Stars Align

Celebrity guests debut original short sci-fi stories on stage at Pasadena Playhouse during LitFest Pasadena

The fifth anniversary readings and awards for the Roswell Award for short sci-fi by writers worldwide, and the Tomorrow Prize for short sci-fi by Los Angeles County high school students, will be held at the Pasadena Playhouse main stage during LitFest Pasadena Saturday.

On Saturday and Sunday, LitFest Pasadena features literary programs around Pasadena’s historic Playhouse District. The programs include readings, author guest talks, panel discussions, workshops and literary performances.

Founded by Sci-Fest LA and presented by Light Bringer Project, which also produces LitFest, these nonprofit writing competitions identify and nurture the sci-fi writing talent of the future as writers explore today’s scientific, social and environmental issues through a speculative lens.

The Roswell Award Readings & Awards takes place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Celebrity guest readers include: Adrienne Barbeau (“Swamp Thing”), Ezra Buzzington (Fringe Theatre Festival), Nardeep Khurmi (“Jane the Virgin”), Osric Chau (“Supernatural”), Denise Grayson (“The Social Network”) and Gedde Watanabe (“Gung Ho”).

 They will read the finalists’ stories and the winning story for the Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award for feminist themed sci-fi presented by Hollywood NOW and the Artemis journal. After the readings, the first, second and third place Roswell Award winners will be announced and the writers, including the honorable mentions, will be recognized. 

 The Tomorrow Prize Readings & Awards for short sci-fi by Los Angeles County high school students is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The celebrity guest readers include: Anna Graves (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), Yuri Lowenthal (“Spider-Man PS4”), Vanessa Marshall (“Guardians of the Galaxy” TV series), Jasika Nicole (“Fringe”), James Arnold Taylor (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), and Natalie Whittle (“Orbital Redux”). 

They will read the finalists’ stories and the winning story for the The Green Feather Award for environmental conservation themed sci-fi presented by the Los Angeles Audubon Society. After the readings, the first, second and third place Tomorrow Prize winners will be announced and the top stories, including the honorable mentions, will be recognized. 

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Visit


‘Freeway Fighters’

Multi-media event to honor “No on 710” heroes at South Pasadena Public Library on June 7

A free public event to honor aptly nicknamed “Freeway Fighters” will be presented in the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 7.  The event will feature the screening of about 10 “digital stories” made by local residents.

The shorts will tell the personal stories about their vital involvement in the 60-year resistance movement to protect South Pasadena from the 4.5 mile Interstate 710 Freeway interchange that threatened to carve through its midsection.

The event will feature opening remarks by South Pasadena Mayor Marina Khubesrian, MD, and Councilmember Richard D. Schneider, MD. It will also feature songs written and performed by singer/songwriter Brad Colerick, and a relevant poem read by South Pasadena Poet Laureate Ron Koertge.

Author and Journalist Chip Jacobs, who has written about the freeway fight for the Los Angeles Times and the Pasadena Weekly, will offer a brief overview of the longstanding struggle, as will author and journalist Frank Girardot, former editor of the Pasadena Star-News.

The event is presented by the city of South Pasadena/South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation.

The Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro St. No tickets or reservations are necessary. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is limited. n