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Playlist: STORIES

Compiled By: Erika McGinty


Pieces that shock, enlighten, comfort, and incite both arousal and revolt

L.A. Theatre Works (Series)

Produced by L.A. Theatre Works

Most recent piece in this series:

Remembering John Mahoney in "Orphans"

From L.A. Theatre Works | Part of the L.A. Theatre Works series | 58:59

John_mahoney_small We remember our friend and collaborator John Mahoney with a special one-hour presentation of "Orphans" by Lyle Kessler, where a mysterious stranger (Mahoney) changes the lives of two young men in a rundown corner of Philadelphia. Also starring Kevin Anderson and Terry Kinney, all members of the original Steppenwolf Theatre Company production. Originally directed by Gary Sinise with additional radio direction by Eric Simonson.

Playing on Air Full Length Episodes (Series)

Produced by Playing on Air

Most recent piece in this series:

Come In From The Cold: Three short plays by Rachel Bonds, Cary Gitter, and James McLindon

From Playing on Air | Part of the Playing on Air Full Length Episodes series | 53:00


COME IN FROM THE COLD features a wintry trio of short plays about connection, lost and found.

The episode begins with WINTER GAMES by Rachel Bonds, a recipient of the prestigious Tow Foundation Playwriting Residency grant. As stray cats prowl and dough rises, two sardonic twenty-somethings flirt with dreams of Olympic glory - or maybe just escape from the small town bakery where they work. Starring Louisa Krause (lead of STARZ’s “The Girlfriend Experience,” Annie Baker’s The Flick) and Blake DeLong (We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Public’s Illyria), WINTER GAMES is directed by Portia Krieger.

Next comes Cary Gitter’s sparkling romantic comedy HOW MY GRANDPARENTS FELL IN LOVE. In 1933, a young Jewish immigrant returns to his Polish hometown in search of a wife and sets his sights on Chava, a savvy shopgirl.  Directed by Colette Robert, the sparkling cast features Eli Gelb (Indignation, The Squid and the Whale) and Lucy DeVito (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Girls,” Hulu’s “DeadBeat”).

In the final short, James McLindon’s DRUNK CHRISTMAS, a teenage runaway and a swerving mother crash into each other on Christmas Eve; the resulting night is anything but silent.  An unorthodox holiday parable, DRUNK CHRISTMAS stars Tony winner Elizabeth Ashley (The Carpetbaggers, “Evening Shade”) and Susannah Perkins (Lincoln Center’s The Wolves). Directed by Michael Wilson (Broadway: The Trip to Bountiful, The Best Man).

Bartleby the Scrivener

From Chatterbox Audio Theater | Part of the Bartleby the Scrivener series | 47:13

Melville's classic tale of an inscrutable copyist who nearly brings down the whole system -- by doing nothing at all.


"Bartleby the Scrivener" was written by Herman Melville in 1853, a time of self-discovery for the author and the growing city in which his story takes place. "Bartleby" was originally published anonymously in two parts in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine under the title "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street." It was later reprinted in 1856 in The Piazza Tales, a collection of Melville’s magazine pieces.

Prior to writing "Bartleby," Melville received both the highest acclaim and harshest critiques of his literary career. The success came from his first novels, Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847), which documented with some exaggeration his adventures in the Atlantic. Yet despite his overnight fame, Meville did not feel that this type of work was truly creative but rather the product of an experienced life. He sought instead to explore the world of the mind, and while his later novel Moby Dick (1851) was a compromise of desire and demand, he abandoned the seas altogether in the domestic romance Pierre (1852). The resulting reviews were devastating to Meville’s career. Following a manuscript rejection and increasing financial debt, he began writing anonymously for Putnam’s Monthly Magazine, and "Bartleby" was published in the November and December issues later that year. The story was fairly well received, though at the time very few could identify its author.

New York City in the early 1850’s was also undergoing a great deal of change. It was already the largest city and port in the nation. With the increase in population and business, the dominant Protestant society of professionals met an influx of Catholic Irish immigrants fleeing depression. The resulting clash widened class divisions, increased crime rates, and led many to begin developing a new identity for the new nation and city. One such group was Young America.

This literary organization was formed in part by author Cornelius Matthews and critic (and Melville’s then-patron) Evert Duyckinck in the late 1830’s. The recent invention of the penny press and the popularity of sensationalist literature made news affordable and appealing to more of the general public. The cheap papers exploited the public taste for shocking literature and stories that featured a likable pariah rebelling against a corrupt society. Young America reviled and rejected these radical themes, instead glorifying comfort and conventionality. Melville despised the Young America movement and satirized its method and possibly even some of its members in "Bartleby" (specifically modeling the narrator after Duyckinck, Turkey after Matthews, Nippers after Edgar Allan Poe, and he himself standing in opposition as the pariah Bartleby).

Putnam’s publisher was also a fierce enemy to the Young America circle and responded to both the elitist conformity of the group and the conflicts of the growing city by encouraging a new New York attitude in his magazine. This often included a "normal" businessman who encountered an extraordinary "other" from the New York streets and attempted to normalize the outsider. The stories also cited local geographical names, current events, and slang to make the city seem more familiar. These elements of character, plot, and place are found throughout Melville’s "Bartleby," a narrative that follows the acquaintance of a safe, conventional lawyer and the strange scrivener (law copyist) he hires. A journey through the mind and life experience, the story mocks the puppet show that mastered Wall Street and threatened the arts, one that even Melville himself could not seem to escape.

--Karen Strachan

False Ending

From The Truth | 17:44

A satire within an enigma within a film within a radio story.

False Ending
The Truth

False_ending_v2_small This story takes place at a Q & A for a film called "False Ending." It's a postmodern satire of film theory, recorded live at NYC Podfest 2013.

Performed by Ed Herbstman, Louis Kornfeld, Chet Siegel, Christian Paluck, Kerry Kastin, Kelly Buttermore, Matt Weir, and Sebastian Conelli.
Special thanks to Jermey Wein, who organized NYC Podfest 2013.
Thanks also to Michael Montalbano for technical assistance.
Very special thanks to Kerry Kastin for her help in organizing this show.
To learn more about our podcast you can visit our website: thetruthapm.com
You can also follow us on twitter, @thetruthapm

Produced by Jonathan Mitchell.
The Truth is co-produced by Kerrie Hillman.
Our production advisor is Peter Clowney.


From The Truth | 17:53

An audio drama from The Truth, about a taxi ride interrupted.

The Truth


An audio drama from The Truth: A taxi driver is working on his anniversary, and gets more than he expected when he picks up a couple in Lower Manhattan. 
Christian Paluck as The Driver
Chet Siegel as Mary
Louis Kornfeld as Frank
Amy Warren as Morgan
with Ed Herbstman, Melanie Hoopes, Charlotte Rabbe, and Jamie Rivera
Written by The Truth
Produced by Jonathan Mitchell
Production advisors: Peter Clowney & Kerrie Hillman 
Recorded on location in New York City

The View From the 79th Floor (Podcast)

From Radio Diaries | Part of the The Radio Diaries Podcast series | 14:09

Stories from the day a plane crashed into the Empire State Building.


On July 28, 1945 an Army bomber pilot on a routine ferry mission found himself lost in the fog over Manhattan. A dictation machine in a nearby office happened to capture the sound of the plane as it hit the Empire State Building at the 79th floor.

Fourteen people were killed. Debris from the plane severed the cables of an elevator, which fell 79 stories with a young woman inside. She survived. 

The State We're In 2012, Story of the Week (Series)

Produced by Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Most recent piece in this series:

The State We're In 2012, Story of the Week, part 43 (FINAL SHOW)

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide | Part of the The State We're In 2012, Story of the Week series | 05:00



FINAL SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DATE:  26 October 2012

HOST: Jonathan Groubert

TAGS: Iran-Iraq War, reconciliation, war trauma

DESCRIPTION: The lives of two men cross during the Iran-Iraq war. An Iraqi soldier is horribly wounded. But his life is saved by an Iranian medic, who risked his own life to do so. Eighteen years after the war, and halfway across the world, the two men meet again in a breathtaking coincidence which sees the Iraqi now saving the live of the Iranian.

TSWI, STORY OF THE WEEK 10 September 2011

IN: I’m Jonathan Groubert...

RUNS: 5:00

OUT: ... ... dot.org. [last word at 4:55]


You can hear the full version of this amazing story with host Jonathan Groubert on The State We’re In from Radio Netherlands at TIME here on STATION .

When Elvis Met Nixon

From KCRW | Part of the UnFictional series | 16:15

The story of Elvis Presley's visit to the Nixon White House in 1970, told by a man who was there, Elvis' confidante Jerry Schilling.

When Elvis Met Nixon

006_6_small It's December, 1970, days before Christmas. 28 year-old Jerry Schilling is just embarking on a new career as an editor in TV. His previous occupation -- bodyguard, stand-in and best friend to Elvis Presley — goes back to when he was just a kid. Now Jerry's moving to part-time with the "Memphis Mafia" entourage. He's got himself a little apartment in Culver City and he's following his dream. In the middle of the night the phone rings. It's The King, asking for his help. Somehow that turns into a cross-country odyssey, ending with Elvis and Jerry in the Oval Office, face to face with President Richard Nixon.

The humble Farmer, February 25, 2010

From The humble Farmer | Part of the The humble Farmer Weekly 59-minute show series | 59:00

Humorous Social Commentary and music from 1930s, 1940s

Humbleoats_small Jasper Taylor, Fletcher Henderson, Original Dixiland Jazz Band, Ted Weems, King Oliver, Django Reinhardt, Cook's Dreamland Orchestra, Ukulele Ike, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong,

A Dog and a Cat

From Playing on Air | Part of the Playing on Air Full Length Episodes series | 53:00

Two plays starring Jesse Eisenberg, Ed Asner, Adam Driver and Kathleen Turner - one about a dog, and one about a cat. A deposed dictator's beloved pet answers to the disenfranchised population of Romania in THE FINAL INTERROGATION OF CEAUSESCU'S DOG, by Warren Leight. And in Tennessee William's forgotten classic THE STRANGEST KIND OF ROMANCE, a man's love for his feline companion confounds everyone around him.

Jesse_eisenberg2_1_small One play about a dog, and one play about a cat. A deposed dictator's beloved pet answers to the disenfranchised population of Romania in The Final Interrogation of Ceausescu's Dog, by Warren Leight.  And in Tennessee William's forgotten classic The Strangest Kind Of Romance, a man's love for his feline companion confounds everyone around him. The Final Interrogation of Ceausescu's Dog with Ed Asner and Jesse Eisenberg; interview with Ed Asner and Warren Leight. The Strangest Kind Of Romance with Matthew Cowles, Adam Driver, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Kathleen Turner; interview with Kathleen Turner. 

Homemade Stories: The Struggle is Real

From WBEZ | 54:00

In this one-hour special, Homemade Stories: The Struggle is Real, award-winning storyteller Shannon Cason (The Moth, Snap Judgment) takes us on a journey that finds hope in struggle. From navigating Detroit’s overwhelmed criminal justice system, to searching for work and finding closed doors, to being a father after failing in marriage, to finding anchors in a sea of uncertainty, Shannon's stories are heartfelt, heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. But above all else, his stories are honest. Shannon Cason is the real deal.


With modern scoring and skillful sound design, Detroit-raised storyteller Shannon Cason brings us stinging and side-splitting stories of life in this one-hour special, Homemade Stories: The Struggle is Real . From navigating Detroit’s overwhelmed criminal justice system, to searching for work and finding closed doors, to being a father after failing in marriage, to finding anchors in a sea of uncertainty.

Not only are Shannon’s stories raw accounts of struggle and hope, they’re the stuff of stand-ups. He has the remarkable ability to be heartfelt, heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. But above all else, his stories are honest. Shannon Cason is the real deal.

He’s been featured on The Moth (he’s a Moth GrandSLAM winner) and Snap Judgment (he was their 2013 Performance of the Year) and he’s the host of Shannon Cason's Homemade Stories from WBEZ Chicago (a podcast that just wrapped its sixth season).  Hear more of Shannon’s stories at wbez.org/podcasts or shannoncason.com.

The Whipping Man

From L.A. Theatre Works | Part of the L.A. Theatre Works series | 01:57:58

A gripping Civil War drama with an unusual twist.

The-whipping-man__small__small Tensions run high as Caleb de Leon, a young Jewish Confederate soldier, celebrates Passover with his family’s newly-freed slaves in the de Leons’ crumbling antebellum mansion. The Whipping Man explores a little-known aspect of the Civil War, unearthing dark family secrets on the way to a shocking climax.
Written by Matthew Lopez. Starring Aaron Jennings, Charlie Robinson, and Mark Jude Sullivan.  Directed by Judyann Elder and recorded before a live audience. The show includes a conversation about Jews in the Confederacy with Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, a scholar of American Jewish history.

The Moth Radio Hour (Series)

Produced by The Moth

Most recent piece in this series:

1806: Sailing on an Alien Sea, 3/27/2018

From The Moth | Part of the The Moth Radio Hour series | 53:58

Mothradiohr-whitelogo_small Description coming 3/23.


From L.A. Theatre Works | Part of the L.A. Theatre Works series | 01:57:58

Just how far would you go to defend free speech?

L.A. Theatre Works

Denial_artwork_small The First Amendment protects people’s rights to disseminate conspiracy theories, such as the alleged cover-ups about the moon landings or UFOs. But what happens when self-proclaimed “scholars” publish dubious facts that preach intolerance — statements which can, in turn, incite others to violence? A Jewish lawyer finds out the hard way when she takes on a new client: a well-spoken Holocaust denier. Stephanie Zimbalist, David Clennon, and Harold Gould star in Denial by Peter Sagal, the host of NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!