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.
Professor Katy Reedy invited our own Austin Tichenor to speak to her class at Lake Forest College about his production of Twelfth Night that he directed for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in the fall of 2018. Austin discusses all the things he wanted his production NOT to be; how this great comedy is fueled by great loss; how Olivia threw herself into the physical comedy; the treatment of the treatment of Malvolio; speculation as to why Orsino is such a poorly written character; how to lean into both the comedy and the pain; and the possibly blasphemous notion that maybe Feste isn’t as interesting as many people think he is. (Length 19:50) (Pictured: William Oliver Watkins and Caitlin McWethy as Orsino and Viola, plus the entire cast of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company production of Twelfth Night, directed by Austin Tichenor.)
With Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel) now being workshopped by Napa Valley College as part of its Emergence Festival, authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor consider other famous prequels in different media, and hope for more of a Godfather II than a Star Wars Episodes 1-3 vibe. Featuring being part of a specific cultural moment (we see you, Gary: A Sequel To Titus Andronicus); a form that Shakespeare probably invented; why sequels are more popular than prequels; wanting to know how we got here and discovering more about beloved characters; shout-outs to prequel authors Christopher Moore (Lamb; Fool), Nicole Galland (I, Iago), and Louis Bayard (Mr. Timothy; Courting Mr. Lincoln); creating a more challenging puzzle than “just” continuing the story; the desire to know how it all began; alternate titles (“Elsewhere in Elsinore”, anybody?); insight from Dr. Ronan Hatfull; absolutely no spoilers about Avengers Endgame; and finally a shout-out to Patton Oswalt’s great routine about eliminating certain disappointing prequels forever. (Length 20:21) (Jessica Romero as King Hamlet and Peter Downey as Hamlet, the prince of Denmark in the Napa Valley College workshop production of Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel). Photo by Shelly Hanan. Title graphic by Chad Yarish.)
“Friend of the pod” Daisy Tichenor talks about her wonderfully Shakespearean senior year in high school, where she played Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing on the Philips Exeter Academy MainStage and directed Twelfth Night for the PEA Dramat at the same time. We talk about incredible opportunities; how informal clubs can accommodate a more diverse group of students; how stage managing the Scottish play can inspire; the wonder of getting to play a dream role; being born of all mirth and no matter; keeping the timelines straight; and the ultimate tribute to theatre people. Pretention or Science? Discuss. (Length 19:54) (Daisy Tichenor as Beatrice and Cody Nunn as Don Pedro, Much Ado About Nothing, Philips Exeter Academy, directed by Sarah Ream, 2018.)
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