Simon Cole (Performer), having jumped into the shark-infested waters of the Atlantic from his native Idaho (it was a really long jump), washed up on the UK shores with a song in his heart and a potato in his pocket. The winner of the most perspiring comic at the Evian awards (the little known alternative to the Perriers) and in an attempt to earn his spurs as an adopted theatrical Englishman, Simon has played Shakespearian rogues on stage, Elizabethan gentleman on film and has directed several pantomimes (without understanding what any of it was about). He is endeavouring to overcome his fear of clotted cream, seaside rock and Yorkshire puddings.
Dominic Conti (Performer/Additional Material Hollywood) was discovered by RSC talent scouts in Chicago, performing America (abridged) with The Noble Fool Theater. He workshoped Hollywood (abridged) in Rohnert Park and St. Louis, premiered it at Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and tours it along with Sports (abridged), Books (abridged), Bible (abridged) and America (abridged). Other regional theaters he’s worked with include: Plasticene, Steppenwolf, Second City, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodman, Westport Country Playhouse, Beaver Creek Theatre Festival, Madison Repertory, Chicago Shakespeare, Next, A Red Orchid, Apple Tree TYA, First Folio Shakespeare Festival, Lost Angels Theatre and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. Film/TV credits include: Nothing in Los Angeles, A Voodoo Possession, Another Stupid Day, The Interview (also co-writer/producer), April, Saturday, Shades of Hope, Fiona’s Fortune, The Roaring Twenties, Zombie Holocaust and You! and Fiasco. Web series: Broken Dreams Boulevard, The Family Curse, Red Scare and The Best Friend (also co-wrote three episodes; Won LAWebfest Award — “Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series” and nominated for IAWTV Award — “Best Writing in a Comedy”).
Gary Fannin (Performer) was a fine, fine actor once. But he can’t talk about that these days, so don’t ask him. No, seriously, don’t. Rumour has it that the last time someone brought it up the police were called in. Ok, it was probably a traffic warden, but even so the CCTV footage leaves one with nothing but total respect for his kick-ass, ass-kicking abilities. (Allegedly). Oh, he did once pet Tom Cruise’s dog (which, believe it or not, is not a euphemism). You CAN ask him about that. Other no-go topics include but are not limited to: The original (and unknown) movie called The Inbetweeners; 5 years of dressing room 7 at the Criterion Theatre in the West End; Hearts (the card game) which took up the better part of those 5 years; Quackenbush’s coffee in Austin; That sunset in Seattle with Kurt and Courtney; and 2 ducks, 2 rabbits and 4 doves in the back of a van in Philadelphia. Gary would like to thank the pharmaceutical industry for many, many happy years now. (Don’t ask).
Michael Faulkner (Performer/Additional Material Books) was an accomplished classically-trained actor before joining the RSC in 2001. Other accomplishments include his role as loving husband; producer of some award-nominated podcasts; his not-quite-nerdy yet not-quite-handsome looks that have enabled him to play average American men on numerous national television commercials; and small roles on such television hits as Strong Medicine, Angel, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He disavows the notion that it is an accomplishment that all three of the above-mentioned television shows have been cancelled. Among his many non-accomplishments are the roles of millionaire, President of the United States, or Messiah.
Jerry Kernion (Performer) received rave reviews for his performances as Falstaff in LA Shakespeare’s Henry IV, as Don in Rounding Third at The Colony Theatre, and as Donnie Dimes in Nickel and Dimes in San Diego. Now he’s back to doing this crap. Jerry’s appeared at the Mark Taper Forum and in many films and TV shows, most of which you probably missed. He’s also produced and directed several national and only mildly annoying commercials as well as The Complete History of America (abridged) DVD. In fact, prior to joining the RSC, Jerry had quite a successful little career going and he hopes it’s not too late to go back.
Adam Long (Founding Member/Writer/Performer) began his professional life as an accountant for an anti-nuclear political action committee by day and bassist for an acoustic punk band by night. Then he put on a skirt and wig and became a founding member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Adam toured with the RSC, spent five years following The Grateful Dead, performed stand-up comedy in Canada, became a Buddhist, and finally settled in England where he lives in London with wife Alex, son Joe, daughter Tilly, friend John, four guinea pigs, a fish, two tortoises, a cat, and a small grey rabbit called Willard.
William Meredith (Performer, UK) escaped the abyss of small-town southern America (Arkansas to be precise) by joining the US Army. After four years in the 3rd Infantry Division, William and Uncle Sam parted company citing irreconcilable differences. They still keep in touch via joint custody of his self respect and sense of humor. Lured by a beautiful British siren, William moved to the UK in 1998 where he has been pursuing an acting career (or as some of his relatives back home call it, “a pipe dream”) ever since. While anxiously waiting for the Reduced to call, he has filled the last decade and a half with roles in film, tv, and stage. He joins us this time off the back of a successful show at the Liverpool Actor’s Studio, where he played Mark Chapman in Ian Carroll’s One Bad Thing: The Murder of John Lennon. His first stint with the Reduced was the 2008/2009 UK tour of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Joining the latest tour of the original Reduced Shakespeare show is a dream come true for this backwoods redneck (his words).
Jeff Marlow (Performer) grew up in Belgium and is proud to say that absolutely everything he knows about U.S. history can be found in The Complete History of America (abridged). His theatre credits include Hamlet and Nothing Sacred at South Coast Repertory, You Can’t Take it With You at the Geffen Playhouse, The Sleeper and And the Winner Is at the Laguna Playhouse, and Around the World in 80 Days at the Colony Theatre, among many others. Jeff’s TV credits include Pushing Daisies, NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, Without a Trace, The Bernie Mac Show, Judging Amy, and Strong Medicine. His film credits include Akeelah and the Bee, The Hebrew Hammer, and I-See-You.Com. His prison credits include Leavenworth, San Quentin, and a very short bus-and-truck tour of the Russian Gulag. Jeff would like to thank his parole officer and everyone at the work release program for this opportunity.
Reed Martin (Performer/Writer/Managing Partner) is a graduate of UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, The Bill Kinnamon School of Professional Umpire Training, and Clown College. He has performed in 46 states and 11 foreign countries, including New Jersey. Prior to joining the RSC in 1989, he was a clown with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus where he spent two years frightening children and smelling of elephants. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons, all three of whom are much funnier than he is. Reed feels strongly that toilet paper should be fed over the top of the roll. (For a more extensive and less amusing bio, click here.)
Mick Orfe (Performer) was named Car & Driver Magazine‘s “Midsize Sedan of the Year” three years running in 2003, ’04, and ’05. Reviewers said “Love the ride, big feel, corners like a dream.” As an actor, Mick has appeared in several films, among them Eraser, Ready To Rumble, and Bedazzled, in which he frightened Elizabeth Hurley by staring at her too long (at the craft services table, not in the movie). On television, he’s been seen on Mad TV, where he was killed by Will Sasso; Threat Matrix, where he was killed by James Denton; Cold Case, where he was suspected of killing someone; and Strong Medicine, where the director said, “Mick, get to the set now before I kill you!” Theatrically, Mick has appeared in numerous actual Shakespeare plays (as opposed to “reduced” ones). He’s also been in Blue Jacket: The Epic Outdoor Drama, where he shaved his head and rode a horse; as well as the National Tour of the Obie-award-winning Freedom Train: The Harriet Tubman Story, in which he played all the mean white people. Mick graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he received a BFA in “Waiting Tables”. He’s done improv and sketch with The Groundlings and Second City in Los Angeles. He plays six musical instruments, does a myriad of bad accents, donates frequently to loose poker games, and counts performing with the RSC as one of his favorite things to do. His most cherished roles, however, are “Husband” to Sarah, and “Dad” to Mason and Hudson.
Matthew Pearson (Performer) Matthew, or ‘Matt’ as he’s imaginatively known, was born in north-east England towards the beginning of the 1980s, and quickly acquired an American accent due to repeated childhood viewings of the Police Academy series. He has been acting since he was 13, when his performance as the Artful Dodger in a school production was described by the headmaster as ‘adequate’. Encouraged by such praise, he decided to become a professional. Matt spent most of last year running round in circles and talking all Scotch in the West End production of Chariots of Fire. Other credits include The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), Theatre Uncut (Southwark Playhouse) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a leaky tent in Nagano, Japan). He didn’t appear in such hit movies as Argo and Life of Pi. Matt’s dream is to play the title role in a remake of Seabiscuit.
Tiger Reel (Performer) resides in Los Angeles in a heavily fortified rec room in preparation for the zombie apocalypse. He leaves his fortress occasionally in order to direct and act on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and is especially proud of such pretentious and artistically alienating productions such as the West Coast Premiere of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, an original adaptation of Karel Capek’s futuristic robo-attack play, R.U.R. and the international tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other Tiger sightings have been documented in late-90′s television commercials. He is glad to have been plucked from obscurity by the RSC. Please go easy on him while his eyes adjust to the light.
Matt Rippy (Performer/Director/Webmaster) ran away with the Reduced in ‘96 and has performed with them in the West End and on (or near) Broadway as well as various tours around the globe. Rippy acts as the Reduced webdude and from time to time he acts as director. Sometimes he even acts like a real actor in movies: he acted like a suave guy in Beyond the Sea, a bad guy in Day of the Dead, a good guy in the new Jack Ryan and a blink-and-u-miss-him in The Dark Knight. He also acted on TV as the real Captain Jack Harkness in Torchwood and acted on top of Billie Piper in Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Rippy knows one day he must grow up and act like a proper adult, but until then he’ll just keep acting the fool with the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Dan Saski (Performer) has been performing in Northern California for the past 15 years. Other Reduced Shakespeare Company shows include: The Complete History of America (abridged), and the world premieres of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) and The Complete History of Comedy (abridged). He has also performed at Berkeley Playhouse, Town Hall Theater, Ross Valley Players, Sonoma County Rep, Pacific Alliance, 6th Street Playhouse, and Shotgun Players. Dan teaches theater at Cal Shakes, Berkeley Playhouse, 142 Throckmorton, Redwood High School, and Sonoma Charter School; and is a proud alumni of The Meisner Technique Studio.
William Shakespeare (Dead Playwright) supposedly wrote some, most, or all of the 36 plays published in the “First Folio” as well as Pericles, Two Noble Kinsmen, and reams of poetry. He must have been an interesting guy to have written all those keen plays, but there is no evidence that he was fun at parties, handy around the house, or even good at Chinese checkers. The RSC claims that were Shakespeare alive today, he would not only approve of their interpretations of his plays, but would also go bowling with them after the show.
Daniel Singer (RSC Founder/Writer/Performer), has been a theatrical impresario from the moment he looked up the word ‘impresario’ in the dictionary, founding his first company, General Amazement Theater in Santa Rosa, California, when he was just 18. Upon his return from studying “proper dramatic technique” in London, he became a director at the original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where he founded the subversive Reduced Shakespeare Company, whose three-man farce The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) enjoyed a record-breaking run in London’s West End and has since become one of the world’s most popular comedy shows. In 1989 Daniel hung up his doublet-and-hose to design theme park attractions at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he also co-founded the Flower Street Players, an in-house theater company for Disney employees. Since 2000, Daniel has been a freelance designer, writer and event producer in Los Angeles. His new hit comedy A Perfect Likeness chronicles Lewis Carroll’s (fictitious) attempt to get his literary hero Charles Dickens to pose for a photograph in 1866 Oxford. Coming soon to a theater near you!
Dustin Sullivan (Performer) is not particularly funny. Seriously, ask anyone. In 2003 he conducted a phone survey asking a randomly selected group of 500 “tweenagers” how amusing they thought his jokes were. The result? An average of .005 laughs (or “violent exhalations”) per joke, with a margin of error of +/- 2 chuckles. It is therefore understandable how excited he was to have Scott Boras represent him going into the 2006-07 off season (HUGE family favor; not at liberty to discuss the details) during which he was offered a 5 year, $237 million contract with the RSC. Needless to say, he will soon join Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in their fantastic philanthropic ways… or buy a mega-yacht, he’s really not sure.
Austin Tichenor (Writer/Performer/Managing Partner) is a fifth-generation Californian born on the 54th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake and the 185th anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride, which makes him older than he looks but short for his weight. Since his debut writing and performing his boldly conceived kindergarten puppet show, Austin’s interest in sticking his hands up the backsides of interesting characters continues to this day.
An intellectual welterweight, Austin remains disappointingly average despite three very expensive degrees (two from UC Berkeley and one from Boston University). For seven seasons, he served as Associate Producing Director of the American Stage Festival in Milford, NH, writing over 20 plays and musicals for young audiences, as well as directing summer-stocky things like The Foreigner and Jesus Christ Superstar. His productions there of A Christmas Carol and Frankenstein (which he wrote) and Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest (which he directed) were seen by literally dozens of people. Fortunately, children’s theatre, summer-stock Shakespeare and puppets proved to be the ideal training ground for the RSC, which he joined in 1992.
He created the roles of The Conspirator Guy, Moses, Adolph Hitler, the World’s Ugliest Rhinemaiden, Don Quixote, Lucas Butch Cassidy Rowdy Rooster Sundance Jennifer McShane, ‘Scoop’ Tichenor, and King Herod in the Complete (abridged) shows he also co-wrote. He’s performed his own material on the BBC, NPR, and England’s Channel 4; other writings have appeared in The Independent newspaper in London, the Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the New York Times Book Review, and the men’s room wall of Spenger’s Fish Grotto in Berkeley, California. As an actor, Austin played recurring roles on 24, Alias, Felicity, Ally McBeal, and The Practice, as well as guest starring as Guys In Ties in many hours of episodic television. With Reed Martin, he also co-created and co-starred in the TBS pilot The Week Reduced.
Austin possesses a heartwarming spirituality and a delightful suspicion of organized religion; over the years, he’s been an Agnostic (lapsed), a Pantheist (reformed), and now considers himself a Utilitarian – he believes in God when it’s useful. This theological confusion is described in his comic memoir (written with Reed Martin) called How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better), available as an e-book at blaspheming online bookstores everywhere. He also collaborated with Reed on the definitive compendium of Shakespearean scholarship Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged); and his play for young audiences Dancing on the Ceiling is published by Broadway Play Publishing.
He also produces and hosts the podcast award-nominated Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast. He has two kids (one of each) and lives in Chicago, where he is writing the Great American Novel and the Terrible Lithuanian Screenplay.
Brent Tubbs (Performer/US/Belgium/Holland) got his start in theatre as “Soldier 1″ in the play The Happy Troll at Junior Theatre in Davenport, Iowa. Now, Brent performs regularly in many different improv groups in Los Angeles at such theatres as Second City and IO. Brent’s TV and film credits include small roles on shows that are now canceled, and leading roles in films that went nowhere. Brent’s theatre credits include the role of “Brent” in All the Great Books (abridged). He has also played the part of “Brent” in Completely Hollywood (abridged), and he can be seen also playing to great reviews as “Brent” in The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Brent hopes that one day you will get to see him playing the extraordinary part of “Brent” in The Complete History of America (abridged). Brent would like to note that his favorite part that he has ever played, was the part of “Brent”. Brent would like to try and fit the name “Brent” into this bio 5 more times… Brent, Brent, Brent, Brent, Brent. Enjoy the show!
Jess Winfield (Founding Member/Writer/Performer) was an original member of the RSC, co-author of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and performed with the troupe from its founding in 1981 until 1992, when he realized he’d played the title role of Hamlet more times than John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier combined and suddenly felt very old. He left the troupe to write and produce animated television for the Walt Disney Company, which made him feel young again — until he’d been there for ten years, at which point he felt old again. He left Disney to write My Name Is Will — A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare (Twelve Books). Depicting excessive drug use and promiscuous sex by both a would-be young Shakespeare scholar in the 1980s and the 18-year old Immortal Bard himself in the 1580s made Jess feel young again; but then he and Daniel Singer revised the Complete Works in honor of its 20th anniversary and directed it in the West End, which made him feel old again. He now lives in Hollywood with his wife (and original RSC costume goddess) Sa, and is working on his second novel… which makes him feel like he’s in his forties. www.jesswinfield.com.
Chad Yarish (Performer/RSC Guinea Pig) was discovered performing The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), directed by a colleague of Reed Martin’s. Some years later, the RSC found Chad – like the proverbial child with his hand in the cookie jar – performing All The Great Books (abridged) under the direction of the director who directed the previously mentioned Bible. His penance for such an atrocity was to be recruited to workshop The Complete World of Sports (abridged) when it was being written. Further moral ablutions were inflicted on Chad when he was press-ganged into workshopping The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). Considering justice well and truly still deserved at this point, the RSC asked Chad to fill in on several performances for Books. Chad has also performed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), leaving only 3 shows until he can BINGO (abridged). And the rest – as they have not yet said – may one day be history. Chad has done ballet, but does not dance; musicals, but does not sing; and the marching band, but did not play. Chad lives and performs (largely) in Northern California, and does all his own beard stunts, an ability woefully under-utilized by the RSC. Chad has no formal theatrical training whatsoever, which just goes to show that ignorance truly is bliss.
Penelope Ayles (Assistant Stage Manager) Is a half breed who although originally from Sussex has spent most of her life in California. Penny is no stranger to The Complete Works having worked on it in the States. She has just recently moved back to the UK permanently and has since worked for UK Productions panto of Cinderella. She has spent many years Stage Managing for various Bay Area theatre companies in California after receiving her Stage Management degree from LAMDA. A few of her favourite past productions include: Bullshot Crummond, The Mikado, Therese Raquin, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Laura, Mourning Becomes Electra, and of course The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). She is tickled to have joined the wonderful team at RSC.
Alli Bostedt (Company Manager, Stage Manager, Wardrobe Supervisor) took her first foray into theatre at age 4 when she wandered away from a karate class and ended up in a talent show. She soon discovered that every stage has a backstage and has attempted to remain there ever since, though real life does occasionally interfere. Alli recently left the action-packed world of insurance processing and is delighted to be backstage with the RSC. A native of Las Vegas, Alli lives in California with a talking shower curtain and an extensive rubber ducky collection.
Liz Fitzpatrick (Wardrobe Supervisor) first found her way to the RSC in 2003 when reduced arts funding helped eliminate her last job. Though no longer a regular on the tour circuit, Liz is always happy to reunite with ‘the brothers she never wanted’ for a trip to exotic locations in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and Idaho. When not washing and packing underwear for clowns, Liz has mended tights and tutus for Boston Ballet, built bags of love for off-Broadway, and frequently attempts to teach Beavers to make costumes.
Jane Martin (General Manager): Prior to joining the RSC and sleeping with Reed, Jane was manager/artistic director of the Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo, Ireland and then producer of the physical comedy troupe The Right Size, in London, England. In her copious free time away from RSC business, Jane spends time rearing two boys (three, if you count Reed) and teaching Theater at Sonoma Valley High School.
Zach Moore (Sound Designer) is super-extra happy to return to the bosomy warm embrace of the RSC. He stage managed the first American tour of The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged), then led them to Edinburgh, where he drank many Guinnesses (Guinnii?). He’s worked on all of the RSC shows, in one way or another, as well as done audio work on the CD release of Bible. Zach’s a native of Pittsburgh, a freelance Sound Designer, has designed over 45 shows for the Pittsburgh Public Theater as well as being their Sound Engineer, rocks on guitar with his band Hero Destroyed, loves his Steelers, has seven pet rodents, and enjoys run-on sentences.
Davey Naylor (Stage Manager, Company Manager, UK Producer) was born in East Anglia at the age of 5. He is a jack of all trades yet a master of none. His divine mission over the last few years has been to bring the Holy Trinity back to the pilgrims of the Bard’s motherland. Nobody else wanted to do it!
Davey first met up with the RSC in 1996; he was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. They picked him out and shook him up and turned him around and turned him into something new. That much is true.
Since then he’s toured all over the world with his distilling masters and his left hand can be seen in the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) DVD. He cannot say the word “cheese” and is still a bit ginger! Albeit now tinted with a lot of grey. Hey, you would be if you worked with this lot! Follow him on Twitter @gingerdaveski.
Elaine M. Randolph (Stage Manager) Elaine’s credits include stage management (compulsive) and lighting design (creative) in theater, music, and dance, for the Kennedy Center, Walnut Street Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, Theatre J, Washington Stage Guild, and 12 years at Totem Pole Playhouse. Recent projects include The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Bowen McCauley Dance, Barbara Cook in Concert, The International Ballet Festival, The Sondheim Celebration and The National Heritage Awards. Favorite projects include: Quilters, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Noises Off, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Radio Gals, A Tuna Christmas, Forever Plaid, and A Christmas Carol.
Jenni Schwaner (Wardrobe Supervisor) joined the RSC after survivalist training in South Australia, grad school, summer stock and the costume rentals business. As the backstage props-and-costumes wrangler, she rarely gets to see an RSC show from the front, and often has to ask the guys what the audience is laughing at. She also creates nifty fashions for her eBay business, Costuminatrix Designs.
Jon Weber (Composer/Arranger) has toured all over the world and received numerous honors for performance and composition. “A virtuoso pianist” (UK’s Jazz Journal International), Jon has opened for jazz luminaries Pat Metheny, Freddie Hubbard and Buddy Rich, as well as selling out Carnegie Hall four times and scoring for television since 1987. His newest CD, Simple Complex, was voted 2004′s #1 Jazz CD by the Chicago Tribune, Swiss National Radio, Norwegian National Radio, Estonian National Radio, and BBC Online. His website is www.jonwebermusic.com. Why he’s worked with the RSC on three shows is anybody’s guess.
Jill Yetsky (Stage Manager) Chicago’s own Jill Yetsky has stage managed The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) and Completely Hollywood (abridged) in both Chicago and around the world (well, the US). Other productions include Porchlight Music Theatre’s tick…tick…BOOM!; Broadway in Chicago ‘s Working; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in both Chicago and San Francisco; Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s Trumbo, Red, White and Blacklisted, and Moon Over Buffalo; It’s a Wonderful Life; and Altar Boyz.