Rebecca Sheir | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Rebecca Sheir

Host, Metro Connection

Sheir joined WAMU in 2009 as a news anchor, host and reporter. She became the host of Metro Connection in August 2010.

Sheir came to the nation's capital by way of Alaska, where she traveled amongst the moose and mountains as the host of AK, the award-winning show on the Alaska Public Radio Network. While in the Last Frontier, she also did reporting for NPR member station KTOO in Juneau.

Sheir's radio stories have won numerous awards – including the Third Coast International Audio Festival Directors' Choice Award – and have aired on public radio venues and programs, including All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The Splendid Table, Latino USA, Only a Game, Here & Now, Interfaith Voices, Voice of America, Chicago Public Radio, New Hampshire Public Radio and Iowa Public Radio. She has taught her original radio essay/commentary course, "Radio Voices," at the University of Iowa and University of Alaska Anchorage.

Sheir received her BA from Columbia University in New York City, where she also worked in Off-Broadway theater production: first with Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc., then with Naked Angels Theatre Company. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa.


Articles Written by Rebecca Sheir

WAMU 88.5
Local architectural historian Stephen Hansen has found a way to bring new meaning to the phrase, "Gone, but not forgotten." The head of historic preservation and design firm D.C. Historic Designs has launched a blog called "Virtual Architectural Archaeology: Recreating the Lost (or Nearly Lost) Built Environment in and around Washington, D.C." He acknowledges that "virtual arc...
WAMU 88.5
Penned by outspoken AIDS activist and D.C. native Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart premiered at New York's Public Theater in 1986. In 2011, a revival made a smash on Broadway. But never in the play's history has it been professionally produced in Kramer's hometown—until now. Starting June 8, last year's Tony Award-winning production is gracing Arena Stage's Kreeger Th...
WAMU 88.5
As debate continues about relaxing D.C.'s Heights of Buildings Act--the 1899 law that limits most buildings in the District to no higher than 130 feet--little is said about the man who inadvertently helped bring about that law: Thomas F. Schneider. The architect and developer designed the Cairo: the 12-story building on Q Street NW that sparked such public uproar, Congress pas...
WAMU 88.5
If you've ever looked at a map of D.C., you've probably noticed that the boundaries of our nation's capital form a diamond. These days, that diamond is technically missing a corner: the piece of land that Congress handed back to Virginia in the 1840s. But that diamond was whole back in 1791, when it was created by a surveying team led by Maj. Andrew Ellicott, and along that di...
WAMU 88.5
Andile Ndlovu is an internationally acclaimed dancer, and a member of The Washington Ballet. He hails from Soweto, in Johannesburg, South Africa: the townships that were once at the heart of the apartheid struggle. When he started dancing as a young boy, local kids would tease him for doing ballet; they considered it elitist, for white people only, and especially unsuitable fo...
WAMU 88.5
The motto "E Pluribus Unum" has made an appearance on dollar bills, on the U.S. Great Seal and now... on the D.C. dining scene. Unum is the new restaurant opened by chef Phillip Blane and his wife, Laura Schiller. Blane says the new American eatery with international influences is a culinary embodiment of the "out of many, one" idea that represents the multicultural nation of ...
WAMU 88.5
"Shepherd." "Child Welfare Goddess." "Cheerleader." "Part Guidance Counselor, Part Best Friend." These are just some of the nicknames for what Alexandria Wood does for a living. As the "Young Actor Coordinator" for Arena Stage, Wood is responsible for supervising actors under age 16, per the Actors' Equity production contract. "We're basically a little bit of a persona...
WAMU 88.5
Northern Virginia resident Waverly McNeil was 4 years old when she was diagnosed with a genetic, degenerative disorder present in one out of every 24,000 births: Sanfilippo Syndrome, or MPS III. Kids with MPS III--short for mucopolysaccharidosis--lack an enzyme necessary for breaking down natural sugars in the body. As Waverly's father, Matt, explains, "It's essentiall...
WAMU 88.5
Dr. Ross Fletcher isn't just the chief of staff at D.C.'s Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He's also an off-Broadway star. He's currently appearing in GATZ, Elevator Repair Service's groundbreaking theatrical adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, now playing at New York's Public Theater. Over the course of seven-odd hours, including two intermissions and a dinn...
WAMU 88.5
Back in 1999, D.C.-raised playwright Becky Mode premiered a one-man show called Fully Committed. Mode used to work in the restaurant business, where she'd hear insiders describe a booked-up eatery as "fully committed." So her play follows the harried hijinks of an overworked reservationist named Sam, who mans the phones at an exclusive French brasserie in New York. Washington ...
WAMU 88.5
Hamlecchino: Clown Prince of Denmark is a new version of Shakespeare's Hamlet, and combines hearing performers from the John Aniello Award-winning theater company, Faction of Fools, with students from Gallaudet, the federally-chartered university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Last year, as the Fools kicked off their third season, they became artists-in-reside...
WAMU 88.5
Over the past two years, a good day for Washingtonian Em Hall would go something like this: "I might take the 80 downtown, then catch the 40 up to the G2 and go over to Georgetown, and then catch the 30 and head up to Chevy Chase, then get on the Red Line and come back and hop on the H3 and then I'm back in my neighborhood." Because in February 2010, the Bloomingdale r...
WAMU 88.5
Ragtime is undergoing a resurgence, quite literally at the hands of a self-taught pianist in Alexandria. Martin Spitznagel nabbed the title of World Champion of Old-Time Piano Playing at the 2011 World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, which he describes as "this fabulous collection of really creative, eccentric people who get together in a ballroom in Peoria, Ill., and dre...
WAMU 88.5
The year 1939 was pivotal for race relations in America. As Georgetown’s history and African-American studies professor, Maurice Jackson, points out, it’s the year Billie Holiday first sang “Strange Fruit,” the haunting tune that shook the jazz world and stoked support for the country’s anti-lynching measures. It’s also the same year the Ertegun brothers organized the Dist...
WAMU 88.5
Think about the last time you were cold. As in, teeth-chattering, goosebump-raising, shivering-in-your-boots cold. You were probably outside, and the temperature very well could have been below zero. Washington, D.C.'s lowest recorded temperature is 15 degrees below zero. And in a slightly colder place, such as Alaska, it's more like 80 below. But if you take that last number ...
WAMU 88.5
Caroline Queen and Ashley Nee have a lot in common: They're both in their 20s, they're both from Darnestown, Md., they're both short, with blond hair and blue eyes, and they're both vying for a spot in the U.S. women's slalom kayaking team at the 2012 Olympic Games. Yet, in spite of everything, something else they share is friendship, which is pretty remarkable, one could say,...
WAMU 88.5
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains sits a half-million-square-foot facility filled with audio-visual history. Inside the building contains the world's largest collection of film, video and sound. What is this building? It's the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va. In addition to the historical collection, the campu...
WAMU 88.5
At first glance, the similarities between mathematics and music may not be very apparent, but the two subjects are a lot closer than you think. Cellist Yvonne Caruthers says you can find a ton of connections between music and math - such as their common use of symbols, from notes and rest marks in the former, to letters and numbers in the latter. "Little mathematical s...
WAMU 88.5
Garrett Peck, self-professed "history dork" and author of the newly published book, The Potomac River: A History and Guide, isn't ashamed to admit it: He's a huge fan of the late Triassic age. Why? Because 200 million years ago our region was given a rather distinctive local feature - one you can see in the Cabin John Bridge, in some walkways and doorways of the U.S. Capitol B...
WAMU 88.5
After the Civil War, Washington, D.C., was, in short, a mess. And the nicknames for various neighborhoods in the District reflect that chaos. Kim Bender, writer of The Location blog, recently dug up a Washington Post map, circa 1877, showing neighborhoods with names like Bloodfi...