Playing on Air

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PLAYING ON AIR FULL EPISODES (53 Minutes)
Playing on Air is a unique public radio program featuring a novel form of story-telling, the short play. The short play form is ideal for the rhythms of radio listeners on the go. Listeners enjoy a beginning, middle and knock-out punch in minutes. Listeners enjoy a variety of voices and styles in one show. Plus, after hearing the actors perform, they get to hear all the artists converse about what just went down.

Our contemporary shorts, at 10-25 minutes each, make up a 53-minute show. They are written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning dramatists in a format they love but rarely hear performed by top talent.  
 
Our actors are world-class: Sam Waterston, Bobby Cannavale, Audra McDonald, Rosie Perez, Adam Driver, John Leguizamo, Michelle Williams, Jesse Eisenberg, Kathleen Turner, Bill Irwin, Peter Gallagher, Ed Asner, Jerry Stiller, Jane Krakowski...
 
Writers include Pulitzer Prize winners David Lindsay-Abaire, David Auburn, John Patrick Shanley, Beth Henley, Lynn Nottage, Donald Margulies, Lanford Wilson; Tony winners Christopher Durang, Warren Leight, John Guare, and notable others. 

The topics of these short plays are wide-ranging, timely, and reflect the issues of our world today. Masters of the form, our playwrights write pieces that, like all great theater, entertain, illuminate, inform and humanize.
 
Each short is about 10-25 minutes and there are two or three of them on every 53-minute offering. Original music and polished, subtle sound design are composed for every bite-sized but beautifully crafted piece.  

Lively conversation with each short's playwright, director and cast about what just happened, round out each show. After hearing each short play, listeners get the inside scoop from its participants. (Single plays are available from our Playing on Air Singles Series).



"An answered prayer for anyone who craves more theater in their life." -Emma Dibdin, The New York Times
 
"In the long-running podcast series Playing on Air, sterling actors sink their teeth into short plays by the country’s finest authors" -Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New Yorker
 
"Playing on Air increases the accessibility of quality theatre to theatre-hungry audiences" -Ruthie Fierberg, Playbill

Playing On Air is a great addition to our programming lineup. There’s nothing else like it on the public radio airwaves  –short plays written and performed by well-known actors and directors. Take a break from the news!” -Catie Talarski, Senior Programming Director, WNPR Connecticut
 
"When I first sampled Playing on Air I thought our audience would like the program, so I scheduled it during the summer and asked for listener feedback. The most amazing feedback returned with almost 100 % positive about this program.  This is not typical of our listeners!  This is a gem worth your review and absolutely worth adding to your schedule.  Try it!  You'll love the response! What's left to say?  Playing on Air is a public radio winner."  -  Lynne Clendenin, Program Director, OPB Radio
  
 "The playwrights and the actors are award-winning first-rate professionals you will have heard of. Because the plays are short, there's time to include insightful interviews, usually with the playwrights, in each broadcast. Playing on Air definitely fills a gap in available radio theatre programming and I'm delighted to schedule them. Your audiences will love these shows." - Linda Lopez McAlister, Producer, KUNM's Radio Theatre, Albuquerque, NM

"Playing on Air is the kind of show that should be multiplied by ten - it's fun, it's intelligent, and it reminds us how glorious radio can be." - David Ives, playwright

"Playing on Air gives actors the thrilling experience of acting without having to look in a mirror first. They produce dramatically compelling radio in a fun and accessible way." - Jesse Eisenberg, actor, playwright

 

 
We offer two different series:  PLAYING ON AIR FULL-LENGTHS [53-minute offerings of 2-3 short plays followed by conversation] and PLAYING ON AIR SINGLES [a module version of the program with one play followed by one conversation, 10-42 minutes]. 
PLAYING ON AIR SINGLES (10 - 42 Minutes including optional interview)




 

Series

Caption: Playing on Air
52 Pieces

Playing on Air is a unique public radio program featuring a novel form of story-telling: the short play, an ideal form for the rhythms of radio listeners on the go. Each short is about 10-25 minutes and there are two or three of them in every 53-minute episode. (Single plays are also available). Original music and polished, subtle sound design are composed for every bite-sized but beautifully crafted piece. After hearing each short play, listeners get the inside scoop from its participants. Lively, insightful conversation with each short's playwright, director and cast about what just happened, round out each show. The topics of these short plays are wide-ranging, timely, and reflect the world we live in now. Masters of the form, our playwrights write pieces that, like all great theater, entertain, illuminate, inform and humanize. Our actors are world-class: Carol Kane, Sam Waterston, Bobby Cannavale, Audra McDonald, Rosie Perez, Adam Driver, John Leguizamo, Michelle Williams, Jesse Eisenberg, Kathleen Turner, Bill Irwin, Peter Gallagher, Ed Asner, Jerry Stiller, David Harbour, Jane Krakowski... Writers and directors include Pulitzer Prize winners David Lindsay-Abaire, David Auburn, John Patrick Shanley, Beth Henley, Lynn Nottage, Donald Margulies, Lanford Wilson; Tony winners Christopher Durang, Warren Leight, John Guare, and notable others.

Series image
61 Pieces

The Single Series is a module version of the full-length Playing on Air Series. It features a single short play followed by lively conversation with its playwright, director, cast. The times given include the ensuing conversation although the play can, of course, stand alone. Please inquire were you to need the length of the short without the conversation which follows.


Pieces

Caption: Amy Ryan
Amy Ryan (“The Office”) and Jeremy Shamos (Netflix's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom") star in TRUTH HURTS, a two-part radio thriller from Playing on Air...

  • Added: Dec 30, 2020
  • Length: 53:00
Caption: Dominique Morisseau
WITNESS IN THE DARK, features two plays by Dominique Morisseau, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and Tony Award nominee for Ain't Too Proud: The ...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut


  • Added: Dec 24, 2020
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Carol Kane
Carol Kane ("The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") stars in AFTERMATH, two short plays set in the present-day Middle East on how to begin the work of reb...

Bought by KUNM and WNPR Connecticut


  • Added: Dec 10, 2020
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: April Matthis
April Matthis (Toni Stone) and Sean Carvajal (Broadway’s King Lear) star in GAME ON, which features two short plays about tension and sweet, cathar...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut


  • Added: Sep 10, 2020
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Tony Shalhoub
Featuring Tony Shalhoub ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," The Band's Visit) and Kristine Nielsen (Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus), YOU NEED THERAPY...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut


  • Added: Aug 26, 2020
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: John Lithgow
John Lithgow and Debra Monk star in FORTUNE’S FOOL, two plays about very different competitions -- and what people will do when they want to win ba...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut


  • Added: Aug 20, 2020
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
"Life as usual and then the sky falls in." There's a crater in the middle of the street - again. After a deadly car bomb explodes in the Sha'ab ne...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2019
  • Length: 21:40
Caption: Michael C. Hall
Michael C. Hall and Martha Plimpton star in THE BIG EASY. It features two charming audio comedies set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. Firs...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., WNPR Connecticut, and KUNM


  • Added: Oct 24, 2019
  • Length: 53:19
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Carol Kane
Carol Kane and Jeremy Shamos in A HEDGEHOG AND A SPATULA. The show features recordings of the winners of Playing on Air's 2018 James Stevenson Priz...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut and KUNM


  • Added: Aug 06, 2019
  • Length: 53:05
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Molly Bernard
NON-ROMCOM features two short plays by young female playwrights. Both Patricia Cotter's RULES OF COMEDY and Chiara Atik's 52ND TO BOWERY TO COBBLE ...

Bought by KUNM


  • Added: Mar 21, 2019
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1