Playing on Air Hour Length Episodes

Series produced by Playing on Air

Caption: Playing on Air
Playing on Air  

Playing on Air is a unique public radio program featuring a novel form of story-telling: the short play, an ideal form for the rhythms of radio listeners on the go.

Each short is about 10-25 minutes and there are two or three of them in every 53-minute episode. (Single plays are also available). Original music and polished, subtle sound design are composed for every bite-sized but beautifully crafted piece.

After hearing each short play, listeners get the inside scoop from its participants. Lively, insightful conversation with each short's playwright, director and cast about what just happened, round out each show.

The topics of these short plays are wide-ranging, timely, and reflect the world we live in now. Masters of the form, our playwrights write pieces that, like all great theater, entertain, illuminate, inform and humanize.

Our actors are world-class: Carol Kane, Sam Waterston, Bobby Cannavale, Audra McDonald, Rosie Perez, Adam Driver, John Leguizamo, Michelle Williams, Jesse Eisenberg, Kathleen Turner, Bill Irwin, Peter Gallagher, Ed Asner, Jerry Stiller, David Harbour, Jane Krakowski...

Writers and directors include Pulitzer Prize winners David Lindsay-Abaire, David Auburn, John Patrick Shanley, Beth Henley, Lynn Nottage, Donald Margulies, Lanford Wilson; Tony winners Christopher Durang, Warren Leight, John Guare, and notable others.

"When I first sampled Playing on Air I thought our audience would like the program, so I scheduled it during the summer and asked for listener feedback. The most amazing feedback returned with almost 100 % positive about this program. This is not typical of our listeners! This is a gem worth your review and absolutely worth adding to your schedule. Try it! You'll love the response! What's left to say? Playing on Air is a public radio winner."
- Lynne Clendenin, Program Director, OPB Radio.

"The programs Playing on Air has provided to us have already aired and were extremely well received by our listeners. They commented on the quality of the plays and actors and the professionalism of the series. I can’t help but think this is a perfect fit for public radio."
- Alan Chartock, CEO, WAMC-Northeast Public Radio.

"The playwrights and the actors are award-winning first-rate professionals you will have heard of. Because the plays are short, there's time to include insightful interviews, usually with the playwrights, in each broadcast. Playing on Air definitely fills a gap in available radio theatre programming and I'm delighted to schedule them. Your audiences will love these shows."
- Linda Lopez McAlister, Producer, KUNM's Radio Theatre, Albuquerque, NM

"Playing on Air is the kind of show that should be multipied by ten - it's fun, it's intelligent, and it reminds us how glorious radio can be."
- David Ives, playwright

"Playing on Air gives actors the thrilling experience of acting without having to look in a mirror first. They produce dramatically compelling radio in a fun and accessible way."
- Jesse Eisenberg, actor, playwright Hide full description

"When I first sampled Playing on Air I thought our audience would like the program, so I scheduled it during the summer and asked for listener feedback. The most amazing feedback returned with almost 100 % positive about this program. This is not typical of our listeners! This is a gem worth your review and absolutely worth adding to your schedule. Try it! You'll love the response! What's left to say? Playing on Air is a public radio winner." - Lynne Clendenin, Program Director, OPB Radio. "The programs Playing on Air has provided to us have already aired and were extremely well received by our listeners. They commented on the quality of the plays and actors and the professionalism of the series. I can’t help but think this is a perfect fit for public radio." - Alan... Show full description


46 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Carol Kane
Carol Kane, Julie White, and Steven Boyer are among the stars in these two shorts. It’s spring in the neighborhood "Hell’s Kitchen" in SOMETHING I'...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Mar 08, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Amy Ryan
Two short plays. In Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn’s Fifth Planet, a professional astronomer played by Amy Ryan (Birdman; Gone, Baby, Gone) an...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Jan 15, 2016
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Lucy DeVito
Two short plays about teenagers facing their futures. With summer imminent, they look ahead with anxiety, optimism, resignation, possibility. In th...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting, WHRV, and KUNM


  • Added: Nov 04, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Kelly Hutchinson
Two short plays by the master of the form, David Ives (Venus In Fur, All in the Timing). In David Ives’ ITS ALL GOOD, a Chicago native visits his h...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, KZYX, and KUNM


  • Added: Oct 14, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Marsha Mason
Marsha Mason (4 time Academy Award nominee) and Steven Boyer (Tony nominee for HAND TO GOD and regular on TV's "Trial and Error") star in TASHA WA...

Bought by WHRV, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Jun 11, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Jane Kaczmarek
Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") stars in the touching and humorous first piece, Napoleon in Exile, directed by Marsha Mason (four time Aca...

Bought by KUNM, New Hampshire Public Radio, WCPN, WCAI / WNAN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and more


  • Added: May 27, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Rosie Perez, Credit: Rob Northway
John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez and Bobby Cannavale star in CRAZY EIGHTS by David Lindsay-Abaire (Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner). Two recovering drug ...

Bought by WRGY, KUNM, WCAI / WNAN, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Red River Radio Network and more


  • Added: Jun 26, 2014
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: David Auburn
Two short plays about political operatives by Pulitzer Prize Winner David Auburn. In the comic DAMAGE CONTROL, a political aide has a public relati...

Bought by WNPR, Oregon Public Broadcasting, KUNM, and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Mar 26, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Tonya Pinkins
In Forward Observer, Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins plays a harried Veterans Administration Hospital clerk. An elderly World War II veteran is giv...

Bought by KUNM, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Mar 17, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Michael Urie
Michael Urie, Harriet Harris and a great ensemble of actors star in three short plays about love and marriage. A couple celebrates their 24th anniv...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Red River Radio Network, and KUNM


  • Added: Feb 11, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Bobby Cannavale
In the comic classic, MERE MORTALS by David Ives, a construction worker reveals he is secretly, actually the Lindbergh baby. Turns out his pals hav...

Bought by WNPR, KUNM, KZYX, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Oregon Public Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Oct 08, 2014
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: William Jackson Harper
Lascivious bees swarm a young woman’s Upper West Side apartment. Two vultures have a bone to pick with Saint Francis. Playing on Air brings you two...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, Oregon Public Broadcasting, KZYX, and KUNM


  • Added: Sep 04, 2014
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Peter Sagal
Two short plays. In MILTON BRADLEY by "Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me" host Peter Sagal, a flummoxed Rabbi has to eulogize a mother whose son has only te...

Bought by KUER, Oregon Public Broadcasting, KUNM, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Dec 22, 2012
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Jesse Eisenberg
Three short plays. THE BLIZZARD, a chilly thriller, features Jesse Eisenberg as a snowed-in screenwriter facing unexpected guests. In THE MIRACLE O...

Bought by KWIT, New Hampshire Public Radio, WNPR, KSFR, WRFA-LP and more


  • Added: Dec 16, 2012
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 18
Caption: Chris Cooper
Two short plays. Oscar winner Chris Cooper and multiple Emmy winner Margo Martindale star in BITE THE HAND directed by Tony winner, John Rando. Ton...

Bought by Georgia Public Broadcasting, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Red River Radio Network, KAZU, KUNM and more


  • Added: Dec 07, 2012
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Jane Krakowski
Jane Krakowski and Lois Smith star in short plays by Christopher Durang (Tony winner) and Beth Henley (Pulitzer Prize winner). In Henley's REPORT O...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting and KUNM


  • Added: May 27, 2014
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Merritt Wever
Two short plays, with multiple Tony and Emmy winners Deborah Monk, Julie Halston, Merritt Wever, and others. In WEST OF STUPID, a teacher, vacation...

Bought by WVPE, Oregon Public Broadcasting, New Hampshire Public Radio, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Dec 22, 2012
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Jerry Stiller
In I'M WITH YA, DUKE, by Tony winner Herb Gardner, Jerry Stiller plays a fruit vendor dreaming of the good old days when Duke Snider played for the...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Jan 09, 2013
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Lynnette Freeman
Three short plays. In TWO JEWISH MEN IN THEIR SEVENTIES, comedians Jerry Stiller and Bob Dishy carry on as they play two old friends visiting a new...

Bought by C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, WCAI / WNAN, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and KUNM


  • Added: Jan 10, 2013
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Jerry Stiller
There's no business like show business.... In TONY winner Christopher Durang's witty MRS. SORKEN, a wacky theater devotee gets her chance in the s...

Bought by Oregon Public Broadcasting and KUNM


  • Added: Jan 10, 2013
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2