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: Martian American (Best Actor — Glendale International Film Festival), I Am He, Nothing in Los Angeles, A Voodoo Possession, Another Stupid Day, The Interview (Best Actor in a Short — Chicago Comedy Festival, 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”).
Richard Ede (Performer) has performed in over 30 countries across the globe, and now considers himself a “citizen of the world”. However, it’s more likely that no country actually wants to keep him. He has appeared in a string of Shakespeare plays and in 2013 he toured the UK as quintessential English hero Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps. As preparation for his role in The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) Richard has just played a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks he is Jesus in The Ruling Class. He has also recently been voted the best guitar player in his house. If you need to procrastinate further go to www.richardede.com
David Ellis (Performer) The actor David Ellis is not to be confused with the director of Snakes on a Plane or the writer of Doctor Who. He was formally known as Experiment 3576-0 and was the brainchild of genetic physicist Dr Charles Mayhem and Parisian mime artist Pier le Canard. The two came together to try and create the ultimate comedy performer. They failed miserably and Experiment 3576-0 escaped. He arrived on the shores of the United Kingdom and tried to realise his dream of becoming a waiter. When that failed he reluctantly returned to the world of performing. He is delighted to be the first genetically altered performer to work for the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
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; five 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 five years; a Kerbey Lane in Austin; that sunset in Seattle with Kurt and Courtney; and two ducks, two rabbits and four doves in the back of a van in Philadelphia, and of course dealing with several Titus tail-lights. 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) just finished a long run in The Beatles Love, his second show with Cirque du Soleil, at The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. He has returned to Los Angeles and is back working in television and film where they actually send him his paycheck and don’t simply sign it over to the casino. He has been a member of the RSC family since 2001 and, in addition to directing the filmed DVD version of The Complete History of America (abridged), recently won the coveted title of “Most Likely To Be Next To Join AARP” at the last company retreat. A few of the past shows that have been crazy enough to hire him include, Bones, CSI:NY, Melissa & Joey, Grey’s Anatomy, The Mentalist and both NCIS shows. He was also the voice of Henry Fenner in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. He is very happy to be back treading the boards with the “bad boys of abridgement”.
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.
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.)
William Meredith (Performer) Some know him as William, some as Will, many as Steve, and the odd one or two as Billiam! No wonder he lives in a constant state of confusion! For the purposes of this bio we will call him William. William hails from the small (minded) town of Crossett in Arkansas, USA. He spent his youth dreaming of becoming an actor and, unfortunately, has those same dreams to this day! He is, however, probably the most famous actor to come out of Crossett. No, literally, he came out of Crossett, spent four excruciating years in the US Army, licked his wounds for a year on a cruise ship in the Bahamas, crossed the pond to Manchester, England, picked up the odd bit part in the northern soap operas, and finally settled in London. He has appeared on stage and screen as: a young soldier in Band of Brothers, an infected soldier in 28 Weeks Later, a racist soldier in Ultimate Force, a mentally ill soldier in Private Wars, and a virtual soldier in Battlefield 3. William finished 2013 performing in the UK tour of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and is ecstatic to be joining the troupe once again for The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). He would like to publically thank God that he is only briefly playing a soldier this time. Amen.
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 tough guy The Monuments Men. 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.
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!
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 stage adaptations of Frankenstein and Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” (Dancing on the Ceiling) are 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.
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.
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 (Company Ginger, UK Producer) was born in East Anglia at the age of 5. 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, turned him into something new. That much is true. Since then he’s toured all over the world with the RSC and his left hand can be seen in the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) DVD. Since 2012 he has been producing the shows in the UK. 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 Ladd (Wardrobe Supervisor) has been touring with the RSC on-and-off since 2001. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she works on costumes for the Opera and Ballet, and tours with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, all of whom have either finer singing voices or look better in tutus, but are not as funny as the RSC. Jenni also hosts the garage-rock radio show, Leopard Print Lounge, every Tuesday at 11 pm on WORT 89.9 FM, and works as an admin assistant at the Wisconsin Electrical Apprenticeship Office, continuing her fine tradition of running around after three men in the dark.
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.