Every four years, journalists try to make sense of the nation’s biggest story: the race for the presidency. With one of the country’s most consequential elections on the horizon, Selected Shorts considers the twists and turns of campaigns past—the in-fighting and back-biting, the leads blown and punches thrown—to help make sense of the present. Collecting excerpts and stories from writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper hosts an evening of readings about a world he knows from the inside out. With performances by Samantha Bee (Full Frontal), Crystal Dickinson (The Chi), Aasif Mandvi (Evil), Alexandra Petri (columnist, The Washington Post), and Roy Wood, Jr. (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah).
The titles featured in this show can be purchased from our friends at Strand here. Receive 10% off your purchase of any of these books with code SYMPHONYSPACE.
To Learn About the Artists
THE ARTISTS (in alphabetical order)
Samantha Bee is the host of the Emmy Award-winning Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the first late-night satire show hosted by a woman. Previously, she was the longest-serving correspondent on The Daily Show, and she served as co-creator and executive producer of The Detour. She is the author of the essay collection I Know I Am, But What Are You? and has been featured in TIME 100: The Most Influential People. Most recently, Bee and Full Frontal launched the successful #MailedIt campaign to help save the United States Postal Service and also launched a podcast titled Full Release.
Crystal Dickinson won the Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut in the 2012 production of Clybourne Park. She subsequently appeared in You Can’t Take It With You on Broadway in 2014, A Raisin in the Sun at the Two River Theater, and The Low Road at the Public Theater. Her film and television credits include House of Payne, I Origins, This Is Where I Leave You, The Good Wife, Feed the Beast, Collateral Beauty, New Amsterdam, and The Chi. Dickinson has taught at Stella Adler Studio, Spelman College, Pace University, Princeton University, the Juilliard School, NYU, and both of her alma maters, University of Illinois and Seton Hall. Currently, Dickinson is working on Lessons in Survival, an online theatrical event where theater artists reinvestigate the words of trailblazing artists and activists who survived and created in times of revolution in our country. Visit VinyardTheater.org.
Jordan Klepper is perhaps best known for his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show, his comedy series The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, and his docuseries Klepper. He is an alumnus of the improv troupes The Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade. He and his wife, Laura Grey, are co-creators of short films including TMI, a featured short at the Slamdance Film Festival, and Peepers, which premiered at South By Southwest.
Aasif Mandvi is an actor, writer, and comedian who stars on the hit CBS series Evil. He was a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and starred on HBO's The Brink, for which he also served as a writer and producer. He won an OBIE Award for his critically acclaimed play Sakina’s Restaurant, which was adapted into the film Today's Special. His numerous theater credits include The Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced at Lincoln Center. Additional film and television credits include Jericho; Margin Call; Gods Behaving Badly; Million Dollar Arm; The Brink; Younger; Shut Eye; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Blue Bloods; Human Capital; This Way Up; Room 104; Mira, Royal Detective; and Halal in the Family.
Alexandra Petri is an American humorist and newspaper columnist at The Washington Post. She is the author of Nothing Is Wrong and Here is Why and A Field Guide to Awkward Silences. Her writing has also appeared in McSweeney's, Daily Science Fiction, The New Yorker's “Shouts and Murmurs,” among others. She's a Helen Hayes Award-nominated playwright, member of the BMI Advanced Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, as well as an O. Henry Pun-Off champion. Petri lives in Washington, DC.
Roy Wood Jr. is a stand-up comedian, producer and actor, and is currently a correspondent on Comedy Central's Emmy and NAACP award-winning The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Roy's second special, No One Loves You, premiered as part of Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Month in January 2019, the network’s highest rated original stand-up premiere since his February 2017 one-hour, Father Figure. He recently expanded his already large role on Comedy Central with a comprehensive first-look deal and is developing his comedy pilot Jefferson County: Probation. In addition, Wood has created two Comedy Central web series, Stand-Up Playback and The Night Pigeon. His additional credits include Space Force, Better Call Saul, The Last O.G., This Is Not Happening, Last Comic Standing, and Def Comedy Jam, among others.
Selected Shorts is produced by Symphony Space and broadcast on more than 150 stations around the country. The Selected Shorts podcast consistently ranks as one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. 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.
Selected Shorts is supported by the Dungannon Foundation, sponsor of The Rea Award for the Short Story. Support is also provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust, The Shubert Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, The Scherman Foundation, the Henry Nias Foundation, the Axe-Houghton Foundation, and the Lemberg Foundation. 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.