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Playing on Air Full Length Episodes

Series produced by Playing on Air

Caption: Playing on Air
Playing on Air  

Playing on Air is a unique public radio program featuring a novel form of story-telling, the short play. It's a genre, virtually unknown, but ideal for the rhythms of radio listeners. Featuring actors such as Actors Bobby Cannavale, Audra McDonald, Rosie Perez, Adam Driver, John Leguizamo, Michelle Williams, Jesse Eisenberg performing scripts by the finest contemporary playwrights including many Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Oscar winners. Masters of the form, they write pieces that, like all great theater, entertain, illuminate, inform and humanize.

Each short is about 12-25 minutes. There are two or three of them on every 53-minute episode. And each is immediately followed by a lively conversation with its playwright, director, and cast.

Actors Sam Waterston, Bobby Cannavale, Audra McDonald, Rosie Perez, Adam Driver, John Leguizamo, Michelle Williams, Jesse Eisenberg, Kathleen Turner, Bill Irwin, Amy Ryan, Peter Gallagher, Olympia Dukakis, Ed Asner, Harriet Harris, Stephen Lang, Jerry Stiller,Jane Krakowski, Chris Cooper and dynamic others perform, and the finest practitioners including many Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Oscar winners, write. Masters of the form, they write pieces that, like all great theater, entertain, illuminate, inform and humanize.

Each short is about 12-25 minutes. There are two or three of them on every 53-minute episode. And each is immediately followed by a lively conversation with its playwright, director, cast. Original music is composed for every one.

Lively interviews with each short's playwrights, directors and actors about what just went down round out each show.

After hearing a short play, listeners really enjoy hearing from its participants.

"When I first sampled Playing on Air I thought our audience would like the program, so I scheduled it during the summer and asked for listener feedback. The most amazing feedback returned with almost 100 % positive about this program. This is not typical of our listeners! This is a gem worth your review and absolutely worth adding to your schedule. Try it! You'll love the response! What's left to say? Playing on Air is a public radio winner."
- Lynne Clendenin, Program Director, OPB Radio.

"The programs Playing on Air has provided to us have already aired and were extremely well received by our listeners. They commented on the quality of the plays and actors and the professionalism of the series. I can’t help but think this is a perfect fit for public radio."
- Alan Chartock, CEO, WAMC-Northeast Public Radio.

"The playwrights and the actors are award-winning first-rate professionals you will have heard of. Because the plays are short, there's time to include insightful interviews, usually with the playwrights, in each broadcast. Playing on Air definitely fills a gap in available radio theatre programming and I'm delighted to schedule them. Your audiences will love these shows."
- Linda Lopez McAlister, Producer, KUNM's Radio Theatre, Albuquerque, NM

"Playing on Air is the kind of show that should be multipied by ten - it's fun, it's intelligent, and it reminds us how glorious radio can be."
- David Ives, playwright

"Playing on Air gives actors the thrilling experience of acting without having to look in a mirror first. They produce dramatically compelling radio in a fun and accessible way."
- Jesse Eisenberg, actor, playwright Hide full description

Actors Sam Waterston, Bobby Cannavale, Audra McDonald, Rosie Perez, Adam Driver, John Leguizamo, Michelle Williams, Jesse Eisenberg, Kathleen Turner, Bill Irwin, Amy Ryan, Peter Gallagher, Olympia Dukakis, Ed Asner, Harriet Harris, Stephen Lang, Jerry Stiller,Jane Krakowski, Chris Cooper and dynamic others perform, and the finest practitioners including many Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Oscar winners, write. Masters of the form, they write pieces that, like all great theater, entertain, illuminate, inform and humanize.Each short is about 12-25 minutes. There are two or three of them on every 53-minute episode. And each is immediately followed by a lively conversation with its playwright, director, cast. Original music is composed for every one.Lively interviews with each short's... Show full description


36 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Michelle Williams
RENDEZ-VOUS WITH JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY delivers two thought provoking comedies about the quest for love by Academy Award, Pulitzer Prize and Tony wi...

  • Added: Aug 28, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
Caption: Callie Thorne
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda, offers two romantic comedies with questionable romance! In At The Water’s Edge, Wet, a Production Stage Manager and his S...

Bought by WHRV


  • Added: Jul 05, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Zoe Kazan
Love trumps panic, insecurity and anxiety in three humorous shorts. In Misadventure by Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, Donald Margulies, an older...

Bought by KUNM


  • Added: Jun 01, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Scott Adsit
Comedy writer all-star, Alan Zweibel (“SNL,” Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays), and young comedy writer MVP, Jon Kern (“The Simps...

Bought by KUNM


  • Added: Mar 23, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Sam Waterston
Sam Waterston and John Douglas Thompson star in this offering from Playing on Air. It features two short plays about American and Black History. I...

Bought by KUNM


  • Added: Feb 28, 2017
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jane Alexander
Jane Alexander, Peter Jacobson, Amy Ryan and Michael Stuhlbarg star in two short, touching and humorous plays about stepping up when you are neede...

Bought by WHRV, KUNM, and Oregon Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Nov 02, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Stephen Lang
"As starkly moving as taps at dusk" says the Washington Post about BEYOND GLORY, a powerful tribute to military valor written and performed by stag...

Bought by WHRV and Oregon Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Oct 27, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Peter Gallagher
Ed Asner, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Gallagher, Elizabeth Ashley and others star in two shorts about fatherhood, and fathers who don’t always enjoy a s...

Bought by WHRV, KUNM, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Georgia Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Aug 03, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Brandon Dirden
Two short plays directed by award-winning actresses. In the comic The Press Conference by Jessica Dickey, everyone reveals a bit more of their true...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Jun 28, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Stephen Lang
"As starkly moving as taps at dusk" says the Washington Post about BEYOND GLORY, a powerful tribute to military valor written and performed by stag...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, KUNM, KUT, KGOU and more


  • Added: Apr 30, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Carol Kane
Carol Kane, Julie White, and Steven Boyer are among the stars in these two shorts. It’s spring in the neighborhood "Hell’s Kitchen" in SOMETHING I'...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Mar 08, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Amy Ryan
Two short plays. In Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn’s Fifth Planet, a professional astronomer played by Amy Ryan (Birdman; Gone, Baby, Gone) an...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Jan 15, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Lucy DeVito
Two short plays about teenagers facing their futures. With summer imminent, they look ahead with anxiety, optimism, resignation, possibility. In th...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting, WHRV, and KUNM


  • Added: Nov 04, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Kelly Hutchinson
Two short plays by the master of the form, David Ives (Venus In Fur, All in the Timing). In David Ives’ ITS ALL GOOD, a Chicago native visits his h...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting, KZYX, and KUNM


  • Added: Oct 14, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Marsha Mason
Marsha Mason (4 time Academy Award nominee) and Steven Boyer (Tony nominee for HAND TO GOD and regular on TV's "Trial and Error") star in TASHA WA...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Jun 11, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Jane Kaczmarek
Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") stars in the touching and humorous first piece, Napoleon in Exile, directed by Marsha Mason (four time Aca...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: May 27, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Rosie Perez, Credit: Rob Northway
John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez and Bobby Cannavale star in CRAZY EIGHTS by David Lindsay-Abaire (Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner). Two recovering drug ...

Bought by KUNM, WCAI / WNAN, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Red River Radio Network, New Hampshire Public Radio and more


  • Added: Jun 26, 2014
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: David Auburn
Two short plays about political operatives by Pulitzer Prize Winner David Auburn. In the comic DAMAGE CONTROL, a political aide has a public relati...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting, KUNM, and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Mar 26, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Tonya Pinkins
In Forward Observer, Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins plays a harried Veterans Administration Hospital clerk. An elderly World War II veteran is giv...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting and KUNM


  • Added: Mar 17, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Michael Urie
Michael Urie, Harriet Harris and a great ensemble of actors star in three short plays about love and marriage. A couple celebrates their 24th anniv...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Red River Radio Network, and KUNM


  • Added: Feb 11, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3