Stories on Stage Davis began in the fall of 2013 as the passion project of our founder, Jeri Howitt, who wanted to establish a new and unique home for literature in the city of Davis. Following the example of National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts and our own sister series Stories on Stage Sacramento, Howitt launched a monthly series with performances of the best authors and writing she could find.
And actors. Our event pairs each story with an actor, who brings a whole new life to the experience of hearing literature aloud. (Our shows are like nights at the theater!) We invite our authors to introduce their work, before they hand the mic over to their actor, who performs the story. Howitt served our event, and the Davis community, as our director for three years, before handing the reins to authors Naomi Williams and Elise Winn, who continued our event’s tradition of monthly performances of excellent writing for another three years. We’re proud to say that since our event began, we’ve had shows that were hilarious, others that were poignant (and many that were both), and that each and every one has been captivating.
As a testament to the popularity of our event, and our authors and actors, we first started upstairs in our longtime home, the Pence Gallery, which seats about forty people, but quickly outgrew that space. In fact, after the success of our first season, we moved downstairs into the gallery’s main auditorium, where we’ve been ever since.
We’re thrilled to have such a beautiful home right in the heart of downtown Davis, and to be able to present our community with National Book Award finalists, New York Times bestsellers, and emerging authors, who often go on to great things. (“We presented them!” we love to say when one of our past authors wins a Pushcart Prize, or is honored in a Best American Short Stories anthology.)
Our commitment to literature, live performances, and the vibrant culture of our city is the driving force of our efforts. Behind the scenes is a collective of talented and diverse community members, all of whom believe that there is nothing better than hearing authors and actors live.
Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to hear the latest show schedules and announcements. We hope to see you in our audience!