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The Theater of Politics

How much do politics and theater have in common? The stage has long been a place for social critique of political ideologies. And when a politician says something unexpected these days, we call it “going off-script,” reflecting the highly-produced quality of politics. Host Frank Stasio talks with Peter Burian, a professor of classical studies and theater studies at Duke University; Jules Odendahl-James, the resident dramaturg, visiting lecturer, and Coordinating Director of the Performance and Embodied Research Colloquium at Duke University; Geoffrey Baym, associate professor of Media Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Michael Cobb, associate professor of political science at North Carolina State University; Jonathan Fitts, a member of the Burning Coal Theatre and coordinator of the PoliTheatrics Festival; and Olivia Lemmon and Alexis Floyd, two actors in the PoliTheatrics production of "Blackout."

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.