Featured Authors & Actors 12/8/18

About the Authors


photo: Smeeta Mahanti

R.O. Kwon is the author of The Incendiaries, published by Riverhead (U.S.) and Virago (U.K.). The Incendiaries was an American Booksellers Association Indie Next #1 Pick, and it is being translated into four languages. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vice, BuzzFeed, Noon, Time, Playboy, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.


Colin Winnette

photo: Jennifer Yin

Colin Winnette is the author of several books, including Haints Stay and The Job of the Wasp. He lives in San Francisco, and his website is a .net.

About the Actors

p-joshua-laskeyp joshua laskey
 will read an excerpt from The Job of the Wasp by Colin Winnette. He is a globetrotting theater artist, writer, and polyglot teacher with roots in California. He is co-founding Artistic Director of Theater Galatea and founding co-publisher of Indomita Press, as well as Associate World Literature Editor for The Literary Review. He’s had thirteen original works staged—including Variations on Betrayal, the recipient of the Sacramento News & Review’s “Best Original Play” of 2009—and has adapted three Shakespearean tragedies to be performed by only four actors each—including Hamlet, in which he played the title role. Most recently, he’s been translating the works of Federico García Lorca as well as publishing What Doesn’t Kill  You: An Anthology of YA Short Fiction, which he co-edited and in which one of his original short stories appears. He has also received the Toyon Literary Magazine Multilingual Award in Translation, Multilingual, or Spanish-Language Writing, which was awarded to a self-translation of another of his short stories. He’s very pleased to be once again behind the lectern of Stories on Stage Davis, an organization particularly close to his heart.

yuri-tajiriYuri Tajiri will read an excerpt from The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon. Tajiri is excited to be to reading for Stories on Stage in Davis for the first time! She has previously read for Stories on Stage Sacramento and has been seen as the Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show (Green Valley Theatre Company), Linda in Evil Dead: The Musical (Sutter Street Theatre) and Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew (The Alternative Arts Collective). She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from CSU Sacramento and is a freelance photographer when not onstage.

Featured Authors & Actors 11/10/18

About the Authors

Bree BartonBree Barton is the author of Heart of Thorns, a fierce feminist fantasy debut out from HarperCollins in 2018. She has published short fiction in The Iowa Review, Mid-American Review, NANO Fiction, Roxane Gay’s PANK, and McSweeney’s, and essays in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and The Huffington Post. When she’s not scribing, Barton teaches Rock ‘n’ Write, a nonprofit dance-and-writing class she created for teen girls. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner—a Stories on Stage Davis alum—and their melancholy dog.


Rita BullwinkleRita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up, which was published in the US in May of 2018 and is currently being translated into Italian by Edizioni Black Coffee. Her writing has been published in Tin House, ConjunctionsBOMB, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and her translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney’s. She lives in San Francisco.

About the Actors

Phillip LarreaPhillip Larrea will read “Burn” by Rita Bullwinkel. Larrea was a prolific actor as a young man, appearing in many Sacramento area community productions and ultimately working professionally in New York in off-Broadway productions, summer stock, and touring companies. He gave it up because he doesn’t like working nights and weekends. He does, however, love doing the occasional one-night stand. Nowadays he is more known as the author of three books, Our Patch, We the People, and, most recently, Part Time Job.

Jessica LaskeyJessica Laskey will read “Thirteen Platitudes” by Bree Barton. She is happy to be back at Stories on Stage Davis, where she performed for the very first event six years ago! As an Equity actress, her favorite roles include Sally Bowles in Cabaret (UC Berkeley), Mae in Reefer Madness (Artistic Differences), and Jenny in Threepenny Opera (California Stage). She has also appeared in several productions with the Sacramento Theatre Company. Laskey is a freelance writer for Inside Publications, Sacramento Magazine, Comstock’s, and The Sacramento Bee, and is founding co-publisher of Indomita Press.

Featured Authors & Actors 10/13/18

Valeri FioravantiValerie Fioravanti is the author of the linked collection of Brooklyn stories Garbage Night at the Opera from BkMk Press, winner of the Chandra Prize for Short FictionShe is the founder of Stories on Stage Sacramento and a private writing coach. “Loud Love,” which won the Tillie Olsen Short Story Award, appears in her second (unpublished) collection Bridge & Tunnel. Fioravanti is currently hard at work on one of three in-progress novels (hangs head in shame).


Michael David LukasMichael David Lukas has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv, and a waiter at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his first novel, The Oracle of Stamboul, was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize. His second novel,The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, was published recently by Spiegel & Grau. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Maryland, he is a recipient of scholarships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, New York State Summer Writers’ Institute, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, SlateNational Geographic Traveler, and Georgia Review. He lives in Oakland and teaches at San Francisco State University.

About the Actors

Leah DohertyLeah Daugherty will read  “Loud Love” by Valerie Fioravanti. Daugherty is pleased to be making her debut at Stories on Stage. She was last seen onstage playing #8 in The Wolvesat Capital Stage. Daugherty is a proud alumna of both UC Davis, where she studied English and theatre, and the Capital Stage Apprenticeship Program. Since then she’s been a regular at the Davis Shakespeare Festival and Big Idea Theatre. She is very grateful for this opportunity and to her tribe for their support.


Matthew AbergelMatthew Abergel will read the excerpt from The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas. Abergel often performs at the Woodland Opera House Theatre, where he recently co-directed the world premiere of  Prime Time for the Holidays, written by his husband, Bob Cooner.  A former editor and community-college instructor, Abergel is the author of two books published by Simon & Schuster, and a play,  Second-Best Bed, produced by Woodland Opera House in 2014. Currently he’s putting the finishing touches on a historical novel about King James. Long ago, he studied dramatic literature and directing as a grad student at the University of Chicago and Stanford. He’s tickled as pink as a marshmallow Peep to read for Stories on Stage.