What if, with a little willpower, an uncertain world could give way to something bold, thrilling, and new? Join host BD Wong (Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens), alongside performers D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place), Paul Giamatti (Billions), and Marin Ireland (Sneaky Pete) as they dare to question the nature of reality—and then attempt to remake it, with short fiction about soothsayers, alien invasions, and an uncanny force known only as Greg Stalfa.
Virtual Selected Shorts will premiere on May 27 @7:30PM on the Symphony Space YouTube channel.
Blind Oracle of Mactan by Nathan Go
Performed by BD Wong
What It Would Look Like by Sherrie Flick
Performed by Marin Ireland
Who Is Greg Stalfa and What Does He Mean? by Rachel Yoder
Performed by D’Arcy Carden
The Eyes Have It by Philip K. Dick
Performed by Paul Giamatti
To learn more about the artists
THE ARTISTS (in alphabetical order)
D’Arcy Carden is best known for playing Janet on The Good Place, for which she was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She can also be seen recurring as Natalie in the HBO series Barry. Her film and television credits include Broad City, Other People, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Veep, Inside Amy Schumer, Greener Grass, Let It Snow, Bombshell, Single Parents, and Bonding. She will appear in the forthcoming television series A League of Their Own. Carden performs regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
Over a writing career that spanned three decades, Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) published 36 science fiction novels and 121 short stories. Many of his novels and short stories have been adapted to film and television, notably: Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and The Man in the High Castle. The recipient of critical acclaim and numerous awards throughout his career, Dick was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007 the Library of America published a selection of his novels in three volumes. Dick is the first science fiction writer to be included in the series. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
Sherrie Flick is the author of the flash fiction chapbook I Call This Flirting, the novel Reconsidering Happiness, which was a semi-finalist for the VCU First Novelist Award, and the short story collections Whiskey, Etc. and Thank Your Lucky Stars. Her work, both fiction and nonfiction, has been featured in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, The Wall Street Journal, Creative Nonfiction, Pittsburgh Quarterly, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other publications. She currently teaches in the Food Studies and MFA programs at Chatham University.
Paul Giamatti has been honored with two Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and an Emmy for his work in film and television. His screen credits include American Splendor, Sideways, Cinderella Man, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, the title role in the HBO miniseries John Adams, Barney’s Version, Win Win, 12 Years a Slave, Love & Mercy, Inside Amy Schumer, Straight Outta Compton, BoJack Horseman, At Home with Amy Sedaris, and Lodge 49. Giamatti currently stars in Showtime’s Billions, which recently premiered its fifth season. He will appear in the forthcoming films Gunpowder Milkshake, A Mouthful of Air, and Jungle Cruise.
Nathan Go was the 2017-2018 David TK Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, he was a 2012 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, Massachusetts Review, Bare Life Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Des Moines Register. He is at work on his first novel and short story collection.
Marin Ireland was nominated for a Tony Award and won the Theater World Award for her work in reasons to be pretty on Broadway. Additional stage credits, on and off-Broadway, include Cyclone, for which she won an Obie Award, Blasted, Three Sisters, Marie Antoinette, The Big Knife, Kill Floor, Ironbound, Summer and Smoke, Blue Ridge, and Happy Talk. Ireland’s screen credits include Mildred Pierce, The Good Wife, Homeland, Glass Chin, for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, The Killing, The Divide, Masters of Sex, Madam Secretary, Girls, The Slap, Flint, The Irishman, The Good Doctor, and three seasons on Sneaky Pete. She will next appear as a series regular in season two of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix.
BD Wong received all five major New York theater awards – the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World, and Clarence Derwent – for his Broadway debut in M. Butterfly. Additional theater credits include the Broadway revivals of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Pacific Overtures; and the off-Broadway productions of The Great Leap, As Thousands Cheer, Shanghai Moon, and A Language of Their Own. On screen, Wong has appeared in the films Father of the Bride, Mulan, Seven Years In Tibet, Bird Box, Jurassic Park, two Jurassic World films, and in the television series All-American Girl, Oz, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Awake, Madam Secretary, Gotham, American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Mr. Robot (Emmy and Critics' Choice nominations), and most recently, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.
Rachel Yoder’s debut novel, Nightbitch, is forthcoming in 2021. She is a senior agent at the Tuesday Agency and a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. Her writing has been awarded with The Editors' Prize in Fiction by the Missouri Review and with notable distinctions in Best American Short Stories and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and has appeared in LitHub, The Paris Review, The Rumpus, Guernica, Kenyon Review, and Catapult Magazine, among other publications. Yoder is a board member for the UNESCO City of Literature and currently serves as the Literary Programming Director for Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City, Iowa.
“The Eyes Have It” by Philip K. Dick, from Science Fiction Stories, #1, ed. Robert W. Lowndes (Columbia Publications, Inc. 1953). This story is in the public domain.
“What It Would Look Like” by Sherrie Flick, from Thank Your Lucky Stars (Autumn House Press, 2018). First appeared in LitHub (August 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Sherrie Flick. Used by permission of the author.
“Blind Oracle of Mactan” by Nathan Go, from American Short Fiction (April 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Nathan Go. Used by permission of the author.
“Who Is Greg Stalfa and What Does He Mean?” by Rachel Yoder, from Catapult Magazine (February 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Rachel Yoder. Used by permission of Triangle House.
Selected Shorts is supported by the Dungannon Foundation, sponsor of The Rea Award for the Short Story; and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, publisher of The Best American Short Stories, edited in 2019 by Anthony Doerr.
Support is also provided by the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, The Shubert Foundation, The Scherman Foundation, the Henry Nias Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Axe-Houghton Foundation, and the Grodzins Fund.
Selected Shorts is also made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Symphony Space thanks our generous supporters, including our Board of Directors, Producers Circle, and members, who make our programs possible with their annual support.
The Selected Shorts podcast is sponsored by Zabar’s and Zabars.com.
Selected Shorts is produced by Symphony Space and broadcast on more than 150 stations around the country. The series began in 1985 and enjoys sold-out performances to this day. Selected Shorts was conceived with a simple premise: take great stories by well-known and emerging writers and have them performed by terrific actors of stage and screen. Featuring stories around a lively theme, the favorite works of a guest author, or a special collaboration, each Selected Shorts event is a unique night of literature in performance.
Recent readers include Ellen Burstyn, Kate Walsh, Bebe Neuwirth, Claire Danes, Michael Shannon, Kyle Maclachlan, LeVar Burton, Jane Curtin, Danielle Brooks, Cynthia Nixon, Rainn Wilson, Holly Hunter, Hugh Dancy, Joan Allen, Josh Radnor, Tony Shalhoub, Maggie Gyllenhaal, BD Wong, and more.