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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The State of Things
12:33 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

Jade City Chronicles

Credit manbitesdogtheatre.org

Craft joins host Frank Stasio along with director Jay O'Berski and actors Kashif Powell and Mike Wiley.

Quick: name a black superhero. Now, name five more. Well, even if you were able to rattle off a list of well-known African-American superhumans, you'd be hard pressed to find one as bad and funky as Herald M.F. Jones, the caped crusader of Jade City. In "Jade City Chronicles - Vol. 1," a new play by Durham-based writer Howard Craft, we meet Herald, his friends and a cast of charismatic villains willing to run the fictitious metropolis into the ground for financial gain.

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The State of Things
12:06 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

Comic Books and Culture

Credit www.dccomics.com

Host Frank Stasio talks about the cultural relevance of comic books with James Maxey, Henry Jenkins, and James Daily.

Comic books have long reflected the culture that created them. Captain America represented the power and patriotism of America during the Second World War, and Superman is seen as a symbol of "truth, justice and the American way." But the times are changing. Superman renounced his American citizenship in a recent issue of Action Comics. He said he did not want to be seen as a tool of American policy. What does it say that the “Man of Steel” no longer wants to be associated with the United States? And what can we learn about ourselves by reading comic books?

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The State of Things
12:40 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Moog's Modern Appeal

Pop singer Ke$ha teaches Conan O'Brien how to play a Theremin
Credit www.moogmusic.com

Next week, Moog Music will open doors to its new headquarters and studio in Asheville, NC. The electronic musical instruments manufacturer is known for producing Theremin kits, synthesizers and other analog equipment, but digital music era artists are crazy for the Moog sound. Bands like Rush, Coldplay and Weezer and pop singers like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Beyoncé have all scooped up sets of Moog gear for their recording sessions and concert performances.

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The State of Things
12:35 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Neverisms

Credit www.drmardy.com

Host Frank Stasio talks to Grothe about his lifelong love of quotations and what saying “never” can teach us.

Mardy Grothe's obsession with quotations began in college, but it wasn't until he battled cancer decades later that he finally sat down to write a book about them. He's been writing books ever since. His latest is called "Neverisms: A Quotation Lover's Guide to Things You Should Never Do, Never Say, or Never Forget" (Collins Reference/2011).

The State of Things
12:27 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Devil's Ink

Credit www.devilsinkblog.com

Jeffrey Pugh is a professor of religious studies at Elon University, so he is used to teaching students about God and the Devil. But in his new book, "Devil's Ink: Blog from the Basement Office" (Fortress Press/2011), Pugh takes on the role of Satan himself. Writing from the point of view of the Prince of Darkness, Pugh gives a different take on the world in a series of mock-blog posts.

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The State of Things
11:07 am
Mon May 16, 2011

Meet Crystal Hayes & Julia Dawson

The YWCA of the Greater Triangle’s Racial Justice Initiative aims to empower women and eliminate racism through dialogue, action and advocacy. Luckily, the ambitious goals are being taken on by a team that includes two women who have been challenging people to address racism head-on for many years. Crystal Hayes and Julia Dawson met in college where they began their advocacy work in favor of racial justice. In the beginning, Hayes, an African-American woman from New York, rejected the idea of a friendship with Dawson, a white Southerner who is about 10 years her junior. Eventually, their shared passion for bringing an end to racism brought them together – first as partners in activism, then as pals.

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The State of Things
1:11 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

The Far East Conference

Credit Mark Leong, www.gq.com

Tower joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the time he spent with an athlete seeking redemption and riches abroad.

Chapel Hill-bred writer Wells Tower recently traveled to China on assignment for GQ Magazine. There, he caught up with former NBA player Stephon Marbury, who is remembered for his commendable performance on the court and his conversational behavior off the court during his time in the league. After publicly battling with coaches and being benched for most of the 2009 season, Marbury decided to leave the NBA – the same year a series of strange videos starring the player started popping up online. Marbury, also the owner of a sports fashion line called Starbury with offices in North Carolina, now plays in the Chinese Basketball Association with a team named the Foshan Dralions. Marbury’s career move to China is shaping up to be a unique kind of professional makeover.

The State of Things
1:04 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

The Tranny Roadshow

Credit www.trannyroadshow.com

Host Frank Stasio talks with three performers from the Tranny Roadshow.

On Saturday, the inaugural OutRaleigh festival on Fayetteville Street's City Plaza will celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered lifestyles with entertainment and information. Activities will range from a kids play zone to an appearance by The Tranny Roadshow, a traveling group of all transgendered performers who present songs, comedy and commentary across the country. Host Frank Stasio talks with three performers: Jamez Terry, Modern Day Pinocchio, and Ryka Aoki de la Cruz about keeping the “T” in LGBT. He will also speak with Bobby Hilburn, executive director of the LGBT Center of Raleigh, about the first OutRaleigh festival.

The State of Things
1:00 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

Lost in the Trees

Credit www.lostinthetrees.com

Picker and some members of the band join host Frank Stasio to play live and talk about making music while making a full life.

Ari Picker's novelistic childhood and difficult life story has been at the heart of his music since he started writing songs. He describes his band, Lost in the Trees, as making orchestral folk music, combining the passion and pathos of symphonic music with the intimacy and searching of classic folk music. The band's album "All Alone in an Empty House" has had more than one incarnation including the newest, released last summer.

The State of Things
12:02 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

A Theory About Conspiracy Theories

Kenneth Kitts
Credit UNCP

Host Frank Stasio talks about the Obama story and other famous conspiracy theories with Kenneth Kitts.

Recently, the news was focused on President Barack Obama and his critics who publicly doubted that he was native born. In response, the President released his long-form birth certificate as proof of U.S. citizenship. Still, some don't believe him. What is it about conspiracies that draw people in, even after being presented with the facts? Host Frank Stasio talks about the Obama story and other famous conspiracy theories with Kenneth Kitts, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and author of the book, “Presidential Commissions & National Security: The Politics of Damage Control” (Lynne Rienner Publishers/2006).

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