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

62 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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
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Guest host Hope Davis presents stories by Carson McCullers that show us the world through young eyes: “Correspondence,” performed Emily Skeggs; “T...

  • Added: Dec 04, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories about the gap between impressions, assumptions, and legends--and reality: "The Case for Remaining ...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents stories in which trusting your senses is important. In Jeanne Dixon’s “Blue Waltz with Coyotes,” a rebellious...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Hope Davis presents stories about family: “My Brother at the Canadian Border,” by Sholeh Wolpé, performed by Maulik Pancholy; “A Guide...

  • Added: Nov 19, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
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Guest host Kate Burton presents present two stories about the challenges of motherhood selected for SHORTS by Celeste Ng and Mary Karr: "Looking f...

  • Added: Nov 06, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories about facing, and escaping from, reality. Edie Falco performs "Evening on the Cote d'Azur," by Richar...

  • Added: Oct 29, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host LeVar Burton introduces two favorite stories: "Friends," by Lucia Berlin, performed by Lydia Gaston and "Control Negro," by Joceyln Nico...

  • Added: Oct 23, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Kate Burton presents unusual chillers for Halloween: “The Caul,” by Russell Banks, performed by Richard Masur; “The Raven, by Edgar Al...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Guest host Sonia Manzano presents two stories about perception and points of view: “Blue Girl,” by Elizabeth Crane, performed by Valorie Curry; and...

  • Added: Oct 02, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host LeVar Burton presents a celebration of James Baldwin with readings from some of his most celebrated works: “My Dungeon Shook,” by James ...

  • Added: Oct 08, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
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Guest host Josh Radnor presents three eerie pieces: “The Appointment in Samarra,” by W. Somerset Maugham, performed by Maulik Pancholy “The Monst...

  • Added: Sep 25, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Guest host Kate Burton presents three stories in translation, curated by the international literary organization Words without Borders. “Detour,” ...

  • Added: Sep 18, 2019
  • Length: 58:59