Tag Archives: Blair Leatherwood

Coming in April for the first time at Stories on Stage – Science Fiction!

Kim Stanley RobinsonNEW 2- Credit Sean CurtinStories on Stage Sacramento is excited to present

a modern master of science fiction

Kim Stanley Robinson

Friday, April 29, 2016 at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested.

Called “one of the greatest living science fiction writers” by Tim Kreider of The New Yorker, Davis resident Kim Stanley Robinson has won just about every imaginable award given in his genre—the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the World Fantasy Award. In May, he’ll receive the prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Award, bestowed for “outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.” This award recognizes an author’s body of work, which in Robinson’s case totals 19 novels, including his groundbreaking Mars trilogy, and over 40 short stories. Many of his novels and stories have ecological, cultural and political themes and often feature scientists as heroes. This willingness to tackle controversial political issues has earned him praise, again from The New Yorker’s Tim Kreider, as “one of the most important political writers working in America today,” and his work was labeled by the Atlantic as “the gold-standard of realistic, and highly literary, science-fiction writing.”

His recently published short story “Oral Argument” will be read by Sacramento actor and Stories on Stage Sacramento favorite Blair Leatherwood.

Also appearing is emerging writer Andy Stewart, whose science fiction stories have appeared in Big Bridge, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and ZYZZYVA. He is a contributing reviewer for RAIN TAXI and The Review of Contemporary Fiction.A native Texan,
he graduated with an MFA is Creative Writing from San Diego State University and now lives and writes in Davis, California.

His short story Typhoid Jack will be read by Sacramento voice actor and producer Paul Kinney

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We’re back at the Sacramento Poetry Center for the Grand Finale to our Sixth Season featuring Davis writer Naomi Williams

Naomi 3

What better way to cap off the sixth season of Stories on Stage Sacramento than to welcome Davis writer Naomi Williams as our featured writer for October. If you’ve attended our event in past years, you may have heard some of the tales that eventually became Naomi’s stunning debut novel, Landfalls, published in August to much acclaim by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Based on the ill-fated 18th century LaPerouse naval expedition, the novel was termed a “seductive page-turner” by the Wall Street Journal “dazzling” and “a bona fide masterpiece” by The Seattle Times, among many rave reviews. To hear these stories, and to see this work grow over the years, has been a pleasure and a privilege. Lucky me – I got to read the novel the first time just for the sheer pleasure of it, and then a second time to select the segment to be read! Every section is unique and wonderful and smart and beautifully crafted. I had a tough time deciding, but in the end selected the chapter “In The Mangroves,” which occurs toward the end of the expedition and concerns the mysterious death of one of the expedition priests.

Naomi’s  fiction has also appeared in journals such as A Public Space, One Story, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Zoetrope All-Story. In 2009, she received a Pushcart Prize and a Best American Short Story Honorable Mention. Naomi has an MA in Creative Writing from UC Davis, and lives with her family in Davis, California, where she’s started work on her second book, a novel about the early 20th-century Japanese poet Yosano Akiko. You can read more about Naomi at her author page, http://naomijwilliams.com/Elise Winn

Also appearing with Naomi is  Elise Winn. Her stories have been published in American Short Fiction, Hobart, Indiana Review, Granta Online, and elsewhere, and have won awards from magazines such as The Iowa Review, Zoetrope: All Story, and Fairy Tale Review.She was a finalist for the 2012 Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize and chosen as runner-up in Black Warrior Review and Third Coast’s 2014 fiction contests. In April 2014 she was a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook. Raised in Missouri, Elise now lives in Davis, California, where she’s at work on a collection of short stories, Cloud, Egg, Bird, Box, and a novel.

Reading “In The Mangroves” from Blair LeatherwoodLandfalls is Blair Leatherwood, a veteran Sacramento actor and Stories on Stage favorite. He has over forty years of experience in the theater, with numerous film and commercial credits. He recently worked on Spike Lee’s “Livin’ Da Dream”, a segment of the NBA 2K16 video game. He also has years of experience with the Standardized Patient program at UCD Medical Center and is one of the audio describers for blind and visually impaired patrons of California Musical Theatre



Reading “Cloud, Egg, Bird, Box” by Elise Winn is Jessica Laskey. Just returned to her hometown, Sacramento, after a year spent in Paris, Jessica is an Equity actress whose favorite roles include Sally Bowles in Cabaret (UC Berkeley), Mae in Reefer Madness (Artistic Differences), Jenny in Threepenny Opera (California Stage) and several productions with the Sacramento Theatre Company. Jessica is also a freelance writer for Inside Publications, The Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Magazine and is currently working on a new book, This is Sacramento, for Inside Publications.

Currently wrapping up its sixth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing  audience. Beginning with the 200+ people who attended the January kickoff event featuring Tobias Wolff, with readings by Janis Stevens and James Wheatley, enthusiastic attendees have heard readings from the work of Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson, and now, debut novelist and Davis writer Naomi Williams, who is moving from “emerging” writer to “featured” writer status with the publication of her brilliant novel. We’re proud of our 2015 season – and look forward to presenting more fine writing, well told, to Sacramento lovers of literature.

Stories on Stage, with Naomi Williams and Elise Winn, Friday, October 30, 2015 at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R Streets, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM; readings begin at 7:30. $5 donation suggested. Contact: Sue Staats, Coordinator for Stories on Stage, at suestaats@comcast.net

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March at Stories on Stage Sacramento: Sharma Shields, Ana Cotham, and readers Blair Leatherwood and Michelle Champoux

Sharma ShieldsDoes Sasquatch exist? Most of us would be skeptical, but in Sharma Shields’ imaginative, lightning-struck debut novel, everything is possible. In The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac, a young boy’s lifelong hunt for the creature who stole his mother affects every relationship he has in his long life—with his father, with both of his wives, his children, grandchildren, and colleagues. There’s magic, unicorns, hexes, curses—and the mysterious Mr. Krantz—all  seamlessly twined with the story of Eli Roebuck and his family. O Magazine named The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac “one of 13 incredible books to devour in February.” Entertainment Weekly named Shields one of 25 “writers to watch” in 2015, and called the novel “…a story that easily qualifies as one of the most wonderfully weird debuts of the new  year. At heart it’s a family saga and a cautionary tale about frailties—greed, mania, ego, anger—that make us much too human…”

In addition to The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac, Sharma Shields is the author of a short story collection, Favorite Monster. Her writing has appeared in Electric Lit, The New York Times, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Fugue, and elsewhere. She’s won numerous awards, including the Autumn House Fiction Prize. She received her B.A in English Literature from the University of Washington, and her MFA from the University of Montana. She lives in Spokane with her husband and two young children.

Reading an excerpt from The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac will be Blair Leatherwood. A Stories on Stage favorite, Blair is a Sacramento-based actor with over forty years of experience on the boards. He has been working most recently with Alma Theater in San Francisco, Livermore Shakespeare Festival and Sacramento Theater Company ( It’s a Wonderful Life: The Musical, Pride and
Prejudice, A Little Princess). He has also worked with Capital Stage, Sacramento Music Circus, and many other theaters. He also works as an improvisational role player for UCD Medical Center and the Institute for Criminal Investigation and as an audio describer for the visually-impaired for California Musical Theater.

This month’s emerging writer, Ana Cotham, is a familiar face to Stories on Stage regulars. She’s happy to take your donations and sell you raffle tickets, and this month we’re showcasing her considerable talents as a writer. Ana earned her BA in English literature from UC Berkeley and spent the next several years working admin jobs and writing fiction—i.e., being poor. Her general love of words finally paid off in the form of an actual career; she currently works as a technical editor and occasional freelance writer. She is honored, overjoyed and slightly panicked about having her second story, “Ebb and Flow,” read at Stories on Stage . Her first, “A Love of Olives, A Fear of Squirrels,” was performed in September 2012.

Reading Ana’s story will be Stories on Stage newcomer Michelle Champoux. She describes herself as a person who “hungers for written words.” Her favorite wordsmiths/poets/playwrights include: W. Somerset Maugham , Bertolt Brecht, William Burroughs, Sylvia Plath + Anne Sexton, Shakespeare. She holds degrees in Theatre Arts and Dance and attended the American Conservatory Theatre. She’ll travel anywhere, including skid row. Her current frame of mind? “Sans peur.”

Stories on Stage, the popular, award-winning series where actors perform short stories, has been delighting audiences for six years. The event has been named a “Reader’s Choice literary event” for five consecutive years by the Sacramento News & Review. Stories on Stage takes place on the final Friday of each month at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM; the readings begin at 7:30. A $5 donation is suggested.


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March 28: Here Comes Queen Sugar!

Stories on Stage is back with a powerhouse lineup!

Selections from Bay Area author Natalie Baszile‘s debut novel

Queen Sugar

read by Diana Cossey

and Ruth Blank’s short story

Lotus Garden

read by Blair Leatherwood

Sacramento Poetry Center
1719 25th Street (@R)
Donation: $5
Doors open 7PM


Natalie Baszile holds an M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, where she was a Holden Minority Scholar. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award and was a co-runner-up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition. Excerpts were published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA . Her non-fiction has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Mission at Tenth, and in The Best Women’s Travel Writing. A former fiction editor at The Cortland Review, Natalie is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto and lives in San Francisco with her family.

Diana Cossey

The multitalented Diana Cossey’s passion for music and theatre has made her a familiar figure to Sacramento theatre-goers and music lovers. She played Truvy Jones in the 2011 Celebration Arts Theater production of Steel Magnolias, and she has been an active member of the River City Chorale for the past twenty years. She’s been blessed to perform her music in Italy, Croatia and Brazil, and has appeared in David L. MacDonalds’ Best of Broadway and Family Promise. This will be Diana’s third appearance at Stories on Stage.

Ruth Blank

Ruth Blank’s short stories have been published in Ploughshares and Huffington Post 50 Fiction. She recently retired after eight years as CEO of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.  Prior to working with the Foundation, Ruth was Comcast Cable’s Regional Senior Vice President for Central California. She has also owned and operated a restaurant and gift shop in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta.  Ruth currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Capitol Public Radio.

Blair Leatherwood

Blair Leatherwood is pleased to return to Stories on Stage.  He is a Sacramento-based actor with over forty years of experience, most recently with the Sacramento Theater Company (It’s a Wonderful Life: The Musical, Pride and Prejudice, A Little Princess), and also with Capital Stage, Sacramento Music Circus, and many other theaters.  He is currently in rehearsal for Hamlet at the Geery Theater, and will be a company member with the Livermore Shakespeare Festival this summer.

peggi-woodPeggi Wood is the casting director for Stories on Stage. She is a writer, a producer for community theatre and film, and the director of social media for the Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento and Celebration Arts. She is the executive producer, co-writer and series producer of The Wolves, an urban psychological horror series created by Anthony D’Juan. Actors interested in reading at Stories on Stage should contact her at peggiwood@gmail.com

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