Selected Shorts

Sponsored by Barbara Rowley and Taylor Middleton

“One of the finest evenings at the theatre.” – David Sedaris

Consistently ranked as one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, Selected Shorts is a weekly public radio show broadcast on over 130 stations to about 300,000 listeners. It is produced by Symphony Space and WNYC Radio and distributed by Public Radio International. The radio show is recorded live at the popular New York City stage show which began in 1985 and still enjoys sell-out audiences today at the Peter Sharp Theater at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th Street in New York City. Selected Shorts is one of the premiere reading series in New York City.

There is a theme to each Selected Shorts episode and performance. Several stories are presented around each theme. The stories are always fiction, sometimes classic, sometimes new, always performed by great actors from stage, screen and television who bring these short stories to life. Evenings are often co-hosted by writers, literary producers, and other interesting characters.


Host Jane Kaczmarek is best known for her role as Lois on the hit comedy Malcolm in the Middle, for which she was nominated for Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG awards. Her 30+ year television career began on The Paper Chase and Hill Street Blues, and she can currently be seen on USA TV’s Playing House. She has appeared on stage in New York and Los Angeles. Her favorite plays include Lost in Yonkers, Death of a Salesman, House of Blue Leaves, and Good People. She is the creator of Clothes Off Our Back, a foundation that auctioned celebrity red carpet finery, raising over 4 million dollars for children’s charities. She will be seen in the upcoming movie, The Boat Builder, with Christopher Lloyd.

Sam Underwood was born in Woking, Surrey and attended the Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts in New York. He is the founder and artistic director of New York’s Fundamental Theatre Project, with which he produced and starred in One Day When We Were Young by Nick Payne with Valorie Curry at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His New York theatre credits include Candida at The Irish Repertory Theatre, The Picture of Dorian Gray at The Pershing Square Signature Theatre, and Equus at John Drew Theater at Guild Hall, in which he starred opposite Alec Baldwin. Recent television appearances include recurring guest star roles in Showtime’s Dexter and Homeland, and he most recently starred opposite Kevin Bacon in Fox’s hit drama The Following, in which he played twins Mark and Luke. Sam is the founder of Initiative Productions, and his debut film in collaboration with 26 Films, Bus Stop, premiered at this year’s London Short Film Festival.

Kirsten Vangsness is best known as Penelope Garcia on the CBS drama Criminal Minds. She is the executive producer and star of the feature film Kill Me Deadly. She has received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for best emerging comic actress and was nominated for the LA Weekly playwright of the year for her play Potential Space. She has appeared in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, for which she earned a Garland Award; Sheila Calahan’s Everything You Touch presented by Pasadena Theatre @ Boston Court and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; and she regularly performs her one-person show Mess to sold-out houses around Los Angeles.

Valorie Curry is originally from California, where she studied acting and received a degree in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton. She is a founding member of Los Angeles’ Ovation Award-winning Coeurage Theatre Company, with which she starred in Balm in Gilead and the west coast premiere of Shakespeare’s Double Falsehood.  Her other theater credits include One Day When We Were Young at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Diviners at The Kennedy Center, and The Diary of Anne Frank at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. She appeared on television on The Following, Veronica Mars, Psych, CSI: New York, and Showtime’s House of Lies. Her film credits include Twilight: Breaking Dawn and the upcoming adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, American Pastoral. She is the founder of the production company 26 Films and current member of New York’s Fundamental Theater Project.


Listen to this recent episode of Selected Shorts, hosted by Stephen Colbert:

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