Busboys & Poets Open Mic | Photo Credit: Chad Jimenez
Busboys & Poets Open Mic | Photo Credit: Chad Jimenez

Visitors and Washington, DC locals gathered Friday night to listen to others showcase their talents. Singers, poets, actors and performers stood on the Busboys & Poets stage during LIVE! from Busboys Talent Showcase Open Mic hosted by Beny Blaq.

The event, which started at 11 p.m., included poets who reflected on their experiences in life, singers and an actress who shared an excerpt from the U.S. premier of “The Interference,” a play which discusses the reality of sexual assault.

Sarah Barney played the Reporter in “The Interference” both abroad in Scotland and at Pepperdine University in California. Barney performed a monologue from the play by Linda Radley that Pepperdine’s theatre department commissioned and premiered at the Edinburge Fringe Festival last summer.

Barney said that the reporter’s speech is a piece she has been working with for over a year from a role she got to originate and feels very passionate and connected to the text.

“Being onstage was incredibly energizing. The room was really supportive and excited about making art and encouraging those that got onstage,” Barney said. “That kind of atmosphere is a dream for any kind of artist. I felt empowered that I got to use performance as a medium for addressing an issue I feel very passionate about.”

Barney said she wasn’t expecting to get onstage that night but the openness and bravery of the other performs reminded her how powerful and exciting art is as an outlet. She said she would love to come back to another open mic night and would love to bring back something different or original.

Busboy’s and Poets holds many events throughout the week at all of their seven locations. Some events include Author Events, Slam Poetry and Youth Open Mic.

Tickets are 5 dollars and can be bought online at midnight the day before or at the restaurant starting at 10 a.m.