As luck would have it, our Friday night plans did not conflict. The film we wanted to see at the KC Film Festival started at 5:15 and finished just in time for us to make it to the 7:00 reading at The Writers Place. What fortune.
The film is called "Crude Independence" one of our co-workers is related to the producer and told us about the film. It's about a small town - Stanley, North Dakota - that had been a long-standing, struggling but happy farming community until recently, when the area was the site of the largest oil find in North American history, and thus the site of many tenuous changes. The film was very smartly crafted and the story was tellingly unrolled. (See this for an interesting review.) It is deserving of a release beyond festivals.
While the credits were running for "Crude Independence," we hustled out of the theater - the Power and Light District's fabulous new AMC Mainstreet theatre, which doesn't officially open for another week but which I've been to twice already - and we hustled to midtown to The Writers Place to hear John Peterson, a writer at Hallmark, and Pat Daneman, a creative director at Hallmark, read their incredible, moving work. I do love to hear people read their work at The Writers Place. And I particularly enjoy it when it's people I know.
After the readings, there was mingling over refreshments (John had even made hummus and tapenade - as if writing and reading poetry weren't enough for one evening) and several of us were chitchatting about talented people at Hallmark. Pat said she had to muster up courage to come to work each day and work with such brilliant geniuses. Which I thought was a funny thing for her to say since I think she is one of them and it is I who feels daunted (but pleased) at the thought of having such talented co-workers.