ridge Church. Buy your ticket and secure your spot today!