Happy Holidays from Stories on Stage

BookTree1-550x550Happy Holidays and Merry Bookmas from Stories on Stage

We’re taking a break this month, but if you’re looking for something to do with your December Final Friday, may we suggest a glass of wine, a lively fire, and a good book? Or, several good books – all from the wonderful writers who made 2014 such a great season. Here they are, in order:

  • January –  Marisa SilverMary Coin, Alone With You 
  • March –  Natalie Baszile, Queen Sugar
  • April  – Peter Orner, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, Love and Shame and Love
  • May  – Kate Milliken, If I’d Known You Were Coming and Joey Garcia, When Your Heart Breaks It’s Opening to Love
  • June  –  Tom Barbash, Stay Up With Me
  • July  –  Kirstin ChenSoy Sauce for Beginners
  • August  –  Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
  • September –  Michael Spurgeon, Let The Water Hold Me Down, and Anara Guard, Remedies for Hunger
  • October  –  Katie Crouch, Abroad
  • November  – Evan Morgan Williams, Thorn, and Valerie Fioravanti, Garbage Night at the Opera

Coming up soon: our 2015 season announcement! Watch this space….and mark all the Final Fridays of 2015 on your calendar as must-attend Stories on Stage events!

Many, many thanks to our sponsors and volunteers – The Sacramento Poetry Center, The Avid Reader, Pushkin’s Bakery, our casting director Peggi Wood, Tatiana Morfas, Ana Cotham, Tim Foley, Geoffrey Neill, Ruth Blank, Kevin McKenna, Corinne Litchfield, David Hagarty, Joey Garcia, and to Valerie Fioravanti, founder and guiding spirit.

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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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October at Stories on Stage: Bestselling author Katie Crouch

A night of mystery and suspense

with Katie Crouch,  and a reading from her  new novel

Abroad

Also appearing

Sacramento writer Paul Mann

OCTOBER 24, 2014

Sacramento Poetry Center

Doors open 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

$5 donation suggested

Katie Crouch 2

Author of the bestselling novels Girls in Trucks and Men and Dogs, Crouch’s latest novel, Abroad, is a mystery wound through and through with betrayal and thrilling secrets.  Based on the Amanda Knox incident, Abroad tells the story of a young Irish girl, Taz, who travels to Italy to study and is swept up in an ultimately fatal whirlwind. The novel was praised in the San Francisco Chronicle as a “psychological, grab-your-throat thriller,” holding the reader “in its ever-tightening grip, with a heady mix of history, burning secrets and exquisite language…’we were all alive, and we loved and hated and lived brilliant messy existences.  The air was thick with our wanting’ says Taz in the novel’s knockout last pages. Don’t forget me, these pages beg, and Crouch’s haunting, disturbing story makes sure that to do such a thing would be absolutely impossible.” Abroad  was selected for the New Republic, Elle, Newsday, and the Chicago Tribune Summer Reading Lists.

Ms. Crouch covered the Amanda Knox appeal for Slate magazine, and has also written for The Guardian, the New York Times, McSweeney’s, Tin House, and Salon. She writes a regular column on The Rumpus called “Missed.” A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Crouch is a MacDowell fellow and an alumna of Brown University and the Columbia University MFA program. She teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in Bolinas, California with the writer Peter Orner and their daughter Phoebe.  There’s more about her at http://katiecrouch.net/

Paul Mann 4Paul Mann’s colorful stories of mystery and mayhem are set in his native Florida. He lives in Sacramento with his lovely wife, energetic and beautiful daughter, and loyal canine. By day he works as an investigator representing death row inmates in their Habeas appeals in federal courts. His stories have appeared in The Farallon Review, Susurrus, Sunken Lines, CrimeSpree, The Saturnalian, and Sacramento News & Review, as well as Stories on Stage Sacramento and Davis. In the little spare time he has, he spends time with his family, works on his short story collection, enjoys bicycling and swimming, restoring old bikes, woodworking, and tinkering in his shop. He also firmly believes that one can never have too many bikes. More about Paul at http://www.paulmarshallmann.com

 

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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.

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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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July at Stories on Stage: Kirstin Chen’s “Soy Sauce For Beginners”

Family. Love. Artisanal soy sauce.

More bound together than you might think. 

This month’s featured writer is

Kirstin Chen 

author of Oprah book pick Soy Sauce For Beginners

An excerpt from Kirstin’s novel will be read by Yuri Tajiri

Also appearing is emerging Sacramento writer Ginny Johnson

Chapter 1 of her novel Honeysuckle will be read by Denise Hoffner

Friday, July 25,

Doors open at 7. Readings begin at 7:30 PM

Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street.

Kirsten Chen

Kirstin Chen is the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners, featured in USA Today’s “New Voices”, an O, The Oprah Magazine “book to pick up now,” and a Glamour book club pick. A former Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, she holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. She has received awards from the Sewanee and Napa Valley writers’ conferences, and her short stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Hobart, Pank, and others. Born and raised in Singapore, she currently lives in San Francisco, where she’s at work on her second novel, set on a tiny island off the coast of southern China in 1958.

Yuri Tajiri

 Yuri Tajiri has appeared in String of Pearls by EMH Productions, as Linda in Evil Dead the Musical at Sutter Street Theatre, and Grumio in Taming of the Shrew at The Alternative Arts Collective. She recently graduated from CSU Sacramento with a BA in Theatre Arts and enjoys working as a portrait photographer when she’s not acting. She is excited to be making her debut at Stories on Stage !

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Ginny Johnson‘s fiction has appeared in The Oxford American, a Southern literary magazine. A chapter of her novel Honeysuckle received an Honorable Mention in the National Fiction Writing Contest for Lawyers. Her play, “The Last of Everything,” was given a staged reading in Santa Monica in 2005. She lives in Davis and is currently working on a collection of short stories set in Alabama, her home state.

 

Denise Hoffner 2 Originally from Woody Allen’s Brooklyn, Denise Hoffner is a mother, writer, activist, actor, lawyer, and crossing guard.  She has performed at The Marsh Theatre and in The Vagina Monologues. Denise has told stories to children at the Davis International House and to grown-ups at The Porchlight Storytelling Series.  She’s performed stand-up comedy at drag king shows, LGBTQIA pride events, and her dentist’s birthday party.  Denise also writes essay-memoir creative non-fiction.

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