|About Narrative Arc
Narrative Arc is an audio podcast hosted by Paul Guggenheimer that features interviews with newsmakers in arts and culture.
For the last decade, Paul Guggenheimer has been a host and interviewer on public radio and television, most recently at WESA the NPR news station in Pittsburgh.
From 2012 until 2017, Paul was the host of “Essential Pittsburgh,” a live, daily talk and interview show that won three Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association 1st Place Awards including the 2013 Award for Best Major Market News or Sports Talk Program.
In the Best of the ‘Burgh 2016 edition of Pittsburgh Magazine, the editors chose Paul Guggenheimer on Essential Pittsburgh as “Best Lunchtime Listen.” He also received the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation Robert L. Vann Award in May of 2017.
Narrative Arc is the logical extension of Paul’s successful radio career, engaging in one-on-one, in depth conversations and discussions via the podcast medium.
United States Senator
The passing of Vietnam War hero, six-term U.S. Senator, and two-time presidential nominee John McCain has brought an outpouring of tributes this week. McCain died last Saturday at his home in Arizona. He was 81.
In the fall of 2007, when McCain was making his second presidential run, Narrative Arc host Paul Guggenheimer interviewed this iconic American figure for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. We present this interview in its entirety with McCain discussing his political philosophy, world view, and his days as a POW in the infamous Hanoi Hilton.
Former U.S. Ambassador;
Recently President Trump stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin and sided against the U.S. intelligence community regarding Russia's attack on our democracy.
In addition to those public comments, which stunned members of Congress on both sides of the aisle as well as journalists and average American citizens, Trump had a lengthy private conversation with Putin, the details of which have been kept secret. Trump followed that up with an all caps threatening tweet to the Iranian president. All this after Trump started a trade war with our allies and threatened more tariffs.
Foreign policy is never simple and often involves a certain amount of sausage making that is better left unseen. But the approach to foreign affairs being taken by the Trump administration has been downright bizarre, at times ugly, and potentially dangerous.
Narrative Arc host Paul Guggenheimer discussed all this with former U.S. Ambassador and PIttsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Dan Simpson. Ambassador Simpson was the U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic, Special Envoy to Somalia, and U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
VP Artistic Planning,
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Director of "Chatterton"
Pittsburgh is a city famous for firsts —including the world’s first wire cable suspension bridge,
the first movie theater, and hundreds of performing and visual arts premieres.
In keeping with that tradition, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is about to present its fourth and, we’re told, its most diverse Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts—an expanded showcase of never-before-seen performing and visual arts attractions taking place in the Steel City September 21 to November 11, 2018.
We’re first giving you an overview of the festival with Scott Shiller, Vice-President of Artistic Planning at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and then we’re taking a deep dive into one of the world premieres, “Chatterton” with the director Karla Boos.
Dr. Cyril Wecht
Noted forensic pathologist,
on the 50th anniversary of
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's assassination
Narrative Arc Host Paul Guggenheimer is joined before a live audience at Point Park University by renowned forensic pathologist and former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht to look at the many questions that remain half a century after Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Did Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicting of the killing, act alone or was there a second gunman? Was Sirhan the victim of a mind control procedure as he has claimed? Was the official investigation into the assassination botched and should it be re-opened?
Dr. Wecht, who consulted with Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi on Bobby Kennedy's autopsy, following the June 6, 1968 assassination of the Democratic presidential candidate, revisits that day and the investigation.
Former Pittsburgh Penguin
No team in pro hockey today symbolizes success more than the Pittsburgh Penguins. The two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions have won five Stanley Cups overall dating back to their first two in 1991 and 1992.
One of their leaders back then was star left-winger Kevin Stevens who played on a line with Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux, From 1990 to 1994, Stevens averaged 47.5 goals per season. A three-time NHL All-Star, he topped 50 goals and 100 points in 1991-92 and again in 92-93,
But 1993 also marked the beginning of a 24-year nightmare for Stevens. It began with a devastating hit by Rich Pilon of the New York Islanders in a second-round playoff game that knocked Stevens unconscious and led to him landing face first on the ice. Most of his facial bones were shattered and surgeons had to reconstruct Stevens' face with metal plates.
During this time, Stevens became hooked on painkillers. He continued to play pro hockey, but his production steadily declined and his career hit rock bottom in 2000 when, while under contract with the New York Rangers, he was arrested and charged with felony cocaine possession after police found him smoking crack with a prostitute at a St. Louis area hotel.
By 2016, with his career long over, Stevens pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell oxycodone and was ordered as part of his sentencing to give motivational speeches. And he's been doing it ever since, helping others by raising awareness of the perils of prescription-drug abuse.
Sober now for two years, he joined Narrative Arc host Paul Guggenheimer by phone from Boston.
Screenwriter and Director,
"Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story"
When most people think of Hedy Lamarr, they picture a dark, mysterious beauty and one of the most glamorous actresses of Hollywood's golden age.
But she was so much more than a pretty face. Yes, Hedy Lamarr was superb on screen but she was also a woman considered by many to be a genius, an inventor whose concepts were the basis of the cell phone and Bluetooth technology we use today.
Now, however, we have a complete picture of Hedy thanks to a new documentary about her life called "Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story." Narrative Arc host Paul Guggenheimer talks with the film's writer and director Alexandra Dean.
Lead Vocalist, the Jaggerz
If you were alive and listening to the radio in 1970, chances are good that you were hearing the song "The Rapper." A lot.
"The Rapper" was number one on the Record World charts in March of 1970. The group that wrote and recorded "The Rapper" consisted of six guys from the Pittsburgh area known as The Jaggerz. And it was fifty years ago this year that this extraordinary harmony band signed their first recording contract.
Jaggerz lead vocalist and bass player Jimmie Ross joined Narrative Arc host Paul Guggenheimer to talk about the rise, fall, rebirth and staying power of the Jaggerz, who are still going strong some fifty-four years after they started.
Handyman Negri on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"
This year, America is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first national broadcast of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
The show that broke ground in the world of children's television, aired on PBS and its' forerunner National Educational Television for over thirty years, and made just about every young child want to be Mister Rogers' neighbor.
Unfortunately, the man behind it all, Fred Rogers, is no longer with us. He died in 2003. But members of his cast of characters are still going strong, including the man who played Handyman Negri, 91-year-old Joe Negri, who joined Narrative Arc host Paul Guggenheimer by phone from Pittsburgh, to talk about the day 50 years ago that Mister Rogers' Neighborhood became America's Neighborhood.
Hockey Player, Star of "Slap Shot"
Over forty years after it was released in 1977, the movie "Slap Shot" holds up as one of the true classics among feature-length sports films. Its' comical depiction of a minor league hockey team, resorting to violent play to gain popularity in a declining factory town, still resonates with audiences around the world.
Much of the film's success has to do with Paul Newman's brilliant performance as aging player-coach Reggie "Reg" Dunlop.
But the movie might never have achieved its truly iconic status without the bespectacled, brawling characters known as the Hanson Brothers played by former Johnstown Jets players Steve and Jeff Carlson and David Hanson.
Narrative Arc Host Paul Guggenheimer talked recently with David Hanson in Pittsburgh, where he now works as the General Manager of the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center, about the making of the movie "Slap Shot."
Star of "The Shape of Water"
There were a number of remarkable films that earned Oscar nominations in 2018, "Darkest Hour," "Dunkirk," and "The Post" to name a few.
But the movie that seems to have truly captured the world's imagination is Guillermo del Toro's horror/fantasy film "The Shape of Water" which received 13 Oscar nominations to lead this year's field.
"Shape" stars veteran creature actor Doug Jones as a fish/man monster from the wild. Hidden beneath layers of rubber and silicone, Jones manages to play this creature with an emotional depth, sensitivity and sexiness that has non devotees of his extensive science fiction work asking: Just who is this Doug Jones fellow anyway?
Narrative Arc Host Paul Guggenheimer endeavored to find that out when he spoke with Jones by phone from Los Angeles.