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

48 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents four works about celebrity, fame, show biz and how to survive it all. Cole Escola performs an excerpt from J...

  • Added: May 08, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Sonia Manzano presents three stories about moving beyond boundaries: "The Different One,” by John Updike, performed by Michael Emerson; ...

  • Added: May 01, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two modern fables by two modern masters. Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Cunningham reimagines the classic sto...

  • Added: Apr 24, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Kate Burton presents selections from the anthology The Best of Harvard Lampoon, including works by Jonathan Adler, Patricia Marx, and B....

  • Added: Apr 10, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Jane Curtin presents three unusual stories about courtship and romance: “Prince Amilec,” by Tanith Lee, performed by Gildart Jackson; “...

  • Added: Apr 10, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about disappointments in love. Kathyrn Erbe performs "La Sainte-Vierge," by Daphne du Maurier, an...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host John Darnielle presents four works about life, death, and what comes after: "My Last Duchess," by Robert Browning, performed by John Da...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents works by Riverhead Books authors from a program celebrating the 25th anniversary of this distinguished Penguin ...

  • Added: Mar 19, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents four pieces based on other works of literature: “Best Worst American,” by Juan Martinez, performed by Cristin ...

  • Added: Mar 13, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about social rituals and unexpected consequences. Jefferson Mays performs "The Luncheon," by Jeffrey Arc...

  • Added: Mar 06, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
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Guest host David Strathairn presents two stories featuring dreams, ambition, and longing. Strathairn reads Peter Carey's "American Dreams," and Li...

  • Added: Feb 27, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents works with characters surviving peril. “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,” by Lauren Groff, performed by Am...

  • Added: Feb 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host John Darnielle introduces his favorite creepy stories. "Moses and Gaspar," by Amparo Davila, performed by Peter Jay Fernandez, and "The...

  • Added: Feb 06, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents three unusual love stories. Josh Radnor performs "Chainsaw Apple," by Arthur Bradford; Edward Herrmann perfor...

  • Added: Feb 06, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories from the Roxane-Gay edited BASS 2018. Each is about leaving home and what we become when we do: "S...

  • Added: Jan 30, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about life lessons and growing up: “Nairobi,” by Joyce Carol Oates, performed by Alison Pill; “T...

  • Added: Jan 23, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Josh Radnor hosts a program of writings by novelist George Saunders and musician and performer Carrie Brownstein. Brownstein reads from...

  • Added: Jan 16, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories about moving on in marriages. “The Gold Lunch,” by Ron Carlson, performed by Sean Astin; “The Women,...

  • Added: Jan 08, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four tales with morals: “The Five-Pound Burrito,” by T.C. Boyle, performed by Santino Fontana; “Love (or L...

  • Added: Jan 02, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about new beginnings. David Costabile performs "Waiting for the Miracle," by Lara Vapnyar, and Denis...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2018
  • Length: 59:00