Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the wo... More
5 of 16
It’s June, time to celebrate Pride privately and publicly. Host Meg Wolitzer presents four works that delve into the complexities of love, family and belonging. Ivan E. Coyote’s “No Bikini,” read by Becca Blackwell, offers one child’s act of quiet rebellion. Lovers drift together, and apart, in Michael Cunningham’s “Sleepless,” read by Mike Doyle. A newish couple faces harsh weather in Deesha Philyaw’s “Snowfall,” read by Michelle Beck, and poet Kay Ulanday Barrett shares their “Song for the Kicked Out.”
A Point of Honor
On this SELECTED SHORTS, we celebrate Memorial Day. Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories that feature men in uniform, codes of honor, and how conflicts can sometime lead to connection. Maile Meloy’s “Red,” performed by Keith Szarabajka, takes place in London during the Blitz, where a man and woman find a rare moment of peace. In Kurt Vonnegut’s “The Cruise of the Jolly Roger,” a retired army man searches for the next chapter in his life. The reader is Teagle F. Bougere. We also hear Vonnegut’s “Letter Home,” written to his family after being a prisoner-of-war. It’s read by Jordan Klepper.
With a Little Help
Host Meg Wolitzer presents four stories in which characters give, and get, a little assistance, from friends, strangers and family. A daughter copes with a cantankerous parent in “How to Take Dad to the Doctor,” by Jenny Allen, performed by Jennifer Mudge. A woman moves to a new town and makes a strange new friend in Laura van den Berg’s “Friends,” performed by Roberta Colindrez. A Tyrolean café improbably situated in South America is home to mysterious strangers and new and old romances, in Isabel Allende’s “The Little Heidelberg.” It’s performed by Kathleen Turner. And a budding singer and socialist gets unwelcome help from Mom in Grace Paley’s “Injustice,” performed by Jackie Hoffman.
The Best American Short Stories
American guest editor Andrew Sean Greer, “The Little Widow from the Capital,” by Yohanca Delgado, performed by Krystina Alabado. And our second story was selected by John Updike for the volume Best American Stories of the Century. It’s Grace Stone Coates’ “Wild Plums,” read by Mia Dillon. This episode features on-stage commentary by Greer. It's dedicated to mix engineer Dennis Jacobsen.
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about selves obscured and revealed, by characters whose own identities are mysteries to them.In Aimee Bender’s “Un-Selfie, a woman reveals her extraordinary past to a stranger. The story was a commission for our 2022 Small Odysseys anthology, and is read by Alysia Reiner. In our second story, “Best Western” by Louise Erdrich, a young wife struggles to maintain a romantic fiction, until the real world crashes in on her. It’s read by Patricia Kalember.
Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the world with a rich diversity of voices from literature, film, theater, and comedy. New episodes every Thursday, from Symphony Space.