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Symphony Space celebrates the 30th anniversary of Selected Shorts!

By Tiffany Gibert
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Symphony Space's flagship storytelling show kicks off on Wednesday, October 15, and may we just say: Selected Shorts, you make three decades look damn good. Perhaps the anniversary season's brand-new host (and Time Out New York contributing editor!) Matthew Love puts it best when he says, "Selected Shorts has been with me in cars, on headphones and while I'm doing dishes on Sunday nights for much of my adult life. The great readings lift you up out of yourself and take you somewhere unexpected...when they return you at some later time, you've changed just a little bit."

To hear topnotch stories read by some of the finest actors of our time truly is that life-changing. You can gear up for the birthday season by re-living past performances on the Selected Shorts' website; highlights include comedian Wyatt Cenac reading Sherman Alexie and Ann Beattie's words as performed by Jane Kaczmarek. This year's special season takes the program to places it's never been (literally: the October 22 performance moves from Symphony Space to the Ace Hotel!) and brings in, to quote Love again, a "bananas" lineup. We're talking authors like Salman Rusdhie, Teju Cole, Jennifer Egan and Jeffrey Eugenides and performers along the lines of, oh, Alex Karpovsky, Amber Tamblyn and Molly Ringwald. "Reading for Selected Shorts is such a powerful feeling," frequent guest host and legendary actress Jane Curtin remarks. "The amazing audiences are on your side and in the palm of your hand."

The all-star opening night at Symphony Space on October 15 features Etgar Keret, David Rakoff, Academy Award winner Christine Lahti and more; tickets to the glittery party run $250, but show-only tickets are available for just $29.

"Selected Shorts a real local New York place," frequent guest Parker Posey says. "I'm so inspired every time I get to participate—to see great actors read great literature. It's exactly the reason an actor like me loves living in New York!" And exactly the reason non-actors like us love it, too. Check out the rest of the still-in-the-works season below, and visit selectedshorts.org to buy tickets.

Opening Night of the 30th Anniversary Season; Symphony Space, Wednesday, October 15 at 7pm 
Guests include Etgar Keret, David Rakoff, Amber Tamblyn, James Naughton, Michael Cerveris, Christine Lahti, and Anika Noni Rose.

Selected Shorts at Ace Hotel; Ace Hotel, Wednesday, October 22 at 7:30pm
Actors Heather Burns, Alex Karpovsky, and Dave Hill perform surprising and moving stories.

Women in Clothes; Symphony Space, Wednesday, November 5 at 7:30pm
Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton introduce stories from their new anthology that explores how women present themselves. Performances by Molly Ringwald, Zosia Mamet, Sonia Manzano, Justin Vivian Bond, and others.

The Best American Short Stories 2014; Symphony Space, Wednesday, November 19 at 7:30pm
With special guests and Shorts favorites Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad) and T.C. Boyle (The Women).

Teju Cole & Salman Rushdie; Symphony Space, Wednesday, December 10 at 7:30pm
PEN/Hemingway Award-winning Teju Cole and Salman Rushdie present tales of exile, heartbreak and home, and slated performers include Michael Stuhlbarg.

Art and Artists; Symphony Space, Wednesday, January 21 at 7:30pm
Stories about art and those who make it, with selections from a new international anthology.

Letters of Note; Symphony Space, Wednesday, February 4 at 7:30pm
Readings from a new blog-to-book, Letters of Note, featuring the epistles of icons like Eudora Welty, Kurt Vonnegut, Mick Jagger and Queen Elizabeth.

Martin Amis & Jeffrey Eugenides; Symphony Space, Wednesday, February 25 at 7:30pm
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space
Martin Amis, author of Money and London Fields, and Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Middlesex and The Marriage Plot, present readings of their short fiction and talk about their work.

Welcome to Night Vale; Symphony Space, Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30pm
The creators of the popular podcast "Welcome to Night Vale," Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, host an evening of work that inspires them.

April Foolery!; Symphony Space, Wednesday, April 1 at 7:30pm
Performers read a hilarious assortment of comic fiction, from light farce to biting satire.

The Stories of Flannery O'Connor; Symphony Space, Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30pm
Performers take on the master of Southern gothic literature.

A Surprising Night of Shorts; Symphony Space, Wednesday, May 6 at 7:30pm
Stellar stage and screen actors read classic and new short stories, with further details to be announced.

Another Surprising Night of Shorts; Symphony Space, Wednesday, May 20 at 7:30pm
Stellar stage and screen actors read classic and new short stories, with further details to be announced.

Road Trips; Symphony Space, Wednesday, June 10 at 7:30 pm
Actors perform tales of compelling journeys, mysterious hitchhikers, rough terrain and surprising destinations. 

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