Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

10/12/18 Panel

12 hours ago

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Albany County District Attorney David Soares and Former EPA Regional Administrator and visiting professor at Bennington College Judith Enck. 

The play, “Ann,” is an intimate, brash, and feisty portrait of Ann Richards, legendary Governor of Texas. Written by award-winning actress and writer Holland Taylor, “Ann” is an inspiring and hilarious play that brings us face to face with the complex, colorful, and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed.

WAM Theatre presents “Ann” at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox, MA October 19-28. Ann is a co-production with Dorset Theatre Festival.

In keeping with WAM’s philanthropic mission, a portion of the proceeds from "Ann" will be donated to a selected beneficiary. The 2018 beneficiaries are The Denise Kaley Fund and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts 2018 Leadership Institute for Public and Political Impact. The one-woman show is performed by two-time Tony nominee Jayne Atkinson and directed by Kristen van Ginhoven.

The Albany Symphony starts a new season this Saturday, led by G award-winning conductor, David Alan Miller. The season begins at the Palace Theatre with a concert & gala program featuring the orchestral premiere of “Re(new)al” by composer, Viet Cuong. Re(new)al is the first of eleven world premieres to be performed this season.

The performance also features the Albany Symphony debut of violinist Stefan Jackiw, performing Brahms’ magnificent Violin Concerto, and closes with operatic selections from Verdi’s “Forza Del Destino,” Bizet’s “Carmen,” and Wagner’s iconic “Ride of the Valkyries.”

The ASO’s opening night gala and concert takes place at The Palace Theatre in Albany, New York on Saturday at 7pm. Joining us today is Maestro David Alan Miller, composer Viet Cuong, and Chairman of the ASO Gala Committee Michael Barnas.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: A Star Is Born

Upcoming:

Formosa Quartet
Concert Hall (Haydn), Studio 1-Goodman (Bartok), Studio 2 (Bach), Theater (Shih-Hui Chen), Concert Hall (Lei Liang)
EMPAC, RPI, Troy, Thursday 10/11, 7 PM

Pauly Shore
Funny Bone Comedy Club, Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, Thursday 10/11, 7:30 PM

Paul Taylor Dance Company (performing Cloven Kingdom, Company B, Concertiana)
The Egg, Albany, Friday 10/12, 8 PM

Jeewon Park (piano), Edward Aaron (cello), Colin Jacobsen (violin), Nicholas Cords (viola)
music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Arvo Part & Giya Kancheli
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Friday 10/12, 7:30 PM

The Feelies
Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 10/12, 9 PM

Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Opening Night: Ride of the Valkyries
with violinist Stefan Jackiw and Sandbox Percussion; selections from Grand Opera, premiere of
Viet Cuong’s Re(new)al (orchestral version), and Brahms’ Violin Concerto
Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 10/13, 7 PM

Walt Michael & Company
Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 10/14, 7 PM

Modest Mouse
Palace Theatre, Albany, Sunday 10/14, 8 PM

Phish
Times Union Center, Albany, Tuesday-Wednesday 10/16-17, 7 PM

New movies: Bad Times at the El Royale, First Man, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, Colette

10/11/18 Panel

Oct 11, 2018

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's Panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics, Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Editorial Development at New York Press Association Judy Patrick, and Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld.

In the 1990s, a “purity industry” emerged out of the white evangelical Christian culture. Purity rings, purity pledges, and purity balls came with a dangerous message: girls are potential sexual “stumbling blocks” for boys and men, and any expression of a girl’s sexuality could reflect the corruption of her character. This message traumatized many girls—resulting in anxiety, fear, and experiences that mimicked the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—and trapped them in a cycle of shame.

Linda Kay Klein sits down to discuss her new book "Pure: Inside The Evangelical Movement That Shamed A Generation Of Young Women And How I Broke Free".

Dawn Raffel's new book, "The Strange Case Of Dr. Couney: How A Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands Of American Babies" tells the extraordinary tale of how a mysterious immigrant "doctor" became the revolutionary innovator of saving premature babies--by placing them in incubators in World's Fair side shows and on Coney Island and Atlantic City.

How Dr. Couney became the savior to families with premature infants, known then as "weaklings"--while ignoring the scorn of the medical establishment and fighting the climate of eugenics is one of the most astounding stories of modern medicine.

Wanda Sykes has been called “one of the funniest stand-up comics” by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand up has sent her career in many different areas.

Her latest comedy tour is entitled, "Oh Well," which she will bring to the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, New York on Friday, October 26th at 7:30 PM.

In addition to her standup comedy, Sykes is a writer, producer and actor with projects including television's "Blackish," "Alpha House," "House of Lies," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "The Chris Rock Show” and most recently the reboot of “Roseanne.”

Author, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin’s latest work is “Leadership: In Turbulent Times.” Goodwin explores questions of natural leadership ability versus developed ability; the relationship between ambition and adversity on leadership growth; and how leaders both perceive themselves and are perceived by others.

After decades covering war and disaster, bestselling author and acclaimed satirist P. J. O’Rourke takes on his scariest subjects yet: business, investment, finance, and the political chicanery behind them in his new book, "None of My Business."

P.J. began writing funny things in 1960s “underground” newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world’s only trouble-spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other “Holidays in Hell” in more than 40 countries. He’s written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. And he is a regular panelist on NPR’s "Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me."

Award-winning author and writer for the Virginian-Pilot, Earl Swift spent much of the last two years on Tangier Island off the coast of Virginia.  After immersing himself in the culture, Swift is able to give a strong voice to the important issues facing the unique people living on Tangier.

Swift's new book, "Chesapeake Requiem: A Year With The Watermen Of The Vanishing Tangier Island" recounts his experiences as well as the dire environmental reality challenging the island. Swift brings light to the serious and pressing threat climate change will have on the island and the effect on the crab ecosystem. Joining us today is Earl Swift.

Author Ben Fountain's, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. The book was then adapted for the screen by three-time Oscar winner, Ang Lee. 

The latest book from Ben Fountain is titled, "Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution". Fountain writes, "twice before in history the United States has been faced with a crisis so severe it was forced to reinvent itself to survive. First slavery, second the Great Depression and now where we are politically."

"Beautiful Country Burn Again" is a sequence of essays that excavate the past while laying bare the political upheavel of 2016.Fountain argues that the United States may be facing a third such crisis one that will require a burning of the old order as America attempts to remake itself. Joining us today is Ben Fountain.

"Trump On The Couch: Inside The Mind Of The President" is a deep dive into the mental and emotional state of President Donald Trump. Written by New York Times best-selling author and clinical professor of psychology at George Washington University Dr. Justin Frank.

Dr. Frank says that no President in the history of the United States has inspired more alarm and confusion than Donald Trump, and his questions and concerns about his decisions, behavior, and qualifications for office have multiplied. All of this points to one question, does Trump pose a genuine threat to our country?  

Joining us today is Dr. Justin Frank.

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York is where the arts, sciences, and technology meet under one roof.

Over the course of three days, and across EMPAC’s four main venues and public spaces, the 10YEARS celebration will mark a decade since the building's opening in 2008 by presenting a diverse offering of cross-disciplinary performances spanning music, dance, theater, film, and many experiential spaces in between.

EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel joins us to tell us more, along with EMPAC's Associate Curator of Theater and Dance Ashley Ferro-Murray and Curator of Time-Based Visual Art Vic Brooks.

Daniel Rader

Barrington Stage Company’s production of Tennessee Williams’ "The Glass Menagerie" is now in previews and officially opens October 7 with performances through October 21 on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Directed by Julianne Boyd, "The Glass Menagerie" stars Caitlin O’Connell as Amanda and BSC Associate Artist Mark Dold as Tom.

Tennessee Williams’ autobiographical memory play centers on frustrated writer Tom, his mother Amanda, who is fighting for her children's future while lost in memories of her Southern belle past, and his painfully shy sister Laura. Reality and illusion collide when a rare visit from a gentleman caller upsets the balance of the Wingfield family in one of the greatest American plays of the 20th century.

Joining us today is Caitlin O’Connell and Mark Dold.

10/4/18 Panel

Oct 4, 2018

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics, Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Editorial Development at New York Press Association Judy Patrick, and Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld. 

Nobel Prize-winner Luigi Pirandello’s “Naked,” in a new version by Nicholas Wright, is currently running on The Larry Vaber Stage at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The play delves deep into the struggle of self-identity, and the tendency to skew reality to benefit desires of the heart.

Directed for BTG by Eric Hill, “Naked” follows the story of a woman, in the midst of questioning her existence, as the men around her impose their view of her into the world.

Hill joins us now along with actors Tara Franklin and James Barry.

  This week's Book Picks from Lily Bartels at The Open Door Bookstore and Gift Gallery in Schenectady, NY.

List:
“In Pieces” by Sally Field
“How To Be a Good Creature” by Sy Montgomery
“1,000 Books to Read Before You Die” by James Mustich
“I Am Human: A Book of Empathy” by Susan Verde
“An Elderly Woman is Up To No Good" by Helene Tursten
“These Truths” by Jill Lepore

Adam Nadal

Ping Chong + Company will present their non-fiction, documentary style production - “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” on October 14 and 15 at UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the main campus of the University at Albany.

Written by Chong, Sara Zatz, and Ryan Conarro in collaboration with the performers, the work illuminates the daily experiences of five young Muslim Americans who have come of age in a post-9/11 society and are building their lives in a time of continued fear and violence towards Muslims. The cast members are from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and reflect a wide range of Muslim identities, including: those who have converted to Islam, those who were raised Muslim but have since left the faith, those who identify as “culturally” Muslim and those who are observant on a daily basis.

We welcome Maha Syed, featured in “Beyond Sacred;” Sara Zatz, the co-author & co-director of “Beyond Sacred;” and Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writers Institute.

The 2018 Woodstock Film Festival will showcase 9 World Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 1 US Premiere, 12 East Coast Premieres and 8 New York Premieres on October 10-14th

The iconic Woodstock Film Festival was created in the year 2000. Since then, it has become one of the foremost regional independent film festivals. Establishing itself as a ground-breaking festival that offers a unique platform for filmmakers around the globe, the Woodstock Film Festival has been named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview.

10/3/18 Panel

Oct 3, 2018

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Berkshire Eagle reporter Jenn Smith and SUNY New Paltz Communications Professor and former NYS Senator Terry Gipson.

In Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, “Lake Success,” he tells the story of a hedge fund manager who throws in the towel and flees on a Greyhound bus for a simpler life with his childhood sweetheart. On the road, he looks to flee his problems and search for many things, including himself.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions by challenging Trump's call to stop Muslims from entering the U.S.

In response, Trump questioned the Khan's motives and religion, even though they are Gold Star parents whose son was killed in Iraq. Today, Donald Trump is president and Khizr Khan is the author of a new book, "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice" – just out in paperback. He has also written a book for young readers entitled, "This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father."

Khan was in Albany, New York to participate in New York State Writers Institute's Albany Book Festival at the University at Albany.

O+ was founded in 2010 in Kingston, NY by a small group of artists-activists, doctors and a dentist. It is now a national nonprofit working in cities around the country that builds long-term relationships between creatives and health & wellness providers to help strengthen local communities.

Their year-round efforts culminate in one-day and weekend-long celebrations, during which underinsured artists and musicians create and perform in exchange for a variety of services donated by doctors, dentists and complementary care providers.

This year’s O+ Festival in Kingston, New York takes place this Friday through Sunday, October 5-7. We are joined by O+ Executive Director Joe Concra, O+ Kingston Festival Director Sarah Van Buren, and Nurse Shannon Light.

10/2/18 Panel

Oct 2, 2018

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, and The Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

For nearly 30 years, the Music Haven Concert Series has presented an amazing array of global sounds in Schenectady’s Central Park, transporting audiences to locales like Yemen, Ukraine, Louisiana, Ireland and Peru without ever having to leave their seats.

The Passport Series at Proctors takes the same beloved world music that patrons of the park series have come to cherish and brings it inside so the party can go all year.

Mona Golub joins us to tell us more.

Musician Michael Hollis joins us to tell us about his Arts Mid-Hudson grant-funded symphonic composition that is being performed at this year's O+ Festival on Friday, October 5 at 10 p.m. and Saturday, October 6 at 1 p.m. in Kingston, New York at the Old Dutch Church.

The piece is entitled "The Edge of the Hill" and is a four movement piece centered around the beautiful environment of Ulster County and what its different community members do to preserve and protect it. Hollis interviewed people that are being used both concretely and abstractly in the music itself. 

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of and fosters collaboration between not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place. Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise … see more progress.

This week featuring: Capital District Women’s Employment and Resource Center which is celebrating 30 years of service this year. We are joined by Executive Director Elizabeth Miller Guthier.

10/1/18 Panel

Oct 1, 2018

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are Albany Law School Professor Sarah Rogerson who directs the Immigration Law Clinic, political consultant Libby Post, and communications consultant, Joe Bonilla. 

The Food Pantries for the Capital District is a coalition of 65 food pantries in Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga Counties. They provide funding, delivery, coordination of services and food drives, and education and training to their member food pantries.

Their fundraiser, the Harvest Evening Celebration, will be happening next Thursday at Franklin Plaza in Troy, NY. We are joined by: NYS Dept of Agriculture Commissioner and Chair of the NYS Hunger and Food Policy Council Richard Ball; Executive Director of The Food Pantries for the Capital District Natasha Pernicka; Director of Community Engagement for MVP Health Care Jackie Marciniak; Vice President of The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation Glenn Monastersky, PhD; and Chefs Challenge Participants Chef Kizzy Williams from Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen and Chef Kathleen Engel St. John’s/St. Ann’s Outreach Center (Food Pantry Member).

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