12 episodes

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. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

Selected Shorts Symphony Space

    • Performing Arts

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. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

    Sex and Vanity

    Sex and Vanity

    Guest host, Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan presents stories on themes he’s been interested in ever since F. Scott Fitzgerald inspired him to start writing as a teen—the nature of privilege, and the obsession with appearance and social status. In “Little Miss International Goodwill” by Doretta Lau, a young girl doesn’t seem to fit in at home or at school.  The story is performed by Annie Q.  Virginia Woolf elegantly weighs the balance of power between an aristocrat and a merchant in “The Duchess and The Jeweller, performed by Michael Urie.  And Melora Hardin treats us to a bit of Kwan’s novel Sex and Vanity.  A young woman travels to Capri for a wedding, and encounters more than sun and shopping.

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    • 58 min
    On the Trail

    On the Trail

    Guest host Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show) presents a colorful and diverse collection of works that look at Presidential elections, warts and all.  Roy Wood Jr. performs Mark Twain’s outrageous confessional “A Presidential Candidate.”  Samantha Bee reads from Molly Ivins’ “Our Boy George.”  Crystal Dickinson performs an excerpt from Unbought and Unbossed, the memoir of America’s first Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.   Washington columnist Alexandra Petri offers a Samuel Beckett pastiche, “Waiting for Pivot,” performed by Petri with Jordan Klepper, Aasif Mandvi, and Paul Giamatti.  Klepper finishes the show reading from Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Truth and Consequences with A.M. Homes and T.C. Boyle

    Truth and Consequences with A.M. Homes and T.C. Boyle

    Guest host Jane Curtin presents provocative stories by T.C. Boyle and A.M. Homes, who comment on their craft as part of the show.  In Boyle’s “Top of the Food Chain,” a government program wreaks havoc with Mother Nature.  It’s performed by Zach Grenier.  In “A Prize for Every Player,” Homes locates a charming family fantasy in a big box store.  Jane Curtin is the reader.  

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    • 57 min
    Too Hot For Radio: Stories by Rachel Engelman and Peter McCleery

    Too Hot For Radio: Stories by Rachel Engelman and Peter McCleery

    Host Aparna Nancherla introduces two stories: "Joan of Arc Sits Naked on Her Dorm Room Floor,” by Rachel Engelman, performed by actor Adina Verson, and the satirical “Casual Sexism Fridays” by Peter McCleery performed by our host at a SketchFest performance in San Francisco. Later in the episode, Aparna chats with Chris Monks, the editor for the humor site McSweeney's, about why he published the McCleery story and what goes into their selection process.

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    • 27 min
    Rituals

    Rituals

    Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about rituals.  A young author takes a glamorous older woman to lunch and all does not go well in “The Luncheon” by Jeffrey Archer, performed by Jefferson Mays.  And host Davis performs Amy Bloom’s touching story “Love is Not a Pie,” in which family secrets, and family bonds, are shared after a funeral.        

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    • 57 min
    Holiday Hurdles

    Holiday Hurdles

    Guest host David Sedaris presents stories that reimagine holiday rituals.  In Tobias Wolff’s “Powder” a pre-Christmas snowstorm provides an adventure for a father and son.  SELECTED SHORTS’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer is the reader.   A long-established couple turn out to be able to surprise one another in Allegra Goodman’s gentle borrowing from an O’Henry classic.  Dana Ivey and Michael Cerveris read her “Gifts of the Jewish Magi.”  And David Sedaris says English writer Jeanette Winterson captures the city to a “T” in “Christmas in New York,” a modern fairy tale with just a hint of magic, performed by Richard Masur.

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    • 59 min

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