There’s a difference between rehearsing and performing and this week actors Dan Saski (left, with Chad Yarish) 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.
Kevin Kenerly is a 22-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is currently playing Richard Burbage in Lauren Gunderson’sThe Book of Will (after having played Burbage in Shakespeare in Love in 2017). Kevin talks with Austin Tichenor (who played Burbage in the Northlight Theatre production in 2017 and blogged about it for the Folger Shakespeare Library) about his approach to playing Shakespeare’s leading man, how he first came to Shakespeare, how the role of Burbage resembles Cyrano de Bergerac, inspirational teacher shoutouts, impressive instruments, the magic of different interpretations, a love for language, the pleasure of needing no clue, Michael Caine aphorisms, how theatre sleeps when we do, and ultimately how Shakespeare and microbrew prove to be an unbeatable combination. Featuring a special appearance from Lauren Gunderson herself! (Pictured: David Kelly as Henry Condell, Kevin Kenerly as Richard Burbage, and Jeffrey King as John Heminges. From the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will, directed by Christopher Liam Moore.) (Length 22:56)
Jim Ortlieb and Gregory Linington, who played John Hemings and Henry Condell in the midwest premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will last fall of 2017, return to the RSC Podcast to discuss the challenges and rewards of a “reduced” rehearsal period. Over pizza and beer at Chicago’s Candelite restaurant, Jim and Gregory chat about being prepared but also staying open, similar-but-different approaches to the work, the liberating importance of “pre-hearsal”, the artistic value of pub time, the time-honored dilemma of religion vs entertainment, the subleties of defining character, the beauty of playing against the text, the gift of intimacy, and the values that constitute true “Chicago theatre.” (Pictured (left to right): Austin Tichenor, Jim Ortlieb, and Gregory Linington recording this podcast live at the Candlelite in Chicago, while Dana Black hovers.) (Length 27:32)
“Shakespeare Napa Valley actors Chad Yarish, Teddy Spencer, and Damn SexyDan Saski, talk about rehearsing and performing the workshop production of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), and address the challenges of memorizing lines that are constantly changing, dramaturgical distinctions, learning curves, collisions of characters, keeping track of multiple arcs, excessive quick-changes, and the importance of dressers. (Length 19:43)
“When Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor directed the non-RSC cast in the premiere of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), Kyle Stoner, Phil Ferrero, and Rafael Manzo were the understudies, and they talk about what it’s like to rehearse a script that’s still being written, and when improv works and when it doesn’t. We’ll also hear from Jennifer King, artistic director of Napa Valley Conservatory Theatre, and our own Reed Martin, who shares his understudy adventures. (Length 21:10)
“Meet Jack Bennett, Simon Cole, and William Meredith — along with John Kielty, they’re the newest members of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and will perform The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)in fifty-three UK cities this fall. Find out their backgrounds and hear tales of drama dorks, Matt Rippy‘s unorthodox audition techniques, fantastically authentic British accents, the “Hollywood of the Army”, and a compelling reason to freeze-frame the DVD of Mars Attacks. Cor blimey, mate! (MP3. Length 19:51)