Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

At the Crossroads

I was at George Washington University in Washington, DC, last night to see a performance of “The Crossroads,” written by L. Ron Hubbard. (GW is L. Ron’s alma mater.)

The Crossroads was first published in Unknown Magazine in 1941. I mention this because I thought I was going to see a play…and what I experienced was more like a radio show: five actors standing in front of microphones, reading from dense text.

John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, and last night’s MC, introduced The Crossroads by telling the audience the performance would be “a very unique experience.”

I agree.

All the actors gave superb performances, but John Mariano, in the roll of Eban, kept me on the edge of my seat. Mariano has acted in The Sopranos, West Wing and ER, but I’m more familiar with his work on Steven Spielberg’s: The Animaniacs. (Sadly, I realize in afterthought, what that statement must infer about my television habits…)

And I have to mention that listening to Dion Graham, in the roll of Narrator, was just as exciting. He owns quite a mellifluous voice…

Prior to the performance we were treated with a biography of L. Ron Hubbard by Gunhild Jacobs, Senior Vice President of Author Services, Inc., and an interesting view of L. Ron Hubbard’s life on the GW Campus by the Campus Archivist, G. David Anderson. Anderson put together quite a few fascinating tidbits from the GW archives. My favorite was a poignant exchange between L. Ron and a former professor.

The event began with hors d’oeuvres and concluded with dessert, and all attendees received the gift of an L. Ron Hubbard reprint and some other goodies. (An obvious marketing ploy, as Galaxy Press is busy reprinting all of L. Ron’s “Golden Age” stories.)

In all, it was classy and fun – if a bit disorganized. (Speakers rehearsed until a few moments after the performance was to begin; my name was not found on the attendance list, despite RSVP’ing; and, other writers I know who live in the area were not invited. Still, these are minor, and didn’t detract from the show.)

It would have been nice to have the event coupled with the Writer’s of the Future Contest (since this year is the 25th Anniversary of the contest)…and Galaxy Press and Author’s Services, Inc. are closely related. It’s not often an opportunity presents itself to publicize the contest on the East Coast. I would have loved to pick the brains of some of the judges.

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