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Columbia Festival of the Arts: Selected Shorts

Sun. Jun 23, 2019 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Smith Theatre

Selected Shorts 
Presented in Partnership with Speak (easy) Howard  
Sunday, June 23
Smith Theatre, Horowitz Center at HCC 
6:00 p.m.


The National Public Radio hit series Selected Shorts takes the stage at the Columbia Festival of the Arts as part of the Speak(easy) Howard series. Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen. Experience the series live as host Sam Underwood, along with Valorie Curry and Atandwa Kani, present stories that show us how to share our wishes, love our tribe, and live our best life. Join us for an evening of theatrical tales that teach us it's never too late (or early) to seize the day. 


Selected Shorts is produced by Symphony Space in New York City and broadcast on more than 150 stations around the country. The Selected Shorts podcast consistently ranks as one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, with over 100,000 downloads every week. The series began in 1985 and enjoys sold-out performances to this day. Selected Shorts was conceived with a simple premise: take great stories by well-known and emerging writers and have them performed by terrific actors. Each Selected Shorts is a unique night of literature in performance.


About The Host



Sam Underwood's television credits include recurring roles on Showtime’s Dexter and Homeland, Fox’s The Following, Power on STARZ, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, the film adaptation of the musical Hello Again, and most recently as Adam Carrington on the reboot of Dynasty. He is the founder and artistic director of New York’s Fundamental Theater Project, with which he produced and starred inOne Day When We Were Young by Nick Payne with Valorie Curry at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His New York theater credits includeCandida at The Irish Repertory Theatre, The Picture of Dorian Gray at The Pershing Square Signature Theatre, and Equus at John Drew Theater at Guild Hall, in which he starred opposite Alec Baldwin.Underwood is Creative Director of Initiative Productions, with which he has produced and starred in the short film Ophelia and his one-man show, Losing Days. He recently appeared in the musical film Hello Again.



The Readers


Atandwa Kani portrayed young Nelson Mandela in the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and in 2018, he voiced the audiobook Prison Letters Of Nelson Mandela. His television credits include Life Is Wild, Wild at Heart, 90 Plein Street, Kowethu, It's Complicated, and the mini-series The Book of Negroes. He starred in the short film The Suit and most recently was featured in Black Panther. Kani is a member of the Fortune Cookie Theatre Company. His stage credits include The Tempest with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Black & Blue, and Sizwe Banzi Is Dead. He will appear in the forthcoming films Nowhere and Diamond in the Dirt. Kani is the co-author of the play Hayani.


Valorie Curry is a founding member of Los Angeles’ Ovation Award-winning Coeurage Theatre Company, with which she starred in Balm in Gilead and the West Coast premiere of Shakespeare’s Double Falsehood.  Additional theater credits include One Day When We Were Young at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Diviners at The Kennedy Center, and The Diary of Anne Frank at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. On television, she has appeared in The Following, Veronica Mars, Psych, CSI: New York, House of Lies, and the Amazon series The Tick. Her film credits include Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Blair Witch, American Pastoral, After Darkness and Inherit the Viper. She is the founder of the production company 26 Films and a member of New York’s Fundamental Theater Project. 

speak easy

Speak(easy) Howard, a campaign of the Horizon Foundation, makes it easier to protect your loved ones and help them make decisions for you when you can’t make them for yourself. Learn more and start exploring what your best life means to you at

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Columbia Festival of the Arts

*Please note: The Horowitz Center Box Office DOES NOT reserve/sell tickets for the Columbia Festival of the Arts. Visit for ticket sales and other information. Columbia Festival staff will be on-site the day of each event for will/ticket sales. 

10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
The Farmhouse at Merriweather
Columbia, MD 21044

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