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Event Program

Selected Shorts (12/8)



Hosted by Mike Birbiglia & J. Hope Stein

Excerpts fromThe New One by Mike Birbiglia: “I Love My Marriage” and “I Don’t Know Anything”

Performed by Mike Birbiglia

The Cat and the Baboon by David Sedaris

Performed by Carmen Lynch

Body, I Never Knew I Could Love You by J. Hope Stein

Performed by J. Hope Stein

When I Tell My Husband I Miss the Sun, He Knows by Paige Lewis

Performed by Jane Kaczmarek

Rain, New Year's Eve by Maggie Smith

Performed by Kaneza Schaal

New Client by Simon Rich

Performed by Mike Birbiglia and Andrea Martin

Men on Bikes by Roxane Gay

Performed by Jane Kaczmarek

Wean by J. Hope Stein

Performed by J. Hope Stein

What I Didn't Know Before by Ada Limón

Performed by Carmen Lynch

Praise the Rain by Joy Harjo

Performed by Kaneza Schaal

Grand Union by Zadie Smith

Performed by Kaneza Schaal

Excerpt fromThe New One by Mike Birbiglia: “Slice of Life”

Performed by Mike Birbiglia

The Performers

The Authors

More Information


Stories and poems by Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein, from The New One (Grand Central Publishing, 2020). Copyright © 2020 by Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein. Used by permission of the authors.

“New Client” by Simon Rich, from Hits and Misses (Little Brown, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Simon Rich. Used by permission of the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.

“When I Tell My Husband I Miss the Sun, He Knows” by Paige Lewis, first published in Poem-a-Day (December 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Paige Lewis. Used by permission of the author.

“Rain, New Year’s Eve” by Maggie Smith, from Good Bones: Poems (Tupelo Press, October 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Maggie Smith. Used with permission of the Permissions Company, LLC, on behalf of Tupelo Press,

“The Cat and the Baboon” by David Sedaris, from Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (Little, Brown and Company, September 2010). Copyright © 2010 by David Sedaris. Read and broadcast with the permission of Don Congdon Associates, Inc.

“Men on Bikes” by Roxane Gay, published in McSweeney’s (2017). Copyright © 2017 by Roxane Gay. Used by permission of the author.

“What I Didn't Know Before” by Ada Limón, from The Carrying (Milkweed Editions, August 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Ada Limón. Used with permission of the Permissions Company, LLC, on behalf of Milkweed Editions,

Joy Harjo, "Praise the Rain" from Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings. Copyright © 2015 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of the Author. All rights reserved.

“Grand Union” from Grand Union by Zadie Smith. Published by Penguin. Copyright © Zadie Smith. Reproduced by permission of the author c/o Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN.

Selected Shorts Funding Credits

Selected Shorts is supported by the Dungannon Foundation, creator of The Rea Award for the Short Story. Support is also provided by the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust, the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, The Achelis and Bodman Foundation, the Henry Nias Foundation, the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, the Michael Tuch Foundation, the Vidda 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 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.

Flowers courtesy of PlantShed.


It’s a truly extraordinary moment to be here for the 21/22 Symphony Space season! We are so grateful to the independent venue operators who banded together to initiate the Save Our Stages campaign, which became the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. Through the leadership of Senator Chuck Schumer, and with bipartisan support from many Senators and Representatives, the creative community was bolstered by this special funding. All of us at Symphony Space extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every individual who recognized the unmistakable power and importance of the arts in this most critical moment.

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
Antonio Brown
Mollie Gordon

*in memoriam

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