Since its pass-the-hat origins in 1981, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has created ten world-renowned stage shows, two television specials, several failed TV pilots, and numerous radio pieces, all of which have been performed, seen, and heard the world over. The company’s itinerary has included stops off-Broadway, at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s West End, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre and Montreal’s famed Just For Laughs Festival, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Singapore and Bermuda, plus countless civic and university venues throughout the USA, the UK, and Europe.
In 2016, in honor of the company’s 35th anniversary and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the RSC premieres its tenth stage show, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC. In 2013 the “Bad Boys of Abridgment” unveiled The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) –to critical and commercial acclaim at both Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Merrimack Repertory Theatre, as well as on national tours of the the USA and UK. The Complete World of Sports (abridged)opened in 2010 at Merrimack Rep and after touring the USA and UK, ran at the Arts Theatre in London during the 2012 London Olympics. In 2011 came the world premiere of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)which became Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s best-selling holiday show ever, and the third-best-selling show in MRT’s history and also enjoyed a successful run at San Diego Repertory Theatre as well as multiple tours across the USA.
One Camera. One Actor. One Bard. Joshua Dylan Mellars is the director of the new film Shakespeare In The Shadows, featuring actor Mark Cohen (above) performing Shakespeare in a variety of northern California locations and exploring themes of power: the getting of it, the abuse of it, the losing of it, and the transcendence of it. Joshua talks about his inspiration for the film, what it’s like having — and sharing — the best seat in the house, where you can see it, the advantage of keeping things, ahem, reduced, and what it really means when you say that “Shakespeare just keeps getting better.” (Length 17:03)
Theatre Communications Group exists to strengthen, nurture, and promote professional theatre in the U.S. and globally and Kathryn M. Lipuma is the Chair of TCG’s Board of Directors. A past executive director of New York’s Tony-winning Signature Theatre and current executive director of Chicago’s Writers Theatre, Kate talks about her work for TCG, how she ended up in Chicago theatre, how the lessons learned locally can be shared nationally (and vice versa), gives a shoutout to Michael Halberstam’s taste in kicks, reveals her Chicago roots, discusses the importance of the shared experience and establishing communities, how theatre connections can be made at sporting events, the rise of American Theatre (our industry’s journal of record) and its companion website, how theatre contributes to the country’s culture, and what theatre does as it approaches the crossroads of people’s shifting relationships with the arts. (Length 23:50)
Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a professor of English at Linfield College and regular contributor to The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines, wrote an article for the New York Times in January 2019 about the problematic racist imagery in both the 1964 and 2018 Mary Poppins films from Disney. The article sparked a huge outcry and backlash, resulting in calls for Daniel’s dismissal and threats to him and his family, and this week Daniel talks about how the article came to be and how he’s been dealing with its unexpected response, how we confront (or don’t) the legacy of white supremacy in so much of our popular culture, an impertinent reference to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the badge of honor of being on an alt-right watchlist, prescient wives and why they should be heeded, the question of why Disney keeps returning to problematic racist tropes, the threat (promise?) of being spat on by Julie Andrews, and what’s next in the multi-part series “Daniel Ruins Everything”. (Length 25:15)
William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, has now been published in both the United States by Broadway Play Publishing and Great Britain by Josef Weinberger and is available for licensing worldwide. Read about its creation and “discovery” on the Shakespeare & BeyondContinue reading
The Reduced Shakespeare Company just unveiled a new promotional video for its annual holiday hit The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). Produced and edited by Tim Neighbors of Invisible Harness, the short video was shot December 22, 2017 at the La Mirada Center for the Arts in southern California and features performers Michael Faulkner, Reed Martin, and Dan Saski. Watch below — it’ll make your spirits bright!
On September 24, 2017, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon hosted illustrator Jennie Maizels and co-author Austin Tichenor at a special event celebrating the publication of their new book Pop-Up Shakespeare. Jennie created wonderful props and costumes for Austin to wear while reading excerpts, and for kids in the audience toContinue reading