Remembering Reading at “The Art Of Being Human”

by Chee Brossy, Jamie Figueroa, and Paige Buffington

Five hours of rehearsal led to one hour of performance entitled “The Art of Being Human” at the Lensic Theater on Nov. 1. Representing the creative writing department, the three of us””Jamie Figueroa, Chee Brossy and Paige Buffington””read for a total of eight and a half minutes.

Each of the three pieces was from the first-person perspective; one nonfiction piece, one poem, and one flash short story. In order of performance, “The Consumption of Body” by Jamie, “Crawl Space” by Chee, and “Radio” by Paige.

“The Consumption of Body,” a story about hunger came to Jamie last spring in Creative Nonfiction III; “Crawl Space,” a re-imagining of the reservation from New York City, emanated from a Spring poetry class; this fall, “Radio” came to Paige over the airwaves in Flash Fiction. It tells the story of young girls witnessing their grandmother’s aging over a length of time. All of the pieces picked focused on human connection and the variety of human experience.

For some reason, we remember the fake rock they used as a prop very well. The rock was convincing. Before the show, we took turns picking up what should have been a 500 pound stone, solo. This, in addition to the screen, provided the only scenery onstage.

We were told to wear black, and Chee was the most nervous. All of us have read at different venues, but tonight was different because this was the first event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Institute of American Indian Arts, and we were representing a history of Native writers at IAIA.

Paige calls her experience reading “thrilling,” and would love to do it all over again. “I was honored to be among the three readers,” says Chee, “especially because of all the talent in our department.”

In her last year at IAIA””she graduates this spring””Jamie cherished her moments on stage reading in front of fellow students and faculty and IAIA benefactors (and Gary Farmer). “It was terrific,” says Jamie.

What’s next? More writing!




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