Selected Shorts

Series produced by Selected Shorts

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One-hour weekly program featuring readings of short fiction by classic and emerging writers read by top Broadway and Hollywood actors (ongoing).

NOTE: This program is available to PRI affiliates. For more information please email memberships@prx.org.

“One of the finest evenings at the theatre.”

– David Sedaris about Selected Shorts

"Selected Shorts: Let Us Tell You A Story" presents some best-loved selections of classic and contemporary short fiction read by acclaimed actors and recorded live at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City. Stories are alternately funny, sad, moving, and exciting and make a perfect accompaniment to daily activities such as driving, cooking, exercising, and relaxing. Some of the finest artists of the American theater and screen come through the doors of Symphony Space in a typical season. It is from these recordings that the radio show is produced. For almost three decades, performances have featured works by contemporary greats such as Alice Munro, John Updike, John Edgar Wideman, Joan Didion, TC Boyle and Alice Walker; as well as the fresh, vivid and diverse works of a new generation of remarkable literary talents, from Pulitzer Prize-winning Jhumpa Lahiri, best seller Neil Gaiman and Ian Frazier to promising newcomers like Etgar Keret and humorist Simon Rich. Distinguished works by classic masters such as Edith Wharton, James Thurber, Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allan Poe have been thrilling audiences for years.

More than 80 stories are read to captivated audiences during a single"Selected Shorts" live performance season. Favorite "Selected Shorts" actors who have read in recent seasons are Hope Davis, Alec Baldwin, Cynthia Nixon, Liev Schreiber, Sally Field, Willem Dafoe, Robert Sean Leonard, David Strathairn and Stephen Colbert.

"Selected Shorts" tours its live programs each year to destinations across the country. Venues have included the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Fitzgerald Theater in Minneapolis; Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago; Town Hall in Seattle; The Mount in Lenox, Mass.; The Dallas Museum of Art; and the Westport Arts Center in Connecticut.

There are currently a dozen "Selected Shorts" thematic CDs, which feature listeners' best-loved stories, including "Baseball!," "Timeless Classics," "Food Fictions," "Travel Tales," "Falling in Love," "Edith Wharton," and most recently, "Even More Laughs," "POE!" and "Behaving Badly." Additionally there are several digital only collections available exclusively at Selectedshorts.org. Hide full description

“One of the finest evenings at the theatre.”– David Sedaris about Selected Shorts"Selected Shorts: Let Us Tell You A Story" presents some best-loved selections of classic and contemporary short fiction read by acclaimed actors and recorded live at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City. Stories are alternately funny, sad, moving, and exciting and make a perfect accompaniment to daily activities such as driving, cooking, exercising, and relaxing. Some of the finest artists of the American theater and screen come through the doors of Symphony Space in a typical season. It is from these recordings that the radio show is produced. For almost three decades, performances have featured works by contemporary greats such as Alice Munro, John Updike, John Edgar Wideman, Joan Didion, TC... Show full description


Additional Files

59 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Guest host Jane Curtin presents three tales in which drinking plays a part. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Doughnuts,” by Michael Gerber an...

Bought by High Plains Public Radio, KWGS, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Apr 04, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 4
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Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents some quirky tales: “Bee Beard,” by Ryan Boudinot, performed by Tony Hale; “The Dummy,” by Susan Sontag, perfor...

  • Added: Apr 01, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents O. Henry Award-winning stories: “Midrash on Happiness,” by Grace Paley, performed by Mia Dillon; “The America...

  • Added: Mar 26, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about powerful men: "The Greatest Man in the World,” by James Thurber, performed by Michael Ian Black;...

  • Added: Mar 19, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host LeVar Burton presents three stories about seeing, remembering and accepting: “The Elevator Dancer,” by N. K. Jemisin, performed by Laura...

  • Added: Mar 11, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Denis O'Hare presents three stories that push past boundaries: “Distractions,” by Simon Rich, performed by Erinn Hayes; “Love in a Kitch...

  • Added: Mar 10, 2020
  • Length: 58:57
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Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents tales of crisis by Etgar Keret and Joyce Carol Oates: “Fly Already,” by Etgar Keret, performed by Liev Schreiber;...

  • Added: Feb 26, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories with alternative realities: "The Dreamlife of Toasters," by Heather O'Neill, read by Yvette Nicole Brow...

  • Added: Feb 12, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Jane Curtin presents three works with unexpected twists: "The Sock," by Lydia Davis, read by Kaneza Schaal; "Deep Lie the Woods," by Meg...

  • Added: Feb 11, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about introspection and quiet discovery: "Yours Truly," by A.M. Homes performed by Beth Malone, a...

  • Added: Feb 04, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents three stories about the complicated relationships between children and parents: "No Bikini,” by Ivan E. Coyote, ...

  • Added: Jan 22, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two unusual stories about love in the face of difficulties. The two lovers in Jim Shepard's "Love and Hydrog...

  • Added: Jan 21, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host David Strathairn presents works by classic British crime writer Agatha Christie: "Miss Marple Tells a Story," by Agatha Christie, perfor...

  • Added: Jan 08, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents three revealing first person accounts taking us from a crowded bus, to a suburban motel, to a Russian estate: “H...

  • Added: Jan 13, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Kate Burton presents a quartet of unusual love stories. “My Date with Neanderthal Woman,” by David Galef, performed by Giullian Yao Gi...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
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Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories within stories that end in uncertainty.

  • Added: Dec 19, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two surprising Christmas stories: “O Holy Night, or The Year I Ruined Christmas,” by Laurie Notaro, performed by...

  • Added: Dec 11, 2019
  • Length: 58:59