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.
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)
The Viola Project is an organization in Chicago dedicated to training and empowering young women using the words and characters and plays of William Shakespeare. Program director Rebecca Dumain talks about about the history of the Project, how language can help you get what you need and advocate for yourselves and others, the difference between acting and teaching artists, a shout-out to Slings & Arrows, distinctions between process and product, the value of not glossing over things, advocating for STEAM (not just STEM), and whether any Viola Projects could be started up near where YOU live! (Length 18:11)
New York Times best-selling author Jasper Fforde returns to talk about his new novel Early Riser, a comic thriller set in a world very much like ours — except here, humans hibernate. What happens during the cruel winter months is the subject of this gripping and funny book, and Jasper reveals much about the process of creating it, his ongoing fascination with all things Welsh, how he accepts narrative dares and creates Ffordian Middle Earths, why and when he has to spread textual jam, his ongoing effort to make ‘scribernation’ happen, the promise of sequels, and how creativity is both the angel and the devil sitting on a writer’s shoulders. Also featuring Jasper’s unsolicited (and totally delightful) praise for the Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show (available on Audible and iTunes)! Calling all editorial sherpas! (Length 25:25)
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