14 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

    • Arts
    • 4.4 • 2.3K Ratings

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.

    Jokes and Poems with Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein

    Jokes and Poems with Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein

    Guest host Jane Curtin presents a cornucopia of jokes, poems, and stories from a live program with comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet J. Hope Stein.  The couple shares material from their book The New One, about the birth of their daughter, and Stein’s poems reflecting on the experience of motherhood, as well as works by other favorite writers, including poetry and short stories from David Sedaris, Simon Rich, Zadie Smith, Jo Harjo, and Maggie Smith.  Performers include Jane Kaczmarek, Carmen Lynch, Andrea Martin and Kaneza Schaal.

    Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Two Against the World

    Two Against the World

    Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories in which strong bonds between women are evoked, by authors reflecting very different worlds.  In Youmna Chlala’s “Nayla,” read by Rita Wolf, two young women in a traditional community form a friendship.  In Susan Perabo’s “Life Off My E,” the relationship between sisters is reflected through their shared love of Scrabble.  Hope Davis is the reader.

    Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 57 min
    Ploughshares at 50

    Ploughshares at 50

    Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories from the influential literary journal Ploughshares.  “y = mx+b,” by Andrew Altschul uses an algebraic formula to explore the act of storytelling and the shape of life itself.  It’s performed by Peter Mark Kendall.  In our second story, Jamel Brinkley’s “I Happy Am,” a boy who usually imagines himself as a robot begins to imagine his own, real life.  It also reflects on the way issues of race and class can effect a child’s imagination. The reader is Karen Pittman. 

    Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 58 min
    Runs in the Family

    Runs in the Family

    Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about unusual family members. In Alix Ohlin’s “The Cruise,” a heartsick divorcee travels with her unconventional aunt. Laura Benanti reads.  An elderly dog is “A Permanent Member of the Family,” and a bone of contention, in this Russell Banks story performed by Zach Grenier.

    Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 58 min
    Holidays with Mom

    Holidays with Mom

    Guest host Meg Wolitzer presents our holiday show--two stories about being home for the holidays and how you can count on your Mom to be there for you—and possibly to complicate things.  First, memoirist Augusten Burroughs recalls a disastrous—and hilarious—childhood cooking project.  Reader Michael Cerveris relishes every bite.  And in “Live Wires” by Thomas Beller, a young man invites his girlfriend to his mother’s annual Hanukkah party.  The reader is Jane Curtin.

    Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Best American Short Stories 2021

    Best American Short Stories 2021

    Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories from the Best American Short Stories 2021 anthology selected by guest editor Jesmyn Ward. Both involve adolescents facing displacement or rejection, but the stories are set in very different environments: One takes place in a surreal, Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, and one inside a junior high school in Tennessee.  First, Leo Solomon reads “Playing Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain,” by Jamil Jan Kochai.  Then we hear “Biology,” by Kevin Wilson, performed by Mike Doyle.  And Ward comments briefly on her approach to creating this year’s diverse anthology.

    Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
2.3K Ratings

2.3K Ratings

lidia___011 ,

not the same

Since about a year ago, this show has made every. single. thing. about. race. It’s sad. I loved when the stories were just stories and spanned what seemed like a world of topics. I wish they would bring back so many of the old stories as they were absolutely wonderful.

WoodfordSki ,

Great Stories, Beautifully Read

Comedy and drama read by terrific actors.

Starfinder25 ,

Used to be better

I used to love listening to SS a few years ago. The actors and authors reading were fantastic, but now the “too hot for radio” is just for pearl clutching boomers. It’s gotten so boring. I used to be able to go back years in order to find the perfect story to fall asleep to, but now you have your pick of 11. No thanks

Top Podcasts In Arts

NPR
The Moth
Roman Mars
Rusty Quill
Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
Jason Weiser, Carissa Weiser

You Might Also Like

WNYC Studios and The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The Moth
This American Life
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker
NPR