Selected Shorts

By Selected Shorts / Panoply

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Category: Performing Arts

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Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen.

Episode Date
Long Distance
Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about travelling long distances. &nbsp; In Ray Bradbury's "Strawberry Window," a family living on a desolate Mars outpost tries to make a home.&nbsp; The reader is Boyd Gaines.&nbsp; Megan Mayhew Bergman's "Hell Diving Women" are an integrated jazz band touring the segregated South.&nbsp; The reader is Anika Noni Rose.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 16, 2018
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories with surprising twists and turns.&nbsp; A wife finds something unexpected in her local thrift shop in “Second Hand,” by Andres Neuman.&nbsp; The story is performed by Kaczmarek.&nbsp; Dawn Powell’s “Dinner on the Rocks” is an elegant comedy of bad manners, performed by Christina Pickles.&nbsp; And the salesman in Hubert Selby Jr.’s “Fortune Cookie” thinks he’s found a formula for success.&nbsp; Michael Imperioli is the reader.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 09, 2018
Fragile Families
Guest host David Strathairn presents three stories about families.&nbsp; A lifetime goes by in minutes in Kelly Cherry’s “The Parents,” read by Kaneza Schaal. &nbsp; A father and son grieve differently after the death of a wife and mother in Tom Barbash’s “The Women,” read by Michael Imperioli.&nbsp; And it’s a battle of wills in the kitchen in Annie Proulx’s “The Garlic War,” read by Shohreh Aghdashloo.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Aug 02, 2018
Guest host Kate Burton presents two stories about destiny.&nbsp; A flaky wanna-be actor gets in over his head in Steve Almond's "God Bless America," read by Michael Urie.&nbsp; And Heather O'Neill re-imagines a horror classic in a lighter vein in "The Isles of Dr. Moreau," read by Valorie Curry.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 26, 2018
More Funny Favorites from Andy Borowitz
Guest host Andy Borowitz intros four hilarious pieces featured in his anthology The 50 Funniest American Writers.&nbsp; James Naughton reads S.J. Perelman’s noir parody “Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer;” Susan Orlean complains about idle tots in “Shiftless Little Loafers,” read by Dave Hill; old-time radio is revealed in Jean Shepherd’s “The Counterfeit Secret Circle Member Gets the Message,” read by Isaiah Sheffer; and one woman’s all-nighter, in Jenny Allen’s “Awake,” read by Jane Kaczmarek.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 19, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Greg Ames "Benefactor"
A story from Greg Ames, the author of a novel, <em>Buffalo Lockjaw, </em>and a collection of stories entitled <em>Funeral Platter. </em>His work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Southern Review, McSweeney’s, North American Review, Catapult, and The Sun, among others. “Benefactor,” is something of a cautionary tale for all would-be patrons of the arts; please don’t let it stop you from sending us your tax-deductible donations. We recorded this story earlier in 2018 as a part of our live show in San Francisco during Sketchfest 2018. It's read by actor Lance Reddick, a multi-talented actor who has been in <em>The Wire</em>, <em>Fringe</em>, <em>Bosch</em> and the new Comedy Central series <em>Corporate.</em><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 14, 2018
Fractured Fairy Tales
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories based on fairy tales.&nbsp; In this time of female empowerment comes a timely story about an unconventional princess.&nbsp; Jane Kaczmarek performs Jeanne Desy’s “The Princess Who Stood On Her Own 2 Feet.” Brazilian feminist writer Clarice Lispector tackles another damsel in distress in “Beauty and the Beast or The Enormous Wound,” performed by Kate Burton .&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 12, 2018
What is Real?
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories about strange encounters.&nbsp; A woman's laundry is full of surprises in Diane Cook's "Flotsam," read by Melora Hardin.&nbsp; An ordinary businessman has an extraordinary day in Shirley Jackson's "Paranoia," read by Thomas Gibson.&nbsp; And a young newsie meets a philosophical drifter, in Carson McCullers "A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud," read by Lance Reddick. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 05, 2018
I Am America
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents stories, essays, and poems, and speeches celebrating America’s diversity and wealth of stories.&nbsp; An aging father ponders his life in Elizabeth Strout’s “The Walk,” read by Ellen Burstyn.&nbsp; The whole country’s talking in Susan Minot’s “Listen,” read by Jennifer Ikeda and Khris Lewin.&nbsp; Julia Alvarez faces prejudice and finds her voice in “Speak! Speak!” read by Selenis Leyva, and Henry Louis Gates intros works by 19th&nbsp; century African-American writers from his anthology.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 28, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Richard Bausch "Billboard"
Today we’re going to hear a story from Richard Bausch. This lifelong writer has produced novels and short story collections including <em>Before During After, Peace, In the Night Season</em> and the 2017 title <em>Living in the Weather of the World. </em>The actor performing it is David Strathairn, who is known for John Sayles films, <em>Good Night and Good Luck, Lincoln, Alphas</em> and so much more. Strathairn brings a lovely restraint to his performances, and as you’ll hear, that quality lends a new dimension to Bausch’s impulsive and vengeful narrator, a brother done wrong. We recorded this story during a live show in San Francisco as part of Sketchfest.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 05, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Kevin Canty "God’s Work"
On this episode, a tale that involves a teenage evangelist coping with teenage lust. “God’s Work,” by Kevin Canty, was read during the annual Selected Shorts celebration of the <em>Best American Short Stories</em> series. The editor of the 2017 volume—novelist Meg Wolitzer - talks to host Aparna Nancherla after the reading describing Canty's keen insights about his characters which make them easily relatable, and there’s some lovely lyricism to his writing, as you’ll hear in today’s story.&nbsp; The actor reading our story today is Jim True-Frost. Those of you who binge highbrow TV series will know him as “Prez” from <em>The Wire,</em> while others of us, well, we may never stop seeing him as the elevator operator who says “Buddy!” approximately 8,000 times in the “The Hudsucker Proxy.”&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 30, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Brit Bennett "Ain’t That Good News"
A story by the up-and-coming writer Brit Bennett. Bennett is the real friggin’ deal: Her debut novel “The Mothers” made a splash in 2016 (soon to be a movie starring Kerry Washington), the same year she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” She has written essays for <em>The Paris Review, The New York Times</em> and<em> The New Yorker,</em> but remains focused on fiction. While her stories deal with seemingly ordinary people in insular communities, they’re like a rocket full of fortune cookies, propulsive and full of canny observations. "Ain't That Good News" is no exception - it's tender, sad, and packs a wallop. Our actor Karen Pittman absolutely nails this reading. Pittman has been in series including <em>The Americans</em> and <em>Luke Cage,</em> and has appeared on Broadway in plays such as <em>Disgraced</em> and <em>Good People.</em><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 28, 2018