The Getty Center
Angelica Houston performs at a past Selected Shorts

Produced by New York's Symphony Space, Selected Shorts is an annual series featuring actors from stage, screen, and television reading classic and new short fiction. The series is held each spring at the Getty Center.

Next in the series


Selected Shorts 2014:
Drama at Dinner

Date: Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday; 3:00 p.m. on Sunday
Location: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Admission: Tickets: $35, includes a small bite culinary selection paired with a select wine tailored to each performance.

The ever-popular public radio series returns for a weekend of live performance, offering stories revolving around the theme of food—enjoyed, prepared, devoured, or ignored. This literary feast touches on romances and coming of age stories, mysteries, adventures, marital woes, and the cozy complications of family life. Robert Sean Leonard hosts the series and leads a great cast including Jane Kaczmarek, Michael Imperioli, Christopher Lloyd, Joshua Malina, Catherine O'Hara, Christina Pickles, and Amber Tamblyn reading delectable tales set in kitchens, at dinner parties, behind the scenes in restaurants, at family dinner tables, and even a mad hatter's tea party.

Cast and stories are subject to change.

Saturday, March 22, 3:00 p.m.
Cast includes Michael Imperioli, Amber Tamblyn.

"The Year of Spaghetti" by Haruki Murakami
Translated by Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin
Performed by Michael Imperioli
Pasta is on the menu in a year of loneliness and lost love.

"Serial Monogamy" by Nora Ephron
Reader to be announced.
The famous foodie's memoir through cookbooks.

"The Occasional Pignoli Tart" by Ann Hood
Performed by Amber Tamblyn
A young woman dreams of adventure beyond the pastry counter where she works.

Saturday, March 22, 7:00 p.m.
Cast includes Robert Sean Leonard, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Pickles.

"A Mad Tea-Party" from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Performed by Christopher Lloyd
Tea in Wonderland.

"Feathers" by Raymond Carver
Performed by Robert Sean Leonard
A strange and revelatory dinner party.

A selection from Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Translated by Lydia Davis
Performed by Christina Pickles
A dinner-dance at a chateau sets Emma Bovary longing for a different life.

Sunday, March 23, 3:00 p.m.
Cast includes Jane Kaczmarek, Joshua Malina, Catherine O'Hara.

"Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer" by Lydia Davis
Performed by Robert Sean Leonard

"Soirée in Hollywood" by Henry Miller
Performed by Joshua Malina
A drunken dinner party initiates the author into the culture of 1940s LA.

"Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl
Performed by Catherine O'Hara
A cruel shock before supper turns a happy wife's world upside down.

"Where You'll Find Me" by Ann Beattie
Performed by Jane Kaczmarek
A weekend in the country, with food and romantic entanglements.

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Most recently in the series

Selected Shorts 2013: Passions & Pursuits
March 23 and 24, 2013
The popular public-radio series was back with live performances at the Getty that detailed fictions about our favorite leisure activities. Actors from stage and screen performed stories about the pleasures and travails of all the things we love to do—from baking to ballroom dancing, card-playing to movie-watching, and knitting to sex. 2013's stellar lineup included readings by Leonard Nimoy, Jane Kaczmarek, Robert Sean Leonard, Kate Burton, Alison Pill and more. A collection of works by Etgar Keret, Tess Gallagher, Joyce Carol Oates, John Cheever, and Dorothy Parker were selected to feed your passion for short fiction.

Selected Shorts 2012: Objects of Desire
March 3 and 4, 2012
The hit public-radio series returned for its annual weekend of live performance at the Getty with a great lineup of actors from stage and screen that read funny, passionate, and mysterious classic and modern tales about objects of desire. Historical, religious, magical, humorous, beloved, or bewitched—every object tells a story. Featuring readings by Leonard Nimoy, Corey Stoll, Brian F. O'Byrne, Jane Kaczmarek, Robert Sean Leonard, Isaiah Sheffer, and others, the programs included works by Jonathan Lethem, Raymond Carver, Abigail Thomas, Maeve Brennan, Susan Perabo, and Aimee Bender and more.

Selected Shorts 2011: Delicious Fictions
March 26 and 27, 2011
Leonard Nimoy, Tim Curry, Denis O'Hare, and Josh Radnor lead this year's lineup of terrific actors reading luscious tales of food and passions, politics, mystery, and deep-sea adventure. Classic and new, the stories are set in diverse locales: a shabby Brooklyn kitchen, a submarine off the West African coast, a fancy Manhattan society dinner party, Don Quixote's Karaoke Bar in Oklahoma City, and beyond.

Selected Shorts 2010: At Home
May 1 and 2, 2010
The annual literary series returned in 2010 with a weekend of stories about home. Moving, comical, romantic, heart wrenching, heartwarming, and thought provoking, these readings examined the way we live. Featuring readings by René Auberjonois, Kirsten Vangsness, Fionnula Flanagan, Ed Asner, Jane Kaczmarek, and others, the programs included works by Richard Ford, Miranda July, Yasunari Kawabata, John Updike, and Julie Otsuka, to name a few.

Selected Shorts 2009: Unforgettable Journeys
May 2 and 3, 2009
The 2009 lineup explored destinations real and imaginary, far flung, and close at hand, with journeys featuring wild adventures, comic mishaps, and unexpected encounters. Stories by Todd McEwen, Lorrie Moore, Hunter S. Thompson, Marguerite Yourcenar, and more were read by a distinguished lineup of actors including James Cromwell, Kate Burton, Alec Baldwin, and Fionnula Flanagan, and more.

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