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Selected Shorts

PRI

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.

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.

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

PRI

Panoply

Description:

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

Selected Shorts c/o Symphony Space 2537 Broadway New York, NY 10025-6990 212-864-5400


Episodes

On the Trail

1/14/2021
Guest host Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show) presents a colorful and diverse collection of works that look at Presidential elections, warts and all. Roy Wood Jr. performs Mark Twain’s outrageous confessional “A Presidential Candidate.” Samantha Bee reads from Molly Ivins’ “Our Boy George.” Crystal Dickinson performs an excerpt from Unbought and Unbossed, the memoir of America’s first Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Washington columnist Alexandra Petri offers a Samuel Beckett pastiche,...

Duration:01:06:07

Truth and Consequences with A.M. Homes and T.C. Boyle

1/7/2021
Guest host Jane Curtin presents provocative stories by T.C. Boyle and A.M. Homes, who comment on their craft as part of the show. In Boyle’s “Top of the Food Chain,” a government program wreaks havoc with Mother Nature. It’s performed by Zach Grenier. In “A Prize for Every Player,” Homes locates a charming family fantasy in a big box store. Jane Curtin is the reader. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy...

Duration:00:57:38

Too Hot For Radio: Stories by Rachel Engelman and Peter McCleery

1/4/2021
Host Aparna Nancherla introduces two stories: "Joan of Arc Sits Naked on Her Dorm Room Floor,” by Rachel Engelman, performed by actor Adina Verson, and the satirical “Casual Sexism Fridays” by Peter McCleery performed by our host at a SketchFest performance in San Francisco. Later in the episode, Aparna chats with Chris Monks, the editor for the humor site McSweeney's, about why he published the McCleery story and what goes into their selection process. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:28:10

Rituals

12/31/2020
Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about rituals. A young author takes a glamorous older woman to lunch and all does not go well in “The Luncheon” by Jeffrey Archer, performed by Jefferson Mays. And host Davis performs Amy Bloom’s touching story “Love is Not a Pie,” in which family secrets, and family bonds, are shared after a funeral. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:58:31

Holiday Hurdles

12/24/2020
Guest host David Sedaris presents stories that reimagine holiday rituals. In Tobias Wolff’s “Powder” a pre-Christmas snowstorm provides an adventure for a father and son. SELECTED SHORTS’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer is the reader. A long-established couple turn out to be able to surprise one another in Allegra Goodman’s gentle borrowing from an O’Henry classic. Dana Ivey and Michael Cerveris read her “Gifts of the Jewish Magi.” And David Sedaris says English writer Jeanette...

Duration:01:00:27

I Did It My Way

12/17/2020
Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents four works about fame, celebrity, show biz, and what it takes to survive them. First, actor Cole Escola channels the legendary Joan Crawford in an excerpt from her autobiography, My Way of Life. Author Zadie Smith channels the dauntless spirit of Billie Holiday in “Crazy They Call Me,” performed by Karen Pittman. Will Eno’s “Interview" is a freewheeling monologue which offers both sides of an extensive and confessional outpouring performed by the author....

Duration:00:58:21

Rites of Passage: Stories from The Paris Review

12/10/2020
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents stories from the legendary literary magazine The Paris Review. Umberto Eco has a really big fish in “How to Travel with a Salmon,” read by Jin Ha. A mother mourns her son with his difficult friends in “Marabou,” by Joy Williams, read by Michael Emerson. In George Fox’s “The Twenty-Sixth Second” a WWII veteran has a secret. It’s read by Linda Lavin. And host Leonard finishes up with a story set on the day of the Nazi occupation of Paris, “The Hat,” by...

Duration:00:59:42

Rites & Rituals

12/3/2020
Guest host David Sedaris offers three stories that question social rites. “Cultural Relativity” is Charles Johnson’s witty retelling of a classic fairy tale; it’s read by Regina King. Zadie Smith reads her own “Lazy River”—ostensibly about a failed holiday in Spain, but also a deft satire about Brexit, class, and exploitation. And the cantankerous spinster In Jean Stafford’s “The Hope Chest” has a Dickensian moment of grace. Dana Ivey is the reader. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:58:23

Too Hot For Radio: Becky Mandelbaum "Queen of England"

12/1/2020
Actor Robin Lord Taylor (You, Gotham) performs a story about a single mom with two unruly sons. And later in the podcast, host Aparna Nancherla talks to Sarah Thyre about how she chose this story for a night at Selected Shorts. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:48:09

Modern Fables

11/26/2020
Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two contemporary fables. First, Michael Cunningham reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen class “A Wild Swan,” in a reading by Valorie Curry. Next, an excerpt from George Saunders’ touching and hilarious novella, Fox 8, read by John Cameron Mitchell. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:58:06

Extended Families

11/19/2020
Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories featuring unconventional families. A young girl is raised by a group of warm-hearted “mamas” in Shay Youngblood’s touching coming-of-age story, “They Tell Me, Now I Know,” read by Viola Davis. In Jai Chakrabarti’s “A Small Sacrifice for An Enormous Happiness,” a forbidden love affair and a marriage of convenience promise two different futures. The reader is Bhavesh Patel. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:58:42

Look Again

11/12/2020
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories in which young protagonists have their lives altered by acts of perception. A ten-year old girl takes a care-free walk in the woods in Alice Walker’s “The Flowers,” but the blossoms she finds conceal something darker. The reader is Crystal Dickinson. Ethan Canin’s “Star Food,” read by David Strathairn, is a coming-of-age story involving a boy at the edge of manhood, his parents, the family store--and the cosmos. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:59:57

Only Human: Anton Chekhov

11/5/2020
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,”...

Duration:00:58:20

It's a Sign

10/29/2020
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories in which unexpected encounters and visitations result in new love. In Ana Menéndez’s “Story of a Parrot,” a colorful bird revives a grey marriage. The reader is Jacqueline Kim. Russian Nobel Laureate Ivan Bunin penned a delicate story of an unexpected romance between a man with a wound in his soul and a waitress. “In Paris” is read by the late Rene Auberjonois. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:58:20

Redemption

10/22/2020
Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about recollection and redemption. In “Sibyl,” by Carys Davies, read by Jane Kaczmarek, two lonely vacationers are brought together. Andre Braugher performs an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s master work, Beloved. And a daughter returns home to help her aging father in an excerpt from Rachel Khong’s bittersweet novel Goodbye, Vitamin, performed by Jennifer Ikeda. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage...

Duration:00:58:33

Improbable Dreams

10/15/2020
Guest host Hope Davis presents three improbable stories: in “The Orange,” by Benjamin Rosenbaum, a citrus fruit rules the world. The read is John Cameron Mitchell. In “The Man, The Restaurant, and the Eiffel Tower,” by Ben Loory, performed by Stana Katic, a father’s children conspire to make him happy. In “I, Gentile,” by David Gordon, performed by Michael Urie, a reluctant Jew falls in love with the wrong girl. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:58:26

Hard Choices

10/8/2020
Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents three stories about hard choices. In Jac Jemc’s “Trivial Pursuit,” a husband and wife run the gamut of odd couples while trying to construct a social life. Jordan Klepper kills it. Renee Jessica Tan offers a thought-provoking response to racial stereotyping, and a great father/daughter story, in “Baghead,” performed by Karen Chee. And a recent divorcee has nothing to lose in her “Spanish Winter.” But what does she have to gain? Melora Hardin performs...

Duration:01:00:04

Home Cooking with Food52

10/1/2020
Guest host Hope Davis presents three shows about food, cooking, and company, curated with the online foodie destination Food52: "Feeding the Fussy," by Laurie Colwin, performed by Tracee Chimo; "Home Turf," by Kiran Desai, performed by Angel Desai; and "Watkyn, Comma," by Joan Aiken, performed by Sonia Manzano. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:59:16

Too Hot For Radio: Simon Rich "Guy Walks into a Bar"

9/29/2020
Humor writer Simon Rich reimagines a classic joke for The New Yorker. After the reading by actor Michael Urie, Rich talks to host Aparna Nancherla about how this hilarious, and somewhat dirty piece, made it to print and went viral. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:14:47

Love & Prohibition

9/24/2020
Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about love and constraints. Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” conjures up a tough but loving mother in a humorous laundry list of dos and don’ts. She’s brought to life by Hattie Winston. George Saunders’ story title says it all: “Lars Farf, Excessively Fearful Husband and Father” takes protectiveness to hilarious extremes. The reader is James Naughton. And in Carson McCullers’ “A Domestic Dilemma,” read by Joanna Gleason, a Southern family has a secret....

Duration:00:57:22