Who We Are

dorothy-44-webres_2_origDorothy Rice will co-direct Stories on Stage Sacramento beginning with our 2020 season. She describes herself as a late-blooming author, earning an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside, Palm Desert when she turned sixty.

Her newest book, Gray is the New Black: A Memoir of Self-Acceptance (Otis Books 2019), tells an intimate story of ageism, shame and affirmation, resonating with anyone who’s experienced a challenging relationship with their mother, food, their body, their hair, their past self or who they are right now.

Her first book, The Reluctant Artist (Shanti Arts 2015), is an art book/memoir about her father, an immigrant from the Philippines. An essay about her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s was awarded second place in the 2018 Kalanithi Awards (honoring Paul Kalanithi, author of When Breath Becomes Air), and one of her short stories was nominated for a Pushcart and Best of the Net.

As a single mother, Rice rose in state employment from clerk typist to Executive Director of the State Water Resources Control Board. She currently works for nonprofit 916 Ink, which conducts creative writing workshops for area youth and transforms them into published authors. She is on the faculty of the Belize Writers Conference. Visit her website here.

mug, WEB RES, door, color

Shelley Blanton-Stroud will co-direct Stories on Stage Sacramento beginning with the 2020 season. She has taught college writing in Northern California for 34 years and consulted with writers in the energy industry for 10 years. She serves on the board of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children. She has also served on the Writers’ Advisory Board for the Belize Writers’ Conference.

Her debut novel, Copy Boy (She Writes Press 2020), is a depression-era coming-of-age noir about a girl who becomes a boy to escape a crime she may or may not have committed. Her story, “You Owe Me”, appears in This Side of the Divide (Baobab Press 2019), the first anthology in a literary series attempting to capture “the newness, vastness, territoriality and sense of transience alive in the American West.” She also writes and publishes flash fiction and non-fiction, which you can find at such journals as Brevity, Cleaver, The Writers Workshop Review, and Flash Fiction Online. Visit her website here.


Sue Staats directed Stories on Stage Sacramento for six transformational seasons, 2013-2019.

A 41-year resident of Sacramento, originally from the East coast, Sue  lives and writes in the leafy backwater of Curtis Park in a small house with a large cat and a famous guest house. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Los Angeles Review, Graze,  Farallon Review, Alimentum, a Journal of Food, and Tule Review. She was a runner-up for the 2011 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction, and her poem “Late Peaches” was the title poem for the 2012 anthology, Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets. She earned a MFA at Pacific University in 2011, and her stories have been performed numerous times at Stories on Stage Sacramento and Stories on Stage Davis. Sue is currently working on a collection of linked short stories.

Peggi Wood 2Peggi Wood
is the casting director for Stories on Stage Sacramento. A director and producer on the Sacramento theatre scene, she is also a minimalist writer, burgeoning screenwriter and lush storyteller, performing locally at various venues. In 2015, Resurrection Theatre produced Peggi’s first short play, Demerol Dreams, in their 10×10 Original Play Festival, where she also directed two other plays. Her community theatre productions include DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead and Moving Mountains with EMH Productions and Dan Fagan’s A Tiger Without Mercy. A longtime volunteer for the arts, literacy and community service organizations, Peggi is also the social media director and board member for  Celebration Arts, a multicultural, multidisciplinary educational and performing arts nonprofit organization. Her work with Celebration Arts, where she has been involved from the casting process through rehearsal and staging a production for more than two dozen shows, as well as being an avid theater-goer throughout the region and a performer herself, gives her access to a wide range of talent and a keen understanding of drama to match the perfect actor to a writer’s work. Peggi graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Mass Communication and a Masters in Public and Political Communication from California State University, Sacramento with research awards for her rhetorical analyses of inequality and power as well as guilt, shame and redemption, issues that inform her creative work.


Valerie Fioravanti, founder and former director/coordinator for Stories on Stage Sacramento, created the reading series in early 2010 as a way to inspire and connect writers in the Sacramento region.

Her linked story collection, Garbage Night at the Opera, won the 2011 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction and is available from BkMk Press. Stories from the collection have appeared in North American Review, Cimarron Review, and Night Train, among others. In 2004 Valerie received a Fulbright Fellowship to work on a novel set in Italy, Bel Casino. Her essays have appeared in Portland Review, Eclectica, Silk Road, Puerto del Sol, and others. She teaches writing, works as a writing coach, and coordinates the Master Teacher Weekend Workshops series. A NYC native, Valerie lives contentedly in tree-lined, walkable midtown Sacramento–home to a great restaurant scene; impressive, wide-ranging theatre options; and some very talented and generous writers. Visit her website here.