Entertainment

Reporting from ED: Impromptu show during power outage

Posted by: Emily McManus

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As Session 9 was due to start at 2pm, everyone in their seats — boom: power outage! We had house lights but no stage lights, no sound, no mics, no slides. While the crew from the Oxford Playhouse and PSP found the source of the trouble and started everything back up, host Bruno Giussani curated an a cappella salon. Above, opera singer Genevieve Thiers fills the room, no microphone required, with a glorious “Sound of Music.” (The TED Blog was watching from the far back balcony, getting goosebumps.)

Next up, Maz Jobrani hopped back up onstage with a portable amp to do a short set. Looking around him at the dark stage, he said, “Whoa. For a minute, we didn’t have any technology here. We were just … ED.”

As he wrapped his set (riffing on the brain, baldness and multicultural babies), the lights started popping back on onstage; it was clear the problem was minutes from being solved. To close this session of ED, TED Fellow Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo came up to share one beautiful poem, her mother’s favorite. It was a chill-inducing moment that brought this impromptu mini-session to a close:

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Photos: TED / James Duncan Davidson