The 2009 Masters of Fiction Coffeehouse
A Personal Viewpoint
August 9, 2009

On February 12, 2009, Town & Gown had its first Masters of Fiction Coffeehouse. The four winning stories from the February issue were read at the Schlow Centre Region Library, State College.

The stories were by Elaine Williams, Steve Deutsch, DG Fisher, and me.

The readers were Cynthia Berger, Tony Lentz, Theresa Patrick, and Charles Dumas - all professionals. And what an incredible difference it made having a professioanl actor-reader present a story. Each story became alive, transformed from printed words to visible action.

My story, "The Restaurant of Dr. Morgan," was read by Charles Dumas, who is an associate professor in the School of Theater, at Penn State, as well as a director, actor, and writer.

Charles Dumas
  I was impressed not only by his clear reading but also by his ability to give each character a unique voice (and fortunately or unfortunaely I provided a wide range of characters).
Charles Dumas and Chet Gottfried
  The audience responded to Charles's reading with applause and laughter (hey! it was a comic murder mystery and laughter was highly desired).

After the reading, a number of people came for autographs, which I didn't anticipate but was happy to provide. (Charles and I exchanged mutual autographs.)

Chet Gottfried, a happy person, and Theresa Patrick
  Theresa Patrick (on the right), one of the readers, wasn't content with simply reading but also used props to highlight DG Fisher's "Pondered."

David Peneck, the editorial director of Town & Gown, was the master of ceremonies to a great evening (made better with snacks and coffee - a very civilized way to have any reading).

Photo note: I don't know who took these photos, so I hope it's okay using them here. If I can find out the photographer, I'll certainly give credit.

My bibliography

Look Out!   |   Chet Gottfried