"...Rich interior lives are usually the province of prose, not performance. But that’s precisely what makes Word for Word so special in the Bay Area theater scene."
Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

"Had me on the edge of my seat"
Patrick Thomas, Talkin' Broadway

“I was starstruck by the amazingly talented actors, and so grateful for the stunning production. It made me see my own work in a different light.”
George Saunders

"I want to say how completely taken I was, how enchanted I was by the presentation of these stories, so graceful, so nuanced...I love it so much, and loved what they did with Victory Lap too...they pulled that off so beautifully."
Tobias Wolff

Word for Word Presents:


Stories by Tobias Wolff and George Saunders
Featuring "Deep Kiss" and "Victory Lap"

August 8 - September 2 on Z Space's Main Stage
Directed by
Joel Mullennix and Delia MacDougall

Word for Word’s twenty fifth anniversary show will be a true treat, featuring stories by two of our favorite authors, Tobias Wolff and George Saunders.

Tobias Wolff's "Deep Kiss" perfectly captures yearning adolescence: this is Joe Reed's story of his first love which nearly breaks him, yet resonates into his middle age. In George Saunders “Victory Lap” three young people are thrust toward a critical life moment, suddenly and unexpectedly converging on a single point in space and time. Humor develops into great menace, with a soul-saving ending.  

August 15th - An Evening with Tobias Wolff and George Saunders

The August 15th installment of Anniversary! features an appearance by the two authors. After the show, they will engage in a talkback moderated by Z Space's playwright-in-residence Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. Don't miss your chance to hear these authors talk about their work and Word for Word.

Tickets are $125


August 27th - What A Long Great Road It's Been

Word for Word is staging a special retrospective event celebrating their 25 years in existence. This is NOT a performance of Anniversary!, but an event where the entire Charter Group revisits special milestones—including performance snippets, a slideshow, and a reception afterwards. CLICK HERE for more information and tickets.


Molly Benson
Adam Elder  
Paul Finocchiaro  
Blythe de Oliveira Foster*    
Susan Harloe*   
Isabel Langen
Alexander Pannullo*  
Mohammad Shehata*  


Tobias Wolff (author, "Deep Kiss") is an American short story writer, memoirist, and novelist. He is known for his short stories and his memoirs, particularly This Boy's Life: A Memoir (1989, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award) and In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War (1994). Other works include The Barracks Thief (PEN/Faulkner Award), Back in the World, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, The Night In Question, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories (The Story Prize), and Old School. In 2015, Tobias Wolff received a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.


George Saunders (author, "Victory Lap") studied under Tobias Wolff in the graduate program in creative writing at Syracuse University. His work includes the short-story collections “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” (a finalist for the 1996 PEN/Hemingway Award), “Pastoralia,” “In Persuasion Nation” (a finalist for the Story Prize), “Tenth of December” (a finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of the Folio Prize), “Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness,” and Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel (winner of the Man Booker Prize). Saunders has won prizes for his best-selling children’s book, “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” and for a book of essays entitled “The Braindead Megaphone,” and he has been featured in the “O. Henry Prize Stories,” “Best American Short Stories,” “Best American Nonrequired Reading,” “Best American Travel Writing,” and “Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthologies. Named by The New Yorker one of the best American writers under the age of forty in 1999, Saunders has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

*member AEA