Every night, after the Under The Radar shows finish, participants and audiences have been gathering up in the Luesther Lounge on the third floor of the Public Theater. Normally a rehearsal hall and sometimes a theatre, the Luesther has been transformed into a nightclub/salon where discussions continue into the wee hours of the morning (well, until 1:00 when folks get turned out by the building staff).
It's one of the best parts of the Festival, with seating and tables thrown together by whatever prop-storage had on hand and a bar in the corner tended by folks from the Pub. Mark Russell, the Festival's artistic director, dressed in black with ponytail back, wanders from table to table, smiling and talking, shaking hands and introducing folks like the generous host he is.
Last night, I sat down on the floor to draw and fielded questions from a curious young woman who wandered by to look over my shoulder ("Why don't you draw the bar from a different angle? Why are you drawing at all? Do you think you glorify your subjects when you draw them? Are you making things better than they are? Can I see that other one? Is that ink or paint? Can I introduce you to my friend? Do you think things really look like that?") as Reggie Watts performed an impromptu set from the makeshift stage.
"Is he on the internet?" the young woman asked. "Yes," I replied, "everyone is on the internet . . . "