Episode 636. All Is True?

Dr. Paul Edmondson, the director of research for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, served as a historical consultant on Kenneth Branagh’s new film All Is True, an elegiac imagining of the final days of William Shakespeare. Paul discusses his role in the film’s production and how he came to be involved, and also shares backstage glimpses as to how and where the movie was filmed, insight into the film’s original impulses, some clearly lifelong passions, the presence of VIPs, a different key for Ben Elton to write about Shakespeare in than Upstart Crow, navigating hot spots, how research is helping us evolve our understanding of Shakespeare’s personal life, and how even a creative genius sometimes just needs to be professional, even in moments of great loss. Featuring a special appearance by (and extreme gratitude to) National Public Radio’s film critic Bob Mondello. (Length 24:02)

Episode 544. Touring With Alice

”School’s out for summer! So Tal Sanders (not pictured), Assistant Professor of Theatre at Pacific University, tells us tales of touring with Alice Cooper (pictured) when he (Tal) was a young theatre technician. Featuring synonyms for nimble, tales of rock stars seen and concerts worked, scandalous revelations of what one asks innocent young ladies to do Read more…

Episode 489. “Long Lost” Opening

”We opened the world premiere of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) last weekend at the Folger Shakespeare Library as part of the international hoopla surrounding the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616. We go backstage behind the scenes to talk about the difference between previews and openings, Read more…

Episode 485. The ‘Curtain Call’

”Long-time RSC actor John Schwab and photographer Matt Humphrey have created the beautiful new book Curtain Call, an invaluable collection of photographs and interviews celebrating the amazing variety of London theatre in the year 2015. The book is both a handsome collectible and an invaluable piece of theatre journalism, and John talks about Read more…

Episode 436. We’re American, Dammit!

”We recently appeared in Backstage, the US publication and website devoted to the theatre industry, in a lovely article entitled “12 Touring Theatre Companies That Make A Difference.” We were grouped alongside such stalwart companies as Aquila Theatre, The Acting Company, Nebraska Theatre Caravan, and Theatreworks USA, and the only minor Read more…

Episode 421. Returning To Theatre

”For this last podcast of 2014, a tale of triumph (or depending on your point of view, tragedy). Longtime RSC fan Lizabeth Stanley tells her story of discovering the theatre, leaving the theatre, and finally returning to theatre armed with nothing but desire, mad carpentry skills, and a license to practice Read more…

Episode 413. Acting On Camera

”Austin Tichenor, Reed Martin, and Dominic Conti share lessons learned (sometimes the hard way) about acting for film and television. Featuring tales from the sets of 24, The Practice, Ally McBeal, and The West Wing; expert advice from Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Anthony Hopkins, and Bill Nighy; a shout-out to director/teacher Read more…

Episode 390. Bible Tour Memories

”Our controversial and highly successful UK and Ireland tour of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) recently came to a close, and producer Davey Naylor, wardrobe mistress Penny Ayles, and cast members Richard Ede, William Meredith, David Ellis, and Alan Sennin Gary Fannin gathered to share their memories Read more…

Episode 389. Jacques Lamarre’s Journey

”From the box office to the Vatican to drag queens (oh my)! Jacques Lamarre has not had a typical journey to becoming a playwright, yet his most recent work I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti is being produced around the country, including at one of our favorite places Cincinnati Read more…

Episode 387. Lookingglass Theatre Company

”Phillip R. Smith, the Producing Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company, talks about the core values that drive the work of this highly respected institution. Featuring the wisdom of grand adventures, multiple artistic directors, shared Edinburgh origins, stubborn trajectories, the power of never reaching the horizon, the Read more…

Episode 386. Big Theatre Week

”Last week was a very big week for the Reduced Shakespeare Company and its (you’ll pardon the expression) members. We set a Guinness World Record for Highest Theatrical Performance, we previewed and opened The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Austin Tichenor opened in the Lookingglass Theatre Read more…

Episode 383. Meet The Darwins

”Playwright Sara Gmitter talks about her new play In The Garden: A Darwinian Love Story (now getting its world premiere at the Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago), which explores the long and successful romance between Charles and Emma Darwin: A woman who believed in God and heaven and salvation — Read more…

Episode 378. Evaluating The Best

”With the Academy Awards looming, Dominic Conti, Jerry Kernion, and Austin Tichenor take a break from the technical rehearsal of All The Great Books (abridged) at Laguna Playhouse to talk about the whole horse race of choosing “best” actors and movies. Featuring throat-clearing, exploration into where great performances come from, speculation Read more…

Adrian Scarborough

Episode 376. Playing The Fool

”Olivier Award-winning actor Adrian Scarborough discusses playing the Fool in the National Theatre production of King Lear, starring Simon Russell Beale and directed by Sam Mendes, and shares the challenges of interpreting the role, his initial reluctance to take it, some impenetrable babble, learning from Shakespeare’s original cast, investigating possible doubling, finding Read more…

Episode 366. Serpent of Venice

”Pocket of Dog Snogging returns! New York Times Best-Selling author Christopher Moore discusses his Shakespeare-inspired comic novels Fool (a retelling of King Lear from the jester’s point of view) and his latest The Serpent of Venice, which combines Othello, Merchant of Venice, Edgar Allan Poe, and a sea monster. Featuring Read more…

Episode 365. The Park Theatre

”Opened in May 2013, the Park Theatre has already become the artistic center of Finsbury Park in London, and this week it hosts the eight-performance conclusion of our autumn tour of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) . Creative Director Melli Bond talks with Matt Rippy about the creation of Read more…

Episode 364. Constructing The Narrative

”Sometimes the hardest work goes completely unnoticed — which is as it should be. Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor discuss the narrative conceit they created for The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), other company’s failed attempts to create something similar, the problems of being too close to the subject matter, Read more…

Episode 363. ‘Comedy’ Opening Weekend

”Our ninth stage show The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) opened last Thursday night (November 14, 2013) at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and we kept the microphone going before and after the performance. Featuring wild predictions, backstage interviews, post-show impressions, satisfied customers, audience participation, the differences between US and Read more…

Episode 362. Design For ‘Comedy’

”A production manager’s job is never done. Phil Rundle from Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park talks about the challenges of his job, which right now includes designing the set for the world premiere of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), and shares with us surprising complications, interesting thematic elements, creative juggling, Read more…

Episode 361. A Comedian’s Prayer

”Reed Martin, Dominic Conti, and Austin Tichenor take a break from rehearsing the world premiere of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. The boys talk about how it’s going and share typical rehearsal room antics, excerpts from the show, a discussion of fools both Shakespearean Read more…

Episode 347. High School Censorship

”Blogger, arts consultant, former theatre executive and now theatrical activist Howard Sherman talks about attempts to silence high school theatre productions across the country, and the growing efforts to respond appropriately and effectively. Featuring the threat of teenage engagement, unintended consequences of the power of theatre, approved high school adaptations of certain Read more…

Episode 346. Theatre In Prison

”New York-based director Kate Powers talks about her recent production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town which she directed at the fabled maximum security Sing Sing Correctional Facility as part of her work with a program called Rehabilitation Through the Arts. Featuring themes of regret, artistic and practical challenges, how to stage a Read more…

Episode 344. UK Tour Update

”LIVE! From inside Titus Vandronicus: UK producer Davey Naylor, actors Gary Fannin, Matt Rippy, Matt Pearson, Ben Stratton, and DSM Penny Ayles share the highlights and lowlights of our twelve-week spring tour of the UK. Featuring favorite venues, shout-outs to new fans and friends, surprise chase scenes, differences between US and Read more…

Episode 340. Directing A Comedy

”We share thoughts about comedy with director William Brown, who talks about his Writers’ Theatre production of David Ives’ The Liar which is earning rave reviews this month in Chicago. Featuring the joys of being at the epicenter of the action, the advantages of actor investment, the truth about technique, the Read more…

Episode 339. Joss Whedon Shakespeare

”Reed Diamond plays Don Pedro in Joss Whedon‘s film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing and talks not only about the process of acting in and shooting one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, but the specific pleasures Shakespeare affords. Featuring a reduced schedule, how he became part of the Whedonverse, Read more…

Episode 338. An Actor’s Wife

Actor’s wife (and former RSC stage manager) Rose Scarborough talks to other actor’s wives (and husbands) for her ongoing archival project “An Actor’s Wife For Me: The Changing Role of the Actor’s Wife – 1950s to the Present Day” — and now talks to us about talking to them. Featuring the lot Read more…

Episode 335. Inside Titus Vandronicus

”Not all touring vans are equal. Climb inside ‘Titus Vandronicus’ (dubbed by Twitter follower @BenedictTheMad) and discover why it’s probably the best one we’ve ever had. Recorded on April Fools Day 2013 on our first trip in it, Davey Naylor, Matt Rippy, Gary Fannin, and Ben Stratton rhapsodize over Titus’s Read more…

Episode 331. Shakespeare Opening Weekend

”Live! from the Dress Circle of the York Theatre Royal comes this celebration of the opening weekend of our 16-week 54-city tour of The Complete Works of William Shakespeaere (abridged) . Featuring not very relaxing nights off, impertinent artistic analogies, slippery accents, knackered actors, cast doubling, joke recycling, nervous aplomb, and Read more…

Episode 329. History of Comedy

”Playwrights Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor discuss their eighth “Complete (abridged)” collaboration The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), which will have its Reduced Shakespeare Company world premiere at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in November 2013. Reed and Austin talk about what the show is going to be, how Read more…

Episode 322. Auditioning in London

”We saw some great actors last week when we conducted auditions for the upcoming UK tour of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) . Austin Tichenor, Matt Rippy, and Davey Naylor discuss the process by which we whittled over 1200 applicants down to almost 40 auditioners to 18 callbacks. Read more…

Episode 320. Outlandish Bermuda Sports

”We head back to the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts this week for the first time in over a decade and we’re very excited. Join us in our Yakima, WA hotel lobby as we sample the snacks and wine given us by the Capitol Theatre and discuss what it’s Read more…

Episode 319. Arranging Our Flights

”RSC Company Manager Alli Bostedt adds another title to her growing list – Travel Agent – and describes what it’s like getting us and our stuff all over the world. Featuring recommended travel websites, tricks we’ve learned over the years, the challenges of moving people and equipment in a post-9/11 world, and Read more…

Episode 318. Props For ‘Homeland’

”Gillian Albinski is the Prop Master for the hit TV show Homeland, and takes us behind the scenes of what it’s like to set the scene and create all the stuff you see and the actors handle. Featuring what constitutes a prop, the advantages of television over film (and vice versa), Read more…

Episode 316. Favorite 12 ‘Days’

”In The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), we take suggestions for things to replace the lords-a-leaping, maids-a-milking, and other assorted animals featured in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”, and this week we share some of the favorites we’ve received. Featuring awkward silences, gift statistics, acceptable gifts when you come Read more…

Episode 313. Celebrating & Housecleaning

”We begin our 7th year of podcasting by doing a little late-fall cleaning, explaining some of the changes we’ve made to how our podcasts are posted, walking you through what’s changed over on iTunes, pointing out some interesting bells and whistles, showing off some cool new features, revealing how many Read more…

Episode 311. In San Diego

”The cast of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) in San Diego — Michael Faulkner, Mick Orfe, and Dustin Sullivan — talk about returning to San Diego Repertory Theatre and how the Christmas show differs from the RSC’s other shows. Featuring natural disasters, the glory of the coveted Scenie, some minor Read more…

Episode 309. The UnReduced Hamlet

”Scott Parkinson is one of those great stage actors you’ve probably never heard of, and he’s playing the title role in an amazing production of Hamlet at the wonderfully intimate Writers Theatre in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe. Austin Tichenor sits down with Scott (you know, one Hamlet to another) and Read more…

Episode 308. Thoughts For Publicists

”You can’t really call us “publicity whores” because we don’t charge for it, we give it away! (We will answer, however, to “publicity sluts“.) But there’s a handful of things we’d prefer to avoid and/or not do, so this week Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor outline a series of thoughts and Read more…

Episode 306. Returning To ‘America’

”The Complete History of America (abridged) premiered in 1993 and ran at the Criterion Theatre in London from 1996 to 2005, and has toured recently around the US and to Singapore and Hong Kong. For this 2012 tour of the show’s “Special Election Edition”, Dustin Sullivan returns with original cast Read more…

Episode 299. Reviewing The Reviews

”Rule #1: It’s never good to get into a pissing contest with a critic. Rule #2: Sometimes it’s fun to break Rule #1. Although the American reviews of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) were ecstatic and almost uniformly positive, the UK reviews ran the gamut. Author/Directors Reed Martin and Read more…

Episode 297. Adam Long Returns

”Founding RSC member Adam Long returns (for the length of this podcast, anyway) to tell us what he’s up to these days and share a burrito. Featuring backstage gossip from Mike the Knight and The Amazing World of Gumball, authentic details of the Adam Long Origin Story, the risks of Read more…

Episode 294. The Arts Theatre

”LIVE! From backstage at this smallest of West End venues where theatrical milestones abound (including the English-language premiere of Waiting For Godot), we tell tales and share reminiscences about our two visits to this perfect “reduced theatre”. Featuring changes and differences, a special appearance from Rosie & Jessica’s Day of Read more…

Episode 291. Our Lighting Designer

”Richard G. Jones has designed the lights for productions on Broadway, in the West End, and in arenas all over the world. Now he squanders his talents on us, designing the lights for our UK production of The Complete World of Sports (abridged). Featuring the various challenges of lighting John Read more…

Episode 290. Changes For Britain

”At the end of our second week of playing The Complete World of Sports (abridged) in the UK, we talk about the many subtle and not-so-subtle changes we’re making to Anglicize the show for a British audience. Featuring evidence that reviews can help, a close encounter (and missed opportunity) with Read more…

Episode 288. York Theatre Royal

The Reduced Shakespeare Company PodcastWe get a backstage tour of York Theatre Royal, site of the European premiere of The Complete World of Sports (abridged), and the 268-year-old center of theatrical life in this ancient city. Featuring guidance from YTR Artistic Director Damian Cruden, advice on the proper way to play a pantomime dame, live antics from our time at BBC Radio York, and warnings about the theatre’s Grey Lady. (Length 20:03) (more…)

Episode 287. Packing For Tour

”Tomorrow we leave for our eleven-week twenty-two city tour of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) in Great Britain, so today we check in with each other and see how the packing is going. Featuring tips on how to squeeze extra weight on the plane, the best way to prepare Read more…

Episode 286. The West Wing

Comedy author and West Wing nerd Gary Rudoren joins us this week to remember Aaron Sorkin‘s television classic The West Wing. Featuring the prescience of certain story lines, behind-the-scenes gossip from the first season’s twelfth episode “He Shall, From Time To Time”, the mysterious connections between all the various television shows Read more…

Episode 285. Oklahoma City Rep

”There ain’t nothin’ like an Oklahoma hello! We made our Sooner State debut last weekend at Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, and Founding Artistic Director Donald Jordan told us about the history of the company, the consequences of a misspent youth, the advantages of being old and foolish, the benefits of Read more…

Episode 283. Freud’s Last Session

”Actor Mark Dold talks about his surprising journey in the role of C. S. Lewis in the long-running off-Broadway play Freud’s Last Session. Featuring the benefits of always saying yes, the mixed blessings of undergraduate training programs, the unimportance of looking like the guy you’re playing, and the value of hours Read more…

Episode 282. We Get Notes

”Every actor gets ’em; this week we get ours. After a recent performance of The Complete World of Sports (abridged), we met in a crowded noisy bar in Santa Rosa, California with Dodds Delzell, Chad Yarish, and April George, all of whom worked on the original production of the script. Read more…

Episode 281. Guilty Theatrical Confessions

”Ever have the feeling that the thing everyone says is so awesome you just don’t ‘get’? Join the club. This week, we share our blasphemous opinions about plays, musicals, lionized authors and composers we can’t believe we’re saying out loud. Featuring heretical dismissals, casual disregard, unsupportable claims, and a special Read more…

Episode 277. Thoughts On Branding

”Noted theatrical pundit, blogger, and arts marketing consultant Howard Sherman discusses the art and tricky nature of self-promotion. Featuring the importance of performers making themselves a ‘product’, the ideal ways to use social media to promote the best version of yourself, staying ‘on message’, the dangers of judging cupcakes, and Read more…

Episode 276. How We Write

”Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor talk about how they create the RSC’s “Complete (abridged)” shows, and reveal their ideal writing surroundings, how they come up with their ideas, and where in the world favorite scenes were actually composed. Featuring advice on good ways not to collaborate, and some background on Read more…

Episode 267. Mick’s Alarming Premieres

”There’s never a dull moment when Mick Orfe gives his first performance in an RSC show. Join us for dramatic tales of kidney stones, fire alarms, lost luggage, student matinees, delayed flights, and late arrivals. Featuring a special appearance from UK Media Superstar Lauren Laverne and reassuring reasons why there Read more…

Episode 263. ‘Ultimate Christmas’ Highlights

”In this week leading up to Christmas (and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) we bring you excerpts from The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), which just concluded its record-breaking run at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Featuring music, laughter, gay apparel, evil villains (is there any other kind?), holiday cheer, and onstage miracles. Happy Merry Read more…