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Event Program

Selected Shorts: Back to School



Hosted by Tara Westover

A Love Letter by Greg Ames

Performed by Maulik Pancholy

Melvin in the Sixth Grade by Dana Johnson

Performed by Nikki M. James

Singin' in the Acid Rain by Patricia Marx

Performed by Katrina Lenk

Nine Inches by Tom Perrotta

Performed by Santino Fontana

At this performance of Selected Shorts, real-time captioning (CART) will be available in our theater for patrons with hearing loss, deafness, and/or different language and learning needs. CART can be accessed through individual smartphones and tablets at

The Performers (in alphabetical order)

The Authors (in alphabetical order)



“A Love Letter” by Greg Ames, from Funeral Platter (Arcade, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Greg Ames. Used by permission of the author.

“Melvin in the Sixth Grade” by Dana Johnson, from Break Any Woman Down (University of Georgia Press, 2001). Originally published in The Missouri Review. Copyright © 2000 by Dana Johnson. Used by permission of the author.

“Singin' in the Acid Rain” by Patricia Marx, from The New Yorker (June 2019). Copyright © 2019 by Patricia Marx. Used by permission of the author.

“Nine Inches” by Tom Perrotta, from Nine Inches (St. Martin’s Press, 2013). Copyright © 2013 by Tom Perrotta. Used by permission of Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents.


Selected Shorts is supported by the Dungannon Foundation, creator of The Rea Award for the Short Story.

Support is also provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, the MacMillan Family Foundation, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, The Achelis and Bodman Foundation, the Henry Nias Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Michael Tuch Foundation, the Vidda Foundation, the Axe-Houghton Foundation, and The Grodzins Fund.

Selected Shorts is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul 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.

Pianos by Steinway & Sons – the Artistic Choice of Symphony Space.

Flowers courtesy of PlantShed.

Symphony Space Staff

Kathy Landau Executive Director
Peg Wreen
Managing Director
Isaiah Sheffer
Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director (1978-1988)
Artistic Director (1988-2010)
Founding Artistic Director (2010-2012)
Allan Miller
Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director (1978-1988)

Jennifer Brennan Director of Literary Programs
Drew Richardson
Lead Producer of Literary Programs
Vivienne Woodward
Producer of Literary Programs
Mary Shimkin
Director of Broadcast & Literary Initiatives
Matthew Love
Consultant for Literary Programs
Magdalene Wrobleski
Literary Assistant
Mollie Gordon Program Assistant
Madeleine Hearn
Literary Intern
Gabriela Parra
Lambis Literary Intern

*in memoriam

Your generosity makes possible a vibrant array of music, literature, film, family, and arts education programs!