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
In February 2011, we met Marquita Lister: a D.C.-born opera star who's graced stages around the world. She's sung the role of Bess, in Porgy and Bess, more than 500 times. She's recorded numerous CDs. But in 2006, not long after she turned 42 years old... the curtain nearly fell on all of it. As she told us last year: "I was up for Salome at La Scala. And I noticed that my han...
WAMU 88.5
Move over, Radio City Rockettes. A holiday spectacular-spectacular all its own is now showing at the George Washington Lisner Auditorium, and through sheer cast size alone, this holly-jolly extravaganza has the Rockettes dashing off in a one-horse open sleigh. The Christmas Revels is the annual holiday blowout presented by The Washington Revels, a local group dedicated to perf...
WAMU 88.5
At 8:15 a.m. on a Monday, in the basement of a church in Foggy Bottom, dozens of people, mostly men, gather around the big, brightly lit room. Some sit at tables, polishing off plates of French toast. Others wander around, chatting and joking. And others — half a dozen or so — sit at a table in the corner, waiting to tell their stories. They're members of The Monologue Gro...
WAMU 88.5
Standing on the bustling playground at Horace Mann Elementary School in Northwest D.C.'s Wesley Heights, Leslie Morgan Steiner fondly recalls the many years she spent playing there as a young girl. "One of the things I have to confess I remember most is all the boys I would chase on this playground," says the author of Crazy Love, Mommy Wars and the forthcoming Baby Chase. "I ...
WAMU 88.5
These days, the northeast corner of 14th Street Northwest and Pennsylvania Avenue, you'll find a big Marriott Hotel and a little gift shop selling political knick-knacks. But once upon a time, this area had the grand distinction of being D.C.'s very own "Newspaper Row." Local historian and author Paul Dickson got his start in Washington as a news reporter, and he says Newspape...
WAMU 88.5
Washington, D.C. area residents share a number of things: a special appreciation for a good half-smoke, knowledge of walking on the left/standing on the right, and a love/hate relationship with the Beltway. But do Washingtonians share a particular way of speaking? Is there such thing as a specifically D.C. accent, dialect or language? Researchers at Georgetown Universi...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. native Andrew White may be the most famous jazz musician you've never heard of. A self-titled "swaggering iconoclast," the 70 year old is about to celebrate the 41st anniversary of his one-man company, "Andrew's Music." Over the years, White has published more than 2,800 selections - everything from his recordings, to his 840-page autobiography, to hundreds of transcribed John Coltr...
WAMU 88.5
When Al Welsh was born in Russia in 1881, no on had yet figured out how to fly an airplane. Welsh couldn't have known it then, but after moving to Washington, D.C., he would go on to be a protégée of Wilbur and Orville Wright, and one of the world's first pilots. Emily Friedman uncovers the story of the first Jewish aviator, what compelled him to take flight and how his friendship with...
WAMU 88.5
We'll revisit our profile of Jaylee Mead, a top contributor to the D.C. theater scene, who died in September at the age of 83. Dr. Mead, a retired NASA astronomer, was a patron, board member and dedicated friend of the Washington theater and arts community for more than 25 years. Members of the theater community say her generosity — including a $35 million gift to Arena Stage — h...
WAMU 88.5
James Higden can hardly contain his excitement. He's a resident at Central Union Mission, a shelter and social service agency in Washington, D.C. He's excited because his home is undergoing a reconstruction. "It's almost like waiting for Christmas," he says, "to know that they're going to have all these additional services, they're going to be in an area that's more centrally ...
WAMU 88.5
In this age of political TV ads, robocalls and email blasts, some may be surprised to find good old-fashioned campaign snail-mail arriving in their mailboxes. But Andrew Kennedy, president and founder of the D.C.-based political direct-mail operation Kennedy Communications, says he believes direct mail is here to stay. Though the term he and his colleagues in the industry pref...
WAMU 88.5
Local dialysis centers opened a little late today due to ramifications of Hurricane Sandy, but they've taken precautions to make sure patients receive the assistance they need in the midst of the storm. The Howard University Dialysis Center opened at noon today and will stay open later in order to accommodate those who would have had a hard time getting to the hospital early i...
WAMU 88.5
If you've wandered past the imposing Victorian mansion on New Hampshire Avenue NW near O Street, you may very well have assumed the chocolate-brick building is bursting with ghost stories galore. But those in the know will tell you: it just isn't true. The house, known by many as The Brewmaster's Castle, was built by German-born beer magnate Christian Heurich. Heurich'...
WAMU 88.5
"I think it is a ghost or a haunting spirit that chooses to stay here." "A lot of times I say, 'Okay, I can tell that you're here. As long as you're nice, you can stay!'" "The whole time I'm here I get creeped out because it just feels like somebody is watching you." All of the above statements have been made about a particular building in Hume, Va., a town in ...
WAMU 88.5
Washington Improv Theater's quadrennial send-up of the American presidential election cycle, POTUS Among Us, began in 2004. And WIT's artistic and executive director Mark Chalfant says everyone was sad to see that production draw to a close. "It's really the kind of show that's only enjoyable when we're really in the thick of the campaign," he says. "Once this is over...
WAMU 88.5
When it comes to moving around, many of us rely on our eyes and our ears. As Gallaudet University's Robert Sirvage explains, "Hearing people can hear what's occurring behind them. So deaf people are taking advantage of other cues to what's happening in their space." Sirvage, who is deaf, holds two positions at Gallaudet: one in the Deaf Studies Department, and the other, in th...
WAMU 88.5
Studio Theatre's next show is called Dirt. But, says artistic director David Muse, it isn't easy to get the dirt on Bryony Lavery's brand new play. "It's a little hard to just encapsulate in a sentence or two," says Muse, who's directing the drama. "But it has something to do with dirt, and and dirt in many forms. Like dirt as soil. Dirt as the results of decompositio...
WAMU 88.5
When Akos Veisz left Hungary last year to work at the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, D.C., the longtime saxophonist discovered something quite surprising about his new colleagues: many of them dabbled in music. “We had a drum, we had a guitar player, we had a piano player, but not bass player, and so I’ve decided to learn the bass.” Since then, the band has go...
WAMU 88.5
According to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the union representing members of the foreign service, roughly 13,000 individuals are involved in overseas diplomacy, at 260-plus U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. Since 1980, AFSA president Susan Johnson has served at a number of those missions, from Havana, Mauritius and Moscow to Romania, Iraq and Bosnia...
WAMU 88.5
If you've wandered down 10th Street NW in Washington, D.C., you may have noticed a rather peculiar break in the block's row houses. Where 1225 and 1227 should stand, there's a long, narrow tract of land, with a historic carriage house in the very back. Anna and Dan Kahoe, who own Good Wood on U Street NW, live in the carriage house. And one day, not too long ago, historic-pres...