Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

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.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

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State of Things
11:14 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Cymbeline

''Cymbeline'' is unanimously considered Shakespeare’s most difficult play to stage.

“Cymbeline” is unanimously considered Shakespeare’s most difficult play to stage. That might be because it’s incredibly hard to follow on the page, even with the help of color-coded flow charts. The play includes a war, a decapitated head, poison, mistaken identity, the appearance of a Roman god and an ending scene with 17 revelations in a row. The Fiasco Theater Company of New York has fearlessly staged “Cymbeline” to rave reviews. The six-member ensemble brings their production to the campus of Duke University this weekend.

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State of Things
11:01 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Sea Cow

Sea Cow

The Durham-based band Sea Cow describes their sound as, “rocked out pop” or “pop with an edge.” They say they love to harmonize vocally. They love loud guitars. And, according to them, “their songs tend to have a sardonic, occasionally humorous touch, mixed with neurosis and self loathing.”

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State of Things
11:24 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Prophets of Funk

Prophets of Funk

Choreographer David Dorfman had never seen anything like Sly & the Family Stone when he attended the band’s concert as a college freshman in 1973. The psychedelic funk/soul group with hits like “Everyday People” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” was the first commercially successful American rock band to be both racially and gender integrated. This weekend, Dorfman’s company will perform “Prophets of Funk,” a dance homage to the music of Sly & the Family Stone, at Stewart Theater at North Carolina State University. First, Dorfman joins host Frank Stasio to talk about being inspired to “Dance to the Music.”

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State of Things
11:08 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Learning with the Lights Off

Collection of essays by Devin and Marsha Orgeron

The art of filmmaking has long been used to entertain visitors to the big screen, but its influence on the classroom is often overlooked. The 20th century was rife with educational films designed to teach students about such topics as lunchroom behavior, sex education, race relations and various types of disease. Many of these films have been relegated to the dustbins of education history, but some fans are trying to preserve their legacy. Devin and Marsha Orgeron are associate professors in the Film Studies Program at North Carolina State University. They’ve just published a collection of essays, along with Dan Streible, called, “Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States” (Oxford University Press/2012).

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State of Things
10:57 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Season 1, Ep 6: Jade City Pharaoh - Beautiful Melancholy

Herald falls for a woman with sad eyes

Malik Fraser, the alter ego of superhero Herald M.F. Jones, reveals romantic feelings for a well-read, sad-eyed beauty named Belinda Goodall. But when he discovers the dark secret behind the sadness in her green eyes, can he help her?

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State of Things
11:57 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Affirmative Action and Academic Performance

A new study about racial differences in academic performance at Duke University is creating controversy – and it isn’t even published yet. Duke economist Peter Arcidiacono and his colleagues reported that African-American students are more likely to change from being math and science majors to programs in the humanities or social sciences at a higher rate than their white counterparts.

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State of Things
11:31 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Washed in the Blood

Washed in the Blood
Credit www.lisaalther.com

When Lisa Alther finds herself confused about a topic, she sits down and writes a novel about it. So when it came to light that her ancestors were Native American and Portugese, she decided to write her way into understanding how she could be connected to them. The result is a series of linked novellas called "Washed in the Blood" (Mercer University press/2011). In the book, Diego Martin and Daniel Hunter, a Spaniard and a Quaker, come to Appalachia to change the place and wind up changed themselves. The stories of their descendants and the changes to the landscape make "Washed in the Blood" a sweeping Southern epic.

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State of Things
11:06 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Remembering Mary Duke Biddle

Mary Duke Biddle

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was part of a philanthropic family that got Duke University on its feet, started the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and helped countless others with charity and kindness. She died last week at the age of 91.

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State of Things
10:59 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Inside the Mind of Stephen Hawking

Kitty Ferguson's book, ''An Unfettered Mind''

Stephen Hawking is a giant in the scientific world, despite the fact that Lou Gehrig's disease has severely disabled him, causing him to lose the use of his arms, legs and voice. Hawking is a cosmologist known for his simplified explanations of complicated scientific topics. Author Kitty Ferguson has a new biography out about him called, "Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind" (Palgrave Macmillan/2012). Host Frank Stasio talks to her about her new book.

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State of Things
10:29 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Postmortal

Drew Margary's novel, ''The Postmortal''

In Drew Magary's debut novel, "The Postmortal" (Penguin/2011), humanity has found a way to cheat death. Barring unfortunate fatal accidents, people can now live forever, but unforeseen consequences can be worse than death.

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