Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tobias Wolff Stories, Literally Word for Word

A San Francisco theater group called Word for Word stages performances of short stories. The name reflects the fact that they literally--and literarily--"perform every word the author has written." (I suppose without adding any of their own.)
That's the kind of reverence a writer can get behind. In fact, several have. Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Richard Ford, Ellen Gilchrist, Daniel Handler, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan, and Tobias Wolff are on the company's Authors Council.

Word for Word's current production is "More Stories from Tobias Wolff," which consists of performances of: "Sanity," "Down to Bone," and "Firelight" (pictured above). All three stories are included in Our Story Begins, one of the three story collections that are finalists for The Story Prize. The premier performance of "More Stories" was on Jan. 10 at Stanford University, where Wolff serves as the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences. The show will tour the Bay area from March 9-22 and go on to a five city tour of France from March 27 to April 10. We can only hope they bring it to New York some time.

Speaking of New York, you can see Wolff read from and discuss his work onstage at The New School on March 4, as part of The Story Prize award event.