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. 

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Death-defying magician, David Blaine is bringing his mind-blowing show ‘David Blaine Live’ to the Palace Theatre in Albany, New York on Tuesday, June 26th. Blaine is known for his exceptional fusion of magic and stunt work, unlike any other modern-day performer. The one-man show will be an interactive experience to shock and awe audiences.

Blaine’s highly-rated primetime specials have shown him being buried alive in New York City for a week, encased inside a six-ton block of ice for three days, surviving standing atop a 100 foot tall pillar in Bryant Park for 36 hours without a safety net, enduring 44 days inside a transparent box in London on nothing but water, and living within one million volts discharged at him continuously for 72 hours from seven Tesla coils. Blaine also spent one week submerged in a sphere-shaped aquarium at Lincoln Center.

The Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 41st Anniversary Season with Molly Smith Metzler’s "Cry It Out," directed by Marc Masterson, which will begin performances June 21st at the Dorset Playhouse and run through July 14th. The comedy looks at the dilemma of returning to work after childbirth and the ways in which class impacts parenthood and friendship.

The season will also include Dominique Morisseau's "Skeleton Crew" (July 19–August 4), Kate Hamill's "Pride and Prejudice," adapted from the novel by Jane Austen (August 9–25), Holland Taylor’s "Ann," starring Jayne Atkinson (August 29–September 1), and the Pipeline Series: Four New Works in Process - one each by Kate Cortesi, Melissa Ross, Frank Harts, and David Mamet.

Artistic Director Dina Janis joins us.

James Pogue has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, the New Republic, and Vice, where he is a contributing editor.

In a remote corner of Oregon, James Pogue found himself at the heart of a rebellion. Granted unmatched access by Ammon Bundy to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Pogue met ranchers and militiamen ready to die fighting the federal government.

He witnessed the fallout of communities riven by politics and the danger (and allure) of uncompromising religious belief. The occupation ended in the shooting death of one rancher, the imprisonment of dozens more, and a firestorm over the role of government that engulfed national headlines.

Pogue's book is "Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West."

6/18/18 Panel

11 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, The Empire Report’s J.P. Miller, and communications consultant Joe Bonilla.

Like every great organization, there are board members who are the heart and soul of the operation at the Berkshire Theatre Group.

Lee Perlman is BTG's Board Executive Vice President and Treasurer and President of the Greater New York Hospital Association and on the Board of Trustees/Advisory Committee for the American Theater Wing.

Scott Kirchner is a BTG Executive Board Member and owner of Mad Macs, Inc. We also welcome back our host, Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Emmy Award-winner Lee Kalcheim’s World Premiere, “Coming Back Like a Song!” on The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts June 28 through July 21.

In the play, It’s 1956, and three of America’s great songwriters, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy Van Heusen, are at a crossroads in their lives; rock ‘n roll is now king, and their careers could be over.

Directed by Tony Award-nominee Gregg Edelman, “Coming Back Like a Song!” features Tony Award-nominee David Garrison as Irving Berlin, Philip Hoffman as Harold Arlen and David Rasche [rah-shee] as Jimmy Van Heusen.

We are joined by playwright Lee Kalcheim, Director Gregg Edelman, and actor David Garrison.

Hailed as “crackling, resonant, humorous” by NPR and written by Emmy Award-nominated Jason Odell Williams, “Church & State” is a provocative, fast-paced and witty look at the life of a politician, whose belief system gets shaken to the core three days before his bid for re-election.

Directed by Charlotte Cohn founding producer of the New York Music Theatre Festival and Mainstreet Musicals, “Church & State” intends to have you talking and Tweeting long after the curtain closes – which is why all shows feature a talkback following the performance.

“Church & State” runs through June 30th at the Unicorn Theatre and features: Judy Jerome, Keira Naughton, Graham Rowat, and Andy Talen.

We welcome Graham Rowat, Director Charlotte Cohn and playwright Jason Odell Williams.

The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Education Department brings performing arts into the lives of 13,000 schoolchildren in The Berkshires through touring productions, residency programs, internships and assistantships, after-school programming, camps, children’s theatre productions, seasonal employment opportunities, and more.

Many of our schools lack the funds to provide students with arts education. Berkshire Theatre Group’s Education Department strives – all year long – to fill that gap. Their programs offer children the chance to perform, of course, but also to learn, to build confidence, and to collaborate.

We are joined by Travis Daly, BTG’s Artistic Associate of Education (and director of this summer’s production of "Tarzan"); Allison Rachele Bayles, BTG's Administrative Director of Education; and Hanna Koczela who has been involved with BTG Community Productions and Education Programs for the past 10 years and has just graduated from High School.

Part of what keeps a theater festival running for 90 years is the devotion of its contributing artists. It’s the dedication of returning actors, directors, designers -- and countless others -- that keeps an endeavor like The Berkshire Theatre Group on its feet.

What is it about Berkshire Theatre Group that inspires collaboration from world-class creators and interpreters season after season?

To answer that question, we are joined by actor Tara Franklin; actor and Director of BTG’s Acting Intern Program David Adkins; and Resident Composer/Sound Designer Scott Killian. 

Kate Maguire
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Berkshire Theatre Festival began producing world class theatre 90 years ago. Now, as The Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG), this season is celebrating and continuing that tradition.

BTG Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire and Director/Actor Eric Hill join us.

 

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, longtime BTG Actor and Director Eric Hill and Berkshire Eagle reporter Jenn Smith.

Today's Panel is part of The Roundtable’s live broadcast from BTG's Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

This morning we meet the forces behind the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy. At its heart, ACE is about strengthening the Capital Region’s creative economy to drive business development, increasing jobs, and driving tourism.

ACE, a collaborative, cross-sector group has come together to strengthen support for creative freelancers, creative organizations, and individuals involved in creative work.

The creative economy is defined as the enterprises and people involved in the origination, production, and distribution of goods and services in which artistic and cultural content gives the product or service value in the marketplace.

Maureen Sager is the Project Director at ACE and she joins us this morning along with Carmen Duncan is CEO, Chief Coach and Founder of Mission Accomplished Transition Services, an Albany-based not-for-profit organization that coaches, develops and supports millennials to become visionary professional and global leaders.

This summer the Saratoga Performing Arts Center will present perennial favorites like The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, the New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Opera Saratoga; and new series like the Out of this World Festival, SPAC @ Caffè Lena, SPAC on Stage, and Freihofer’s Live at the Jazz Bar.

SPAC President Elizabeth Sobol is here to give us an overview of what the next few months have to offer.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2018 summer season gets underway later this month and will feature seven productions running from June 26 to August 19.

The season will kick off with the world premiere of “The Closet” by Douglas Carter Beane. It is a comedy is about a divorced man who is stuck in a dead-end job in Scranton, Pa., and finds solace in his optimistic female co-worker. Matthew Broderick, Jessica Hecht, and Brooks Ashmanskas will star on the Main Stage.

The season continues on the Nikos Stage with the world premiere of Adam Rapp’s “The Sound Inside” which is about an accomplished professor at an Ivy League university who allies herself with a student to tackle a challenge. Mary-Louise Parker will star and David Cromer will direct.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield joins us.

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: "First Reformed," "Hotel Artemis," and "Ocean's 8"

Upcoming:

  • Valerie June - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 6/14, 7 PM
  • Albert Lee & His Electric Band - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Thursday 6/14, 7 PM
  • Young Dr. Jekyll: A New Musical - Proctors “The Addy,” Schenectady, Thursday 6/14 at 7 PM through Saturday 6/16
  • Kidz Bop Live! - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, Friday 6/15, 7 PM
  • Imani Winds (part of the Mostly Modern Festival) - Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, Friday 6/15, 7:30 PM
  • Night Riots - The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany, Saturday 6/16, 8 PM
  • Janis Claxton Dance - Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Sunday 6/17, 2 PM (Free)
  • Ani DiFranco - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday 6/17, 7 PM
  • Spotlight on Agnes Varda: Cleo from 5 to 7 - Images Cinema, Williamstown, Mass., Tuesday 6/19, 7 PM

New movies: "Incredibles 2," "The Gospel According to Andre," "The Seagull," "SuperFly," "TAG"

6/14/18 Panel

Jun 14, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld, and MSNBC Counter-Terrorism expert Malcolm Nance.

Alisa Roth is a former staff reporter for Marketplace and frequent contributor to various NPR programs. A Soros Justice Fellow, her work has also appeared in the New York Review of Books and New York Times.

America has made mental illness a crime. Jails in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago each house more people with mental illnesses than any hospital. As many as half of all people in America's jails and prisons have a psychiatric disorder. One in four fatal police shootings involves a person with such disorders.

In "Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness," Roth goes deep inside the criminal justice system to show how and why it has become a warehouse where inmates are denied proper treatment, abused, and punished in ways that make them sicker.

Christie Watson was a registered nurse for twenty years before writing full time. Her first novel, "Tiny Sunbirds Far Away," won the Costa First Novel Award and her second novel, "Where Women Are Kings," was also published to international critical acclaim.

In "The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story," she opens the doors of the hospital and shares its secrets. She takes us by her side down hospital corridors to visit the wards and meet her unforgettable patients.

David Crosby
Anna Webber / davidcrosby.com

Folk rock pioneer and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee David Crosby will perform in the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts with singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter and Americana duo Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen on Saturday, June 16 at 7 p.m.

Crosby joins us to discuss the show, the current state of the music industry, and his method for coping with upsetting news cycles.

Curtis Sittenfeld is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels “Prep,” “American Wife,” and “Eligible.” Now in “You Think It, I’ll Say It,” her first collection of short fiction, she showcases ten stories that upend assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.

The Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education, Capacity Building, and Training in Response for Underserved Sexual and Gender Minorities is a comprehensive, research-based training happening next week in Albany.

The conference will provide cutting-edge, prevention and response training to enhance the knowledge and skills of attendees through training to faculty, staff, medical professionals, and community and state agency service providers to turn the dial on sexual and interpersonal violence against sexual and gender minorities, while providing the most trauma-informed, and culturally-competent response and care when incidents do occur.

The conference will run in Albany, New York from June 18-22 and will include prevention and response education specifically tailored to addressing the disproportionate impact of sexual and interpersonal violence against sexual minorities on college campuses domestically, and abroad.

Joseph Storch is the Associate Counsel for The State University of New York and Elizabeth Brady is their Violence Prevention Project Director.

The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society is a non-profit community chorus whose goal is to nourish our community with the transformative power of music. In their next concert, The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society and the Oratorio Orchestra offer three dramatic musical presentations that explore “The Gift of Life.”

The concert will take place on June 15 at Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville, New York and features works by John Rutter, Gustav Holst, and Benjamin Britten. We are joined by Burnt Hills Oratorio Society Artistic Director and Conductor William Jon Gray and President of the Board of Directors Dave Johnson.

To be alive is to be in perpetual metamorphosis: growing, healing, learning, aging. In "Shapeshifters," physician and writer Gavin Francis considers the inevitable changes all of our bodies undergo such as birth, puberty, and death, but also laughter, sleeping, and healing; and those that only some of our bodies will like getting a tattoo, experiencing psychosis, suffering anorexia, being pregnant, or undergoing a gender transition.

The 38th annual Old Songs Folk Festival­ of Traditional Music and Dance will be held on June 22, 23 and 24 at the Altamont Fairgrounds in Altamont, New York. Old Songs celebrates folk, Celtic, and roots music; from Ireland, Quebec, the Caribbean, New England, and more.  Attendees can sing, dance, jam, and listen at this participatory event for the whole family. In addition to three concerts there are over 100 daytime workshops, dances or performances, a juried craft show, food and instrument vendors, and a children’s activity area.

We are joined by Old Songs programming committee members, Roger Mock and Debra Burger.

6/12/18 Panel

Jun 12, 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, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

In the new book, "Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples Of Hope," Kerry Kennedy pays homage to her father’s life and legacy through incisive interviews with heads of state, business leaders, influences, and activists inspired by his enduring message of healing divisions through social justice and compassion.

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of RFK’s assassination. The volume is a testament to his accomplishments as well as an urgent clarion call in a time of great political and social upheaval.

Kerry Kennedy is the President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

From Alisyn Camerota, co-anchor of CNN’s "New Day," comes a debut novel about an idealistic journalist who lands her dream job as a cable news anchor during a crazy presidential race only to find herself trapped in an ethical minefield.

As a veteran broadcast journalist and the co-anchor of CNN’s New Day, Alisyn Camerota knows a lot about the fast-paced world of cable news. In "Amanda Wakes Up," she gives us a backstage pass to the behind-the-scenes drama of a cable news network.

Voted one of the best reads of 2017 by NPR, "Amanda Wakes Up" is now out in paperback and offers substance, glamour and rare insight into the who, what, and how of the news we watch over breakfast.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.

In her book, "Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain," she explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers, namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence with profound implications for the adults these young people will become.

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 morning we focus on the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center - a non-profit urban environmental education center located in the South End of Albany. On a one-acre city farm, they teach ecological literacy to area residents with demonstrations of sustainable tools and technologies including gardens, bioshelters, aquaponics, rainwater collection, composting, chickens, honeybees, and wind turbines. We are joined by co-founders Educational Director Scott Kellogg and Executive Director Stacy Pettigrew.

6/11/18 Panel

Jun 11, 2018

   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, Executive Editor of the Times-Herald Record Barry Lewis and Political Consultant Libby Post.

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