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October 9, 2022: Down and Out in the Glenn Massey Theater

The Glenn Massey theater is located on the Mat-Su College campus. It’s really a performing arts center. I was dismayed when I heard it was being built because it was to be built in a wooded area.

As it turned out, the architect and builders could not have done a better job in envisioning and then constructing this building. I most like the front area, which is surrounded by large glass windows. It’s a sunny area, bright and cheery.

Today my friend Becky and I did a road trip to the college. She’d heard that there was to be a reading and suggested that we check it out. On the way there, it was cold and rainy. We’d also planned on doing a hike in the woods after the performance, but of course this was weather permitting.

Alys and Raudi

We sat in the back portion of the theatre. There were three readers. Beforehand, a fellow ran a push broom along the auditorium stage. This was the high point of the afternoon performance. I’m not sure that Becky thought so – she had her nose buried in a stack of books that I’d set aside for her.

The three readers climbed up onto the stage. They consisted of Ivor, who is a new English Department hire at the college, and two willowy, long haired women who I think were in their thirties.

Ivor stood and read from his work. The other two readers remained sitting.

All had microphones. I can’t tell you anything about their work. I learned the other day that I have a perforated eardrum, and so I was not able to pick up on what they were reading. I know, I know, I should have been wearing my hearing aids. I just presumed that the sound system would accommodate the likes of me.

I did catch the credentials of the final reader. Very impressive, having done residencies at Yadoo and the McDowell Colony, and having gotten a Rasmuson grant. This seemed to have given her permission to read the longest.

I couldn’t help but think that had I been hired at the college, 20 years ago, that I might at one time or another organized and participated in readings. This made me feel quite despondent.

After they all read, they had a question and answer session. The audience consisted of nine listeners, pretty good for a rainy day. The readers took a question as if it were a bone, and all gnawed on it for some time. Then they passed the bone around and gnawed upon it again. On and on they went, taking advantage of their moment under the lights.

It's a given, that most writers have very big egos. As to why this is, remains a mystery to me. In this instance, the three should have been content to let their work speak for itself rather than speak for their work.

On the way home it began to snow. The snow was mixed with rain, adding to both Becky and my gloomy attitudes.

Pete made me feel better, saying that perhaps sometime I might do a reading at Turkey Red, which is a better venue for such things. Maybe I’ll do this when the bicycling anthology comes out.

Next: 278. 10/10/22: Winter

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