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.
This week, we continue our conversation with Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a tenured professor who has been fired from, and is now filing a lawsuit against, Linfield University, which would prefer to try to silence its critics rather than address the serious accusations of sexual misconduct against current and former members of Linfield’s board of trustees. Featuring: a special appearance from Washington Post theatre (and “Shipoopi”) critic Peter Marks; comic bestiality, William Goldman’s observation about what the real drag of a story can be; nostalgia for ancient things called “video stores;” shout-outs to In The Heights, Brigadoon (and its modern counterpart Schmigadoon!), Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Ben Franklin in Paris, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Leowe, Cabaret, and Sweeney Todd; and most fundamentally, important childhood connections to great musicals of the past. PART ONE OF OUR CONVERSATION CAN BE FOUND HERE. (Length 16:00)
Cultural observer and embattled professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner (who has appeared on the podcast before discussing Mary Poppins’ racist imagery and the queer narrative of West Side Story) discusses his $4 million lawsuit against Linfield University, which fired him for publicizing the serious accusations against…four members of the Board of Trustees at Linfield University. Featuring the disgusting nature of “himpathy;” how the helpful acronym “DARVO” articulates the process by which institutions betray their trust; the risks of telling truth to power; Shakespearean (and musical theater parallels) in real-life social justice dramaturgy; the dangers of boards of trustees who account to no agency; whether we’re in a Tragedy, Comedy, Romance, or Musical; the possibilities of a happy ending; and why the people who shine a light on the problem are never the problem. (Length 25:54)
Daniel José Molina (who’s appeared on the podcast discussing his performances of Hal in both parts of Henry IV and Henry V), discusses playing the even more difficult role of Edgar in the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival production of King Lear starring Andre De Shields. Daniel reveals the challenge of playing a purely reactive character; the value of recognizing that Edgar only realizes when it’s almost too late what play he’s in; the trick of honoring Shakespeare’s intent to make ‘Poor Tom’ a crude performance, not a Daniel Day-Lewis transformation; the tricky irony of when performed mental illness meets genuine decline; gives a shout-out to Leland Fowler, who played one of the best bastards ever; a special appearance from Netta Walker, one of the stars of the upcoming CW series All-American: Homecoming; a preview of Daniel’s next Shakespeare challenge; and, ultimately, how Edgar is actually four or five characters in one. (Length 24:18)
Want to experience all the wonder and joys of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic but only have about ten minutes? You’re in luck!
A Little Dickens: The Complete Christmas Carol (abridged) (complete with 46 second encore) is an audio production written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, first heard on Public Radio International in 1995, and produced by Connie Blaszczyk, Peter John Marquez, and the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Free for the whole family!! Or just for you alone!! Just click the Play Triangle below.
From all of us to all of you…Happy Merry Chrismakwanukahhanzukah! (song not included)
Spend an Afternoon with The Remote Shakespeare Company!
A One-Day Only Live Streaming YouTube & Facebook Event
Sunday, July 12, 2020 – Noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/8pm UK
Please join the Reduced Shakespeare Company and Reston Center Stage on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at Noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/5pm UK for a remote live-streaming afternoon of subversive and joyful entertainment: The Reduced Shakespeare Company in An Afternoon with the Remote Shakespeare Company. (CLICK THROUGH FOR LINKS WHERE TO WATCH!)
The authors of POP-UP SHAKESPEARE! Join Jennie, Reed, and Austin TODAY, June 20, 2020, as they chat about the creation of their “stunning” (Huffington Post) illustrated book Pop-Up Shakespeare. They’ll also take your questions! Find them on the RSC Facebook page here. And the RSC YouTube page here. 11am PST / 1pm CST / 2 EST / 7pm BST