Joan Allen began her New York career off-Broadway in a production of And a Nightingale Sang. Her Broadway credits include Burn This, for which she received a Tony Award for Best Actress, The Heidi Chronicles, Impressionism, and most recently, The Waverly Gallery. She is an original member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she has appeared in more than 25 productions, including Balm in Gilead and The Wheel. Allen is a three-time Academy Award nominee, receiving Best Supporting Actress nominations forNixon andThe Crucible, and a Best Actress nomination forThe Contender. Additional film credits include Pleasantville, Face/Off, The Notebook, The Ice Storm, The Upside of Anger, The Bourne Identity series, and Room. On television, she is known for her portrayal of Georgia O’Keefe in the 2009 biopic of the same name, and she has had recurring roles in Luck, The Killing, The Family, and the recent Apple TV miniseries Lisey’s Story.
Lakecia Benjamin was named by the DownBeat magazine as a Rising Star in 2020. Her latest album, Pursuance, was chosen as one of the top 20 best albums for 2020. A charismatic and dynamic saxophonist and bandleader, Benjamin fuses traditional conceptions of Jazz, HipHop, and Soul. She first picked up the saxophone at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. From there she joined the renowned jazz program at New York's New School University, and at an early stage, played with renowned jazz figures such as Clark Terry and Reggie Workman, Rashied Ali, the David Murray Big Band, Vanessa Rubin and James "Blood" Ulmer. Benjamin has shared stages with Stevie Wonder, Gregory Porter, Alicia Keys, and many more.
Kathleen Chalfant is an actress whose extensive on and off-Broadway credits include Angels in America, Racing Demon, Dance with Me, M. Butterfly, Wit, Dear Elizabeth, and Broadway On Demand’s live-stream production of We Have to Hurry. Her film and television credits include Duplicity, Kinsey, Bob Roberts, Old, The Guardian, The Affair, The Book of Daniel, Rescue Me, House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Doubt, The Laramie Project, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Before/During/After. She received the 1996 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, and the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work. Chalfant recently appeared in 4 Quartets with the Pam Tanowitz Dance Company, which was presented at BAM in 2022.
Jac Jemc is the author of the novels My Only Wife, winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, and The Grip of It; and the short-story collections A Different Bed Every Time and False Bingo, winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction and longlisted for the Story Prize. Jemc currently teaches creative writing at UC–San Diego.
Stephen Lang appeared in the first play produced at Symphony Space, The Shadow of a Gunman, directed by Isaiah Sheffer. Additional work on the New York stage includes Death of a Salesman, A Few Good Men, The Speed of Darkness, Defiance, Hamlet, Clownmaker, and his acclaimed solo show, Beyond Glory. His work on television includes Crime Story, Terra Nova, Salem, Into the Badlands, and The Good Fight. His films include Last Exit to Brooklyn, Tombstone, Gettysburg, Public Enemies, Don’t Breathe, Mid-Century, and Avatar. Films slated for release this year: Old Man, The Independent, and the long-awaited sequel to Avatar.
J. Robert Lennon is the author of nine novels, including Familiar, Broken River, and Subdivision, and the story collections Pieces for the Left Hand, See You in Paradise, and Let Me Think. He teaches creative writing at Cornell University.
Joe Meno is a fiction writer and journalist in Chicago. He is a winner of the Nelson Algren Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and was a finalist for the Story Prize. He is a bestselling author of several novels and two short story collections, including Marvel and a Wonder, Hairstyles of the Damned, and The Boy Detective Fails, and the nonfiction work Between Everything and Nothing. His latest novel, Book of Extraordinary Tragedies, was released at the start of September.
Alto Saxophonist, Vocalist, Producer, and Grammy-nominated composer Yunie Mojica is rooted in Black American Music. With a passion in performance, programming, and concert production, she has worked for acclaimed organizations such as Harlem Stage, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Jazz House Kids. Among numerous others, Mojica has worked with director Spike Lee and DJ AceMo, and has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club, Smalls, and the Jazz Standard.
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Female Persuasion, The Interestings, The Ten-Year Nap, and The Wife, which was adapted to film in 2018, starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce. She was the guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2017, and has also published books for young readers, mostly recently a picture book, Millions of Maxes. Wolitzer is a faculty member in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton, where she co-founded and co-directs BookEnds, a one-year, non-credit intensive in the novel. She is excited to be the new host of the literary radio show and podcast Selected Shorts.
“Books You Read,” “Escape Pod W41,” and “Infidelity” were commissioned by Symphony Space for the collection Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Stories, edited by Hannah Tinti, published by Algonquin Books. © 2022 by Symphony Space.