“We highlight ten signature moments, one from each of the ten years of the first decade of the RSC Podcast, that best represent the scope of what we’ve attempted to do week after week. Featuring behind the scenes conversations showcasing how our shows are created, in-depth interviews with comedians, directors, authors, and award-winning actors, and invaluable audio records of talented and wonderful artists who left us far too soon. (Length (31:00)
“Chad Yarish and Dan Saski, two of the original cast members of the workshop production of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), attended the first performance of the West Coast Premiere of the RSC production at the Marin Theatre Company, and shared their thoughts about how the show has changed since they performed it. Featuring booming background noise, the importance of clicker clarification, the nuances of the word “premiere”, what beats three pies (SPOILER: Nothing), a special appearance from workshop lighting designer April George, and the difficulties we have reconciling our feelings for a formerly-beloved comedian. Recorded live at the2am Club in Mill Valley, CA. (Length 20:42)
“Our own Dominic Conti talks about his title role in Martian American, which just won Best Student Film at the Glendale International Film Festival, and for which Dom won Best Actor at the same event! Dom shares the tricks of portraying this particular alien, and talks about filmmaking communities, the joys of getting the offer, working with an Oscar-winning makeup artist, the benefits of doing someone a solid, shout-outs to talented colleagues, and a few new rules if you want to work with Mr. Conti from now on. (Length 17:15)
“Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor announce an unprecedented event: The Complete Works of the Reduced Shakespeare Company (abridged) Extravaganza, produced by the Reston Community Center in Reston, VA, from September 12-21, 2014: seven shows in ten days, appearances from past and present members of the RSC, workshops, special performances, talkbacks, live podcast recordings, special guests, and more. We know where we’ll be! (Length 17:29)
“Second City‘s legacy informs every aspect of contemporary comedy (including many alumni who’ve performed with us) and this week Executive Vice President and President of Second City Theatricals Kelly Leonard gives us the reduced history of Second City’s over-fifty year impact on popular culture. Featuring phenomenal growth, changing trends, ensemble spirit in a city of ensembles, developing new work without losing what’s essential, and sobering examples and cautionary tales. (Length 18:48)
“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 about this year’s nominees, a shout-out to Linda Cardellini, suggestions for new categories, a special appearance by Roy Conli from Disney Feature Animation, and outstandingly spot-on predictions. (Length 16:16)
“Even in the middle of a hugely successful run like we had at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (where our production of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) sold more single tickets than any production in their 2014-2015 season except for A Christmas Carol), there will be at least one person to whom the show just doesn’t speak. This week we discuss our encounter with such a person and the legitimately interesting conversations it sparks about apparently meaningless comedy, mope faces, advice for giving criticism, notes on giving notes, the dearth of female (and indeed male) comedians before the 20th-century, and the cross-section of the intellectual and scatological. Intellatological? (Length 18:47)
“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 and Molierean, comic influences, commedia archetypes in both Friends and The Simpsons, the burden of being labeled a jester, and the music of the whoopee cushion. (Length 20:36)
“Happy Death-And-Day-We’ve-All-Agreed-To-Accept-As-Your-Birthday, Willy! In honor of William Shakespeare turning the big 4-4-9, we gather a mighty quorum, fully eleven-thirds of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, to discuss the Bard’s lasting influence, his greatest interpreters, and amazing bowling prowess. Featuring shout-outs to great Shakespeareans, dares to teenagers, how you can probably speak more Shakespeare than you know, a special appearance by Folger Shakespeare Library Director Michael Witmore, and the joy of playing Shakespearean roles without all that pesky poetry. What a piece of work is this man! (Length 29:42)
“In addition to performing our shows around the world, we teach theatre workshops in many of the various communities where we appear. This week we talk about the various workshops we offer and discuss the importance of listening, how you can book a Reduced Shakespeare Company Workshop in your community, the true value of BFA degrees, and some important ways you can absolutely blow an audition. (Length 17:04)
After a brief time-out, the Reduced Shakespeare Company take to the field once again with The Complete World of Sports (abridged). Whoop and holler and hurl your hotdog as we attempt to reduce every sport in the history of the world – from archery to wrestling, from basketball to bocce ball, from championship chess to professional ping-pong and everything in between! 3,477.3 sports reduced into one mad dash to the finish line! Impossible! No WAY, you say! YES way, say we! We have been training literally minutes for this! Bring your poms poms to:Continue reading
“Audition glory this week, both the ones we won and the ones that got away. We share tales of auditions that went spectacularly well and gloriously bad, and talk about how to shake it off, survive in the room, and live to audition another day. Featuring disasters, success stories, a special appearance by Conor Lastowka from the Citation Needed Podcast andRifftrax.com, and secrets to putting your best foot forward. (Length 25:54)
In case you have NOT been glued to your TV watching MyFox DC, never fear – the Reduced Shakespeare Company can be seen here! Or better yet, come down to the Kennedy Center and experience all the gags and glory – live!
Come see us perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC between now and July 24. It’s Completely Hollywood (abridged) at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater through July 3, followed by the Washington DC premiere of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) from July 5-24. The Washington Post said this about “Completely Hollywood (abridged)”:
“(This) smart, timely satire sent a Kennedy Center audience into regular peals of near-hysterical laughter.” The Washington Post
“Multi-hyphenate RSC Office Manager Alli Bostedt catches us up on how she manages to juggle her many duties while she’s on the road. Also, Dominic Conti catches us up on all the awards our friends’ web series The Best Friend won at LA WebFest. And we catch up with our many listeners who let us know their most intimate podcast rituals. Featuring an unnecessary Jackson Browne tangent and tips on how interested folks can get involved with the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Prepare to be blown away by the glamour of show business. (MP3. Length 23:01)
“On our drive across America’s heartland, we pass the time debating the highs and lows of high and low comedy. Featuring definitions of the word sophomoric; celebrations of satire; a special appearance by legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning sports photographer Stan Grossfeld; a sexy, sensual, and smooth station ID for Lush 99.5 FM in Singapore; and important distinctions between being childish and childlike. (MP3. Length 18:24)
“Marilyn Anne Michaels and Allie Smith are the creators and stars of The Best Friend, a very funny web series (featuring in a small role our own Dominic Conti, who also co-wrote a few episodes). Allie and Marilyn reveal how they create the series and manage to talk so many fantastic creative collaborators into doing phenomenal work for almost-nothing. Check out this cool buddy comedy, which won “Outstanding Comedy Series” at the 2011 LA WebFest! (MP3. Length 22:11)
Proving yet again that there is no accounting for taste, the RSC has returned to Singapore this month, performing “The Complete History of America (abridged)” and “Completely Hollywood (abridged)” from November 1-14. Click on the podcasts below to listen to us talk about our last tour of Asia, Dom’s dorkologue and excerpts from the America show…
“Mick Orfe, Dominic Conti, and Jeff Marlow regale each other (and us) with tales of apprehension and excitement regarding their current tour of Hong Kong and Singapore. Featuring helpful advice, misplaced fears, audible eye-rolls, walking oxymorons, and our very first dueling celebrity blurb! (MP3. Length 18:09)
The Far East can be mysterious. That must explain why they are having us back to Hong Kong and Singapore so soon! We’ll be performing The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) and The Complete History of America (abridged) at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts from October 18-31, followed by Completely Hollywood (abridged) and America (abridged) at Jubilee Hall in Singapore from November 1-14.
We touched a Folio…and we liked it! Join us for this rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the largest collection of Shakespearean treasures in the world. Gail Paster, the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and Head of Reference Georgianna Ziegler take us on a guided tour and bust myths while showing off hundreds of years’ worth of cool Shakespeare tchotchkes. Featuring the only extant quarto of Titus Andronicus, Edwin Booth’s hair-bracelet, Shakespeare’s Hummel collection (pictured); a special appearance by Scott Simon from National Public Radio, Cleopatra’s finely sculpted asp, and what we consider the holy grail of Shakespeare scholarship. Plus – click here for an online slideshow of everything we saw! (MP3. Length 26:40)
“Waiter. Temp. Circus Clown. Assistant Factotum. We’ve all had to take survival jobs to feed our theatre habit, and this week we discuss the worst ones we’ve endured. Featuring tales of long hours, professional incompetence, disgruntled customers, personal humiliation, on-the-job embarrassment, and the tiny triumphs of finally leaving a job for which you’re totally unsuited. (MP3. Length 20:52)
The Reduced Shakespeare Company went national on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” last week. The response was so overwhelming it crashed our site – not something we should shout about – but way cool! In case you missed it, you can catch the Reduced gang – Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor and Dominic Conti – talkin Hollywood and reducing movies on the fly! Go here to listen to the madness.
“This week we dig that crazy Conti beat and go behind the scenes to deconstruct Dominic Conti‘s lengthy and show-stopping “dorkalogue” at the end of Completely Hollywood (abridged). Featuring the power and limitations of snorting as a character choice, the trust of an actor’s instinct, funky frank appearances by NPR‘s Korva Coleman, and proof that actors save playwrights. (MP3. Length 20:03)
Woodward & Bernstein uncovered Watergate – now the Washington Post discovers Reducedgate!
The Reduced Shakespeare Company launched the premiere of Completely Hollywood (abridged) in our nation’s capital this week at the Kennedy Center to overwhelming response. Hollywood is this week’s Editor’s Pick at the Washington Post. Critic Celia Wren reports that the Reduced “sent a Kennedy Center audience into regular peals of near-hysterical laughter.” Despite the illustrious competition on capital stages, Celia concludes the DC premiere of Hollywood is “smart, timely satire” infused with “gleeful absurdism.” There’s no accounting for taste… like we say, reducing expectations since 1981!
If you thought Washington DC was dysfunctional before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
The people have spoken and The Reduced Shakespeare Company is returning to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC from June 22 – July 11 with our newest show Completely Hollywood (abridged)! It’s hard to imagine anything funnier in Washington than our federal government at work, but we’re going to give it a try.
“The old codgers from Hollywood mark the return of a beloved – but cut – character from our America show. Featuring other recycled characters from previous shows, further improvements to the first act of Hollywood, a frustrating tease about the Sports show, and information about the publication of the Hollywood script. (MP3. Length 18:43)
“We interact with fans and audience members during post-show talkbacks in both Springfield, Illinois and San Diego, California. Featuring info about whether we dumb down our material (as if that were possible), whether we’ve ever adopted an audience member, two great RSC Voice Mails and a major milestone in our ongoing quest to autograph body parts. (MP3. Length 20:58)
“Doesn’t sound like us, does it? No, it’s the motto of Envision-EMI, the producer of the Presidential Youth Leadership Conference we performed at in January. Featuring what exactly we look for in future leaders, what future leaders like most in an RSC show, and how we inspire future leaders… to not end up like us. Prurience! (MP3. Length 21:08)
“Our return to Washington DC this week coincides with the inauguration of America’s 44th President, and sparks memories of previous trips to our nation’s capital. Featuring brushes with DC greatness, important White House secrets, how we’re jumping through dozens of security hoops, and the revelation of exactly how we roll. Yes we did! (MP3. Length 20:36)
“A listener’s question inspires this year-end reflection: Why do we do what we do? Reduced members muse over reasons they answered the call and chose “the biz”: was it the gratification, the glory, or the girls? We discover that a geology degree is a very useful thing when stage managing the RSC! Plus, a special hello from a real live Hollywood star, Anne Heche. (MP3. Length 20:24)
“The Long Run: How do actors keep it interesting? How do they walk the line of doing the show as rehearsed and keeping it fresh and alive night after night? That’s what we discussed one night in the dressing room before and during a recent performance. Featuring listener questions, more fascinating Friday Night Lights feedback, a special appearance by a certified Media Propulsion Engineer, an excerpt from The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged), and startling new evidence about the dietary properties of chocolate! (MP3. Length 19:18)
“Are we a comedy troupe? A rock band? A floor wax? A dessert topping? We try to define once and for all What We Are, and examine the various places we find our actors, reveal once and for all whether our audience “volunteers” are plants, outline the advantages of actors who know themselves, and discover the best sections to find us in bookstores and newspapers. Featuring special appearances by both Nina Totenberg and Susan Stamberg from National Public Radio, and – as an Extra Special Bonus – we give insane props to the Conti Beat! (MP3. Length 19:25)
“No, this week’s podcast is not about the critically-acclaimed but low-rated NBC show about high-school football in a small Texas town. We talk about the odd scientific phenomenon of a large Friday night audience not responding as loudly as its numbers might suggest. Plus, an examination of the obverse principal: the great Tuesday Night Light crowd that makes up in noise what it lacks in numbers. And apologies for missing podcasts, a shout-out to RSC Pictionary, and so much less! (MP3. Length 19:00)
“The “Three Word Story” is RSC fan fiction written by committee — three words at a time — at the Reduced Shakespeare Company Forum, where audience participation rises to a whole new level. Featuring an extended tour around our website, zippy new theme music by Jon Weber, some YouTube greatness, and contributions from literally dozens of RSC fans. Play the RSC home game! (MP3. Length 20:30)
“It’s a sequel! Our 2nd annual Oscar® Podcast, featuring startling insights from two RSC actors who’ve been too busy to see many of the nominated films, and a special and embarrassed appearance by NPR’s film critic Bob Mondello. Hello, gorgeous! (MP3. Length 21:57)
“Excerpts from our interview on Marcy Solomon‘s KUSF-FM radio program Words On Theatre. Featuring details on Plasticman action figure accessories, tips on audience participation, advice on how to take one for the team, insight into RSC percentages, an update on what RSC fans call themselves, and a special appearance by John Wilson of FOX-TV Charlotte, where we’re performing this week at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Go to, ya’ll! (MP3. Length 18:30)
“The RSC Podcast begins its second year by swapping tales of shows we loved being in more than audiences loved seeing. Featuring the realities of performing for non-English-speaking crowds, the dangers of casts that outnumber audiences, and the perils of adapting Dostoevsky’s The Possessed. Plus, a special appearance by Billy Green of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, what to expect in the second year of the Podcast, and unnatural euphemisms for the phrase “podcast equipment.” Congratulations — it’s a Podcast! (MP3. Length 18:00)
“Reed and Austin talk about how they wrote — and continue to write — the RSC’s latest stage show Completely Hollywood (abridged). You’ll learn which movies influenced the writing, why some movies make our Greatest Movies Ever list and some don’t, and how (and why) the script keeps evolving. Featuring a spirited defense of the Rocky movies, some weird audio hiccups, the return of RSC Q&A, and a special appearance by Michael Rice, host of the Cool As Hell Theatre Podcast. Oh, and podcast listeners? Thanks. (MP3. Length 25:10)
“After every performance, we meet and greet the audience at the table in the lobby, so we decided to turn the microphone on and let our Podcast listeners hear what they have to say. Learn about The Rules of the Game, what happened when we made changes to the first act of Completely Hollywood (abridged), and why one group that performs our shows is C.R.A.P. Featuring a special appearance by Rebecca Corral of KCBS and evidence that the RSC Podcast is now Required Listening. Thanks for coming! (MP3. Length 17:31)
“Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the U.P.), the home of yoopers and Michigan Tech University, where we performed Hollywood (abridged) and chatted with the audience for 45 minutes afterward. Featuring the #1 Law of Physical Comedy, the dangers of Bar Funny, shout-outs to all our London theaters, and a special appearance by RSC member Rachel Hamilton, a first-season cast member of NBC’s 30 Rock! (MP3. Length 20:22)