Tag Archives: fiction

A Quick Preview of Our Upcoming 8th Season

Hello, lovers of literature – we’re back!

We’re rested, rejuvenated and ready to plunge into the 8th season of Stories on  Stage Sacramento. We’ve got a new location, a new schedule, a new tradition we are continuing, workshops,  the best national, regional, and local writers of fiction (and occasionally, non-fiction), and the best audience – you!

New location –

The Auditorium at CLARA (the E Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts) 1425 24th Street, Sacramento 

We’re thrilled to make this wonderful space our new home, and remain very, very grateful to the Sacramento Poetry Center for its support and help, and to Verge Center for the Arts for partnering with us on some memorable events.

New schedule – 

in 2017, Stories on Stage will be held bi-monthlyMark these dates:

steve-almond-3jpgFriday, February 24 – Featuring Steve Almond. With Deborah Meltvedt.

Friday, April 28Deborah Willis, prize winning author of The Dark and Other Stories

vanessa-huaFriday, June 30 – San Francisco Chronicle columnist and short-story writer Vanessa Hua. With Josh Barkan.

Friday, August 25 – TBA

Friday, October 27 – Author of The Great Glass Sea Josh Weil , with a josh-weilreading from his new short story collection.

AND Friday, September 29 – Special Event – continuing our collaboration with the literary magazines of the Los Rios Community Colleges, we will feature the best short stories from this year’s issues of Susurrus, The American River Review, The Cosumnes River Journal, and the creative writing department at Folsom Lake College.

Workshops

Master Teacher workshop with Steve Almond. Friday, February 24 from 11-5, and Saturday, February 25 from 9-Noon. Limited to 10 participants, who may submit fiction manuscript of no more than 4000 words to be critiqued. $325.  Steve’s workshops are legendary – he’s a transformative teacher. If you’ve ever wanted to work with him, now’s your chance!

If interested, please e-mail Sue Staats at suestaats@comcast.net

 

As we begin our eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to be proud of the quality of the literary fiction we have presented to a growing Sacramento audience. 2015’s featured writers included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. In 2016,  we presented Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges,  created an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re inspired by the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Upcoming Events

July at Stories on Stage Sacramento: Mothers, Daughters, Earthquakes, Aftershocks

Maureen O'Leary wanket 4In October of 1989, Maureen O’Leary was a student at UC Santa Cruz, a “cranky nineteen-year-old with very few friends, very little passion for anything or anyone.”  At 5:03 on October 17, she was at her job at the Ace Hardware store in downtown Santa Cruz when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck and the building collapsed. She ducked under a desk and was spared: several other people in the same building were not. The event changed her instantly, and inspired the fictional narrative of her newly published novel The Ghost Daughter (Coffeetown Press,) in which the earthquake triggers an aftershock of discovery for two mothers and a long-ago abandoned daughter.   Advance praise for The Ghost Daughter  includes this from National Book Award finalist Karen Bender: “Maureen O’Leary excavates her characters’ hearts with precise honesty, exploring the ways connections between mothers and daughters, friends and lovers stretch, break, endure. A beautiful and moving book.”  Maureen is the Stories on Stage Sacramento featured writer for July, and you can read her harrowing account of survival in her blog https://maureenolearyauthor.com/2016/07/01/the-day-i-died/. She’s also the author of the novels How to be Manly and The Arrow, She won Heyday Books’ Sacramento Valley Writing Contest for Poetry, and her short stories and poetry appear in Esopus, Night Train Journal, Brackish Vol. 2, Revolution John, Prick of the Spindle, The Gold Man Review, and in Shade Mountain Press’ anthology The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women. She’s been featured in Sacramento Magazine, teaches at Christian Brothers High School, and lives in Sacramento with her husband and two daughters

Krista MinardAppearing with Maureen is editor and fiction writer Krista Minard. Krista’s short story “Resurgence” focuses on an earthquake of a more subtle kind: a memory that haunts a mother, who can’t separate it from fears for her pre-teen daughter. . Since 1994, Krista has been editor of Sacramento Magazine and of several bridal publications. As a fiction writer, her short stories and essays have been published in Susurrus, Paper Wings and Soul of the Narrator. She attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers fiction workshop in 2011. She lives in Folsom with her husband, two nearly-grown daughters and two black cats.

Elise Marie HodgeReading an excerpt from The Ghost Daughter will be Sacramento actress Elise Marie Hodge, a Stories on Stage favorite and owner of EMH Productions. a company dedicated to putting
time and energy into creative work as a producer, director, actor, and writer to
help facilitate opportunities for other artists in these same arenas. Elise has
produced, directed, acted and written over 20 shows for the stage in
Sacramento for the past six years, having last been seen in Goodbye Freddy by
Elizabeth Diggs at the Geery Theatre. She is currently in production for an
original work titled These Lonesome Roads by Dan Fagan for September of
2016. She has split her time equally between Los Angeles and Sacramento,
receiving awards along the way for her efforts in theatre, TV and film. She has
been a member of the 68 Cent Crew Theatre Company in LA for the last 10
years

Victoria GoldblattVictoria Goldblatt will read “Resurgence.”  She’s been a Sacramento performer for over 20 years in a variety of films, commercials, community theater and voice overs for TV and radio.. The former Casting Director for Stories on Stage in Sacramento, she was a member of the Steering Committee for the Sacramento’s Playwrights Collaborative for the past seven years.

Stories on Stage Sacramento at the Sacramento Poetry Center, Friday July 29. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested.

Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Featured writers for 2015 included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Maureen O’Leary, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and we’re excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Upcoming Events

Stories on Stage welcomes Vendela Vida, Friday March 25 at the Sacramento Poetry Center

How lost can you be? When the narrator of   The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty finds herself in Casablavendela vida 2nca without passport, money, or credit cards, she could choose refuge in the American Embassy – or she could accept as hers the identity of a stranger, given to her by a mysterious police official. Her choice at this moment, and the following choices she makes, drive the relentless narrative and exploration of both physical and emotional identity in this engrossing novel by our March featured writer,  author ,editor and
scriptwriter Vendela Vida.   The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty was praised in the New York Times Sunday Book Review as “…portraying with cool wit and suspense the explosive emancipation of a woman who, long accustomed to playing handmaiden to more vivid personalities, is finally empowered to grab some warmth, drama, and magic for herself.” The twisting tale of how the nameless narrator accomplishes this is part of the charm of this intriguing story of identity lost, gained, lost and gained over and over again. Vendela Vida is the author of four additional books, including Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, which as a fellow at the Sundance Labs she developed into a script which received the Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. She’s the founding editor of The Believer magazine, and the co-editor of Always Apprentices, a collection of interviews with writers. Two of Vida’s novels have been New York Times Notable Books of the year, and she is the winner of the Kate Chopin Award, given to a writer whose female protagonist chooses an unconventional path. She lives in Northern California with her husband, the writer Dave Eggers, and two children. Since 2002 She has served on the board of 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring lab for youth.

An excerpt from The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty will be read by Lori Russo.Lori Rosso
With a BFA from USC, Ms. Russo has performed on Broadway and toured nationally and internationally.  Since moving to Sacramento she has performed at Capital Stage in their productions of Superior Donuts  and Good People and received an Elly award for best actress for her performance in Love, Isadora at California Stage.

 

Appearing with Ms. Vida is Sacramento author J.L. James Cooper3(1)Cooper , the recent winner of the Tupelo Quarterly Prose Open Prize, judged by Pulitzer winner Adam Johnson. Jame also received First Place in Short Short Fiction in New Millennium Writings, 2013, and Second Place in Essay in Literal Latte, 2014. His short stories and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in The Manhattan Review, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Gold Man Review, KY Story, Temenos,, Paper Swans Press, Folia Literary Magazine, and in other journals and anthologies. A full-length collection of poetry, titled An Ocean Large Enough, is forthcoming from WordTech. His current projeMatt Rives 2ct is a wild collection of short stories about fictionalized therapy. Cooper is a practicing psychologist, which profession, he says, has” shaped him to lean in unexpected winds, to hold fast or be swept away in wonder. There is always context, amplified or subdued, a language in the hands, in posture, in the pauses between words.”

His prize-winning story short story “Path of the Ground Birds,” will be read by Matt Rives. An actor, musician, and stand-up comedian, Matt has played lead roles in Noises Off and A Comedy of Errors. Most recently, he played the role of the role of Tom/Narrator in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Mr. Aarons in Bridge to Terabitihia, and Henry Higgins in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Last year’s featured writers included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and in 2016 we look forward to presenting more fine writing read by actors Sacramento lovers of literature.

Vendela Vida with JL Cooper, with readings by Lori Russo and Matt Rives, at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R Streets, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $5 donation is suggested. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Upcoming Events

Pulitzer-Prize Winning author Adam Johnson coming to Stories on Stage Sacramento, September 25, at Verge Center for the Arts

Adam JOhnson 2Two years ago, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel set in North Korea, The Orphan Master’s Son.  Now, with his new collection of short stories, Fortune Smiles, Adam Johnson solidifies his reputation as one of this country’s most provocative, powerful, and original writers. Subtle, surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, the six stories in Fortune Smiles showcase Johnson’s range  with unique examinations of love and loss, natural disasters, technology, and how the political shapes the personal. The collection, published August 18, has won universal acclaim: it was a New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice,” and earned raves from (among others)  The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. One one of the stories in the collection, “Nirvana,” won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize.

In the story selected for reading at Stories on Stage, “Interesting Facts,” JohnsonAdam Johnson Fortune Smiles daringly mines his own life to create the tough and heartbreaking narrator, a woman whose illness makes her feel like a ghost in her own home. Adam Johnson is an associate professor of English at Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow. Born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona, Johnson and his wife Stephanie live in San Francisco with their three
children.

Kelley Ogden 2Reading “Interesting Facts,” from Fortune Smiles is Sacramento actress Kelley Ogden. Kelley is an accomplished performer, director and producer, most recently seen in the Capital Stage production of Rapture, Blister, Burn. She’s a co-founder of the acclaimed KOLT Run Creations theatre company and has appeared there in various productions. Regional credits also include Twelfth Night at Sacramento Shakespeare Festival; Sherlock’s Last Case and Leaving Iowa with Main Street Theatre Works; and Put Out with Theater Galatea. Kelley earned her BFA in Performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.
Now in its sixth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento 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, and Bonnie ZoBell, and now, Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson. Many local writers have had their fiction read here, and some local writers, such as Naomi Williams, the featured writer for October, have moved from “emerging” writer status to “featured” writer status with the publication of much-acclaimed debut novels. 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 Sacramento, Friday September 25 at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 Street, Sacramento. Doors open at 7:00PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $5 donation is suggested.

1 Comment

Filed under Upcoming Events

Fireworks in July: T. Geronimo Johnson and a Staged Reading from his novel Welcome to Braggsville, in partnership with Celebration Arts and Verge Center for the Arts.

????????????????????????????????????

T. Geronimo Johnson

SOMETIMES a writer’s words leap off the page, grab you by the hair, throw you down, wake you up, challenge your assumptions, shock you into seeing the world differently, and you know that the usual Stories on Stage format will not be enough to contain the author’s crazy, wonderful prose.  Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson is that kind of novel – a smart, funny, insightful, many-layered coming-of-age story about four college students who descend from Berkeley into a small town in the heart of the deep South, thinking they’ll show these Southerners a thing or two.

SO, on July 31, Stories on Stage will present a staged reading from Welcome to Braggsvile, in cooperation with Celebration Arts. We’ll feature five actors, James Wheatley, Kristine David, Doug Pieper, Tarig Elsiddig, and Sam Sims reading excerpts from key parts of the book, in an evening of electrifying, crackling  theatre you will not want to miss.

At Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento, July 31, 2015. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. The performance is a benefit for Celebration Arts: a donation of $10 is suggested and more is appreciated!

About T. Geronimo Johnson

Born and raised in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his M.A. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from UC Berkeley. He has taught writing and held fellowships—including a Stegner Fellowship and an Iowa Arts Fellowship—at Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, Western Michigan University and Stanford. His first novel, Hold it ‘Til it Hurts, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction Johnson is currently a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Berkeley, California.

About Welcome to Braggsville

A young, white, working-class Southerner named D’aron Davenport is smart enough to get a scholarship to Berkeley. Eventually, shell-shocked D’aron meets up with three other students hovering on the fringes: an earnest girl from Iowa named Candice who claims to be part Native American; an African-American guy named Charlie from inner-city Chicago; and Louis, a sassy Asian teen from San WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE coverFrancisco whose goal in life is to become, as he says, “the next Lenny Bruce Lee, kung fu comedian.”

In their sophomore year, this band of friends makes the fatal error of signing up together for a course called “American History X, Y, and Z: Alternative Perspectives.” One day in class, the topic of historical reenactments comes up and D’aron lets slip that his hometown of Braggsville stages a kind of glorious “Lost Cause” Civil War battle reenactment every year. Faster than you can say “performative intervention,” D’aron’s friends persuade him that it would be cool to visit Braggsville and stage a scene to helpfully remind its residents about the horrors of slavery. Louis, the Asian guy, will be in blackface, playing a slave; when he acts “uppity,” he’ll be whipped and then mock lynched by the other three students. What ensues, however, once D’aron and his idealistic friends reach Braggsville, is an out-of-control disaster.

About the actors:

james wheatley 2James Wheatley is Founder and Artistic Director of Celebration Arts. The mission of this all-volunteer organization is to provide training and performance opportunities for community residents in the areas of drama, dance and music.Among his many stage appearances the most recent have been in Driving Miss Daisy at Chautauqua Playhouse, The Sunset Limited for Actors’ Theatre of Sacramento as well as The Train Driver and Jitney at Celebration Arts. He has won six Elly awards and a Chesley Award for his acting, an Elly for his original script Petra as well as an Elly for Lifetime Achievement.

Kristine David. Kristine David 2Kristine has been featured as an actor and musician throughout Northern California. She has appeared with B Street Theatre (Provenance, Bob), Capital Stage (Mauritius, Much Ado About Nothing), Sacramento Theater Company (Julius Caesar, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet) & Big Idea Theatre (Inventing Van Gogh, Complete Female Stage Beauty.)

Dougie PieperDoug Pieper. Highlights of Doug’s 22-year theatre career include an Elly nomination for his role in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, appearances in Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap, Sam Shepherd’s Buried Child, The Boys Next Door, The Little Dog Laughed, and as Timmy Boggs in The Last Time I Saw Timmy Boggs.   He’s been heard on-air as the COOL101.9  movie review critic, and appeared in many regional commercials. He recently graduated school as a Surgical Technologist, and lives in Natomas with his husband and their 4 dogs. He’s grateful to be back at Stories On Stage for a second adventure.

Tarig Elsiddig

An actor and a singer, Tarig Elsiddig has appeared at Celebration Arts in In The Red And Brown Water, A New Song For Christmas, Jitney, and The Bluest Eye. Born in Hayward California, he has been in love with acting for as long as he can remember.He’s thrilled to be appearing at Stories on Stage.

Sam Sims 2

Sam Sims  made his theatrical debut in James Wheatley’s A New Song For Christmas. He’s also an aspiring photographer studying at Sacramento City College, focusing on high fashion photography. He’s an artist  open to any form of art and is excited to be a part of this event.

A sampling of what critics say about Welcome to Braggsville:

“The most dazzling, most unsettling, most oh-my-God-listen-up novel you’ll read this year. T. Geronimo Johnson plays cultural criticism like it’s acid jazz. His shockingly funny story pricks every nerve of the American body politic. Welcome to Braggsville. It’s about time.” — The Washington Post

More about the Welcome to Braggsville, Geronimo Johnson, and critical acclaim at http://www.geronimo1.com/

More about Celebration Arts at http://www.celebrationarts.net/

Leave a comment

Filed under Upcoming Events

Stories on Stage Sacramento, Friday June 26, featuring Kathryn Ma: Bad Behavior

TKathryn Ma 3, credit Andria Loeenage rebellion is nothing new. But when the teen is abandoned as a baby on the steps of a department store in China and handed over to her adoptive Chinese-American mother with the words “like eating. Like the Bowns” pinned to her blanket,  the reasons for rebellion can be extraordinarily complicated and deep, and how that rebellion plays out can be devastating – and redeeming.  Abandonment is the beginning for Ari, the main character in Kathryn Ma’s brilliant novel of self-discovery, The Year She Left Us.  In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly called the novel “…a sweeping success–a standout from the many novels about Chinese assimilation and the families of Chinese immigrants–with a fascinating protagonist….Ma implies that not all losses can be recovered….This is a family saga of insight, regret, and pathos, and it is not to be missed.” Recently issued in paperback, the book was featured in The New York Times’ “paperback row,” and named a “Best Book of the Year” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Year She Left Us is Ma’s debut novel. Her previously published collection of short stories, All That Work and Still No Boys, won the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Award. The book was also named a San Francisco Chronicle “Notable” Book, and a Los Angeles Times “Discoveries” Book. She received the David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction, and the honor of being named a San Francisco Public Library Laureate.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kathryn is the daughter of parents who emigrated from China. Her stories have appeared in the Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Northwest Review, Prairie Schooner, Slice, Southwest Review, Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Kathryn was a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon. In 2011, she was a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction and a master’s degree in history from Stanford University. She earned a JD from the University of California, Berkeley and practiced law for a number of years in San Francisco, where she lives with her family.  For a terrific interview with Kathryn, recently published in the San Jose Mercury News, click here

Maureen O'Leary Wanket 1Also appearing with Kathryn Ma will be emerging writer Maureen O’Leary Wanket, author of the Young Adult novel How To Be Manly and Urban Fantasy novel The Arrow. Her short stories can be found in literary magazines and anthologies such as Esopus, Shade Mountain Press, Fiction at Work, Xenith, Prick of the Spindle and Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine.

Reading an excerpt from The Year She Left Us will be Sacramento actress Yuri Tajiri.Yuri Tajiri

Elizabeth_Holzman1Reading Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s short story  “The Flat Earth” will be Sacramento actress Elizabeth Holzman.

Kathryn Ma, with Maureen O’Leary Wanket

 readings by Yuri Tajiri and Elizabeth Holzman

At Stories on Stage Sacramento

The Avid Reader at Tower, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento

Friday, June 26, 2015

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

A $5 donation is suggested.

1 Comment

Filed under Upcoming Events

Stories on Stage in May featuring Karen Bender: It’s All About Money

IMG_9727

Karen E. Bender

This month’s featured writer, Karen Bender, is a much-honored novelist, and we’ll be presenting one of the stories from Refund, her first short story collection. But before I list all of her other accomplishments,  let me enthuse about her work a bit.

One of the best parts of being the coordinator for Stories on Stage is that I sometimes get to read books before they’re released. An advance copy of Karen Bender’s new short story collection, Refund, was sent to me six months ago. I devoured it, then read it again, and I still can’t get these stories out of my head. Not that I want to, because Bender’s tales grab you in the best possible way. She’s a master (mistress?) of understatement and the way she captures the most complex  of situations in just a few words is astounding. Her characters – men, women, and yes, even the children – are wonderful and awful at the same time. They teeter on the knife edge of survival in every imaginable circumstance. And in Refund, money drives everything, even in the stories that aren’t specifically about money. It’s a brilliant collection.

Okay, okay, so I’m a gushing fangirl. But I’m not alone. The New York Times Book Review says: “Money is ostensibly the fuel that powers Karen E. Bender’s new collection, “Refund…” but Bender’s subtler preoccupation is the eroding effect of emotional want…Bender understands worlds about marriage and emotional need.”  “…exquisitely composed portraits of modern life,” says the Chicago Tribune. Similar praise comes from the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and a host of others. Karen Bender’s short stories have twice been published in The New Yorker, she’s won two Pushcart prizes, been published in Best American Short Stories and two of her stories have been selected to be read on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” Her novel Like Normal People,  was a Los Angeles Times bestseller, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.

Any wonder I’m so excited that she’s coming to Stories on Stage?

“The Third Child,” a story from the collection, will be read by Sacramento actress and teacher Deni Scofield.  Also appearing with Karen Bender will be Meera Klein, whose novel My Mother’s Kitchen is a finalist in the 2015 Beverly Hills International Book Awards in the Multi-Cultural Fiction category. Reading an excerpt from My Mother’s Kitchen will be Capital Public Radio’s Donna Apidone. 

This month’s reading will be held Friday, May 29 at The Avid Reader Bookstore, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $5 donation is suggested.

3 Comments

Filed under Upcoming Events

Stories on Stage in April: Ann Packer

WhAnn Packer 2at a year we’re having at Stories on Stage Sacramento!

In January, Tobias Wolff graced our season-opening event with his wisdom, humor, and masterful stories. And now, in April, we are thrilled and honored to bring you another leading American writer – Ann Packer.  She’s the award-winning author of The Dive From Clausen’s Pier, and now her new novel, The Children’s Crusade, is earning even higher accolades. In addition to starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, The Children’s Crusade was named “Book of the Week” by People Magazine, “Pick of the Week” by Publisher’s Weekly, and an Amazon “Best Book of April 2015.”  Enthused Dan Cryer of the San Francisco Chronicle: “I’ve rarely read a novel so astute about the jumble of love and respect, rivalry and envy, empathy and scorn that makes up family dynamics…Packer is also a superb storyteller. ”

In addition to The Children’s Crusade, Ann Packer is the acclaimed author of two collections of short fiction, Swim Back to Me and Mendocino and Other Stories, and two bestselling novels, Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, which received the Kate Chopin Literary Award, among many other prizes and honors. She lives in San Carlos, CA.

Reading the first chapter from The Children’s Crusade (praised in the New York Times Sunday Book Review as “some of Packer’s best and most rapturous prose”) will be  Matthew Rives. Matt is well-known in Sacramento as an actor equally adept at comic and serious roles.  Most recently he appeared as “Henry Higgins” in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

Also appearing with Ann Packer is Lois Ann Abraham, author of the short story collection Circus Girl, published by Ad Lumen Press. Lois is a professor of English at American River College, focusing on literature and creative writing, both fiction & non-fiction. Her stories have appeared in Sojourner, Chico News & Review, Writing on the Edge, Inside English, Burning the Little Candle (Ad Lumen), Convergences, and elsewhere. She was a featured author at the 2015 Sacramento Public Library’s “Authors on the Move.”

Kellie Yvonne Raines will be reading the title story from Circus Girl. Kellie  is an Associate Artist with KOLT Run Creations where she has appeared in My Own Stranger, Vinegar Tom, Antigone, and Escape From Happiness.

Stories on Stage, with Ann Packer and Lois Ann Abraham, Friday, April 24, 2015 at the Verge Center for The Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM; readings begin at 7:30. $5 donation suggested.

Please note that we’ll be at Verge Center for the Arts this month. 

1 Comment

Filed under Upcoming Events

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Upcoming Events

February at Stories on Stage: Elena Mauli Shapiro and Tigh Rickman: readers Eric Baldwin and Cynthia Speakman

We’re very excited to bring  Elena Mauli ShapiroElena Mauli Shapiro back to Stories on Stage Sacramento. Elena’s a Bay area writer whose first novel, 13 Rue Therese, was praised as a “sensual treat” by USA Today, and a London Times reviewer said of her “…Mauli Shapiro writes not so much like an angel as an imp: hot, jabbing and naughty, with a tight grip on the senses….” Her second novel, In The Red, was highlighted in “A Year of Reading” in The Millions as “…spectacular…a dark story about a bright young woman’s descent into a criminal underworld, realism interlaced with fairy tales…. an expert meditation on money, morality, and belonging.” From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “…Shapiro’s deft leaps forward in time and frequent use of eerie Romanian folks tales help make this dark story a multilayered literary treat.”

Elena was born in Paris and moved to the US at thirteen.  She amassed several degrees in literature and writing at Stanford, Mills College, and UC Davis.  Both of her novels were published Little, Brown:  13 rue Thérèse,  in 2013, and  In the Red,  in 2014.  Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as Zyzzyva, Five Chapters, and Farallon Review. She lives in the Bay Area with her scientist husband and two elderly half-Siamese cats who spend all day following sunbeams around the house. There’s more about Elena, her life,  and her work on her website http://elenamaulishapiro.com/

Her short story”Vanity,” which appears in the current issue of Farallon Review, will be read by Sacramento actor Eric Baldwin.  A Stories on Stage favorite, Eric has worked locally, regional, nationally and internationally. He served as the Artistic Director of Quantum Theatre in Los Angeles from 2000-2004 and founded Sacramento’s Resurrection Theatre. Favorite roles include Henry V, Macbeth, Biff in Death of a Salesman, Prospero in The Tempest, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Pale in Burn This and Barry Champlain in Talk Radio.

We’re also pleased to introduce emerging writer Tigh Rickman. He’s a native Sacramentan and a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA at the University of Southern Maine. His writing has appeared in The Bradford ReView, The Conium Review, The Farallon Review, Celebrities in Disgrace and The Salty Beatnik. He lives with his girlfriend Kelly in Oak Park where they tend to a pair of spoiled rotten chickens, and he is currently restoring a 1950s Airstream travel trailer. In his spare time he frequents junk shops, looking for old objects and the stories they tell.

Tigh’s short story eViews.com will be read by Cynthia Mitchell Speakman, another Stories on Stage favorite. Cynthia has been performing with the spoken word group StoryVoices, and teaching children’s theatre for over 10 years. She’s appeared in plays ranging from The Glass Menagerie and Death of a Salesman to Harvey and Alice in Wonderland as the Queen of Hearts. She recently completed work in an independent film, In God We Trust, to be released in March. You may occasionally hear her in radio commercials or see her downtown giving a Segway tour or Hysterical Walk in Old Sac.

Stories on Stage Sacramento

at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street, (25th and R Arts Complex,) Sacramento

Friday, February 27

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

$5 donation suggested

Copies of 13 Rue Therese,  In the Red, and Farallon Review will be for sale

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Upcoming Events