Wheeling’s first slam poetry show was a sensational success. From the seven poets that performed to the magic that happened at open mic, it was over two hours of spoken word wonder. Attracting all ages, poets in middle school made their mark, high school students showed off their skills, and adult artists emerged to create a traveling troupe. These exciting new endeavors took a local labyrinth to take off, though.
The director of the Towngate Theatre saw me perform at an open mic and offered me a headlining show. I’ve learned a lot about privilege and the benefits that begets me, so I wanted to include all kinds of stars and styles, backgrounds and beliefs, themes and theologies, races and realities, marginalized minorities, artists of all ages, to bring the best local talent to the table. Many people set me on different paths to the performance. I reach out to Jermaine, who recommended Ron, who gave me seven more suggestions.
Continuing the mad maze, Chermayne and Claudell committed, I brought in three teens – Jordan, April, and Gabrielle – that have amazing talent, asked an artistic college acquaintance, Lacey, to join in, let a local musician on the lineup, and finally the show came to fruition. One of the teens happened to have an in with an internship, and so Glynis came to record the show, possibly for a podcast. The first hour of the show is available on Soundcloud now. Unedited, you can hear the energy and imperfections, blessings and blemishes, glitches and glories, weakness and wonder, the flaws that come with a first show, but also the fine points that got us a set series. Lucky to have the local labyrinth, and still looking for others within it, the next slam show will be Saturday April 9th at 8 P.M. at the Towngate Theatre.