Meg Wolitzer presents a show about the theater, and those who love it. Rachel Klein’s “Audience Instructions for Our Immersive/Experimental Theatre Production In An Abandoned Middle School In Bushwick,” read by Santino Fontana, sends up the avant-garde. In “Our Mutual (Theater) Friend,” by Amber Sparks, A retired diva just can’t fit into ordinary life—and then, she’s given an extraordinary gift. Krystina Alabado reads. Ann Petry’s “Solo on the Drums,” read by Peter Francis James, captures a passionate performance. And Anton Chekhov offers up a theatrical power couple and their puzzling marriage in “He and She,” read by present-day theatrical power couple Hugh Dancy and Claire Danes.
In Dad We Trust--Maybe
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about fathers and fatherhood. In “Beauty and the Beast” by Simon Rich, a self-absorbed producer gets a little Disney sparkle from his daughter. The reader is Arian Moayed. “Bedtime Story” by Victor LaValle, read by Dion Graham, features a son soothing an anxious father; and a father-daughter hiking trip involves both bonding and danger in Percival Everett’s “Exposure,” read by Denis O’Hare. The show includes comments by Dion Graham and Percival Everett.
Best Laid Plans
Meg Wolitzer presents three stories in which plans go awry, or alter completely. In Ben Loory’s “Dandelions,” read by Wyatt Cenac, a suburb is invaded, and experiences a change of heart. Edwidge Danticat imagines an ultimate act and its consequences in “Cane and Roses,” read by Anika Noni Rose. And a romance with comic underpinnings changes course in Ray Bradbury’s “The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair,” read by Tate Donovan.
Meg Wolitzer hands off to guest host Roxane Gay in this rebroadcast of a show about considering people and feelings at a distance. Italian fabulist Italo Calvino observes young love on the slopes in “The Adventure of a Skier,” performed by James Naughton. In Edwidge Danticat’s “New York Day Women” a daughter watches her mother walking through Manhattan. The reader is Laurine Towler. And the James Baldwin grapples with what it means to be an American in "Notes for a Hypothetical Novel," performed by Brandon J. Dirden.
Out of Their Element
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two works in which characters are out of their element. Literally, in the case of Robert Coover’s witty reworking of the fable “The Frog Prince,” who finds human life exhausting. Parker Posey reads the story. In Cristina Henriquez’s “Chasing Birds” a married couple share an exotic holiday locale, but not much else. It’s voiced by Maryann Plunkett, who also comments on the story at the end of her read. The story is introduced by writer and bird aficionado Amy Tan.