Playing on Air Hour Length Episodes

Series produced by Playing on Air

Caption: Playing on Air
Playing on Air  

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.

“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 Hide full description

“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... Show full description


49 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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
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
Caption: American Horror Story's Denis O'Hare, Credit: FX Networks
Denis O’Hare (“American Horror Story”, Tony winner for Take Me Out), and Kristine Nielsen (Tony nominee for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) st...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut and KUNM


  • Added: Aug 10, 2018
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Susie Essman of "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Jim Dale and Susie Essman star in HOLY MOLY, two short comedies by Alan Zweibel and David Ives. In PLAYING GOD, a divine comedy from SNL's Alan Zw...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, WNPR Connecticut, Prairie Public, and KUNM


  • Added: Jun 29, 2018
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Elizabeth Ashley
Featuring Tony winner Elizabeth Ashley, COME IN FROM THE COLD features a wintry trio of short plays about connection, lost and found. With wit, h...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, KFCF FM, KUNM, and Prairie Public


  • Added: Feb 16, 2018
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Martha Plimption
Featuring Emmy winners Bobby Cannavale and Martha Plimpton, and recorded live on stage at Playwrights Horizons, the entertaining and timely plays i...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut and KUNM


  • Added: Jan 25, 2018
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Condola Rashad
Starring Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins and Condola Rashad (“Billions”), CELL tells the riveting story of three African-American women working at ...

Bought by WCPN, New Hampshire Public Radio, KUNM, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., and WHRV


  • Added: Jan 18, 2018
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Geraldine Hughes
CHANGING OF THE GUARD features two short comedies about getting outpaced by a world zooming way ahead. In The Mandela Effect, written and directed...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, KUNM, KZYX, and WHRV


  • Added: Oct 24, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Bill Irwin
Starring Bill Irwin, Steven Boyer, Len Cariou, Michael Urie. A FATHER’S LOVE celebrates the unbreakable bond that exists between fathers and childr...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, New Hampshire Public Radio, KUNM, WHRV, and Georgia Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Oct 02, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Michelle Williams
Starring Michelle Williams, Rupert Friend, Caitlin FitzGerald, Timothee Chalamet; RENDEZ-VOUS WITH JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY delivers two thought provok...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, KUNM, and WHRV


  • Added: Aug 28, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Callie Thorne
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda, offers two romantic comedies with questionable romance! In At The Water’s Edge, Wet, a Production Stage Manager and his S...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, KUNM, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and WHRV


  • Added: Jul 05, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Timothee Chalamet
Timothee Chalamet, Zoe Kazan, Ciaran Hinds, Geraldine Hughes star in three humorous shorts in which love trumps panic, insecurity and anxiety! In ...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, Georgia Public Broadcasting, WNPR Connecticut, and KUNM


  • Added: Jun 01, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Scott Adsit
Comedy writer all-star, Alan Zweibel (“SNL,” Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays), and young comedy writer MVP, Jon Kern (“The Simps...

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


  • Added: Mar 23, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: John Douglas Thompson
Sam Waterston and John Douglas Thompson star in this offering from Playing on Air. It features two short plays about American Black History. In th...

Bought by KUNM, WNPR Connecticut, New Hampshire Public Radio, WNPR Connecticut, KUT and more


  • Added: Feb 28, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Jane Alexander
Jane Alexander, Peter Jacobson, Amy Ryan and Michael Stuhlbarg star in two short, touching and humorous plays about stepping up when you are neede...

Bought by WNPR Connecticut, WHRV, KUNM, and Oregon Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Nov 02, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Stephen Lang
"One of the richest, most complex pieces of acting I've seen in my theater going life." The Wall Street Journal "As starkly moving as taps at dusk...

Bought by KUNM, Red River Radio Network (E. Texas/Louisiana/Arkansas/Mississippi), WHRV, and Oregon Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Oct 27, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4