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Pulitzer Winner Edward Jones Slated for Z Space 2016 Gala This December

The Z Space 2016 Gala on Thursday December 1st features a special appearance of legendary journalist Belva Davis in rare conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward P. Jones following the performance of Word for Word's latest production of Edward P. Jones' All Aunt Hagar's Children.

Z Space brings among the most compelling, adventurous and unique New Works to the San Francisco Bay Area. "Word for Word is proud to produce this short story. Jones has caught the pulse of a neighborhood in a big urban community, and has created a stunning, indelible story. His writing is filled with empathy and imagination," remarks founding Artistic Director Susan Harloe. "Jones' mystery is subtle, haunting, and filled with his dry humor."

"Z Space is proud to feature All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones, one of our most notable writers, particularly in this time of turmoil. This evening celebrates and supports our artistic community," said Z Space Artistic Directors Lisa Steindler (Z Space) Susan Harloe & JoAnne Winter (Word for Word).

The Z Space Fundraising Gala evening includes performance of author Edward P. Jones' short story All Aunt Hagar's Children, Jones in conversation with the legendary journalist Belva Davis and a reception with food ("Southern style" comfort food) and drink, and book signing by Mr. Jones. Visit www.zspace.org/gala2016 for more information.

"Z Space empowers artistic risk, collaboration, and camaraderie amongst artists, audience, and staff in the service of creating, developing and presenting new work," remarks Z Space Artistic Director Lisa Steindler. Z Space operates two venues in San Francisco's historic Mission District, a main stage and a black box theater, Z Space hosts new works from a variety of performance disciplines year-round. In addition to Word for Word, keystone initiatives include New Work, a development program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to realization of unique works, and Youth Arts, an arts education program promoting literacy and engaging students' creativity. Both San Francisco Magazine and SF Bay Guardian recognized Z Space as the "Best Performance Space in their 2016 "Best of the Bay".

Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward P Jones' short story All Aunt Hagar's Children, is set in 1950's Washington, D.C.. This Noir tale spotlights a young Korean War vet who sets out to solve a murder and becomes entangled in a web of family history. He is unsettled by another death-a young Jewish woman whose last words in Yiddish haunt him and his investigation. Edward P. Jones evokes a neighborhood of vivid characters, telling a story about the strength of family and the choices that shape our lives. Directed by Stephanie Hunt with Assistant Director Margo Hall, the All Aunt Hagar's Children ensemble includes Sheila Balter*, Velina Brown*, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, Margo Hall*, Kehinde Koyejo*, Khary Moye, Joel Mullennix* and Jia Taylor. (*AEA)

Belva Davis is an award-winning journalist with over three decades of television experience. She has anchored news programs at KPIX-TV, KQED Public Television 9 and KRON-TV. She has been the host of KQED's This Week in Northern California for more than 19 years. Davis has received several dozen awards for her journalism, including national recognition from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ohio State, San Francisco State, and the National Education Writers Association. She was honored with the first Jefferson-Lincoln Award for Journalists by the Panetta Institute. She has won seven local Emmys, a Certificate of Excellence from the California Association Press Television and Radio Association and three honorary Doctorates for her television work and community service--the first from John F. Kennedy University, the Golden Gate University and Sonoma State University.

Edward P. Jones is a New York Times bestselling author and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for The Known World. His first novel The Known World is about a Black plantation owner in the antebellum South. Reviewers laudEd Jones for the novel's epic grandeur, vernacular, and lyrical prose, fully realized characters, and lively dialogue, comparing Jones favorably with William Faulkner and Toni Morrison. After winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Jones told Publisher's Weekly; "I want to write about the things which helped us to survive: the love, grace, intelligence, and strength for us as a people." Jones also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004. His first collection of stories, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was short-listed for the National Book Award. The stories recapture the life Jones knew growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, especially the rich vernacular of his mother and her associates. "I remember black people's poetic language," His second story collection, All Aunt Hagar's Children, was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award. He has been an instructor of fiction writing at a range of universities, including Princeton. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Stephanie Hunt (Director and Charter Member of Word for Word) is a director, actor, and teacher. For Word for Word, she directed the long-running, award-winning production of Tobias Wolff's Bullet in the Brain and Lady's Dream as well as Cornell Woolrich's noir thriller Angel Face. At the University of San Francisco, she directed her adaptation of Alice Munro's short story The View from Castle Rock. As an actor, she has originated roles in stories by Upton Sinclair, Angela Carter, Tobias Wolff, Andrew Sean Greer, Susan Glaspell, Virginia Woolf, and Colm Tóibín. In the Bay Area, Stephanie has acted at the Magic Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Encore Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Campo Santo, and was a founding member of the improv group Pulp Playhouse, which played at the Eureka Theater. Stephanie holds an M.F.A. from American Conservatory Theater and a B.A. from San Francisco State University, but originally she studied and performed at the Back Alley Theater on F Street and 7th NW in Washington, DC.

Margo Hall (Assistant Director, Actor), award winning actor/director/playwright, is excited to be back as a performer with Word for Word where she has directed, acted, and taught. Most recently, she was seen onstage in Fences at California Shakespeare Theater, and directed Red Velvet for SF Playhouse. Other credits include Gem of the Ocean, Fences and Seven Guitars for Marin Theater Company, Ah, Wilderness! and Marcus or the Secret of Sweet at American Conservatory Theater, The Motherf*#ker With the Hat for SF Playhouse, Twelfth Night, A Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Spunk for California Shakespeare Theater and Trouble in Mind at the Aurora Theater . She is a founding member of Campo Santo, and has directed, performed and collaborated on several new plays with Naomi Iizuka, Jessica Hagedorn, Phillip Kan Gotanda, and Octavio Solis.

Word for Word Performing Arts Company, a program of Z Space, is an ensemble whose mission is to tell great stories with elegant theatricality, staging performances of classic and contemporary fiction. Founded in 1993 by Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, Word for Word believes in the power of the short story to provide solace, compassion, and insight into our daily lives.


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