Photo: Tom Campbell
Radio personality Ira Glass will return to Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m. A Bay Area audience favorite, Glass is known as the host and creator of public radio’s This American Life, a weekly program that focuses on everyday people’s stories built around a theme. The show is heard on more than 500 radio station each week by over 1.7 million listeners. In addition, it is often the most frequently downloaded podcast from National Public Radio (NPR). Glass is known for his quick wit and is praised for filling the unique role of both journalist and storyteller. The New York Times applauded Glass for his “distinctive literary imagination, an eccentric intelligence and a sympathetic heart.” There will be a Q&A session with the audience following the talk, part of Cal Performances’ Strictly Speaking series.
Born in 1959, Ira Glass has been a force in public radio for over 30 years. He attended Brown University where he majored in semiotics, the study of symbols. At the age of 19, he began working in public radio as an intern at the Washington, DC, headquarters of NPR and has filled many different roles, including desk assistant, newscast writer, reporter and editor. Before This American Life, he was also a reporter for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation. In 1990, Glass was invited to co-host The Wild Room, a local Chicago program that was freeform with an eclectic mix of music, reading and banter. At the same time, Glass continued news coverage through his account of his travels with the Clinton campaign in 1992 and then his report on the Chicago Public School System where he spent a year at Taft High School and then a second year at Washington Irving Elementary School. This American Life premiered in 1995 and quickly become successful. The show was syndicated in 1996 and has been nation-wide hit ever since.
A television adaptation of This American Life ran on the Showtime network for two seasons, 2007-2008, winning three Emmy awards, including Outstanding Nonfiction Series. The show has put out its own comic book, three greatest hits compilations, DVDs of live programs and other events, a “radio decoder” toy, temporary tattoos and a paint-by-numbers set. In 2012, Glass produced and co-wrote, with Mike Birbiglia, a movie called Sleepwalk with Me which began as a story on the radio program. Half a dozen stories are currently in development to become feature films.
In 2009, Glass was named the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award, the highest honor in Public Radio. He has won many other prestigious awards including several Peabody Awards, the DuPont-Columbia Award and the Overseas Press Club Award. A frequent guest of late night television, he has appeared on “The Late Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”.
Tickets for Ira Glass on Sunday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00 to $72.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.