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Event Program

Selected Shorts



Hosted by Ophira Eisenberg

Never Give Up by Jack Handey

Performed by Patricia Kalember

Snowfall by Deesha Philyaw

Performed by Michelle Beck

The Third Wife by Penelope Lively

Performed by Daniel Gerroll and Patricia Kalember

Relapse by Simon Rich

Performed by Ophira Eisenberg

The Performers (in alphabetical order)

The Authors (in alphabetical order)



“The Third Wife,” by Penelope Lively, a short story from The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories (Penguin, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Penelope Lively. Used by permission of David Higham Associates.

“Never Give Up,” by Jack Handey, originally published in the October 17, 2016 Issue of The New Yorker. Copyright © 2016 by Jack Handey, used by permission of The Wylie Agency, LLC.

“Snowfall,” by Deesha Philyaw, from The Secret Lives of Church Ladies (West Virginia University Press, 2020). First appeared in The Baltimore Review (Winter 2019). Copyright © 2019 by Deesha Philyaw. Used by permission of Upstart Crow Literary.

“Relapse,” by Simon Rich, from Hits and Misses: Stories (Little, Brown and Company, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Simon Rich. Used by permission of the author.


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.

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!