Actor Lesley Nicol at Chapman WordTheatre Event Sept. 16, 2013

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

» WordTheatre at Chapman University

Celebrated Authors’ Short Stories Brought to Life by Film and Television Celebrities & Chapman Students


WordTheatre’s fall series at Chapman University brings America’s finest short story writers to Orange for celebrity and student performances. On Monday, October 30, join us for short story readings with author TC Boyle and actors Gregg Henry and James Allen McCure and Chapman University Theatre student, Victoria Bohush.

Performances will take place at 7 p.m. in the Fish Interfaith Center at Chapman University.

Monday, October 30, 2017

TY Boyle

Author TC Boyle

Recipient of over 40 awards and honors, TC Boyle has received the PEN/Faulkner Prize for best novel of the year (World's End, 1988); the PEN/Malamud Prize in the short story (T.C. Boyle Stories, 1999); and the Prix Médicis Étranger for best foreign novel in France (The Tortilla Curtain, 1997). His stories have appeared in most of the major American magazines including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire and The Atlantic Monthly.



Actor Gregg Henry

This prolific and versatile is perhaps best known for his roles as Val Resnick in Payback and more recently Hollis Doyle in Scandal and Grandpa Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. Gregg Henry has 'one of those faces'. You may not know where you saw him but he looks awfully familiar. With 168 film and television credits alone, it isn't any wonder! This past summer Henry made heated headlines controversially depicting Donald Trump as the title character of Julius Caesar in the Public Theater's Free Shakespeare In The Park production. 


Actor James Allen McCune

Talented young actor James Allen McCune's most notable performances include recurring guest star roles Jimmy in AMC's hit show The Walking Dead and Matty Baker on Shameless as well as protagonist James in the 2016 film Blair Witch. Since April, McCune has played a recurring role as a fictional, improvised version of himself in Sugar Pine 7's award-winning "Alternative Lifestyle" web video series. 

Victoria Bohush

Chapman University Theatre student, Victoria Bohush

+ - Past Authors

Author Tim Obrien Tim O'Brien is an American novelist best known for his work of fiction, The Things They Carried, a critically acclaimed collection of semi-autobiographical, interrelated short stories.
Brian Doyle Brian Doyle is a Canadian writer whose children's books have been adapted into both movies and plays. Many of his stories are drawn from his experiences growing up in Ottawa and vicinity.
Stuart Dybek Stuart Dybek is a poet and fiction writer. His fiction includes Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, The Coast of Chicago, I Sailed With Magellan, a novel-in-stories, Paper Lantern: Love Stories, and Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories. His work has been anthologized and has appeared in magazines such as Harper’s, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Tin House, Ploughshare, and Triquarterly. Dybek is the recipient of many awards including Lannan Prize, a PEN/Malamud Award (1995), a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an O. Henry Award.
Ann Beattie Ann Beattie has been included in four O. Henry Award Collections, in John Updike’s The Best American Short Stories of the Century, and in Jennifer Egan’s The Best American Short Stories 2014. She received the PEN/Malamud Award in 2000 for achievement in the short story and the Rea Award in 2005. Beattie was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia (Emerita) and is currently a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum Sarah Shun-lien Bynum  - is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by The New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design
Marisa Silver Marisa Silver - is the author of the novel, Mary Coin, a New York Times Bestseller, published in 2013 by Blue Rider Press/Penguin. Silver made her fiction debut in The New Yorker in the magazine’s first “Debut Fiction” issue. Her collection of short stories, Babe in Paradise was named a New York Times Notable Book and The Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year in 2001. Her novel, The God of War, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. Winner of the O. Henry Prize, her fiction has been included in The Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Stories, as well as other anthologies.
Jill McCorkle Jill McCorkle
Author of five novels and four short story collections, five of which have been named New York Times notable books, her stories have been collected in the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and New Stories from the South. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The New York Times Book Review, and Allure to name a few. She chaired Harvard’s Creative Writing program for five years and currently teaches at NC State.
David Means David Means
Winner of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, Means is a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner. He has published over 50 stories in magazines ranging from Esquire to The New Yorker to Zoetrope and his writing can be found in the O. Henry Prize collections, The Best American Short Stories, and several other anthologies. He joins us from New York where he teaches at Vassar.
Percival Everett WordTheatre Percival Everett
Everett is author of twenty five works of fiction including Erasure, for which he won a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He is the recipient of a PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, New American Writing Award and The Believer Book Award, among several others. His stories have appeared in The Pushcart Prize Anthologies and Best American Short Stories.
Danzy Senna Danzy Senna
Senna is the author of the national bestselling novel Caucasia. Winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, it was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year and has been translated into eight languages. She is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award.
Gurganus Allan Gurganus
Author Allan Gurganus is best known for his  novel “The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All,” which won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and spent eight months on the New York Times bestseller list. The CBS adaptation of the work, starring Donald Sutherland and Diane Lane, won four Emmy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actress Emmy for Cicely Tyson as the freed slave Castalia. Gurganus’  other works include his two novels “White People” (Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Pen-Faulkner Finalist) and “Plays Well With Others,” as well as two collections of novellas. Gurganus was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and is the recipient of an Ingram Merill Award.

+ - Past Actors

Danraj Danraj “Danny” Rajasansi (Chapman Student Actor)
Aurelio Aurelio De Anda (Chapman Student Actor)
Brandon Brandon James Somerville (Chapman Student Actor)
Jon Jon Huertas (known for his work on Castle, Generation Kill, Sabrina The Teenage Witch).
Jackson Rathbone Jackson Rathbone (Twilight Films, Finding Carter, The Last Airbender)
Vanessa Lengies Vanessa Lengies (Glee, Hawthorne, Lego Stars, Stick It)
Fred Melamed  Fred Melamed (Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Good Wife)
Cohen Assaf Cohen (Weeds, Heroes, 24, Fast & the Furious, American Sniper)
Nicholas Bustamante Chapman University Student Actor Nicholas Bustamante
(Senior, BFA)
Chelsea Davis Chapman University Student Actor Chelsea Davis
(Junior, BFA)
Francesca Artalejo

Chapman University Student Actor Francesca Artalejo
(Junior, BFA)

Word Theater Actors

Joely Fisher is an American actress known for her roles in the film The Mask and TV shows such as Ellen, Last Man Standing, and Desperate Housewives.

Christopher Gorham

Christopher Gorham is an actor and director, known for Covert Affairs, Popular and Justice League: War.

Student Actor

Kiera Quealy - Student Actor

Jason George

Featured Actor: Jason George - (Grey’s Anatomy, Mistresses, Barbershop)

Roma Maffia

Featured Actor: Roma Maffia - (Pretty Little Liars, Nip/Tuck)

Zenoni Student Actor: BFA Acting Student Laura Zenoni
Xander Berkeley Xander Berkeley – Xander Berkeley made his film debut in the cult classic Mommie Dearest. He went on to land roles in films ranging from the offbeat - Sid and Nancy, Terminator 2, Leaving Las Vegas and Gattaca - to modern classics including The Rookie, Apollo 13, A Few Good Men, and Amistad, making him one of the most well-respected actors around. Television credits include the Fox hit 24 and the CW's Nikita. His next feature film will be Louder Than Words, and he's recently completed roles in the upcoming films Interstellar and Solace.  He is married to Sarah Clarke, whom he met on the set of “24.”
Sarah Clarke Sarah Clarke – Sarah Clarke is best known for her role on Fox’s acclaimed television series 24, where she portrayed “Nina Meyers” for three seasons. She recently starred on Trust Me and has had recurring roles on Men of a Certain Age, the hit drama Covert Affairs, and Nikita. In film, she is known for her role in the teenage vampire phenomenon Twilight; (portraying Renee Dwyer, Kristen Stewart’s mother). Sarah returned to the role in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. She also co-starred in the independent feature Women in Trouble and the independent film The Signal. Sarah is currently recurring on the new sci-fi drama The Tomorrow People and filming the highly anticipated pilot of the new drama Line of Sight.
Sterling Suleiman Sterling Sulieman – Sterling Sulieman has appeared in TV’s “The Vampire Diaries,” “24,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “NCIS,” “Bones,” “Entourage” and many more series.  He had a long run on the daytime drama “All My Children,” on which he starred as “Dre Woods” from 2007-08.  On film, he appeared in 2011’s “In Time” with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.
Danielle Panabaker

Danielle Panabaker - (“Friday the 13th,” “Unnecessary Roughness”)

Robert Wisdom Robert Wisdom - (“Nashville,” “The Dark Knight Rises”)
Donathan Walters is the Chapman student who will be performing Donathan Walters - (Chapman Student)
Lesley Lesley Nicol - (Mrs. Patmore on Downton Abbey)
Cassidy Freeman Cassidy Freeman - (Longmire, Smallville)
Bruce Vilanch


Bruce Vilanch - Vilanch is an American comedy writer, songwriter and actor. He is a six-time Emmy Award-winner. Vilanch is best known to the public for his four-year stint on Hollywood Squares, as a celebrity participant; behind the scenes he was head writer for the show. In 2000, he performed off-Broadway in his self-penned one-man show, Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous.
Stephen Tobolowsky Stephen Tobolowsky - Tobolowsky is an American actor and author. He played annoying insurance salesman Ned Ryerson in the Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day, as well as such television characters as Commissioner Hugo Jarry in Deadwood and Bob Bishop in Heroes. He has had recurring roles as Sandy Ryerson on Glee, and as Stu Beggs on Californication.
Gethin Anthony Gethin Anthony - Anthony (Charles Manson in NBC's Aquarius, Renly Baratheon in Game of Thrones).
Morgran Lauff Morgan Lauff - Lauff is a senior at Chapman University ('15), majoring in Theater Performance, minoring in Integrated Educational Studies.

+ - WordTheatre’s Artistic Director

Mae Whitman reads Meg Howrey at Soho House West HollywoodCedering Fox, selects the stories, casts esteemed film and television actors and directs the performances.  Each event will feature one Chapman Drama student.  WordTheatre® performs in Los Angeles, New York and London, and Ms. Fox is known for brilliantly pairing the right actor with each story.

Past actor/author pairings include Board Member James Franco reading Jim Shepard, Honorary Board Member Amanda Seyfried reading Dylan Landis, Julianna Margulies reading Amy Hempel, Jeff Goldblum reading TC Boyle, Marcia Gay Harden reading Pamela Painter, David Strathairn reading Russell Banks, Damian Lewis reading Anthony Doerr, Amy Brenneman reading Jane Smiley and many more.

(Left: Mae Whitman reads Meg Howrey at Soho House West Hollywood.)

+ - Partnering with Chapman

Tracie Thoms and Dorian Missick at WordTheatre 'Storytales' at The Ford AmphitheatreWordTheatre has partnered with Chapman University’s English Department and with distinguished author/professor Richard Bausch to bring these world-class writers and actors to Orange. Fox is delighted. “I have been a fan of Richard Bausch’s short stories for twenty years. I finally had the pleasure of meeting Richard when we featured his work in WordTheatre’s New York series last year.  He loved hearing the way the actors breathed life into the stories and was deeply moved. It is an emotional experience to be in the audience. When Richard emailed me to say he was relocating to Chapman, I immediately booked him for our Los Angeles series. That night, the idea of bringing WordTheatre to Chapman was born. We are launching what we hope will be a long and distinguished series at Chapman, that will bring the best writers and actors in the world to Orange County.”

WordTheatre: Giving Voice to Great Writing is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to open up new ways of thinking about words, stories, and people through powerful and entertaining performances that bring contemporary literature to life.  The organization also creates original themed events to benefit fellow educational and charitable organizations. Full season information is available at

Chapman University is one of California’s oldest and most respected private universities. Founded in 1861, the university attracts high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students from all over the United States, and more than 60 nations around the world. Chapman’s English Department offers students innovative and personalized instruction as the basis for lifelong learning and literary citizenship.

(Left: Tracie Thoms and Dorian Missick at WordTheatre 'Storytales' at The Ford Amphitheatre.)

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