Selected Shorts

By Symphony Space

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Category: Performing Arts

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Subscribers: 2340
Reviews: 2

 Apr 5, 2019

Christine W
 Sep 4, 2018


Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the world with a rich diversity of voices from literature, film, theater, and comedy. New episodes every Thursday. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

Episode Date
Survival Skills
Guest host Roxane Gay presents two stories about making things work out, though sometimes at a cost.  In “Loose Change,” by Andrea Levy, performed by Eve Best, a well-off Londoner has a strange encounter in an art gallery, one that recalls a pivotal moment in her family’s past. In Manuel Muñoz’s "Anyone Can Do It,” a poor woman takes a risk in order to provide for her family.  The reader is Monica Raymund. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Oct 21, 2021
Embracing Disaster: Joyce Carol Oates and Etgar Keret
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories by two masters of the short-story form.  Humor, humanity, and fantasy all combine in four tales of things gone wrong. In “Fly Already” by Etgar Keret, performed by Liev Schreiber, a widower and his small son watch a drama unfold. In “Where Are You?” by Joyce Carol Oates, performed by Dianna Agron, a demanding husband pushes his wife to the limit. In “One Gram Short” by Etgar Keret, performed by Ira Glass, a stoner makes a really bad deal; and Oates’ “Assassin” combines tongue-in-cheek horror and political satire.  Becky Ann Baker is the reader. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Oct 14, 2021
Approaching Peace
On this show, guest host Hope Davis presents three stories about finding some kind of peace and stability in a variety of challenging circumstances.  In Rabih Alameddine’s “Break” a trans woman reconnects with a sibling.  The reader is Pooya Mohseni.  Dave Eggers imagines a world changed by determined parents in “Your Mother And I,” performed by the late David Rakoff.  And love triumphs over illness in Amy Bloom’s “Silver Water,” performed by Linda Lavin.  Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Oct 07, 2021
Motherhood with Celeste Ng and Mary Karr
On this show, guest host Kate Burton introduces two stories that look at the joys and complexity of motherhood. They were chosen  by the novelist Celeste Ng and memoirist and essayist Mary Karr, each of whom comments briefly on her pick.  In “Looking for a Thief,” by Danielle Lazarin, a suburban mother questions her choices. The story is performed by Heather Burns. And Burton reads Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing,” in which another mother wonders if she’s done right by a challenging first child.    Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Sep 30, 2021
Outcasts in Love with Maulik Pancholy
Two stories in which social outliers strive for love. “Tandolfo the Great,” by Richard Bausch, is read by Michael Ian Black.  And Lance Reddick reads “A Tree, A Rock, a Cloud” by American master Carson McCullers. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Sep 23, 2021
Too Hot For Radio: ZZ Packer "Gideon"
"Gideon" is read by the great American actress Danielle Brooks, known for her performance as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson on Orange Is the New Black, among many other roles. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Sep 20, 2021
An Evening with LeVar Burton
Guest host LeVar Burton presents two of his favorite stories. In Lucia Berlin’s “Friends,” the characters have different ideas about who benefits from their weekly lunches. The reader is Lydia Gaston. Next, Burton himself reads Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s powerful “Control Negro,” in which an academic and father tries a real-world experiment to prove a theory about racism.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Sep 16, 2021
What’s Left Behind
Guest host Meg Wolitzer presents three diverse stories that look at what gets left behind when life changes, gradually or suddenly.  Restless retirees try on the ultimate next step in Greg Ames’  funny “Funeral Platter,” performed by Michael McKean and Annette O’Toole.  The family in Julia Alvarez’s “Liberty” are on their way to a new life in America, but it’s difficult leaving the old one behind.  The reader is Laura Gomez.  And a trainer of guide dogs for the blind learns how to let go, in Amy Hempel’s “The Dog of the Marriage,” performed by Joan Allen.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Sep 09, 2021
Riverhead at 25
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents works that reflect on the diversity and excellence of Riverhead Books, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018.    The program features “Flower Hunters,” by Lauren Groff, performed by Maria Dizzia, and “Buck Boy,” by James McBride, performed by Teagle Bougere, as well as special commissions from Aja Gabel (“Alarm”) and R.O. Kwon (“Tempo”) both performed by Hettienne Park.    Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Sep 02, 2021
Personal Politics
Guest host Baron Vaughn presents three works where the personal and the political collide.  In “Parent Night at Confidence Academy,” by Kiley Reid, a teacher lets parents know what she really sees in their kids.  The reader is Juliana Canfield.  Two kingdoms have created ideal societies, as long as you don’t mind a little restraint, in this playful fable by Berlin Alexanderplatz author Alfred Doblin, read by Kate Burton.  And local politics gets ugly (even the dog is involved) in Peter Orner’s “Shouting Wenkie,” performed by Liev Schreiber.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Aug 26, 2021
Out of Control
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents three works about losing control.  In Dmitry Biriukov’s “Hello?” a crowded city bus inspires one passenger to create a romantic scenario.  The reader is Mike Doyle.  Jenny Allen offers up a disastrous crafts project in “How to Tie-Dye,” reader by Jane Curtin.  And Anton Chekhov gives us a clueless young man beset by determined women in “From the Diary of a Hot-Tempered Man,” read by Sam Underwood. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Aug 19, 2021
Too Hot for Radio: Stephen Tobolowsky "Listen to the Dog"
Writer and character actor Stephen Tobolowsky reads his own story about a Thanksgiving dinner that takes a most unexpected turn. Later he talks to host Aparna Nancherla about his work in TV, movies, and his podcast, The Tobolowsky Files. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Aug 09, 2021
Too Hot For Radio: Jess Walter "Helpless Little Things"
From the best-selling author Beautiful Ruins, an edgy, suspenseful story about a drug-dealing Portland con artist voiced by actor Denis O'Hare who seems to have the perfect scam going... until it all goes wrong. Jess Walter talks to host Aparna Nancherla about where he gets his inspiration from, reading his reviews, and how he handles the dreaded writer's block. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Jun 09, 2021
Only Human: Anton Chekhov
Guest host Jane Curtin presents works by Anton Chekhov that were part of a celebration sponsored by Columbia University and hosted by Chekhov scholar Laura Strausfeld.  We’ll hear “A Drama,” performed by Cynthia Nixon—an ambitious writer overwhelms her idol; “Rapture,” performed by Robin Miles, Sam Underwood, Rainn Wilson, and Di Zhu—a young man enjoys his 15 minutes of fame; “Which is Better?,” performed by Rainn Wilson—Chekhov debates the merits of schools vs. pubs; and “Verotchka,” performed by Rainn Wilson—a studious young man confronts romance.  Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Nov 05, 2020