Featured Authors & Actors 1/14/17

Kim Stanley RobinsonKim Stanley Robinson is widely recognized as one of the foremost living writers of science fiction. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, but raised mostly in Southern California, Robinson is the author of nineteen novels and numerous short stories, including the Mars Trilogy and, most recently, Aurora. Many of his novels and stories have ecological, cultural, and political themes and feature scientists as heroes. Robinson’s work has appeared in 24 languages and garnered numerous awards, including the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the World Fantasy Award. In 2016 he received the Robert A. Heinlein Award for outstanding science fiction that promotes space exploration. Robinson has a Ph.D. in English from the University of California San Diego, where he wrote his dissertation about Philip K. Dick. He and his wife, Lisa Howland Nowell, an environmental chemist, have lived in Davis for many years. His new novel, New York 2140, will be released in March 2017.

Lucy Jane BledsoeLucy Jane Bledsoe is the author of five novels, including the recently released A Thin Bright Line, which the New York Times says “triumphs as an intimate and humane evocation of day-to-day life under inhumane circumstances.” Her fiction has won a Yaddo Fellowship, the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, a Pushcart nomination, a California Arts Council Fellowship, an American Library Association Stonewall Award, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships. Bledsoe spends as much time as possible paddling her kayak and hiking in the mountains. Her novel The Evolution of Love will be released in 2018.

David Anthony HanceDavid Hance will read “The Timpanist of the Berlin Philharmonic, 1942” by Kim Stanley Robinson. Hance has been involved in the theater since the age of ten, when his father took him to see a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe. He has performed in more than 150 stage productions and was the executive director of a community-based theater company and playhouse and a part-time theater instructor at a community college. Hance is active in the theater as a writer, producer, director, and actor. He is also a member of the Davis Chorale.

Kellie Yvonne RainesKellie Yvonne Raines will read an excerpt from A Thin Bright Line by Lucy Jane Bledsoe. Raines is an Associate Artist with KOLT Run Creations for which she directed The Adoration of Dora. Her KOLT acting credits include Escape from Happiness, Antigone, Vinegar Tom, and My Own Stranger. Her last performance was in Motherf*cker with the Hat at Big Idea Theatre. She is also a visual artist and published poet. She has a degree in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Davis and proudly works for KVIE Public Television. 

Featured Authors & Actors 12/10/16

Christopher DeWan Christopher DeWan has published more than fifty stories in journals including Hobart, Juked, Necessary Fiction, Passages North, and wigleaf, and he has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. He has had TV projects with the Chernin Group and Indomitable Entertainment, and he has been recipient of a fellowship from the International Screenwriters’ Association. His collection of short stories, Hoopty Time Machines, is available from Atticus Books.

RamonaAusubel_webRamona Ausubel’s new novel, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, came in June 2016 from Riverhead Books. She is also the author of No One is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Her collection of stories, A Guide to Being Born, was a New York Times Notable Book. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, One Story, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, and The Best American Fantasy. She is a faculty member of the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Will OberholtzerWill Oberholtzer will read a selection of stories from Hoopty Time Machines by Christopher DeWan. Oberholtzer is excited to be doing Stories on Stage Davis for the first time. Prior credits include Cyrano de Bergerac and Romeo and Juliet at Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, Kingfish at the Magic Theatre, The Pirates of Penzance at the Sanford Maine Stage Company, and Becket at the Cumberland County Stage. Oberholtzer is a custom furniture and cabinet maker who’s happy to be revisiting an early passion, the theater. He is a newbie to Davis, having moved here seventeen years ago with his wife, Beth, to raise their family. He would like to thank Beth and their kids, Henry and Annie, for their support.

Andy JonesDr. Andy Jones will read “Poppyseed” by Ramona Ausubel. Jones is a poet, faculty member at UC Davis, radio talk show host, and public speaker. He has taught writing and literature classes at the University of California, Davis, since 1990, and since 2000 has hosted “Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour” on radio station KDVS. The Poet Laureate of Davis, Jones coordinates and hosts the Poetry Night Reading Series at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis. Combining poetry, painting, audience participation and song, his experimental play, Ephemera, premiered in December 2002.

As an actor, Jones has performed in television commercials, in a made-for-TV film that aired on PBS, and in films directed by his Technocultural Studies students. In recent years he has appeared on local television to discuss Maya Angelou, social media, teaching with iPads, and public poetry. He has told stories on the BBC World Service, and on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Growing up in a theater family, Jones is the son of the late UNLV playwriting and directing professor Davey Marlin-Jones, winner of the Margo Jones Award for the Advancement of American Theatre.

Kelley OgenKelley Ogden will read “Poppyseed” by Ramona Ausubel. 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, she has performed with Capital Stage, Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theatre Works, and Theater Galatea, among others. She earned her BFA in Performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.

Featured Authors and Actors 11/12/16

JacindaTownsend_webJacinda Townsend is the author of Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which is set in 1950s Eastern Kentucky and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Saint Monkey was also the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and shortlisted for the Crook’s Corner Book Prize. The novel received critical acclaim from numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, where it was reviewed in the Sunday Book Review and listed in Paperback Row. Saint Monkey was also listed in the Louisville Courier Journal’s Year-End Favorites, named a Top Novel of 2014 by The Root, and chosen as the May 2015 Book of the Month by the Go on Girl! National Book Club.

RabihAlameddine_webRabih Alameddine is the author of the novels I, the Divine (Norton) and The Hakawati (Knopf), which was an international bestseller, as well as Koolaids and The Perv (both Grove Atlantic). His novel An Unnecessary Woman (Grove) won the NCIBA Award 2014 and California Book Award 2014, and was a finalist for the National Book Award 2014, the PEN Open Book Award 2015, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and longlisted for the IMPAC Award. The French translation won the 2016 Prix Femina étranger. His most recent novel, The Angel of History (Grove Atlantic), has been nominated for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence (finalists to be announced Oct 26, 2016). Alameddine was a 2002 Guggenheim fellow. He divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut. (Photo by Oliver Wasow)

Alana MathewsAlana Mathews will read an excerpt from Jacinda Townsend’s novel-in-progress. In addition to performing for Stories on Stage Davis and Sacramento, Mathews has appeared in several productions with Celebration Arts and received an Elly nomination for Best Lead Actress for her role of Marta in Sorrows and Rejoicings. She played Martha in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Sacramento Theatre Company. Mathews most enjoys the role of mom to her three children, Caleb, Jordan, and Josiah.

BobCooner_webBob Cooner will read an excerpt from The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine. Cooner has performed in plays and musicals in Sacramento, Chicago, New York City, Houston (his hometown), and on tour, most recently as Scottie in Tribute at the Woodland Opera House. Woodland Opera House theatergoers have also seen him as Arthur in Camelot, Georg in She Loves Me, Tateh in Ragtime, and in the musical revue Swinging on a Star. Other local productions include Assassins (Charles Guiteau) with Artistic Differences, Side by Side by Sondheim with the Actor’s Theatre of Folsom, and Love Letters (Andy) with Knockabout Stage. As a cabaret performer, Cooner has created and performed I’ve Heard That Song Before: The Songs of Sammy Cahn and Uptunes for the Downturn with musical director Sam Schieber, as well as It’s Not Too Late, By Hart: The Songs of Lorenz Hart, Two for the Road: The Travel Show, and It’s Not Me, It’s You with musical director Graham Sobelman. As a director, Cooner has helmed the Woodland Opera House productions of Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Noises Off, Brigadoon, Man of La Mancha, Once Upon a Mattress, and the world premiere of Second-Best Bed, written by his husband, Matthew Abergel. The world premiere of Cooner’s new retro comedy, Prime Time for the Holidays, with music by Sam Schieber, runs from October 28–November 20 at the Woodland Opera House. (Photo by Karen Alexander)