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Radio Drama

WNYC Digital

Listen: Clarke Peters and Ebony Jo-Ann in August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The third installment in our 10-play series is set in 1927. As blues singer Ma Rainey and her band record an album in a Chicago studio, questions of race, art and exploitation emerge.

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WNYC Digital

Listen to Phylicia Rashad as Aunt Ester in August Wilson's 'Gem of the Ocean'

Sunday, April 26, 2015

In the first of our 10-play August Wilson series of dramatic readings, a man visits a 285-year-old renowned cleanser of souls to absolve the guilt he carries from a crime he committed. 

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The Greene Space

1900: Gem of the Ocean | Directed by Kenny Leon

Friday, April 24, 2015

A young man from Alabama visits Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old renowned cleanser of souls for help in absolving the guilt he carries from a crime he’s committed. Audio now available.

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The Greene Space

1920: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom | Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Friday, April 24, 2015

Set in Chicago in 1927, the play explores issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers. Available now.

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The Greene Space

1940: Seven Guitars | Directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson

Friday, April 24, 2015

The story of a blues singer just released from prison and ready to right the past year's wrongs. Audio release date: Sun, May 17.

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The Greene Space

1950: Fences | Directed by Kenny Leon

Friday, April 24, 2015

Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the story of Troy Maxson, a restless trash-collector and former baseball athlete struggling to provide for his family. Audio release date: Sun, May 24.

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The Greene Space

1990: Radio Golf | Directed by Marion McClinton

Friday, April 24, 2015

A powerful African-American politician runs for the highest office of his career, but as he steps into prominence, his plans collide with his past. Audio release date: Sun, June 21.

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Studio 360

Bonus Track: Death, Be Not Now

Friday, June 20, 2014

Andrew Bird, Tift Merritt, Hari Kondabolu, and Jennifer Egan join Kurt Andersen in this radio play about confronting the fear of death — and getting on with the business of living.

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NYPR Archives & Preservation

Ted Cott: WNYC Wunderkind

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ted Cott was just 17 in 1934 when Seymour N. Siegel hired him to be the station's Drama Director. Cott had been a volunteer doing weekly radio plays with other City College students when his promising work came to the attention of Mayor La Guardia, who insisted 'the young man' be hired. La Guardia had only been Mayor about six or seven months and had campaigned to shut WNYC down, believing it was a waste of money. But Siegel had engineered a stay of execution and needed to bring in some fresh ideas and talent to further convince La Guardia that the station was worth keeping. Since there was no equivalent civil service post at WNYC's parent agency, the New York City Department of Plant and Structures, Cott was hired as a ticket taker for Staten Island Ferry and reported for work at WNYC. [1]

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The Greene Space

Molière: Comic Genius

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Laughter, the Best Medicine," counsels Reader's Digest in its long-running feature. The 17th-century French playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin — known to the world as Molière — would agree (although he would probably have mocked the source.)

Join us for a month-long celebration of Molière, whose scathing comic dramas are as hilarious and true as ever. Each Monday in June, an ensemble of New York actors will perform his works as radio dramas: The Bungler, Lover's Quarrels, The School for Husbands, The Imaginary Cuckold and The Misanthrope. At each event, a distinguished guest speaker will help us see how Molière's robust work and his enduring themes still manage to resonate after four centuries: the complexities of human relationships, the hypocrisy inherent in the attainment of political power, the absurdities that come with rising social status.

This fawning age has praise for everyone,
And all distinctions, Madam, are undone.
All things have equal honor nowadays,
And no one should be gratified by praise.
To be admired, one only need exist,
And every lackey’s on the honors list.
— The Misanthrope

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Studio 360

They’re Made Out of Meat

Friday, August 31, 2012

We humans are pretty hot stuff — the most highly evolved species on the planet, or so we like to think. Terry Bisson’s science-fiction parable “They’re Made Out of Meat” suggests otherwise. To some space aliens who think they’ve seen it all, we’re not just primitive. We’re gross ...

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Features

The Woman Who Taught Us to Listen: A Centenary Tribute to Lucille Fletcher

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucille Fletcher was born 100 ago today. A demure Vassar graduate from a working class family, Brooklyn-born Fletcher was the author of two of the most famous radio dramas of all time — “The Hitchhiker” and “Sorry, Wrong Number.” Listen to audio clips here.

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Studio 360

"Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale"

Friday, December 23, 2011

This is what Kurt Andersen considers a holiday tale ... melting ice caps and extraterrestrial spies? Kurt's story, "Human Intelligence," was produced for radio by Jonathan Mitchell, and stars Melanie Hoopes, John Ottavino, and Ed Herbstman. The unabridged version was ...

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Studio 360

They’re Made Out of Meat

Friday, November 04, 2011

We humans are pretty hot stuff — the most highly evolved species on the planet, or so we like to think. This parable by science-fiction writer Terry Bisson suggests otherwise. To some space aliens who think they’ve seen it all, we’re not just primitive. We’re gross. Terry Bisson’s “They’re Made Out of Meat” was first published in ...

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Studio 360

"Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale"

Friday, December 24, 2010

This is what Kurt Andersen considers a holiday tale... melting ice caps and extraterrestrial spies? Kurt's story, "Human Intelligence," was produced for radio by Jonathan Mitchell, and stars Melanie Hoopes, John Ottavino, and Ed Herbstman.

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Studio 360

Movie Marketing Goes Awry

Friday, December 03, 2010

The biggest release of this holiday movie season is in trouble: nobody remembered to shoot it. A satire by Scott Blaszak, performed by James Babson and Jake Newton.

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Studio 360

Free is Not Enough

Friday, September 17, 2010

The music industry is ailing, but an ambitious guitarist has hatched a genius new revenue model for struggling musicians. It's not enough to give your songs away for free on the internet: you have to pay the listeners. A satire by Scott Blaszak, featuring Pace Rommel. With voiceover ...

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Studio 360

Sunset Boulevard 2.0

Friday, August 27, 2010

This month marks the 60th anniversary of "Sunset Boulevard," the definitive movie about the intoxicating, deadly allure of fame. That got us thinking — what would this story look like if it took place in 2010, the age of Facebook, Twitter, and reality TV? Lucky for us, we ...

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The Greene Space

The Rat Race: An Audio Play

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Greene Space and Yorinks Theater Group presented a two-day festival celebrating the life and work of master American storyteller Garson Kanin.

The Greene Space

The Invisible Man: An Audio Play

Monday, June 21, 2010

In the first theatrical collaboration between The Greene Space and Yorinks Theater Group, playwright Arthur Yorinks re-imagines H.G. Wells' masterpiece, "The Invisible Man."

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