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Valentine's gets dirty at Linda's with sold-out erotic fiction reading

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Emma Scaggs performing at Live Reading of Erotic Fiction at Linda's Downbar

The LAB! Theatre is celebrating Valentine’s Day in a different and dirty way. On Thursday, it will be hosting live readings of erotic fiction at Linda’s Bar & Grill. Performances will feature original works, fanfiction found online and excerpts from erotica novels, all complete with character impressions.

Last year, sophomore Evan Krell read a piece of fanfiction that featured Elmer Fudd. He will be performing again this year, this time with something he wrote.

Krell said he wants his reading to be a surprise. All he would say about it is that it’s a crossover between Star Wars and Marvel, and it will definitely include impressions.

The audience gets really into it and is very supportive of the performers, Krell said. He said it’s great all around because the audience and the performers are all just there to have fun.

Samantha Yancey, executive director of LAB!, said one of the most memorable performances last year was an original piece about Alvin and the Chipmunks and Goofy.

The event is a fan favorite, Yancey said, and accessible to everyone because it’s the kind of thing everyone finds funny. Last year, the event was ticketed for the first time and sold out very quickly. It is sold out again this year.

Yancey said the event is a good break from more serious main stage pieces for LAB!, and from the busy life of Chapel Hill for both the actors and the audience.

Despite the subject matter, Yancey said it’s never awkward because it’s just so funny. She said it’s the kind of event you can’t take too seriously.

“It’s exactly what it sounds like — it's live readings of erotic fiction, and you can’t really have too many other expectations,” Yancey said. “But also just be ready to just embrace that and to have a lot of fun with it because it’s not some sort of weird gross thing, talking about all that in public. It’s just kind of embracing this weird fanfiction sexuality.”

Emma Scaggs, production manager of LAB!, was responsible for reading through this year’s submissions to make sure all of the content was consensual and all characters were of age. She said they were lucky this year and did not have to turn anyone away.

“It is an incredible experience,” Scaggs said. “It’s a great date, a great first date, but a great date for anyone. It’s just a rowdy time. It’s just good, not wholesome fun.”

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