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.
There’s a difference between rehearsing and performing and this week actors Dan Saski and Austin Tichenor, plus stage manager Elaine Randolph, talk about the specific challenges of touring a show with multiple combinations of actors to different venues around the country. Featuring unabashed fondness for The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), many comings and goings, the trick of doing a show you can only perform 4-5 weeks a year, unconventional processes, how much preparation can you actually do without the other actors, what’s language-driven and what’s movement-or-music-driven, incorporating new technicians in every city, speedy backstage changes captured on video, keeping theatre a living thing, how sometimes the lack of preparation brings magic, and ultimately the joy of seeing what different actors bring to the same roles. (Length 21:48)
Chicago actor Joe Dempsey plays William Shakespeare’s most autobiographical character, Peter Quince, in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Joe talks about playing this prototypical actor-manager, the rehearsal process for this gloriously funny production, the importance of listening to director Joe Dowling, the joy of rehearsal invention, the freedom of actor ownership, the balance of hustling for auditions, the delight of working with T.R. Knight (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) as Bottom, the incorporation of many Shakespearean deaths, memories of working with the late great John Mahoney (Frasier), and the fundamental difference between being interpretive and creative artists. (Length 18:33) Peter Quince (Joe Dempsey, with bullhorn) directs Francis Flute (Alec Silver), and helps Nick Bottom (T.R. Knight), assisted by Tom Snout (Jonathan Butler-Duplessis) and watched by Snug the Joiner (William Dick) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Joe Dowling, December 6, 2018 – February 3, 2019. Photos by Liz Lauren.
Devon Glover travels around the globe as The Sonnet Man, working with students of all ages and keeping the world safe from dry, boring, vomitless, beat-and-rhythm-less Shakespeare. This week Devon reveals his origin story and how he spreads the gospel of Shakespeare through hip-hop, and shares student revelations and discoveries, valuable niches, the importance of friends and mentors, the differences between Shakespeare taught as performance and as literature, issuing creative challenges, and the incredible value of using the arts to teach non-artistic subjects. (Length 26:00)
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