We’re thrilled to present the stories of authors Pam Houston and Dorothy Rice and the performances of readers Caro Marks and Gay Cooper in just four weeks, on January 31, 2020. (Register here.)
But as that night will also mark the last performance for which Peggi Wood will serve as Casting Director, it will be bittersweet.
After seven full years in this role, Peggi now aims to recapture time for other creative endeavors. She's currently working on a short story collection, Last Shift. We'll miss Peggi’s artistry, passion and talent as well as her experience as a performer, storyteller and director.
Let’s mark this occasion by hearing a little from Peggi about her work at Stories on Stage.
Peggi, how would you describe your work as casting director?
Finding the right voice to bring the written word to a dramatic performance. This task often requires a single reader to adopt multiple voices, inflections, and mannerisms to guide the audience through the story. It can be quite challenging to match a performer to a particular piece, to have a vision for what can be, and that’s where my passion for both the literary and the theatrical is at its best. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to bring incredibly talented performers to Stories on Stage, including Kelley Ogden, Janis Stevens, James Wheatley, Gay Cooper, Eric Baldwin, Blair Leatherwood, Katie Rubin, Ruby Sketchley, Carissa Meagher, Imani Mitchell, Ethan Ireland, Krystle Piamonte, Ian Hopps, and Matt Rives, among others, many of whom have gone on to perform at our sister series, Stories on Stage, Davis.
How do you prepare a reader to perform literary work in our format?
This depends on the reader's experience with dramatic readings and/or live theatre, their ability to immerse themselves in the story, to find the highs and lows, and take listeners on a journey, often to worlds unfamiliar. Also, it turns on the willingness of the reader to take direction, if needed. I especially enjoy working with new talent and will often conduct several full story readings to coach the reader through pronunciation, pacing and to fine-tune their delivery, overall.
Thank you Peggi. Your talent, devotion and expertise have been an important part of the magic of Stories on Stage Sacramento. We wish you an especially creative 2020.
A director and producer on the Sacramento theatre scene, Peggi is also a writer, screenwriter, storyteller, and performer. In 2015, Resurrection Theatre produced Peggi’s first short play, Demerol Dreams, in their 10×10 Original Play Festival, where she also directed two other plays. Her community theatre productions include DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead and Moving Mountains with EMH Productions and Dan Fagan’s A Tiger Without Mercy. A longtime volunteer for the arts, literacy and community service organizations, Peggi was also the social media director and board member for Celebration Arts, a multicultural, multidisciplinary educational and performing arts nonprofit organization. Her work with Celebration Arts, where she was involved from the casting process through rehearsal and staging a production for more than two dozen shows, as well as being an avid regional theater-goer and spoken-word performer herself, give her access to a wide range of talent and a keen understanding of drama, helping her match the right actor to a writer’s work.
A LITTLE ABOUT OUR OPENING NIGHT READERS
Caro Marks will perform Pam Houston’s Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country. Caro is an attorney, writer and artist from San Francisco. She moved to Sacramento in 1992 to work for the Federal Defender for the Eastern District of California. As a trial attorney in state and federal court, she tried close to 65 jury trials before retiring in 2012. Then she decided to focus on the right side of her brain and converted a laundry room to an art studio. Her unconventional mosaics have appeared in 15 group shows in Northern and Southern California, winning numerous prizes, including at the California State Fair. She is a published writer and a performer in the upcoming February 2020 Vagina Monologues at the Colonial Theater. Caro is also a Narrator for the California State Braille and Talking Book Library, where she narrates audiobooks for users unable to read standard print.
Gay Cooper will perform Dorothy Rice’s Gray is the New Black: A Memoir of Self-Acceptance. Gay has acted with many theater companies in town, including Resurrection Theater, Big Idea Theater, Kolt Run Creations, and California Stage. She has also worked in commercials and industrial films. She has had the pleasure of participating in previous Chandra Prize winner celebrations and is a Stories on Stage favorite, reading for both the Sacramento and Davis series.
We hope you can join us at our January performances, for which you can donate to reserve your spot on Eventbrite. Admittedly, we're new at this system and have discovered a glitch--you're only able to purchase one ticket per transaction. We'll fix this glitch next time. We're learning as we go
Our first Story-Makers Workshop—SOLD OUT
Though our Story-Makers workshop with Pam Houston is now full-up, we'd like to share an option for those of you who want to begin 2020 by nurturing your own writing practice. Stories on Stage founder Valerie Fioravanti is hosting a Master Teachers Workshop with author/teacher Brenda Miller on February 22-23. It’s a special opportunity.
We look forward to seeing you January 31!
--Shelley Blanton-Stroud & Dorothy Rice