Selected Shorts

By Symphony Space

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Category: Performing Arts

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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
Safe Distance
Guest host LeVar Burton presents three stories in which fantasies and memories are both near and far.  In “The Elevator Dancer,” by N.K. Jemisin, a guard is obsessed by a woman who spins when no one is looking.  Laura Gomez is the reader.  A woman remembers a transforming moment in her Depression-era childhood in “Marigolds,” by Eugenia W. Collier.  The story is performed by Sharon Washington. Ursula K. Le Guin moves and surprises us in “The Wife’s Story,” performed by Joanna Gleason. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Nov 25, 2021
Too Hot for Radio: Rick Moody "The Grid"
From the author of novels including The Ice Storm and Purple America, a storyabout love, longing, and most importantly, putting your lips on somebody. Performed by Jin Ha (Devs).   Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Nov 22, 2021
Shared Realities
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two very different stories about the overlap of aspirations and dreams.  In “Fairness,” by Nigerian-born writer Chinelo Okparanta, a young girl from a well-to-do household is obsessed with the idea of having lighter skin, an obsession shared by all the women in her family circle. The reader is Chinasa Ogbuagu.  In Rachel Simon’s eerie “Little Nightmares, Little Dreams,” a husband wants to share everything with his wife of fifty-four years, including their dreams.  The story is performed by Maria Tucci. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Nov 18, 2021
Children and Their Parents
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories about the family dynamics between children and parents. It's never too early to defy gender norms, as Ivan E. Coyote confides in "No Bikini," read by Becca Blackwell.  A woman confronts her mother's aging, and her own childlessness, in Kathryn Chetkovich's tender story "The World with My Mother Still In It," read by Phillipa Soo.  And three generations are "At the Zoo," in a story by Caitlin Horrocks: a rowdy grandpa, a sensitive child, and a mother caught between the two.  The reader is Kate Walsh. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Nov 11, 2021
Remember Me
Guest host Hope Davis presents three stories about being perceived, and remembered, by others.  In Aimee Bender’s “The Rememberer,” wonderfully performed by the late Marian Seldes, a woman has to reconstruct her lover from memory as he undergoes an extraordinary transformation.  In “Rumors About Me,” an ordinary man becomes a media sensation.  The unsettling story is by Yasutaka Tsutsui, translated by Andrew Driver, and performed by Kennedy Kanagawa.  And an orange rules the world in a gentle fantasy by Benjamin Rosenbaum, performed by John Cameron Mitchell.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Nov 04, 2021
Quiet Revelations
Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories in which a lot  happens, but subtly. The narrator of A.M. Homes’ “Yours Truly” is “hiding in the linen closet” on a journey of self-discovery.  The reader is Beth Malone. In Weike Wang’s “Omakase” a couple’s special sushi dinner proves unexpectedly revealing. The reader is Jennifer Lim. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Oct 28, 2021
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
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
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
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