100 episodes

Hear short, contemporary stage plays with first-rate casts. Playing on Air brings together award winners and emerging young talent, and each play is followed by a conversation with the playwrights and cast. Tune in for great American plays with great American actors, hosted and produced by Claudia Catania.

Playing On Air: A Theater Podcast Playing on Air

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.8 • 104 Ratings

Hear short, contemporary stage plays with first-rate casts. Playing on Air brings together award winners and emerging young talent, and each play is followed by a conversation with the playwrights and cast. Tune in for great American plays with great American actors, hosted and produced by Claudia Catania.

    JEZELLE THE GAZELLE by Dominique Morisseau

    JEZELLE THE GAZELLE by Dominique Morisseau

    JEZELLE THE GAZELLE continues Playing on Air’s yearlong celebration of MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ winner Dominique Morisseau (The Detroit Project, Pipeline, Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations).
     
    Jezelle is ready to prove that she’s the best runner on her block: young, fierce, and definitely faster than any boy. But is she fast enough to outrun grief and claim her greatness? Starring Mirirai Sithole (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, “Black Mirror”), JEZELLE THE GAZELLE  by Dominique Morisseau is directed by Goldie E. Patrick (Detroit Public Theatre, Kennedy Center). 
     
    This clear-eyed coming of age story — originally created for the 10 x 10 Festival at American Theater Company — was recorded live at New York’s Pershing Square Signature Center in November 2019. Stay tuned after the performance for an onstage conversation between the artists and host Claudia Catania.

    • 26 min
    THE COURTSHIP OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH by Lucas Hnath

    THE COURTSHIP OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH by Lucas Hnath

    “Back when I was a kid my mother took me to see a fortune teller for my 12th birthday…
    She said that when I am in my 20’s I will reach two paths. 
    Two paths J. And I don’t know which one to pick.” 
    In the parking lot behind a Houston strip club, a young dancer considers a proposal from an octogenarian billionaire. Before the world devours her story, she has to choose it. 
    Written and directed by OBIE winner Lucas Hnath (Broadway’s Hillary and Clinton, A Doll’s House, Part 2), THE COURTSHIP OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH features Quincy Tyler Bernstine (“Power,” Marys Seacole) and David Patrick Kelly (“Twin Peaks,” Thérèse Raquin). After the performance, the artists join host Claudia Catania to discuss theater in the age of Quarantine, directing your own plays, and the double-edged sword of celebrity.
     
    THE COURTSHIP OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH was first produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of The Tens, presented by the Professional Training Company. 

    • 27 min
    ST. FRANCIS PREACHES TO THE BIRDS by David Ives (Re-Release)

    ST. FRANCIS PREACHES TO THE BIRDS by David Ives (Re-Release)

    In the middle of the desert, two vultures find their lunch interrupted by a man of faith. Now, they have a bone to pick with Saint Francis of Assisi. 
    Full of miraculous and mischievous wit, ST. FRANCIS PREACHES TO THE BIRDS by David Ives (Venus in Fur, PoA’s The Blizzard) features Carson Elrod (Peter and the Starcatcher, PoA’s Evening at Anaheim), Julie Halston (Tootsie, PoA’s Relative Strangers), Matthew Saldivar (Bernhardt/Hamlet, PoA’s The Philadelphia), an appearance by the legendary Lois Smith, and a surprise cameo from the playwright. Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation with Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, PoA’s The Mystery at Twicknam Vicarage), the cast, and host Claudia Catania.
     
    Help us get to know you a bit better; go to playingonair.org/survey to fill out our listener survey. 

    • 34 min
    CELL by Cassandra Medley

    CELL by Cassandra Medley

    Tony winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly’s Last Jam, “Fear the Walking Dead,” PoA’s Poof!), Tony nominee Condola Rashad (Saint Joan, “Billions”), and Melanie Nicholls-King ("The Wire," "Little Fires Everywhere”) star in Cassandra Medley’s CELL. When a jaded supervisor at an immigrant detention center finds jobs there for her sister and niece, family tensions erupt into a battle over home and homeland security.
    Directed by Diverse City Theater Company founder Victor Lirio, CELL by Cassandra Medley (Relativity, Coming Up for Air) “deftly explores the dirty antidemocratic secret of institutionalized racism” (New York Times). After the play, host Claudia Catania joins Pulitzer Prize-winning immigration journalist Julia Preston, Broadway producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld, and playwright Medley to move beyond headlines and explore the real lives that inspired CELL.
     
    Help us get to know you a bit better; go to playingonair.org/survey to fill out our listener survey. 

    • 54 min
    ANNIVERSARY by Rachel Bonds (Re-Release)

    ANNIVERSARY by Rachel Bonds (Re-Release)

    “This doesn’t seem like your kind of place -
         Why?
    I dunno. You don’t look like you eat a lot of crappy deli meat.”
    Through a haze of gin, mediocre roast beef, and horrible apartment parties, a grieving New Yorker finds herself drawn to a quirky, flirtatious friend-of-a-friend. Hurtling through time, ANNIVERSARY by Rachel Bonds (PoA’s Winter Games, Goodnight Nobody) follows a journey back to love.
    Ensemble Studio Theater’s Linsay Firman directs Sarah Sokolovic (“Big Little Lies,” PoA’s The Blizzard), Michael Esper (Lazarus, PoA’s Rules of Comedy), Sue Jean Kim (Office Hour, PoA’s 52nd to Bowery…), and Tony nominee Steven Boyer (Hand to God, PoA’s If You Win). After the play, playwright Bonds joins host Claudia Catania to discuss her roots as a writer.
     
    Help us get to know you a bit better; go to playingonair.org/survey to fill out our listener survey. 

    • 23 min
    HAPPY by Alan Zweibel (Re-Release)

    HAPPY by Alan Zweibel (Re-Release)

    Never underestimate the persistence of a Mets fan.
    In HAPPY by Alan Zweibel (“SNL,” 700 Sundays with Billy Crystal), a baseball fan shows up at the home of his childhood hero, George "Happy" Halliday. Has the stranger come to pay his respects or to throw a curveball?
    A comedy for anyone who’s ever wished for an extra inning, HAPPY stars Frankie Faison (“The Wire”) and Scott Adsit (“30 Rock,” PoA’s Wild and Precious Life), directed by Fred Berner. After the live recording, join the artists and host Claudia Catania for an onstage interview.
     
    Help us get to know you a bit better; go to playingonair.org/survey to fill out our listener survey. 

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

G3BSSC ,

Perfect

I love the short plays. I listen to them while cooking and doing household chores, as well as walking around my home just to get some extra steps on for the day. I find myself looking for more to do in the kitchen or more cleaning and walking just so I can continue and listen to more. This is wonderful and I love the talkbacks.

NewbieCD ,

BEST introduction to theatre for us newbies!!!!

I didn't grow up attending plays, or know anyone who did, so theatre always felt very unaccessible...until now! Playing on Air not only provides entertainment, but also allows anyone and everyone to access remarkable theater in the comfort of their home. THANK YOU and keep up the good work!!! The new season is fantastic!!!!

Niffuh ,

Refreshing

Just discovered this and already am addicted. Thank you so much for allowing me another way to exercise my mind during this bizarre time spent in isolation.

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