Tag Archives: Sue Staats

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.

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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.

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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/

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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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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. 

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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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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

 

Presenting

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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November at Stories on Stage: Evan Morgan Williams and Valerie Fioravanti

We’re celebrating the conclusion of our fifth successful season with our  annual

Sharat Chandra Fiction Prize event

 featuring this year’s winner

Evan Morgan Williams

also featuring

former Sharat Chandra Fiction Prize winner and Stories on Stage founder

Valerie Fioravanti

Readings by Jeff and Susan Webster and Gay Cooper

November 28, 2014

Sacramento Poetry Center

Doors open 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

$5 donation suggested

 

Evan Morgan Evan WilliamsWilliams’ collection of short stories, Thorn, is the 2013 winner of the Sharat Chandra Fiction Prize, awarded by BkMk Press (University of Missouri – Kansas City) and judged by Al Young. Williams earned his MFA at the University of Montana. He has published over forty stories in literary magazines including Witness, Kenyon Review, ZYZZYVA, Antioch Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Northwest Review. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches in a public school. To read selections of his work and learn more about him, visit his blog, Stories and News http://bit.ly/storiesandnews

Valerie Fioravanti

Valerie Fioravanti is the author of Garbage Night at the Opera, winner of the 2011 Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has appeared in many literary magazines, including North American Review, Cimarron Review, and Hunger Mountain. Her fiction has received four Pushcart Prize nominations, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy. Valerie works privately as a writing teacher, editor, and mentor. “The Tough Guy Test” is taken from her recently completed second collection, Bridge & Tunnel. Her website is http://www.valeriefioravanti.com/

 

We are happy to welcome back Stories on Stage favorites Gay Cooper and Jeff Webster as this month’s readers. Jeff will be joined by his wife, Susan, in reading Evan Williams‘ short story “Ivory” from his prize-winning collection Thorn. Gay Cooper will read “The Tough Guy Test” from Valerie Fioravanti’s new collection, Bridge & Tunnel.

Jeff Webster

Sue WebsterThis is Jeff Webster’s ’s fourth appearance at Stories on Stage, and he is very pleased to be reading with his wife, Susan. Jeff had been active in the Sacramento theater scene for several years before he and Susan retired to the Tucson area in 2013. Fortunately, he has found a lively theater community in the desert. He recently played Paul in Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffaloand Detective Sergeant Troughton in Ray Cooney’s  Run for Your Wife. Susan Webster is pleased to co-read “Ivory” with her husband Jeff. In college, she was cast in several plays, including the leading role of Beatrice in A View from the Bridge. More recently, she played multiple roles in a medical training video and Mary in the short film, A Love Remembered. Sue has been a hospice volunteer for 21 years, both in Sacramento and in Green Valley, Arizona.

Gay Cooper 2

Gay Cooper is thrilled to be returning to Stories on Stage. She is an actor who has worked with many theater companies in town, including Resurrection Theater, Big Idea Theater, Kolt Run Creations, and California Stage.  She has also worked in commercials and industrial films. Gay has had the pleasure of participating in previous Chandra Prize winner celebrations and is a Stories on Stage favorite, reading for both the Sacramento series as well as Davis.

We are looking for emerging writers! If you have a story you think would fit the Stories on Stage format (2500 – 4500 words, literary fiction, plenty of scene and dialogue) we’d love to hear from you. Send in pdf or word document to suestaats@comcast.net.

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September Authors and Actors at Stories on Stage

Michael Spurgeon

author of

Let The Water Hold Me Down

and

Anara Guard

author of

Remedies for Hunger

Stories on Stage at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St.

Friday, September 26 at 7:30 PM

Doors open at 7PM. $5 Donation suggested

Michael Spurgeoon1Our featured writer, Michael Spurgeon, is the author of Let The Water Hold Me Down, a novel of friendship, love, and betrayal set in the Mexican state of Chiapas during the 1994 Zapatista rebellion. Michael was living  in San Cristobal de Las Casas at the time of the uprising. He is currently a tenured professor of English at American River College, and his writing has appeared in regional and national journals, including The North American ReviewSonora ReviewThe Packinghouse Review, and many others. He is the author of two short collections of poems–Valente’s Delicate Wrist (Talent House Press, 1998) and Prosthetic Breath & Other Poems (3300 Press, 1995)–and his poetry has been anthologized in Burning the Little Candle (Ad Lumen Press, 2013) and Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets (SPC Press, 2013). He is co-founder and Board President of 916 Ink, a Sacramento area non-profit dedicated to promoting children’s literacy through creative writing. Let The Water Hold Me Down (Ad Lumen Press 2013) is his first novel.

Tim GaffaneyAn excerpt from Michael’s novel will be read by Tim Gaffaney. Tim has performed on stage for nearly 40 years in musicals, comedies and dramas.   Local credits include Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing and the Waiter in She Loves Me (Davis Shakespeare Ensemble); La Fleche in Moliere’s The Miser and Wayne Wellacre in Inspecting Carole (Woodland Opera House); and Applegate in Damn Yankees (Davis Musical Theater Company). He formerly performed with the Foundry Players of Washington, DC, and helped launch the Capital City Players before returning to California.  He has volunteered as a news and fiction reader for the blind in Washington, DC and Sacramento. Tim also serves as casting director for our sister series, Stories on Stage Davis.

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Our emerging writer, Anara Guard, grew up in Chicago where her first job was tending the corner newsstand for a penny a minute while Carl the Newspaper Man ate his lunch. She later worked in a thrift shop, pharmacy, check clearinghouse, food co-op, community radio station, small town library, as a maid in a resort on the shores of Lake Michigan, and a women’s self-defense teacher. She studied writing at the Urban Gateways Young Writers Workshop of Chicago with Kathleen Agena, St. Joseph’s College with Stu Dybek, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference with Robert Cohen and Alix Ohlin. She graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston. Remedies for Hunger is her second collection of stories; in 2010, Back Pages Publishing issued The Sound of One Body. Her poetry has been published in Convergence and Late Peaches, an anthology of Sacramento poets.

Kristine DavidReading Anara’s story Zhee Zhou will be Kristine David.  An actor and musician, Kristine has been seen on many Sacramento stages including: B Street Theatre (Provenance, Bob), Capital Stage (Mauritius, Much Ado About Nothing), Sacramento Theater Company (Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet) & Big Idea Theatre (Inventing Van Gogh, Complete Female Stage Beauty.)

 

Copies of both books will be for sale at the event, thanks to

The Avid Reader

avid reader logo

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August at Stories on Stage: Featured writers and actors

Our featured writer this month is

Anthony Marra

author of the widely acclaimed and PEN-shortlisted novel

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

appearing with Anthony is Sacramento writer

Julie Woodside

An excerpt from A Constellation of Vital Phenomena 

will be read by Ruby Sketchley

Julie Woodside’s short story The Stone Wall will be read by Tory Scroggins

THIS MONTH ONLY: STORIES ON STAGE WILL BE HELD AT

VERGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS

625 S Street, Sacramento

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

anthony-marra 2Anthony Marra’s debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, is a New York Times bestseller, on a dozen national “best ten” lists, the winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize,  on the shortlist for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize for debut novel, and was recently named Book of the Year by the Northern California Independent Booksellers. Anthony has also won a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Narrative Prize, the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, and the inaugural 2014 Carla Furstenberg Cohen Fiction Award. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he now teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and currently lives in Oakland, California. There’s more about Anthony at http://anthonymarra.net/

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Julie Woodside is a member of the Urban Hive, Coffee and Ink, and KMWriters writing groups. Her fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in various on-line publications, and her poetry has been published in Tule Review and Poets INC.  She is currently working on a collection of short stories and her first novel. When not writing, she enjoys her semi-retirement job with a local manufacturer of outrigger canoes, as well as cooking, reading, and volunteering at local theatres.

 

 

Ruby Sketchley

Ruby Sketchley is currently a company member at Big Idea Theatre, She has also been seen in plays at KOLT, Resurrection Theatre, MSTW, Closet Door Theatre, and ASQP, and has served on the board of the Capital Film Arts Alliance.  She’s been seen on many television and radio commercials, as well as in feature and short films. With her husband, she runs a film production company, whose most recent project is a documentary on home death care. A veteran of several appearances at Stories on Stage, Ruby particularly values the experience of reading to an audience:  “Having a story read to me takes me back to my childhood, and that wonderful freedom to paint pictures in my mind. I hope the audience finds that same magic as they listen to the stories being presented at Stories on Stage.”

 

Tory Scroggins

Tory Scroggins began his career a make-up artist in Los Angeles, where he perfected the look of such famous faces as Beyoncé,  Janet Jackson and Usher. He transitioned to acting in 2000, and has since performed in nearly two dozen stage plays, in addition to appearances on television and in film. Tory moved to Sacramento two years ago, and is currently majoring in theatre arts at Sacramento City College. He recently appeared there in the play Scapino.  Tory can be seen in August Wilson’s Jitney, opening September 5th at The Celebration Arts Theatre. Follow him on twitter @ToryScroggins1

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August at Stories on Stage: Anthony Marra at Verge Center for the Arts

“She circled it with red ink and referred to it nightly. Life: a constellation of vital phenomena

–organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.”

from A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

A brilliant and beautiful story of love and sacrifice

set in wartime Chechnya

Stories on Stage is honored to present our featured writer for August

Anthony Marra

Friday, August 29, 2014

 Verge Center for the Arts

625 S Street, Sacramento

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

$5 donation suggested.

anthony marraAMarra-AConstellationVP

The New York Times Book Review called Anthony Marra’s debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, “a 21st-century War and Peace.” The Washington Post extolled it as “a flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles.” Marra’s brilliant tale of love and forgiveness in war-torn Chechnya is a New York Times bestseller, on a dozen national “best ten” lists, the winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize,  on the shortlist for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize for debut novel, and was recently named Book of the Year by the Northern California Independent Booksellers.

In addition to the honors mentioned above, Marra is the winner of a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize,  the Narrative Prize, the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, and the inaugural 2014 Carla Furstenberg Cohen Fiction Award.  A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was a National Book Award longlist selection as well as a shortlist selection for the Flaherty-Dunnan first novel prize. Marra’s work has also been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012.

Marra received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he now teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and currently resides in Oakland, California. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is his first novel. Find more information about him at http://anthonymarra.net/

Stories on Stage, the popular, award-winning series where actors perform short stories, is celebrating its fifth year. It takes place on the final Friday of each month, customarily at the Sacramento Poetry Center. But because of the anticipated size of the audience, the August event will be held at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento.

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