We’re ending our 2019 season where we began – at the famed Dakota apartments in New York! Presenting Christine S. O’Brien, whose memoir CRAVE details the hunger masked by the Dakota’s luxurious setting, and Sacramento memoirist Jen Palmares Meadows with some gambling, cooking, and card-playing.

October 2019 writers

 

We’ve come full circle! In January 2019 we opened with Tom Barbash’s acclaimed novel The Dakota Winters. This month, we’re back at The Dakota, with Christine S. O’Brien’s secretly dysfunctional family, Lauren Bacall, and meals consisting of blended salads and a handful of almonds, leaving Christine and her brothers exceedingly hungry. Also featuring Jen Palmares Meadows and a reading from her memoir-in-progress, Betting on Brown.

 

Friday, October 25

At the Auditorium at CLARA, 1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

A $10 donation is suggested

Readings by Kelley Ogden and Justine Lopez

 

about Christine S. O’Brien

Christine O'BrienChristine O’Brien’s memoir, CRAVE, A Memoir of Food and Longing, was hailed as a “page turner” by Booklist and “a 20th Century fairytale” by The New York Times. The daughter of Academy Award-, Emmy Award-, and Golden Globe-winning movie and television producer Edgar J. Scherick, Christine grew up in New York City and Beverly Hills, and has been writing since she was nine years old.  She’s  the host of the podcast, Good Morning Writing!, and her lyrical essays and short stories have appeared in The Seneca Review and The Slush Pile Magazine, among other publications. She has taught memoir writing at The Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA and was the nonfiction workshop teacher at the Leopardi Writer’s Conference in Recanati, Italy in July 2019.  She lives in the Bay area with her husband and two children and teaches at St. Mary’s College

about Jen Palmares Meadows

Jen Palmares Meadows smallJen Palmares Meadows’ essays have appeared in Literary Hub, The Rumpus, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Denver Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She is a 2018 Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony Fellow, and a recipient of a 2019 Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant. A Sacramento writer, she earned a M.A. in Creative Writing from California State University Sacramento and is currently completing Betting On Brown, an experimental coming-of-age gambling memoir, mixing lyrical prose with card games, recipes, and reportage

About our readers

Kelley Ogden

Kelley Ogden 2 smallA frequent reader at Stories on Stage Sacramento, Kelley Ogden is an actress, writer, director and producer, who was most recently seen onstage in the Capital Stage productions of Between Riverside and Crazy and Sweat. In addition to working with Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theatre Works and Theater Galatea, Ogden co-founded KOLT Run Creations, a local fringe theater company. She earned a BFA in performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago. She will read an excerpt from Christine S. O’Brien’s CRAVE, A Memoir of Food and Longing.

Justine Lopez

Justine Lopez Headshot small

Justine Lopez is a Filipino-American actor, comedian, and teacher, born and raised in Sacramento, CA. She studied theatre arts at Cosumnes River College where her  acting credits included This is Not What I Ordered, The Chisera, and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. After college she discovered improv comedy. She has studied and performed at ComedySportz Sacramento and Sacramento Comedy Spot, where she now instructs Improv 101 and leads workshops around the Sacramento area. At the Sacramento Comedy Spot she performs in improv troupes such as Lady Business, Anti-Cooperation League, Masters of Rap Improv, and Improv Jazz. During the day, Justine teaches improv as an after-school program at John F. Kennedy High School.   

 

About Stories on Stage Sacramento

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based organization, of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors, to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.

Our 2018 season featured the writers Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26. In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

in 2019, we welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma Shields,  Janet Fitch,  Maggie Shen King and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker,  Fred D’Aguiar, Simeon Mills,  Christine O’Brien., and Jen Alandy Trahan. And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. Plus outstanding work by local writers, and of course the famous Stories on Stage cookies!

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Coming September 27 – more electrifying prose and crackling theatre!

Stories on Stage Sacramento is proud to present our annual showcase of

THE LOS RIOS WRITERS

Featuring outstanding work from the literary journals and creative writing classes of The Los Rios Community Colleges

with

Michelle Padilla, Alma Rocio Peguero,

Seth Katz and Andrey Shamshurin

Los Rios 2019 collage

Readings by Katherine Bahena-Benitez and Eric Baldwin

At the Auditorium at CLARA, 1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7PM – readings begin at 7:30

A $10 donation is suggested – $5 for students.

 

about our featured writers

Michelle Alejandra Padilla

Michelle Padilla small

Michelle currently attends Sacramento City College. At nineteen, she’s a first generation college student. Her writing focuses on the Latina experience in the U.S. and is now being recognized by Stories on Stage Sacramento in her first flash fiction piece entitled “Eva.” She hopes that through her writing she can help young women find the strength to break the traditional values that keep them oppressed, as well as heal from trans-generational trauma.

Alma Rocio Peguero  

Alma Rocio Peguero smallestAlma is an English major at Sacramento City College and delighted to have her short story, “Oil Smudged Spectacles,” selected to be read at Stories on Stage Sacramento.  Creative writing has always been her emotional outlet. “I’ve learned a lot through the written word and hope to share and create the same effect with others

 

 

 

Seth Katz

Seth Katz smallSeth was born and raised in Sacramento, then went back east for college. He lives in New York and holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where he works as an admission officer. He is an occasional film critic and is currently at work on a novel. He thanks editor Alison Hinton for including his short story “The Present Progressive” in the machine, the literary magazine of Folsom Lake Community College

 

Andrey Shamshurin  

Andrey Shamshurin smallAndrey is a former Editor-in-Chief of American River Review. A former resident of Antelope, CA,  he’s  currently serving  in the Peace Corps  in Thailand. His short story, “The Prophet of Taco Bell,” appears in the 2019 American River Review

 

 

 

About our readers

Katherine Bahena-Benitez

Katherine Benitez smallKatherine Bahena-Benitez is a graduating senior at Sacramento State Department of Theatre and Dance. During their time at CSUS, they’ve been part of the following productions: In The Time of the Butterflies  as Young Dede, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter and the Starcatcher,  and In The Heights as Abuela Claudia. Katherine has also participated in the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, playing the role of Eugenie in The Count of Monte Cristo and Antonio in Twelfth Night. They have worked with Teatro Espejo, a Sacramento Latinx/Chicanx Theatre company, for the past three years, appearing in Electricidad as Ifigenia and Enfrascada as Cat/Marta/Karina. Katherine’s interest for the arts reaches across all areas as they currently advocate for LGBTQ+ people of color through spoken word performance.

Eric Baldwin

Eric Baldwin smallEric has performed all across the United States and Europe.  Sacramento theatregoers have seen him most recently at Capital Stage and KOLT Run productions, in roles as diverse as Henry V, Macbeth, Biff in Death of a Salesman, Prospero, Shylock, Pale in Burn This and Barry Champlain in Talk Radio. He was Artistic Director of the Quantum Theatre Company in Los Angeles and the founder of Resurrection Theatre here in Sacramento.

 

About Stories on Stage Sacramento

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based organization, of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors, to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.

Our 2018 season featured the writers Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26. In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

in 2019, we welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma Shields,  Janet Fitch,  Maggie Shen King and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker,  Fred D’Aguiar, Simeon Mills,  Christine O’Brien., and Jen Alandy Trahan. And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. Plus outstanding work by local writers, and of course the famous Stories on Stage cookies!

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This month at Stories on Stage Sacramento – Jenn Alandy Trahan and Diane Kallas. Never heard of them? You will!

Stories on Stage Sacramento loves “emerging” writers—writers either on the cusp of a brilliant career, or local writers who have been quietly dazzling us for years. This month, we present two such authors – Jenn Alandy Trahan and Diane Kallas. Jenn’s a Stegner Fellow and Vallejo native: Diane’s a teacher and a longtime Davis resident. Their stories are: “They Told Us Not To Say This,” by Jenn Alendy Trahan, and “Spud, “by Diane Kallas. These tales are compelling, stunning, luminous—truly in the spirit of our motto – “electrifying prose, crackling theatre.”  

Friday, August 30

At the Auditorium at CLARA, 1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

A $10 donation is suggested

Readings by Ruby Sketchley and Krystle Piamonte

 

about Jenn Alandy Trahan

Jenn Alandy Trahan small

Jenn Alandy Trahan is a Filipino-American writer, born in Houston, Texas and raised in Vallejo, California. The first in her family to go to college, she graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in English, and earned her MA in English and MFA in Fiction from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She’s a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford, where she was a 2016-2018 Stegner Fellow. A winner of the Robert Olen Butler Short Fiction Prize, her work can also be found in Permafrost, and Blue Mesa Review. “They Told Us Not To Say This” was first published in Harper’s, in September 2018, and was selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 2019, to be published in October 2019. She lives in Los Altos with her husband and toddler

about Diane Kallas

Diane Kallas smallDiane Kallas lives at Muir Commons CoHousing Community in Davis where she has learned to cook meals for 70 people and how to weed an orchard. She could be writing a collection of short stories where every one begins with “I can’t believe what happened to my neighbor this week,” but instead she spends her time nursing several aged cats, and working as a hospital-to-home teacher for critically ill K-12 students. A former technical writer and amateur upholsterer, she has a Master’s degree in Literature and a Juris Doctor, neither of which have really led to steady employment.  She has been published in Caketrain and the Boston Literary Magazine, and has had a flash piece read at Stories on Stage Sacramento. 

About our readers

Krystle Piamonte

Krystle Piamonte smallKrystle will be reading “They Told Us Not To Say This” by Jenn Alandy Trahan. A Bay-area based stage and screen actor, Krystle’s theatre credits include productions with SF Playhouse, Z Space, Ferocious Lotus, and Bindlestiff Studio. Her screen credits include When We Rise, Sense8, Sorry to Bother You, Bound 4 Heaven, and commercials for Honda, Turo, and SF Giants. She’s an alumna of the CSUS Theatre and Dance program, and the former Assistant Director and Resident Choreographer of Sinag-tala Filipino Theater & Performing Arts Association. Proud new member of Actor’s Equity Association. There’s more about Krystle at www.krystlepiamonte.com

Ruby Sketchley

Ruby Sketchley 2018Returning to Stories on Stage Sacramento to read Diane Kallas’ “Spud” is Sacramento actor Ruby Sketchley.  She’s familiar to Sacramento theatergoers for her appear;ances at  Sacramento Theatre Company, Capital Stage, Big Idea Theatre, KOLT, and MSTW. She’s also performed as an 1850’s tour guide in Old Sacramento. Ruby is a former company member of Big Idea Theatre and a former board member of the Capital Film Arts Alliance. She and her husband own Tiny Octopus Productions, which produced the award winning documentary In The Parlor

 

About Stories on Stage Sacramento

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based organization, of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors, to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.

Our 2018 season featured the writers Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26. In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

in 2019, we welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma Shields,  Janet Fitch,  Maggie Shen King and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker,  Fred D’Aguiar, Simeon Mills,  Christine O’Brien., and Jen Alandy Trahan. And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. Plus outstanding work by local writers, and of course the famous Stories on Stage cookies!

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On Friday, July 26, you’re invited to a Russian-themed gala featuring Janet Fitch, celebrating the launch of her new novel, “Chimes of a Lost Cathedral.”

We’re thrilled to join with the Community of Writers for this very special event.

Presenting New York Times bestselling author of  White OleanderThe Revolution of Marina M. and now, Chimes of a Lost Cathedral Janet Fitch

in conversation with Beth Ruyak of Cap Radio’s “Insight”
with selections from the novel read by Carissa Meagher

Friday, July 26, 2019 at the auditorium at CLARA

1425 24th Street,  7PM  – 9PM

Advance Tickets: 
$30 / $15 Student / $40 premium seating
Adult ticket price includes souvenir shot glass
Purchase Tickets Here

 Join us as we celebrate the release of the second volume of Janet Fitch’s sweeping saga of a young woman’s coming of age during the Russian Revolution. Proceeds from the event will benefit both the Community of Writers and Stories on Stage Sacramento.

Your ticket price includes the conversation with the author, dramatic readings, Russian-themed food, iced vodka in a commemorative shot glass, and musical entertainment by the acoustic band Beaucoup Chapeaux performing Eastern European and Balkan traditional folk songs.
 

Book Sales & Signing

This event is bought to you by the Community of Writers, the oldest writer’s workshop in the West, and Stories on Stage Sacramento

 

about Janet Fitch

Janet Fitch, author and teacher,  is the author of the #1 national bestseller White Oleander, a novel translated into 24 languages, an Oprah Book Club book and the basis of a feature film:  Paint It Black, also widely translated and made into a 2017 film, and an epic novel of the Russian Revolution in two volumes, The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral

Additionally, she has written a young adult novel, Kicks, short stories, essays, articles, and reviews, contributed to anthologies and regularly teaches at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She taught creative writing for 14 years in the USC Master of Professional Writing program, as well as VCFA’s Writing and Publishing program, A Room of Her Own (AROHO), the UCLA Writer’s Program, and Pomona College. She lectures frequently on fiction writing. 

Fitch was a 2009 Likhachev Cultural Fellow to St. Petersburg, Russia, a Helen R. Whiteley Fellow, a Research Fellow at the Huntington Library and a Moseley Fellow at Pomona College. Fitch graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 1978 with a BA in History.

She lives in Los Angeles.

about Beth Ruyak 

When Beth Ruyak landed her first job as a reporter more than thirty years ago, she knew she had found a career.  What she couldn’t have imagined, is the people she would meet, miles she would travel and how curious the journey would be. She’s worked in newsrooms in Minnesota to California, covering news, sports, science, health, arts and entertainment. She’s been a reporter, anchor, producer, and writer,  hosted daytime television, magazine shows, special events and live coverage.  Among the highlights of her career: sideline reporting from 5 Olympic Games and Super Bowl XXV, traversing Europe for 3 Tour de France bicycle races (becoming the first woman television journalist to cover the event), co-hosting “The Home Show,” and guest co-hosting “Good Morning America.” Her news, sports and health reporting have earned Emmy awards and opportunities to interview, learn from and tell stories about people all over the world.

As host of “Insight” Beth delights in the opportunity to communicate and converse in the region she calls home.  People ask her about the differences between television and radio broadcasting; she says she tries to fill in the visuals with language, sounds, voice and imagination.  To Beth, being part of the Capital Public Radio team is a privilege, an adventure and a great reason to go to work everyday.  Of course, so is the dance, as she calls it, with the guests and audience on “Insight.”

about Carissa Meagher

CarissaHeadshot

Carissa Meagher has appeared in Antigone (Big Idea Theatre); Brilliant Traces (Ovation Stage); An Octoroon and Anna Karenina (Capital Stage) and Steel Magnolias (Sacramento Theatre Company.) She’s also appeared in The Little Prince and Henry IV  at The Theater at Monmouth in Maine. She earned her BFA in acting from University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and an MFA In Playwriting from Ireland’s Lir Academy

 

About Stories on Stage Sacramento

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based organization, of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors, to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.

Our 2018 season featured the writers Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26. In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

in 2019, we welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma Shields,  Janet Fitch,  Maggie Shen King and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker,  Fred D’Aguiar, Simeon Mills,  Christine O’Brien., and Jen Alandy Trahan. And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. Plus outstanding work by local writers. 

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The law, sailing, time-shifting – what’s up with this month’s Stories on Stage Sacramento “emerging” writer?

scott-alumbaugh 2

Scott Alumbaugh

is a person of enviable – even mind-blowing – accomplishment.

After practicing law for twenty years, he did this: taught legal writing (his essays have appeared in Los Angeles Lawyer and Bay Crossings,) worked as a sailing instructor, radio producer and host, theater manager, stage crew for a traveling Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company, and ESL instructor in Japan. He started his own web, print, and graphic design business, Sea Dog Designs, in 2000. He’s also an avid cyclist and oh yes, a writer, winner of the 2014 Black Hill Press Summer Writing Project and runner-up for the 2017 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize for his story “Fire Illness,” which appeared in Hunger Mountain Review. Whew, I said, wondering which of these careers had the most influence on his writing…

Q.

You’ve been an attorney, a sailing instructor, a web design guru, radio producer and host, and theatre crew, among many other things, and of course you’re an avid cyclist. Which of these careers, or vocations, has influenced your writing the most?

A.

I’d have to say the attorney thing, for good and bad. Because for better and worse, legal training and practice shape your way of thinking, of problem solving, how you organize your research, how you process information, how you go about collecting facts, etc. etc. One of my favorite law review articles compares legal education to Zen Buddhism: the idea behind both being to beat the existing thought process out of you to make way for a completely new way of thinking.

Legal thinking is very linear, very organized. Very structured. It’s a process that, once it’s drilled into you, really permeates most other aspects of your cognitive life. I haven’t practiced in over twenty years, but I still approach most endeavors the same way. The process becomes that integral.

In terms of writing, it helps me organize the pieces I’m working on, to lay the foundations, the structure, without which I am totally lost. At the same time, however, it tends to tether me to the ground, so to speak. It’s very hard for me to do anything too outlandish because I’m always drawn back to the concrete, the verifiable.

That’s one of the things I really enjoy about the story you’ve selected, San Andreas’ Fault. It’s one of the few times I’ve been able to escape gravity in a story, or at least time/space. It was a lot of fun to write.

Q.

It was a lot of fun to read, too, which is why we chose it. So, when did the writing bug bite you? What was your first piece?

A.

I first thought of writing a novel in my early-30s, when I was practicing at a downtown LA firm. It was just after the 1992 civil unrest, what most people call the Rodney King riots. Our firm took on a huge pro bono case on behalf of Korean merchants who lost their businesses, and as it turned out, had no insurance coverage because their insurers were frauds, fly-by-night operations chartered out of the Caribbean. Researching the characters behind these insurance companies was like reading an Elmore Leonard novel. They did everything from claiming sovereignty over a sand bar in the Rio Grande and arguing it made them immune from income tax, to renting assets whenever they underwent audits. Every time some new fact came to light I’d say out loud to anyone near, “Someone should turn this into a novel.”

So I figured I’d try. I took a couple of courses through UCLA Extension and went at it pretty solid for a few years. In retrospect, I realize I had no idea what I was doing. I flailed the entire time. When I finally gave up, about five years later, it was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt like this huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders.

But I started it up again six or seven years ago, and yes, I finished it. It’s called California Incline. Interestingly, the novella that won the Black Hill Press Summer Writing project is what I like to call a “bonus track,” an offshoot of the larger novel. “Will Kill For Food” is the story of one of the ancillary characters in that novel, a half-Korean storeowner named Dean, who’s forced to hole up in his store during the riots.

Q.

The story we’re featuring at Stories on Stage Sacramento is so different from this, and so different from the other stories of yours that I’ve read. Tell me what inspired it – because it takes such a decidedly weird turn, veering into an alternate universe –

A.

I know, right? You called it “funny and weird,” which is exactly right.

This was the first story I wrote when I took up writing again. I had a notion in mind, which is a play on the phrase “San Andreas Fault,” and built the story around that. The result was structurally sound, linearly-precise, grammatically correct, nicely punctuated . . . and honestly, quite boring. It was the first story I wrote that I considered a story: that is, it had a beginning, middle, and end. I was really proud of that. Still, it was not much fun to read.

I set it aside, wrote some other things, and came back it last year. I decided it needed something different, and that I needed to write something different, something not so down to earth. So I took as a model, in a general sense, the classic mid-century short story we all had to read in high school. You know, the kind of story that seems to make sense . . . until it doesn’t. The kind of short story that makes most people swear off short stories for life. More specifically, I modeled it after Cheever’s “The Swimmer.” In that story, time seems to progress linearly from morning to afternoon, but by the end, the season has also changed, and it seems years have passed. You don’t know how Cheever got from A to Z, but he does it so wonderfully.

I’m not claiming to be on Cheever’s level, obviously, but that was the effect I wanted. Only instead of time, I wanted to play with space, and the notion of a fault line as a dividing line between this and that, whatever those happen to be. I had a deeper purpose than just playing—To me, as soon as I hear a writer say, “I thought it’d be interesting to . . .,” I know the story won’t be good because the writing is coming from their head and not their heart. So this is a story from the heart.

Q.

And I hope we’ll hear more about that at the reading!

A.

Yes, you will. I’m looking forward to it.

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On Friday, June 28 we’re dabbling in dystopia and tinkering with time with novelist Maggie Shen King, author of An Excess Male, and Davis writer Scott Alumbaugh. Yes, it’s science fiction! With readings by Matthew Hanjoong and Ethan Ireland.

Imagine it’s China, sometime in the future – and the One Child policy has left the country with forty million excess males…and they all want wives. Or, in our second story, imagine you’re driving along the San Andreas fault with a guy you’re kind of sick of, and pick up a hitchhiker who seems vaguely familiar… For June, we’re thrilled to present two stories you won’t be able to forget from two amazing imaginations. 

Maggie Shen King Scott Alumbaugh

Maggie Shen King, author of The Excess Male,

with

Scott Alumbaugh, author of the short story “San Andreas Fault”

Friday, June 28, at the auditorium at CLARA, 1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

A $10 donation is suggested

 

about our writers

Novelist and short story writer Maggie Shen King’s dystopian novel An Excess Male was named one of The Washington Post’s 5 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels of 2017 and was both a James Tiptree, Jr. and Lambda Literary Award Finalist. She was the  Goodreads September 2017 Debut Author the Month. Her short stories have appeared in the The New York Times, Ecotone, ZYZZYVA, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and more. Her manuscript Fortune’s Fools, won Second Prize in Amazon’s 2012 Breakthrough Novel Award. Maggie grew up in Taiwan and attended both Chinese and American schools before moving to Seattle at age sixteen.

She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area

Scott Alumbaugh is the author of the novella Will Kill for Food, a winner of the 2014 Black Hill Press Summer Writing Project. He has published fiction in StoryQuarterly and in Hunger Mountain Review, where his story “Fire Illness” was runner-up for the 2017 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize. His essays have appeared in Los Angeles Lawyer and Bay Crossings. Scott currently runs Sea Dog Designs, a web, print, and graphic design business, which he founded in 2000. His wide-ranging career has included working as an attorney and  teaching legal writing,  and he’s also been a sailing instructor, radio producer and host, theater manager, stage crew for a traveling Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company, ESL instructor in Japan, and, as he says, “a number of other jobs not worth mentioning.” 

He’s an avid cyclist and lives in Davis with his family  

about our readers

Matthew HanjoonWe’re pleased to welcome Matthew Hanjoong to Stories on Stage Sacramento. Matthew is a graduate of California State University Sacramento and  with a major in Theatre, and recently completed an apprenticeship with Capitol Stage, where he was featured in the Apprentice Showcase and Playwrights’ Revolution, a showcase of new work. He’s appeared in productions at Sac State, American River College, and Fair Oaks Playhouse. 

Ethan Ireland 2Ethan Ireland is a multidisciplinary veteran of the film, television and theater trade, with sixteen years as a working professional in both performance and technical roles. The son of noted ‘lit noir’ author Patrick Ireland, Ethan is a writer & director of several short films, and has worked as a voice actor and a performer for both stage and screen since 1995. Most recently he appeared  in EMH’s productions of After Hours and An Almost Perfect Person.  He has performed at Now Hear This: A Story and Music Performance Series produced by Atim Udoffia.

About Stories on Stage Sacramento

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based organization, of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors, to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.

Our 2018 season featured the writers Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26. In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

in 2019, we welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma Shields,  Janet Fitch,  Maggie Shen King and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker,  Fred D’Aguiar, Simeon Mills,  Christine O’Brien., and Jen Alandy Trahan. And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. Plus outstanding work by local writers. 

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A change at Stories on Stage Sacramento – and an opportunity for you!

Dear Stories on Stage Sacramento audience,

 

It’s been a terrific run. I’ve had the honor to work with Pulitzer Prize winners, nationally known writers, and local writers whose work had its first audience at our event. But after six years, it’s time for new leadership. So, after the 2019 season, I’ll be stepping down as Coordinator for Stories on Stage Sacramento.

This does not mean the event will end.

Because after ten years of presenting the best of short fiction read by the best of actors, the Volunteer Committee is convinced that SoSS is a valuable and necessary resident of Sacramento’s literary community. We’re determined that it will continue.

But we need your help.

We need new volunteers, especially those with skills in social media, event management, and knowledge of writers and writing. We’ll also be looking for a new Casting Director to find the actors to read the work, replacing Peggi Wood, who is also stepping down after this season.

So if you’re interested in becoming involved

at any level, and in helping guide Stories on Stage Sacramento toward the future, please email me at suestaats@comcast.net

This is an evolution, not a demise.  I’ll continue to contribute to Stories on Stage Sacramento, just not in the same position. And I invite you to become part of the event, to insure that electrifying prose and crackling theatre remains part of the Sacramento arts scene for many, many years to come.

With gratitude,

Sue

Sue Staats, Coordinator, Stories on Stage Sacramento

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Friday, May 31: don’t miss it! Stories on Stage Sacramento welcomes Sharma Shields and Simeon Mills. 7:30 pm in the auditorium at CLARA.

Robots – the atom bomb – basketball –

Just a few of the reasons that Stories on Stage Sacramento is thrilled to welcome back Sharma Shields, with a reading from her new novel, The Cassandra, and to welcome for the first time her husband Simeon Mills, with a reading from his debut novel The Obsoletes. Both novels plunge us into twisty real worlds: The Cassandra is a modern re-telling of the Cassandra myth, set in the Hanford nuclear research center during World War II, and The Obsoletes imagines two robot brothers trying to pass for human in a small, robot-phobic Midwestern town.

 

readings by Carissa Meagher and Ian Hopps

 
Friday, May 31, 2019 at the auditorium at CLARA, 1425 24th Street

doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

A $10 donation is suggested

 

about our writers

Sharma Shields…

is the author of a short story collection, Favorite Monster, and two novels, The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac and The Cassandra. Sharma’s short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Electric Lit, Catapult, Slice, Fairy Tale Review, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Fugue, and elsewhere and have garnered such awards as the 2016 Washington State Book Award, the Autumn House Fiction Prize, the Tim McGinnis Award for Humor, a Grant for Artist Projects from Artist Trust, and the A.B. Guthrie Award for Outstanding Prose. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Washington (2000) and her MFA from the University of Montana (2004). Sharma has worked in independent bookstores and public libraries throughout Washington State and lives in Spokane with her husband, writer Simeon Mills, and two children.

Simeon Mills…

is a writer, cartoonist, and teacher. His debut prose novel The Obsoletes was published May 14 by Skybound Books. His graphic novel Butcher Paper received a 2012 Artist Trust grant. Chapters of Butcher Paper have appeared in The Florida ReviewRiverLitRock & SlingThe Pinch Journal, and Okey-Panky. He majored in architecture at Columbia University and received his MFA in fiction from the University of Montana. Mills teaches drawing at Eastern Washington University and middle school English in Spokane, Washington, where he lives with his wife, writer Sharma Shields, and two children.    

about our readers

Carissa Meagher

CarissaHeadshot smallMaking her Stories on Stage Sacramento debut with a reading from Sharma Shields’ The Cassandra, Carissa is a familiar face to Sacramento theatergoers, who have enjoyed her performances in Antigone (Big Idea Theatre); Brilliant Traces (Ovation Stage); An Octoroon and Anna Karenina (Capital Stage) and Steel Magnolias (Sacramento Theatre Company.) She’s also appeared in The Little Prince and Henry IV  at The Theater at Monmouth in Maine, and in Dutchman and Dying City at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she earned her BFA in Acting. Carissa holds an MFA
In Playwriting from Ireland’s RADA affiliate school, The Lir Academy. Next up you can catch Carissa’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey at Sacramento Theatre Company.

Ian Hopps

ian hoppsWe’re thrilled to welcome Ian Hopps back to Stories on Stage Sacramento. A familiar face to Sacramento and Davis audiences,  since his 2016 move to Sacramento from the Bay Area he’s appeared in leading roles with Capital Stage (Luna Gale, Stupid F***ing Bird,) the Sacramento Theatre Company (Midsummer Night’s Dream, as Puck: Macbeth, The Tempest) and Big Idea Theatre (The Rover, An Ideal Husband, The 39 Steps.) He’s the associate producer and marketing director of the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble and has appeared in numerous productions there. He studied Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University, and in addition to acting, he writes for indie comics and podcasts, and produces his own music.

About Stories on Stage Sacramento

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based organization, of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors, to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.

Our 2018 season featured the writers Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26. In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

in 2019, we welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma Shields,  Janet Fitch, and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker,  Fred D’Aguiar, Simeon Mills and Christine O’Brien. And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. More will be announced: watch this space!

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Stories on Stage Sacramento for April with Devi Laskar, author of Atlas of Reds and Blues, and Fred D’Aguiar, author of Children of Paradise. 7:30 pm Friday, April 26 in the auditorium at CLARA.

We were tempted to characterize this month’s featured work as “ripped from the headlines,” but that wouldn’t have done justice to the complicated, searing stories by Devi Laskar and Fred D’Aguiar. The Atlas of Reds and Blues mines the author’s personal experience: Children of Paradise re-imagines the Jonestown horror. Don’t miss these readings!

Devi Laskar

author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues

Fred D’Aguiar

author of Children of Paradise

readings by Bridggett Bess and Angel Rodriguez

Friday, April 26, 2019 at the auditorium at CLARA

1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

A $10 donation is suggested.

about our writers

Fred D’Aguiar

Inspired by the events at Jonestown, Children of Paradise is Fred D’Aguiar’s sixth novel. A poet, novelist and playwright whose work has been translated into a dozen languages, D’Aguiar’s first novel, The Longest Memory, won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was made into a film by Channel 4 (UK). A number of his essays have appeared in Harper’s, Wasafiri, Callaloo, Best American Essays, and elsewhere. His play A Jamaican Airman Foresees His Death was staged at the Royal Court Theatre. His BBC-commissioned radio plays Days and Nights in Bedlam and Mr. Reasonable were broadcast in 2005 and 2015 respectively. His sixth poetry collection, Continental Shelf (2009) was a UK Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for the UK’s T.S. Eliot Prize 2009. His most recent poetrycollection, Translations From Memory (Carcanet, UK) appeared in 2018. Born in London and brought up in Guyana, he teaches in the Department of English at UCLA .

Devi Laskar

In The Atlas of Reds and Blues, her first novel, Devi S. Laskar draws on her personal experience to create a “searing, powerful and beautiful” tale of what it means to be a woman of color in America. A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Devi holds an MFA from Columbia University.  In addition to The  Atlas of Reds and Blues, she has published two poetry chapbooks and her work has appeared in Tin House and Rattle, among other publications. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and is an alumna of The OpEd Project and VONA. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area

about our readers

Angel Rodriguez

Angel previously appeared at Stories on Stage Sacramento reading an excerpt from Tommy Orange’s There There, and we’re thrilled to have him back to read a selection from Fred D’Aguiar’s novel Children of Paradise. Angel is an actor and director from the Sacramento region. He holds a BA in Theatre from Sacramento State, is currently performing the lead rold in the CSUS production of In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda He has been in many other CSUS’s productions including “James and the Giant Peach” as James, “Darskide” as The Boy and “Gypsy” as Tulsa. He has also been in many Latinx projects through Teatro Espejo and Latino Center of Arts and Culture including the roles of Rene in “Lydia” and Juan in “La Pastorela de Sacramento.”

Bridggett Bess

We’re delighted to welcome Bridggett Bess to Stories on Stage Sacramento. She’ll be reading an excerpt from The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi Laskar. A singer, actor, and dancer, Bridggett’s career has taken her all over the world. Locally, you may have seen her in lead roles in Adoration of Dora at Kolt Run Creations and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Magic Circle in Roseville. She’s had supporting roles on the TV shows Rescue Me and Trauma, and has appeared in many independent films, including the starring role of “Dacia” in the PCS Film Festival film Three Words for Dacia, which won Best Film, Producers Choice, and Audience Favorite. Bridggett earned a BFA in Professional Theater Acting from North Carolina A&T State University. Among the many fun facts about Bridggett is that she’s also an award-winning belly dancer!

About Stories on Stage Sacramento

For ten years, Stories on Stage Sacramento has brought you the best in literature, read by actors, and this year we’re celebrating this big milestone by returning to our full, ten-event season.

We’re proud of our record, as an all-volunteer, donation-based organization, of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors, to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.

Our 2018 season featured the writers Anne Raeff, Mira T. Lee, Elizabeth Tallent, Bob Sylva, Kirstin Chen, Tommy Orange, Vanessa Hua, Melissa Yancy and Dana Johnson. The dates for our 2018 season are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26. In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

in 2019, we welcome Tom Barbash, Karen E Bender (a National Book Award finalist) Sharma Shields, Janet Fitch, and exciting new writers Sarah Stone, Devi Lasker,  Fred D’Aguiar, and Christine O’Brien. And we’ll welcome back the Los Rios Writers. More will be announced: watch this space!

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A few words with Stories on Stage Sacramento writer Tim Foley

Tim Foley is way too modest to label himself a renaissance man, but I don’t share his reluctance. Just take a look at this bio –  he’s an attorney (degree from Harvard, works with the State Public Defender’s office, teaches at UC Davis) a writer and playwright (numerous publications here and in Britain, recent production of his play Special Request at Theatre One in Sacramento) a publisher (the late lamented Farallon Review, 2008-2015.) Rumor is that he was even in a band, once upon a time. In an exchange of emails, I asked him about how he juggled his professional and writing life, and if his law specialty (he’s the attorney for the defendant in death penalty appeal cases) shows up in his writing.

Q.      From your bio, it looks as if your career path has been focused on law.  Yet you’ve earned an MFA, had a play produced, founded a literary journal. When and where did the writing bug bite you? And, if you could, would you be a full-time writer?

Tim: “I’ve always written creatively, an endeavor inspired by a love of reading and books.  I published a couple of short stories when I was in law school, and tried to write a novel when I was in my twenties.  I enjoy my career in the legal field, and I like teaching as well, but I do have a creative side and the muse must be honored when she sees fit to visit.” 

Q. ‘she.’ Hmm. What writers/writing inspires you most?

Tim: “Any good writing inspires me.  My particular favs include Poe and Bierce for fantasy, Orwell and Steinbeck for social commentary.  I like certain genre writers like Raymond Chandler and Shirley Jackson.  Beckett and Isherwood for their fearlessness.  Alistair MacLeod and George Mackay Brown for the rustic beauty of their prose.  Kazuo Ishiguro and Russell Banks for technique.”

Q.       Does your law practice, and its focus on death penalty cases, inform your writing?

Tim: “I write as a break from my casework.  There is some emotional spillover, I suppose, but the legal work exists separately.”    

Q.   You’ve been published a lot in the UK. They seem to love you! Why do you think this is?

Tim: “I spent a semester at Durham University in northeastern England when I was in college and have maintained some connections with Britain ever since.  English editors tend to like my stuff, for whatever reason.”    

Q.     What was the inspiration for the story being read at SoSS, “Nineteen-sixty-five Ford Falcon?”

Tim: “It is a story about longing and loss within a ghost story format, with some suspense and a dash of humor.  I wanted to explore the way that certain physical things seem to soak up the energy and emotions of their owners.  And it is a bit of a homage to a friend I had who owned a sixty-five Falcon.  Great car.”  

It is indeed. Worthy of a photo.

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