“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” reads the second sentence of Robert Mueller’s two-volume, 448-page “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” The information should surprise few. Mueller’s exact language and findings, though, are still new to many. The report has spent months atop the New York Times best seller list, but according to a CNN poll in May, three percent of Americans had read the whole thing, a number which CNN’s commentator called optimistic. Even some politicians admit they haven't dug in.
Now, for a little assist, and to return some attention to the document before Mueller testifies before Congress on July 24, Town Hall Seattle stages a 24-hour live reading this weekend. Just under 100 readers, local theater people and students, along with singers such as Gretta Harley, will join in—uttering every word, footnote, and redaction. They’ll start at 8pm on Friday, July 19 and go until 8pm on Saturday, July 20. You can also catch the livestream here.
You may come and go as you like. The event is free, but Town Hall is accepting donations to cover production costs; all revenue beyond that goes to the local chapter of the ACLU. Afterwards, Town Hall’s bar will be open for a little party, since presumably after 24 hours of hearing about the fundaments of our democracy being undermined, you’ll want a drink.
The reading is the brain child of three local theater people—Carl Sander, Sarah Harlett, and Brian Faker. Reading the report live has become a sort of tradition. Vice did it. Some New York theater companies did it. Then, late last month, actors like Annette Bening, John Lithgow, and Kevin Kline gathered for a decidedly weird dramatic reading. Seattle’s iteration will be firmly like the former, Faker says, “very straightforward, serious as a heart attack.”
Does he think anyone will actually sit through the whole 24 hours?
“No. I mean, obviously I dream of the one perverse person who I will see there at eight o'clock the next night, in [their] sleeping bag.”
The Mueller Report Live
July 19 & 20, Town Hall Seattle, Free