Selected Shorts

Series produced by Selected Shorts

Series image

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

52 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
Guest host David Sedaris presents two contemplative stories. Leonard Nimoy reads Raymond Carver's classic "What We Talk About When We Talk About L...

  • Added: Sep 18, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
Piece image
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories about larger-than-life characters. Mary Orr's "The Wisdom of Eve" is performed by Stana Katic and L...

  • Added: Sep 04, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
Piece image
Guest host Krista Tippett presents works that consider spiritual life, happiness, and the origins of the universe.

  • Added: Sep 03, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories about hidden thoughts and feelings. Wendy Malick performs Patrick Dacey's "Patriots;" Natasha Rot...

  • Added: Aug 28, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents three stories about curious courtships. “First Person Shooter,” by Charles Yu, performed by Tony Hale; “The P...

  • Added: Aug 15, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Guest host Josh Radnor presents works curated by the novelist Richard Price. “The King,” by Isaac Babel, performed by Maggie Gyllenhaal; “A Love A...

  • Added: Aug 07, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Guest host Krista Tippett presents stories and poems that tackle issues of faith and belief. “The Doctor and the Rabbi,” by Aimee Bender, perform...

  • Added: Aug 07, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Guest host Dennis O'Hare presents stories about interesting pairs: “The Trip,” by Bruce Jay Friedman, performed by Santino Fontana and Julie Halst...

  • Added: Jul 30, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories about transgressions and omissions. “Initials Etched on a Dining Room Table, Lockeport, Nova...

  • Added: Jul 17, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Guest host Sonia Manzano presents works about seeking love: A dramatic reading of OK Cupid profiles, performed by Giullian Yao Gioiello and Colby ...

  • Added: Jul 03, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Guest host David Sedaris presents two ruefully comic stories: “I Live on Your Visits,” by Dorothy Parker, performed by Celeste Holm “Snakebite,” ...

  • Added: Jul 03, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories about families and how they heal themselves.

  • Added: Jul 03, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
Piece image
Guest host Dennis O'Hare presents first-person accounts, stories, and poems, celebrating the landmark uprising at the Stonewall Inn that helped giv...

  • Added: Jun 26, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
Piece image
Guest host Sonia Manzano presents works by the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Carolina Ravassa reads "Remnants of Carnival," in which a littl...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Guest host Kate Burton presents three stories in which women play important but very different roles: “There Was Once,” by Margaret Atwood, perfor...

  • Added: Jun 05, 2019
  • Length: 59:00