Playing on Air is a radio show and free podcast dedicated to short plays by America's best contemporary playwrights, a new way to experience theater on demand, absolutely free. We are dedicated to increasing the accessibility of high-caliber theater, promoting the work of the stage's greatest storytellers, and encouraging the next generation of theater-makers across the country.
Content warning: this play deals with themes of domestic violence. "You can’t really influence them. You can maybe adjust the trajectory a little bit, you can try to guide, but after a certain point? No." Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale ("Will & Grace," Broadway's The Lifespan of a Fact, PoA's Gun Show) and Tony nominee Peter Gallagher ("Grace and Frankie," "The O.C.") star in a live recording of TWO DADS by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner David Auburn (Proof, PoA's An Upset), When two fathers meet at a resort and start swapping stories from the front lines of parenting, their poolside banter takes an unexpected, heartbreaking turn. In turns bitingly funny & disquieting, TWO DADS is directed by Claudia Weill (Girlfriends, PoA's Hate Baby). After the play, the artists join host Claudia Catania for an onstage conversation. TWO DADS was recorded live at BRIC House in Brooklyn, New York.
"Any words spoken by hedgehogs in this play are in translation. Please note that all translations are betrayals..." Emmy winner Carol Kane (The Princess Bride, Hester Street, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") and Tony nominee Jeremy Shamos ("Better Call Saul," Clybourne Park) star in Lily Akerman's Hedgehog Years, the second place winner of Playing on Air's 2018 James Stevenson Prize. When he was five, Theo (Shamos) met his best friend: an excitable hedgehog (Kane) who loves leftovers and longs to go to summer camp. Now, sifting through his memories, Theo must try to make sense of the days when he ran away from home and started living like an animal. Mischievous and heartbreaking, Hedgehog Years is an adventure for anyone who's ever ached to return to childhood. After the play, Tony winner and director Judith Ivey joins the cast, Akerman, and host Claudia Catania to discuss imagination and animal instincts.
Content advisory: this episode contains themes that may not be appropriate for younger listeners. Sigrid has a new little bundle of joy, and she's worried that he might be... evil. Today, she's tagging out: this baby is her neighbor Darla's problem now. Just in time for Mother's Day, Gracie Gardner's HATE BABY, the winner of Playing on Air's 2018 James Stevenson Prize for Comedic Short Plays, delves into the often-gross, ever-changing world of new parenthood. HATE BABY features Emily Bergl (Broadway's The Ferryman, PoA's Evening at Anaheim), OBIE winner April Matthis (Elevator Repair Service, PoA's Wanting North), and Tony nominee Steven Boyer (Hand to God, PoA's An Upset). After the play, the artists join host Claudia Catania for an onstage interview. HATE BABY was recorded live at the 52nd Street Project in New York City.
Content advisory: this episode contains explicit language and sexual references.
When a cocky, jaded tennis star (David Harbour) loses a pivotal match to an inexperienced Romanian player (Steven Boyer), the two men lock into an unlikely battle for dominance on and off the court. Over the course of three encounters on the Grand Slam circuit, AN UPSET by David Auburn (Tony & Pulitzer winner for Proof) peers irreverently, and explosively, behind the locker room door.
After the play, Tony nominees Harbour ("Stranger Things," Hellboy, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and Boyer (Hand to God, "Trial & Error") join director Michael Wilson (PoA's Wildwood Park, Broadway's The Trip To Bountiful) and host Claudia Catania for an exclusive talk-back about working with your idols and what it means to be an amateur.
AN UPSET was recorded live at the 52nd Street Project in New York City.
Unwanted house guests. A murder of crows. Is something brewing in the raw, early morning? In TWO CROWS APART, Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder in "Game of Thrones,"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Geraldine Hughes (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jerusalem, Playing on Air's The Mandela Effect) paint a virtuosic, unfiltered portrait of marriage. After the play, director and playwright Max Baker (Broadway's 1984, The Mandela Effect) and the cast join host Claudia Catania for a discussion of haters, lovers, and animal instincts.
What do you do when your former therapist starts talking to a cat that isn't there?
When Nate meets his longtime psychiatrist in the park, he realizes that she may be losing it. With tenderness and humor, Cusi Cram's THE HELPERS asks if we can reconnect with the life-altering figures who were never exactly our friends to begin with. THE HELPERS stars Tony & Emmy winner Jane Alexander (Warm Springs, The Great White Hope) and Peter Jacobson (Dr. Chris Taub on “House,” "The Americans"). After the episode, director Mimi O’Donnell (Executive Director, Scripted at Gimlet), Cram, and the cast join host Claudia Catania to discuss pet loyalty, funding for theater, and the art of costume design.
How do you eulogize a woman who everybody hated? In Peter Sagal's MILTON BRADLEY, Rabbi Schoenberg (Michael Stuhlbarg), faced with this dilemma, turns to a metaphor: the game of Life (the board game, that is). Featuring Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water) and Bob Balaban (Gosford Park, Christopher Guest & Wes Anderson ensemble regular), MILTON BRADLEY is a darkly funny exploration of where we're all headed one day. Stay tuned after the play for a conversation with playwright Peter Sagal (of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! fame).
Winter Games: as stray cats prowl and dough rises, two sardonic twenty-somethings flirt with dreams of Olympic glory - or maybe just escape from the small town bakery where they work. Penned by rising star playwright Rachel Bonds, a recipient of the prestigious Tow Foundation Playwriting Residency grant, it features Louisa Krause (lead of STARZ’s “The Girlfriend Experience,” Annie Baker’s The Flick) and Blake DeLong (We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Public’s Illyria). Winter Games is directed by Portia Krieger. After the play, host Claudia Catania talks shop with the entire creative team.
In Jon Kern's short comedy Hate the Loser Inside, a college football coach is tackling a local television commercial and fumbling more than his team ever did - until he finally scores. Kern has written for "The Simpsons" and “Son of Zorn, and his plays include Modern Terrorism, or They Who Want to Kill Us and How We Learn to Love Them. Director R.J. Tolan heads EST's Youngblood program and co-directed the off-Broadway revival of Godspell.
The cast features off-Broadway and regional favorite Brad Bellamy (Dallas Theater Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Theater Center), seen onscreen in “30 Rock" and “Law & Order: SVU.” Graeme Gillis, the co-Artistic Director of Youngblood, is a member of The Actor’s Studio and Ensemble Studio Theater. After the play, host Claudia Catania talks shop with the whole creative team.
For Veterans Day, Memorial Day or any day, NICK BACON is a powerful tribute to military valor, written and performed by stage and screen star Stephen Lang (Colonel Quaritch in Avatar). In this excerpt from his full-length play Beyond Glory, Stephen portrays Nick Bacon, a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Medal Of Honor. Listen as the soldier recounts, in his own words, the incident that earned him America’s highest military honor for valor beyond the call of duty. Based on Larry Smith’s book of the same title, the segment is followed by conversation between Mr. Lang and Playing on Air's host, Claudia Catania.
Playing on Air is a public radio show and podcast featuring great American short plays with great American actors. We distribute audio productions of contemporary short plays, translating stage works into enduring modern radio theater. We aim to redefine radio drama for today's digital, mobile audience.