The hit public radio series Selected Shorts comes to Connecticut College to share dazzling short fiction from across the globe. With stories about parenthood, love, loss, and identity, authors Julia Alverez, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Alfred Döblin, and Laura Chow Reeve reveal that we are united by our joys, fears, grief, and triumphs. With performances by Kate Burton (Grey's Anatomy), Laura Gómez (Orange Is the New Black), Russell G. Jones (Tommy), and Jennifer Lim (Jade Dragon).
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.
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A Little Fable by Alfred Döblin
Performed by Kate Burton
Liberty by Julia Alvarez
Performed by Laura Gómez
Light by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Performed by Russell G. Jones
1,000-Year-Old Ghosts by Laura Chow Reeve
Performed by Jennifer Lim
To Learn About the Artists
THE ARTISTS (in alphabetical order)
Julia Alvarez is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer best known for her novels How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies. She has published numerous collections of poetry and works of non-fiction, most recently, The Woman I Kept to Myself and A Wedding in Haiti: The Story of a Friendship. In addition to her adult works, she has written many books for young readers, including Tía Lola Stories series, Before We Were Free and Where Do They Go? A recipient of a 2013 National Medal of Arts and many other awards and honors, Alvarez is one of the founders of Border of Lights, a movement to promote peace and collaboration between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Her most recent novel, Afterlife, was published in 2020.
Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up in Nigeria and the United States. Her work has received grants and awards from Commonwealth Writers, the Elizabeth George Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, Breadloaf, and others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and is the recipient of an O'Henry Award. Her debut collection, What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, won the Kirkus Prize and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and was a finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize.
Kate Burton was nominated for Tony Awards for her work in Hedda Gabler, The Elephant Man, and The Constant Wife. Additional Broadway credits include Spring Awakening, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Jake’s Women, Company, Some Americans Abroad, and Present Laughter. Her film credits include Big Trouble in Little China; The Ice Storm; Unfaithful; 2 Days in New York; Liberal Arts; 127 Hours; Where'd You Go, Bernadette?; and Before/During/After. On television, she has appeared in multiple Law & Orders, Empire Falls, Rescue Me, Veep, Grimm, Modern Family, Supergirl, The Gifted, Strange Angel, Scandal, Perfect Harmony, Homeland, Charmed, 13 Reasons Why, and Grey's Anatomy, for which she has received numerous Emmy nominations. Burton has directed at the LA Philharmonic and is a professor at the University of Southern California.
Alfred Döblin (1878–1957) was born in German Stettin (now the Polish city of Szczecin) to Jewish parents. He studied medicine at Friedrich Wilhelm University, specializing in neurology and psychiatry. He is the author of the novels The Three Leaps of Wang Lun, Wallenstein, and Berlin Alexanderplatz. He fled Germany with his family soon after Hitler’s rise, moving first to Zurich, then to Paris, and, after the Nazi invasion of France, to Los Angeles, where he converted to Catholicism and briefly worked as a screenwriter for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. After the war he returned to Germany and worked as an editor with the aim of rehabilitating literature that had been banned under Hitler, but he found himself at odds with conservative postwar cultural trends.
Laura Gómez is an actress and writer best known for her role as Bianca Flores on Orange Is the New Black. She has been featured on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and the miniseries Show Me a Hero and Anne Plus. Gómez has directed three short films, The Iron Warehouse, Hallelujah, and To Kill a Roach, which won the NYU Technisphere Award in 2012. She is a member of Women Artists Writing, a non-profit group giving voices to female theater artists.
Russell G. Jones is an AUDELCO, Obie, and SAG Award-winning actor. Most recently he was a series regular on CBS's Tommy, opposite Edie Falco. A fixture on New York City stages since the ’90s, Russell is proud to have originated roles in Lynn Nottage's Ruined, Suzan-Lori Parks' Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3, Tanya Barfield's The Call, Fernanda Coppel's King Liz, and two by Stephen Adly Guirgis: Our Lady of 121st Street and In Arabia We'd All Be Kings. Some film highlights include Motherless Brooklyn, Detroit, Side Effects, Traffic, and Robert Patton Spruill’s Squeeze. Recent Television credits include Bull, Orange Is the New Black, The Last OG, Godless, and The Americans. He is the founder and Chief of Pedagogy at Blind Spot Experience, a campaign that facilitates cross-cultural dialogue and critical thinking by providing context and tools for perceiving racial inequity.
Jennifer Lim made her Broadway debut starring in David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, for which she earned a Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut, the IASNY Trophy for Excellence, and a Drama Desk nomination. Additional theater projects include Golden Child at Signature Theatre, The World of Extreme Happiness at Manhattan Theatre Club, Usual Girls at Roundabout Theater Company, The Urban Retreat at the Public Theater, and Fefu and Her Friends at Theatre for a New Audience. Her film and television credits include Law & Order, The Good Wife, Elementary, Hell on Wheels, Instinct, Impossible Monsters, Jessica Jones, High Maintenance, and Prodigal Son. Lim will appear in the forthcoming films Irresistible, Naked Singularity, and The Stand-In.
Laura Chow Reeve is a writer and illustrator. She has a Master's in Asian American Studies from UCLA and has attended workshops at Tin House and VONA/Voices. Reeve is a winner of the 2017 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers and a Senior Editor at Joyland Magazine. She is working on her first novel.
“Light” by Lesley Nneka Arimah, from What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky (Penguin Random House, 2017). First appeared in Granta (2015). Copyright © 2015 by Lesley Nneka Arimah. Used by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc.
“1,000-Year-Old Ghosts” by Laura Chow Reeve, from PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2017 (Catapult, 2017). First appeared in Hyphen Magazine (2016). Copyright © 2016 by Laura Chow Reeve. Used by permission of HG Literary.
“Liberty” by Julia Alvarez. Copyright 1996 by Julia Alvarez. First appeared in Writer’s Harvest 2 edited by Ethan Canin, published by Harcourt Brace and Company, 1996. Used by permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, New York, NY and Lamy, NM. All rights reserved.
“A Little Fable” by Alfred Döblin, from Bright Magic (Published in English by New York Review Books, 2016). Original text copyright © by S. Fischer Verlag GmbH (Frankfurt am Main). English translation used by permission of New York Review Books and translator Damion Searls. All rights reserved.
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, the Lemberg 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.
Expected Run Time is 75 minutes