Featured Authors & Actors 12/9/17

Brandy Colbert and Shayne LangfordBrandy Colbert is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Pointe. Her latest novel, Little & Lion, was reviewed by the New York Times, which called it “urgent and true,” and was named a Book of the Month Club selection, a Junior Library Guild selection, and a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews. Her third book, Finding Yvonne, will be published in August 2018 by Little, Brown. Colbert lives and writes in Los Angeles. (Photo: Jessie Weinberg)

Shayne Langford is a fly fisherman from Northern California. He studies creative writing at the University of California, Davis.

Alana Mathews Arcurio and Andy JonesAlana Mathews Arcurio will read an excerpt from Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. Arcurio is excited to return to Stories on Stage Davis. She previously read excerpts from Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile and from a forthcoming novel by Jacinda Townsend. In addition to performing for Stories on Stage Sacramento, Arcurio was cast as Martha for the staged reading of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Sacramento Theatre Company. She 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 by Athol Fugard. She most enjoys the role of mom to her three children, Caleb, Jordan, and Josiah, when they are home from college.

Dr. Andy Jones will read “Eggs” by Shayne Langford. Jones is a poet, faculty member at UC Davis, radio talk show host, storyteller, 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 has authored three books of poetry, and he coordinates and hosts the Poetry Night Reading Series on first and third Thursdays of the month 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 before live audiences at poetry readings and storytelling festivals, on the BBC World Service, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Growing up in a theatre 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.

Featured Authors & Actors 11/11/2017

This month we’re celebrating the publication of Assault and Buttery, the latest book in Eileen Rendahl’s Kristi Abbott Popcorn Shop Mystery Series, as well as thrilling new work from Kris Calvin.

EileenRendahl_webEileen Rendahl is is the national-bestselling and award-winning author of the Messenger series and four Chick Lit novels. Her alter ego, Kristi Abbott, writes cozy mysteries. She also writes under the names Eileen Carr and Lillian Bell. Rendahl’s first novel with a major New York publisher was a double finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Rita Award in its Mainstream Novel with Romantic Elements category as well as a finalist for the National Readers’ Choice Award. She has gone on to be a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Booksellers Best Award, the Book Buyers’ Best Award, the Award of Excellence, and the Prism Award. Her work has won the Lories Award and the Beacon Award in the Mainstream Novel with Romantic Elements category and the National Readers Choice Award in the Paranormal category. She started writing for the worst of reasons (she thought it would be easy!) and has spent years working on her craft. She recently graduated from the Creative Writing MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles. She has had many jobs and lived in many cities and feels unbelievably lucky to be where she is now and to be doing what she’s doing.

KrisCalvin_webBorn in Virginia, Kris Calvin moved to California at the age of six. She grew up loving public libraries and reading, and has never stopped. She was educated in economics and psychology at Stanford and UC Berkeley, and was honored by the CA Assembly and Governor’s office for her leadership in child advocacy. Calvin also has training in forensic psychology. Her debut novel, One Murder More, based in Sacramento, was awarded the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion top honor for Best First Novel, Best Political Thriller, and Best Female PI/Sleuth. Calvin has a short story forthcoming in the Unloaded 2 anthology from Down and Out books in April 2018, a collection of crime fiction that has no guns, benefiting gun violence prevention efforts. When she isn’t reading or writing, you can find Calvin in the halls of the capitol or with her kids, cheering on her favorite sports teams, the SF Giants, Sacramento River Cats, and Golden State Warriors. 

GiaBattista_webGia Battista will read an excerpt from Assault and Buttery, the latest book in Eileen Rendahl’s Kristi Abbott Popcorn Shop Mystery Series. Battista is a founding Artistic Director of Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, where she was most recently seen as Ruth Sherwood in Wonderful Town and Milady in Three Musketeers. Past DSE acting credits include Bells Are Ringing, Nightingale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Relapse. Past DSE directing credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, She Loves Me, and The Sonnet Project. Other theater credits include Dorine, Tartuffe, Sacramento State Opera Theater; Chorus, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Music Circus; Gallathea, Gallathea and Isabella, Measure for Measure, UC Davis Theater & Dance; Shiela, Hair, Studio 301 Productions. Battista has a BA in English and Dramatic Art from UC Davis and is currently pursuing an MM in Vocal Performance at Sacramento State.

KellieRaines_webKellie Yvonne Raines will read an excerpt from Kris Calvin’s novel-in-progress, Tracked, the follow-up to Calvin’s award-winning book One Murder More. Raines is a local actor, director, playwright, and visual artist. She is an Associate Artist with KOLT Run Creations, for which she directed The Adoration of Dora. Her KOLT performance credits include Escape from Happiness, Vinegar Tom, Antigone, and My Own Stranger. Other notable performances include Motherf**ker With The Hat and The Underpants (Big Idea Theatre), Hamlet (Theater Galatea), and God’s Ear and Five Women Wearing The Same Dress (Resurrection Theatre). She recently directed Episode 4 of Boxed Up: The Musical—an immersive, site specific, episodic musical. She has a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Davis. She can also be seen on air for KVIE Public Television.

Featured Authors & Actors 10/14/2017

AchyObejas_webAchy Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novels RuinsDays of Awe, and three other books of fiction. She edited and translated (into English) the anthology Havana Noir, and has since translated Junot Díaz, Rita Indiana, Wendy Guerra, and many others. In 2014, she was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship for her writing and translation. She currently serves as the Director of the MFA in Translation program at Mills College in Oakland, California. Photo: Megan Bayles

AnnHillesland_webAnn Hillesland’s work has been published in many literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Sou’wester, Bayou, The Laurel Review, Corium, and SmokeLong Quarterly. It has been selected for the Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has been previously presented onstage by Stories on Stage in Colorado. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Queen’s University of Charlotte.  For more of her work, see her website at http://annhillesland.com. 

KatMiller2017_webKat Miller will read “The Cola of Oblivion” and “Exile” by Achy Objeas. Miller is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. She began her professional theater career performing in regional theaters of Northern California. She is a former member of the Sacramento Theatre Company, where her credits include Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Vicky/Brooke in Noises Off, The Goddess Parvati in Arranged Marriage, Ifigenia in Electricidad, and Padma in Queen of the Remote Control. Miller is also a member of the Canadian Actor’s Equity Association. Credits abroad include the role of Tecmessa in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Ajax in Afghanistan and Artemis in Valina Hasu Houston’s The Intuition of Iphigenia—both productions were world premieres performed in Greece in 2012. Other favorite shows include Fat Pig, Much Ado About Nothing (Capital Stage), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, and Othello (Sacramento Shakespeare Festival).

EmilySerdahl_webEmily Serdahl will read “Safety and Well-Being” by Ann Hillesland. Serdahl is a Bay Area-based actress. She has performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Folger Shakespeare Theater, ZSpace, Sacramento Theatre Company, and the Guthrie Theater. She recently completed her B.F.A. in Performance at Southern Oregon University. Her past roles include Nina in Seagull, Emily Webb in Our Town, Catherine Petkoff in The Arms and the Man, and Marnie in The Drunken City. For more information, visit http://emily-serdahl.squarespace.com.