Stories on Stage Sacramento in June with Vanessa Hua and Josh Barkan: Drug dealers, deception and fine dining…

An elderly Chinese man thinks he’s been summoned to visit his dying  mother but instead finds himself tempted with food – and other delights…A chef adds a very special ingredient to a dish prepared for the notorious narco El Chapo Guzman……Two delicious stories prepared by master storytellers Vanessa Hua and Josh Barkan, this month’s honored guests at Stories on Stage Sacramento, read by actors Hock G. Tjoa and Berman Obaldia.

Friday, June 30 at 7:30 PM at the Auditorium at CLARA

(The E Claire Raley Center for Studio Arts),

24th and N Streets.

A $10 donation is suggested.

Vanessa Hua Josh Barkan


Vanessa Hua  and Josh Barkan


Vanessa Hua’s name may be familiar as a featured columnist in the San Francisco Chronicle, but she’s also an award-winning fiction writer. Her debut short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilitiesreceived an Asian/Pacific American Award in Literature and is a finalist for a California Book Award and the Willow Books Literature Award Grand Prize. O, The Oprah Magazine, called Deceit and Other Possibilities a “searing debut.”  In 2015, she won the Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, a grant that identifies and supports women writers of exceptional talent. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, ZYZZYVA,  Guernica, and elsewhere.  As a journalist, she has filed stories from China, Burma, Panama, South Korea, Abu Dhabi, and Ecuador. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker online, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington PostThe Atlantic, and Newsweek. She’s won the Asian American Journalists Association’s National Journalism Award, the James Madison Freedom of Information Award, and the Best of the West. Vanessa lives in the Bay Area with her husband and twin sons.

Josh Barkan divides his time between Roanoke, Virginia,, where he teaches at Hollins University, and Mexico City.  The short story collection Mexico, his third published book, was praised in a starred Kirkus review as “masterful stories that peel away at the thin border between everyday life and profane violence in modern-day Mexico. He received his MA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and his work has appeared in Esquire,  the Boston Literary Review, and Glimmertrain, among others. The story “The Kidnapping, ”  which appears in Mexico, was named winner of the Lightship International Short Story Prize, 2013, judged by Tessa Hadley.  Mexico was runner-up for the 2014 Juniper Prize for Fiction, and runner-up for the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, 2014. Hogarth (Penguin Random House) published the collection in 2017. His previous books include the novel Blind Speed and the story collection Before Hiroshima.

Reading “The Older the Ginger” from Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua  is Hock Tjoa 2Hock G. Tjoa. An actor and an author, Hock  has appeared in several Community Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) productions including The White Snake, Chinglish, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Journey to the West, Golden Child, and Turandot as well as in a variety of roles in community plays and musicals. He is also author of The Battle of Chibi (Red Cliff), The Chinese Spymaster, Agamemnon Must Die, and The Ingenious Judge Dee, a Play. He’s a member of Sierra Writers. This is Hock’s first performance with Stories on Stage, Sacramento.

Reading “The Chef and El Chapo” from Mexico by Josh Barkan is Berman Obaldia.  He Berman Obaldia 2has performed throughout California, including appearances in Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing.  In addition, he played Dudard in Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros and Uncle Morty in the Clifford Odets depression era classic, Awake and Sing. He was part of the Los Angeles-based repertory theatre company Teatro Urbano. In 2016, Mr. Obaldia starred in the Elly award winning California Stage production of  A Revolutionary Mind. Film credits include “Mi Tierra”, winner of the Coachella Film Festival, and “Janitor.” His latest film projects are “Driven,” the short film “Not My Blood” and he was a regular cast member in the web series, “The Treasure Chronicles.”

Now in its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction, read by actors,  to a growing Sacramento audience.  Our 2017 events will be held bi-monthly on the following dates: February 24, April 28, June 30, August 25, and October 27 at our new home, the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studio for the Arts. In addition, a special program featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 29.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s