Podcast featuring narrator’s tribute to former boss dying of AIDS

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By Emily Masuda Special to the Express Stories on Stage Davis will release the sixteenth episode of its all-podcast eighth season on Saturday, May 22, with Peter Orner’s short story “An Ineffectual Tribute to Len,” read by newcomer actor Chad Fisk. Set on a snowy night in the midwest, this story magnifies the narrator’s last encounter with his former summer camp boss, Len, an eccentric, self-proclaimed hippie dying from AIDS. A writer himself, the narrator struggles with memorializing Len’s fragmented life story, posing questions about the stories we choose to tell. How do we attempt to capture — and why do we sometimes prefer to tell–someone else’s story? Peter Orner is the author of six books including, “Maggie Brown & Others,” a “New York Times” Notable Book, an “Oprah Magazine” Top Ten book for 2019, and winner of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish Fiction. His novel, “Love and Shame and Love,” won a California Book Award and his essay collection “Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Reading to Live and Living to Read” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He’s also the editor of three non-fiction books, including “Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives.” A three-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, Orner received the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as Guggenheim and Lannan Foundation Fellowships. His work has appeared in the “Atlantic Monthly,” “The New Yorker,” “The Paris Review,” and “Best American Stories.” His regular column of literary essays, “Notes in the Margin,” regularly appears in “The Believer.” Orner teaches at Dartmouth College, and lives with his family in Norwich, Vermont where he’s a member of the volunteer fire department. Reading “An Ineffectual Tribute to Len” is Chad Fisk who was most recently in “Of Mice and Men” at Woodland Opera House just before everything shut down. He has also performed locally with the Bike City Theatre Company radio series. He has appeared on stage throughout the Bay Area, including “Othello” at Cal Shakes, “Comedy of Errors” at SF Shakes, “The Homecoming” at the Aurora in Berkeley, and “Picnic” at Sac Theatre Company. Chad has also appeared on a few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. The Stories on Stage Davis podcast airs new episodes every second and fourth Saturday, and its eighth season will run from September 2020 to June 2021. Upcoming and past episodes, as well as ways to support the series, can be found on the Stories on Stage Davis website. Stories on Stage Davis is a sponsored project of  YoloArts, a non-profit arts organization. For more information, and to listen to the podcast, visit storiesonstagedavis.com.

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