Tag Archives: short story

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.


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.






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It’s the end of our 2016 season, and on Friday, October 28, Bonnie Jo Campbell has something to say about mothers and daughters

bonnie-jo-campbellI’ll begin with an early warning: I can’t be objective about Bonnie Jo Campbell. I’m a fan. I love her dark, twisted, often funny stories and how she’s willing to take them as far as they will go, and then,  even further. I love the sunny, ever-optimistic way she lives her life. I’m in awe of how she’s very serious and disciplined about her writing, but playful when it comes to presenting herself as a writer, despite her burgeoning reputation as a leading author of what’s been called “rural America’s postindustrialbonnie-and-flannery landscape.”  What other writer,  compared to the great Flannery O’Connor, would show up at appearances for her short story collection Mothers, Tell Your Daughters with Flannery herself at her side, or rather a lifesize, cardboard version of Flannery?

Flannery won’t be with us when Bonnie Jo appears as the featured writer on Friday October 28 at Stories on Stage Sacramento, but she is bringing something just as fun – comics! The graphic artist Monica Friedman, a former student of Bonnie Jo’s (as am I – full disclosure) created six-panel versions of all sixteen stories in Mothers Tell Your bjc-daughters-of-the-animal-kingdom_edited-1Daughters, and we’ll have copies of the entire book at the event. “Daughters of the Animal Kingdom” is the story we’ve selected to be read, and here’s the graphic interpretation.

What else about Bonnie Jo?  Nearly too much to report, and that’s just about her writing. Mothers Tell Your Daughters recently won the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association’s Great Lakes, Great Reads Award for Adult Fiction. She is also author of the novel Q Road and its prequel, the New York Times best-seller Once Upon A River.  Her previous short story collection American Salvage was a finalist for the National Book Award AND the National
Book Critics Circle Award. Her first story collection, Women and Other Animals, won the AWP Award for Short Fiction. She’s a Guggenheim Fellow. She’s won a Pushcart Prize, the Eudora Welty Prize, and the 2009 CBA Letterpress Chapbook Award for her poetry collection  Love Letters to Sons of Bitches. She teaches in the Low-Residency Program at Pacific University, and next spring, she will serve as the Mary Rogers Field and Marion Field-McKenna Distinguished University Professor of Creative Writing at DePauw University. When she’s not writing or teaching or making appearances or giving readings bonniejocampbell-and-donkeyshe tends to her two donkeys, Jack and Don Quixote, raises chickens,  practices martial arts, rides her bike long distances, brings in the hay on her mother’s farm and makes an exemplary elderberry wine. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan  with her husband, Christopher. www.bonniejocampbell.com.

 It’s always a pleasure when a former “emerging” writer becomes a featured writer, and kristin-fitzpatrick-2this month we are very happy to welcome back  Kristin Fitzpatrick. Her first short story collection, My Pulse is an Earthquake, was published in 2015 by West Virginia University Press. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, The Southeast Review, Best of Gival Press Short Stories, Epiphany, and Ventura County Star. Her writing has also been chosen for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and The New Short Fiction Series. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Jentel Artist Residency Program and The Seven Hills School. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in California and teaches writing at CSU Channel Islands. There’s more at her website www.kristinfitzpatrick.com

Our readers this month are two Stories on Stage audience favorites: Kelley Ogden and Tara Henry.

Kelley Ogden 2Kelley Ogden  is an accomplished performer, director and producer whose work has been seen throughout the area. Co-founder of acclaimed fringe theater company, KOLT Run Creations, Kelley has performed with Capital Stage (most recently in How to Use A Knife and The Totalitarians,) Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theatre Works and Theater Galatea among others. Kelley earned her BFA in Performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.

Back for the 4th time at Stories on Stage, Tara Henry is a familiar face to local theatre-


goers. Recent performances include roles in Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and The Fantasticks at Sacramento Theatre Company; Emma in The Behavior of Broadus at Capital Stage, and Dromio in A Comedy of Errors at the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, among many other Shakespeare productions. She also appeared as a Fantasy Festival 28 cast member with the B Street Theatre.

Our featured writer for October

Bonnie Jo Campbell

author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters

with Kristin Fitzpatrick

readings by Kelley Ogden and Tara Henry

Friday, October 28, 7:30 PM at the Auditorium at CLARA

(The E Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts)

a $10 donation is suggested


As we end our seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to be proud of the excellence in literary fiction we have presented 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. This year 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 elated 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.

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History, Two Ways – at Stories on Stage Sacramento


On the menu at Stories on Stage this month: History, Two Ways. Two writers, two approaches that tease new flavors from dry facts.

Mary Volmer, in Reliance, Illinois,  uses a moment in time, an era, as the setting for her characters, and gives a beating heart to 1870s Illinois,  where a young woman with a disfiguring birthmark overcomes poverty and her own mother’s betrayal to discover her life’s purpose through the help of some of the most colorful proto-feminist characters you’ll ever meet.

Jordan Fisher Smith, in Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial,  and the Fight Over Controlling Nature  uses one specific, horrific event ts as a way of opening our eyes to the larger issue and meaning of a moment in time. In 1972 a Yellowstone hiker is killed and partially eaten by a grizzly, triggering a lawsuit against the department of the Interior and igniting a raging debate among environmentalists over what to do when nature has been disrupted by human beings. How do we go about repairing it? How much should we try to control or manipulate it in order to heal it?

Mary Volmer Jordan Fisher SmithWe don’t usually feature non-fiction at Stories on Stage Sacramento but these are compelling issues tackled in different ways by excellent writers. We’re excited to present these two very different uses of history as a jumping-off place. Mary Volmer is a Grass Valley, CA native and a much-praised writer of historic fiction (Crown of Dust and her just-published Reliance, Illinois.Crown of Dust, set during the Gold Rush, earned a Publisher’s Weekly starred review and drew praise from The New York Times Sunday Review of Books for “investing her pioneers with piquant inner lives and a poker-faced lyricism.” Similar praise has arrived for Reliance, Illinois, published in May 2016: Booklist singled out its “rich cast of characters and well-evoked setting” and Publisher’s Weekly noted its “smart touches of humor.” Mary earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College. a master’s from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook. She teaches at Saint Mary’s College and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Nevada City writer Jordan Fisher Smith spent 21 years as a park and wilderness ranger in California, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska. In reviewing Engineering Eden, Booklist praised Smith as a “galvanizing storyteller fluent in the conflict between environmental science and politics.” He’s also the author of Nature Noir, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2005 pick, and an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice. His magazine work has appeared in TIME.com, Men’s Journal, Aeon, Discover, and other places, and he’s been nominated for awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Jordan is a principal cast member and narrator of the documentary film “Under Our Skin,” which made the 2010 Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, and he appears in a 2014 sequel “Under Our Skin 2: Emergence.”

Mallory MonachinoReading an excerpt from Reliance, Illinois will be Mallory Monachino. A newcomer to Stories on Stage, Mallory recently returned to Sacramento after a year spent in Los Angeles studying with renowned acting coach Doug Warhit. She was last seen on stage in Sacramento in the EMH production Look Back In Anger and was the female lead in the short film Labyrinth, written and directed by Lonon Smith. A former competitive synchronized swimmer, Mallory works as a yoga instructor.


Matt Rives 2Reading an excerpt from  Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight Over Controlling Nature is Matt Rives, an actor, musician, and stand-up comedian. In addition to several Stories on Stage readings, Matthew has played lead roles in  Noises Off and A Comedy of Errors and has performed by invitation at Laughs Unlimited, The Sacramento Comedy Spot, and Luna’s Café. His notable roles include “Franz Liebkind” in The Producers and “Buck Barrow” in Bonnie and Clyde with Runaway Stage Productions. Matthew also played the role of “The Captain” in the world premier of Frankenstein with Resurrection Theatre. Most recently, he played the role of Tom/Narrator in Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Mr. Aarons in Bridge to Terabitihia, and Henry Higgins in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.


Stories on Stage Sacramento at the Sacramento Poetry Center, Friday June 24. 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 Wanket, 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.

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What do parrots and storage units have in common? Stories on Stage Sacramento, of course….coming August 28: Bonnie ZoBell, author of “What Happened Here,” and Bill Pieper, author of “Forgive Me, Father”

BonnieZoBellCrop-WebIn 1978, PSA Flight 182 crashed into the North Park neighborhood in San Diego, killing all 137 passengers and seven people on the ground. August featured writer Bonnie ZoBell lives in this neighborhood, and in What Happened Here, the crash’s legacy seeps into the stories of the neighborhood’s inhabitants, bringing grief, anxiety, and rebellion to the surface and eventually assisting in burning clean the lives of those who live in the shadow of disaster. Humor flits through these stories like the macaws that have taken to the trees of North Park, and their outrageous colors and noisome squawks serve as constant reminders of regrowth. What Happened Here won 1st Place in Next Generation’s Indie Book Awards in the Novella. In addition, the author has received an NEA fellowship in fiction, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and first place in the Capricorn Novel Award from the Writer’s Voice of NYC. She teaches at San Diego Mesa College where she is a Creative Writing Coordinator.

Bill Pieper’s short story collection Forgive Me, Father was published in 2014 by Cold River Press. He lives and writes in Sacramento and Nevada City, California. His stories have received two Pushcart Prize nominations and have appeared in The Farallon Review, Red Fez, Convergence, Primal Urge, Fiction 365, and The Blue Lake Review, among others. In addition to short fiction, he has two small press novels in print, Belonging (2006, Comstock Bonanza Press) and What You Wish For (2011, Pacific Slope Press.)

Reading “People Scream” from What Happened Here is Jenabah Koroma, whose most recent theatrical appearance was her much-praised leading role in the Celebration Arts production of In The Red and Brown Water. The child of West African immigrants, she’s a student at Sacramento City College, majoring in communication arts and theatre.

Reading “Self Storage” from Forgive Me, Father is Scarlet O’Connor. She has performed with The Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento in Museum, The Best Man and most recently Long Day’s Journey into Night. She received an Elly award for Best Leading Actress in a Comedy for her role in EMH Productions’ Moving Mountains. She has also been seen in Shorts and Shorters and Chicken Little’s Christmas Party, at Thistle Dew Theatre.

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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.

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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


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Presenting Janis Stevens and James Wheatley, readers for our season opener with Tobias Wolff

For our opening event – Tobias Wolff, January 30 – we are thrilled to announce a dream team of readers for two of Wolff’s best-known short stories.

Janis Stevens will read “In The Garden of the North American Martyrs.”

Janis is an inJanis Stevensternationally acclaimed actress and one of the leading lights of Sacramento theatre.  Talented and accomplished as both an actor and director, she’s currently helming a production of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine for Big Idea Theatre. She has appeared internationally in Vienna, Austria, in such shows as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, and Blithe Spirit.  Nationally she has appeared in numerous plays at the Theatre at Monmouth in Maine where she is a member of the Resident Company and at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. She is an Associate Artist with Capital Stage in Sacramento, where she has directed productions such as reasons to be pretty, Fool for Love, American Buffalo, How I Learned to Drive and the Capital Stage adaptation Hedda Gabler.  Recent roles include Katharine Hepburn in Kate at Sacramento Theatre Company and Maria Callas in Master Class at Capital Stage. Janis was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Solo Performance” in Rick Foster’s Vivien at the American Theatre of Actors off-off-Broadway and received the Elly Award from the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance for Best Dramatic Actress for her performance in Becoming Julia Morgan and for Best Direction for Love, Isadora, both at California Stage.  A proud member of Actors Equity, she is also an Adjunct Professor of Theatre Arts at American River College.

James Wheatley will read “Bullet in the Brain”

James Wheatley

James Wheatley, actor, dancer, and musician  is Founder and Artistic Director of Celebration Arts.  He began the much-honored organization as a venue for dance in 1976 and expanded the organization to include choral performance and theatre in 1986.  For nearly three decades he has been the guiding spirit for this all-volunteer organization, which  mounts theatrical, musical, and dance productions and also provides training and performance opportunities for community residents. His original musical play for Celebration Arts, A New Song For Christmas, which he wrote, composed, choreographed and acted in, was presented last season to sold-out audiences. 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 and 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.

His next project will be directing In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney, showing February 6 – March 14 at Celebration Arts.


Stories on Stage’s sixth season opening event will take place at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30PM. A $10 donation is suggested.

(None of this is possible without our superb casting director, Peggi Wood. Thank you, thank you Peggi!)

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Inaugurating our sixth season…Tobias Wolff!

When we met last summer to plan Stories on Stage’s sixth season, I asked everyone to write down a dream list – writers we loved, writers we fantasized might accept an invitation to be our featured author. Writers – truth be told – we never expected to lure to Sacramento.  Tobias Wolff was on everyone’s list. I took a deep breath and e-mailed the invitation. I waited. I expected a polite rejection, but within days, I received Tobias Wolff’s gracious acceptance.

And so – as simply as that –  Stories on Stage is very pleased to announce that Tobias Wolff is the featured writer for the inaugural event of our sixth season.

tobias wolff 2



An Evening with Tobias Wolff

The date: Friday, January 30, 7:30 PM

The location: Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento

The format: two of Wolff’s most powerful short stories – In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, and Bullet in the Brain will be read by two of Sacramento’s most prominent actors.

Suggested donation: $10

We’ll have more about this event and the other writers featured at Stories on Stage this coming year (some of the other writers on our dream list also accepted!) in future posts.

Mark your calendars for January 30: you won’t want to miss a chance to see, hear, and meet one of America’s foremost writers. 



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This month at Stories on Stage: Kate Milliken and Joey Garcia

Tantalizing tales from two fabulous women!

“Parts of a Boat”

from Kate Milliken’s prize-winning short story collection

If I’d Known You Were Coming

“Frank Sinatra Saved My Life”

by Sacramento writer Joey Garcia

“Parts of a Boat” will be read by Pam Metzger

“Frank Sinatra Saved My Life” will be read by Imani Mitchell


Friday, May 30, 2014

Doors open at 7, readings begin at 7:30

Kate Kate MillikenMilliken’s stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Fiction, New Orleans Review, and Santa Monica Review, among others. A graduate of the Bennington College Writing Seminars, the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop, and several Pushcart Prize nominations, Kate has also written for television and commercial advertising. Kate’s debut collection of stories, If I’d Known You Were Coming, won the 2013 John Simmons Short Fiction Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press.She lives in Northern California with her husband and their two children. She’s currently working on a screenplay based on her short story, “Mad River,” and completing her novel, the first chapter of which was named runner-up for the 2013 Dana Award

Pam MetzgerPam Metzger was a radio broadcaster for twenty years, and continues to work as a voiceover talent nationally and locally. One of nine children, she was deemed the family storyteller, and at an early age discovered the magic of verbal communication, of being able to change her voice depending on the character in the story. She loves the enchantment reading aloud creates for both reader and listener. She lives by the words of the author Roald Dahl – “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Joey GarciaJoey Garcia has dispensed wise, witty and practical advice to readers of the Sacramento News & Review since 1996. She is the author of the new book When Your Heart Breaks, It’s Opening to Love: Healing and finding love after an affair, heartbreak or divorce, has a short story forthcoming in the Farallon Review and is at work on a novel. Her poetry has been published in Calyx, The Caribbean Writer, in four anthologies and is forthcoming in Presence International Journal and the Tule Review. She has also been awarded poetry fellowships to Spoleto, Italy and Paris, France. Joey was born in Belize, and you can discover more at www.joeygarcia.com

Imani MitchelImani Mitchell is a Sacramento native and local actress. She recently received her associate’s degree in Theatre Arts from Sacramento City College. Imani has performed at several theatres including Capital Stage, B Street Theatre and Celebration Arts. Next spring, she plans to attend Sacramento State and continue her education. This is her first time participating in this event and she is absolutely thrilled!

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