Close Search

Event Program

Wall To Wall Selected Shorts

SAT, MARCH 26, 11AM - 11PM

This day-long immersive event is full of surprises, and will delight everyone from the dedicated bibliophile to the à la carte arts lover. The entire day is free and open to the public, so make it your own—stay as long (or short) as you'd like, come in person or via livestream, and be part of the celebration!

All artists and programs subject to change.




SEGMENT ONE 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Welcome: Kathy Landau

Hosted by Patricia Kalember

Scaffolding Man by Jenny Allen
Performed by Patricia Kalember

The King of Bread by Luis Alberto Urrea
Performed by Javier Muñoz

The Double Life of the Cockroach's Wife by Helen Phillips
Performed by Sarah Steele

Dance piece inspired by The Double Life of the Cockroach's Wife
Created and performed by Heidi Latsky
Vocals by Christine Arand

Death by Printer by Mira Jacob
Performed by Rita Wolf

Commentary by Hannah Tinti

Love Interest by Jess Walter
Performed by Hugh Dancy


SEGMENT TWO 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Hosted by Meg Wolitzer

Books You Read by Joe Meno
Performed by Joan Allen

Film inspired by Books You Read
Created by Adam Douglas Thompson

Options by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Performed by Zainab Jah

Period Piece by Maile Meloy
Performed by Kelli O’Hara

Noseless by Namwali Serpell
Performed by Krystina Alabado, Deborah S. Craig, Zach Grenier, and Calvin Leon Smith

A Woman Driving Alone by Marie-Helene Bertino
Performed by Amber Tamblyn

Such Small Islands by Lauren Groff
Performed by Crystal Dickinson

Music inspired by Such Small Islands
Written and performed by Laura Gibson


SEGMENT THREE 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Hosted by Jane Kaczmarek

The Prom Terrorists by Rabih Alameddine
Performed by Raffi Barsoumian

Unicorn Me by Elizabeth Crane
Performed by Miriam Shor

Music inspired by Unicorn Me
Created by Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich
Performed by Maddie Corman, Zina Goldrich, and Matt Scharfglass

Lessons with Father by Jai Chakrabarti
Performed by Purva Bedi

Reviews by Simon Rich
Performed by David Cross

Where the Candles Are Kept by Dave Eggers
Performed by Jane Kaczmarek, Kennedy Kanagawa, James Naughton, and Emily Skeggs


SEGMENT FOUR 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Hosted by Santino Fontana

Nightlife by Lisa Ko
Performed by Vanessa Kai

A Brief Note on the Translation of Winter Women, Written by the Collective Dead, Translated by Amal Ruth by Rivers Solomon
Performed by TL Thompson

Music inspired by Escape Pod W41
Created by Lakecia Benjamin
Performed by Yunie Mojica

Escape Pod W41 by J. Robert Lennon
Performed by Stephen Lang

Infidelity by Jac Jemc
Performed by Kathleen Chalfant

Conquistadors, on Fairchild by Jacob Guajardo
Performed by Michael Hartney

Cerati After Cerati by Juan Martinez
With samples from the music of Gustavo Cerati by DJ Raydar Ellis
Performed by Sonia Manzano and Canteen Killa

Goodbye to the Road Not Taken by A. M. Homes
Performed by Jane Kaczmarek and Tony Shalhoub


SEGMENT FIVE 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Hosted by Sonia Manzano

A Survey of Recent American Happenings Told Through Six Commercials for the Tennyson ClearJet Premium Touchless Bidet by Omar El Akkad
Adapted by Joel Fram & Annette Joles
Performed by Santino Fontana and Julie Halston
Accompaniment by Adam Rothenberg

iPhone SE by Weike Wang
Performed by Dawn Akemi Saito

The Project by Susan Perabo
Performed by Michael Shannon

All That’s Gone Is All That’s Left by Patrick Dacey
Performed by Sam Underwood

Bedtime Story by Victor LaValle
Performed by Dion Graham

Dance piece inspired by Bedtime Story
Created by Leonardo Sandoval
Performed by Adriana Ogle

The Hole by Patrick Cottrell
Performed by Becca Blackwell

Home by Elizabeth Strout
Performed by Mia Dillon


SEGMENT SIX 9:00 - 11:00 PM

Hosted by Cynthia Nixon

Un-Selfie by Aimee Bender
Performed by Alysia Reiner

Dandelions by Ben Loory
Performed by Wyatt Cenac

Film inspired by Dandelions
Created by Michael Arthur

Cane and Roses: A Manifesto by Edwidge Danticat
Performed by Anika Noni Rose

Persephone Rides at the End of Days by CarmenMaria Machado
Performed by Cynthia Nixon

Sleepless by Michael Cunningham
Performed by Mike Doyle

Dance work inspired by Sleepless
Created by Larry Keigwin
Performed by Keigwin & Company, dancers Brandon Coleman, Christine Flores, and Spencer James Weidie

Almost Everything by Etgar Keret, translated by Jessica Cohen
Performed by Liev Schreiber

A Letter from Ethel Sheffer

On February, 6, 1985, when Symphony Space’s artistic director Isaiah Sheffer said the words “Welcome to Selected Shorts” to the first live audience, he could not yet anticipate the impact the program would have over the next decades. On that evening, he could not have imagined the national radio distribution, the tours to so many cities and towns throughout the U.S., the letters from listeners describing how they had been affected by a performance of a particular story. But Isaiah’s vision for this new endeavor was clear from the start. It would be different from public readings by authors, and instead it would be “literature in performance,” as he dubbed it. Isaiah loved literature, but he was trained as an actor and director (and also as a radio announcer).

The stories were selected with an eye toward how well they would work in performance. He and his creative partner (first Kay Catttarula and later Katherine Minton) would test possible stories by reading them aloud to each other.

Then Isaiah would direct the actors, from famous, big-name stage actors to television actors who told him they were nervous about stage performance. He helped the actor to understand the story, to honor the work and craft of the author, and to have the performance enhance but not overshadow the work itself. As he would often advise, “Don’t schtick it up.”

He brought it all together with his introductions, the funny intermission riffs, the audience sing-alongs, all delivered in his recognizable warm, resonant voice.

All of this combined to make Selected Shorts the program it became — the enduring, beloved program that we are celebrating today.

Ethel Sheffer, March 26, 2022

We have a book!

The incredible world premiere stories performed at Wall to Wall Selected Shorts were commissioned by Symphony Space and can be found in the collection Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Stories, edited by Hannah Tinti, with a forward by Neil Gaiman, and published by Algonquin Books in March of 2022. You can purchase Small Odysseys at your favorite bookstore, or online. If you are joining us in-person, we will also have books available for sale in the theater.

© 2022 by Symphony Space. “Reviews” by Simon Rich does not appear in the collection. Used by permission of Symphony Space.


We would like to give special thanks to all those whose generosity, support, and belief in the power of the arts brought us to this unbelievable day.

Symphony Space’s season of programming is made possible by the generous support of Susan Bay Nimoy, the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, the Dungannon Foundation, the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, The Achelis and Bodman Foundation, the Henry Nias Foundation, the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Michael Tuch Foundation, the Vidda Foundation, the Axe-Houghton Foundation, the Lemberg Foundation, The Grodzins Fund, and the Sy Syms Foundation.

Wall to Wall Selected Shorts is made possible by support from the Isaiah Sheffer Fund for New Initiatives.

Support for CART Captioning is provided in part by TDF TAP Plus with support from NYSCA.

Symphony Space thanks our generous supporters, including our Board of Directors, Producers Circle, and members, who make our programs possible with their annual support.

The stunning flowers on stage are courtesy of PlantShed.

We are honored that the artwork for the Wall to Wall Selected Shorts tote bags, mugs, and t-shirts was created by the incredible Roz Chast.

And we want to thank all of you for being with us today at our first-ever Wall to Wall in celebration of literature.

Symphony Space Staff

Kathy Landau Executive Director
Peg Wreen Managing Director


Jennifer Brennan Director of Literary Programs
Drew Richardson
Lead Producer of Literary Program
Vivienne Woodward
Producer of Literary Programs
Magdalene Wrobleski
Program Assistant, Literature and Education
Sarah Montague
Senior Producer, Selected Shorts Radio Program
Jenny Falcon
Senior Producer, Selected Shorts Radio and Podcast
Matthew Love
Consultant for Literary Programs

Performing Arts

Darren Critz Director of Performing Arts Programs
Sofia Frohna
Assistant Producer of Performing Arts Programs


Edward J. Budz Director of Film Programs


Johanna H. Thomsen Senior Director of Strategy & Engagement
Mary Shimkin
Director of Broadcast & Literary Initiatives
Kristin Cook
Senior Marketing Manager
Lori Moore
Senior Digital Marketing Manager
Carolin Beine
Creative Director
Lisa Lam
Digital Content Editor
Sophia Cázares
Marketing Assistant
Zakiya Abdur-Rahma
n Junior Graphic Designer
Blake Zidell
Blake Zidell & Associates, Public Relations and Press Inquiries


Madeline Cohen Director of Education
Regina Larkin
Manager of Education Programs


Brenda Murad Director of Developmen
Julie Griffith
Assistant Director of Development
Isabelle Thomas
Manager of Institutional Giving

Theater Operations & Production

Elisabeth Miller
Director of Theater Operations
Chris Davis
Head of Production
James Latze
l Associate Production Manager
Myka Papetti
Video Production Manager
Eddy Jose Perez
Head of House
Pamela Agaloos
House Manager
Andrew Lustbader
House Manager
John Jackson
Head Lobby Attendant
Brian Aldous
House Lighting Designer

Event Management & Theater Rental

Monica Broadman
Director of Event Managemen
Rachel Nortz
Event Management Associate

Box Office

Eric Poindexter
Box Office Manager
Madeline Malinowski
Box Office Assistant Manager
Gia Gleason
Box Office Associate
Melanie Nulf
Box Office Associate


Judy Leventhal Director of Finance
Doug Winters
Senior Accountant


Jason Walker
Facilities Director
Fritz Exume
Facility Supervisor
Jasmine Cooper
Ria Batson


Amy McLaughlin
Manager of Administration
Charles Blanchard
Director of Information Technology


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)

*in memoriam

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

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