Featured Authors & Actors 11/9/19

About the Authors

Lori-OstlundLori Ostlund’s novel After the Parade (Scribner, 2015) was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and was a Barnes and Noble Discover pick. Her first book, a story collection entitled The Bigness of the World, won the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the 2009 California Book Award for First Fiction. Stories from it appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, among others. Lori has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and was a finalist for the 2017 Simpson Family Literary Prize. She is a teacher and lives in San Francisco with her wife, son, and cats, though she spent her formative years in Minnesota, cat-less.

 

 

 

Anne RaeffAnne Raeff’s second novel, Winter Kept Us Warm, published in 2018, won the silver medal for the California Book Award for Fiction. Her short story collection, The Jungle Around Us won the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The collection was also a finalist for the California Book Award and was on the San Francisco Chronicle’s 100 Best Books of 2017 list. In 2019 she was a finalist for the Simpson Literary Award. Clara Mondschein’s Melancholia, also a novel, was published in 2002. Raeff’s stories and essays have appeared in New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica among other places. Her next novel, Only the River, will be published in May 2020. She is proud to be a high school teacher. She lives in San Francisco.

 

 

About the Actors

BobCooner

Bob Cooner will read “Passing Through Needles,” by Lori Ostlund. Cooner has performed in plays and musicals in Sacramento, Chicago, New York City, Houston (his hometown), and on tour. Woodland Opera House theatergoers have seen Bob in such roles as Arthur in Camelot, Georg in She Loves Me, Tateh in Ragtime, Scottie in Tribute, Arvide in Guys and Dolls, and Wilbur in Hairspray. 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 director, Bob helmed the Woodland Opera House productions of Stepping Out, 42nd Street, Blithe Spirit, Miracle on 34th Street: The MusicalA Christmas Carol: The Musical, Second-Best Bed (world premiere of his husband Matthew Abergel’s play), Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Noises Off, Brigadoon, Man of La Mancha, and Once Upon a Mattress, as well as the Lambda Players production of As Bees in Honey Drown. As a playwright, Bob has had two plays produced at the Woodland Opera House: Prime Time for the Holidays and The Emperor’s New Clothes. He is an English and theatre teacher at Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove.

gabby battistaGabby Battista will read “The Doctor’s Daughter,” by Anne Raeff. Battista is an actress based in the Sacramento region. She has been working as the Development Director for the Davis Shakespeare Festival for the past three years and has enjoyed her passion for community outreach and acting simultaneously. Her recent acting credits in the Sacramento region include Jesusa, from Davis Shakespeare’s The Tenth Muse, and Alicia from Capital Stage’s production of The Thanksgiving Play. She very excited to have the opportunity to read for Stories on Stage Davis.

 

 

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)