Episode 249. Writer Brian Stack

”Second City alum Brian Stack has been a writer for Conan O’Brien since 1997, and he talks about his rise from improvising in Chicago to Emmy Award-winning comedy writing in New York and Los Angeles. Featuring advice on creating submission packets, backstage insight into the Jay Leno/Conan Tonight Show controversy, Read more…

Episode 248. Matson V. Croke

”It’s He Said/He Said as our good friends Matt Croke and Bill Matson testify about what happened to Bill’s pristine first-edition copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Featuring photographic evidence, conflicting testimony, medically-suspicious eye-rolling, and the value of stories, literature, and books. Even destroyed ones. (Length 20:04)

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Episode 247. Folger Shakespeare Director

Michael Witmore is the new (and appropriately named) director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and shares his enthusiastic insight into how Shakespeare opens doors into other worlds, why original annotated texts are awesome, why the humanities matter, how Shakespeare got away with what he did, why the Read more…

Episode 244. ‘Comedy’ Done Right

”RSC member Jerry Kernion talks about his recent performance as both Dromios (Dromiii?) in A Noise Within‘s hit production of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, and also takes us behind the scenes of Cirque du Soleil‘s ill-fated foray onto the proscenium stage, Banana Shpeel. Featuring specifics, precision, a special appearance by Read more…

Episode 243. Meet Scott Simon

”Broadcaster, journalist, novelist, inveterate tweeter, and now (gasp) playwright, National Public Radio’s Scott Simon discusses his recent novels, upcoming projects, and the degree to which his Chicago background informs his work. Featuring Scott’s tribute to the Windy City, insight into the intriguing differences between his various jobs, a special appearance Read more…

Episode 241. The Kennedy Center

”Max Woodward, the Vice-President for Theatre Programming at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, talks about how he programs and fills this fantastic venue. Featuring the dedication to un-reduced productions, the luxury of resources, the privilege of both presenting and producing, the glory of programming festivals honoring such artists as Read more…

Episode 238. Actor J.K. Simmons

Oscar-winning character actor (and not famous author) J.K. Simmons discusses his incredibly varied and interesting career, including fascinating backstage glimpses from the sets of Oz, Juno, The Closer, and a little movie called Spiderman (the Tobey Maguire one). Featuring the relationship between music and acting, the value of interpreting the script Read more…

Episode 237. San Jose Repertory

”Now in his third year as Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, Rick Lombardo reflects on the institution he inherited, his evolution from grad student to free lancer to artistic director, and the cultural differences between New England and Silicon Valley. Featuring the cutoff point for being a wunderkind and Read more…

Episode 236. Meet Ian Gomez

”Second City alum, character actor, improviser, TV star, and couch potato Ian Gomez talks about the wide range of roles he’s played, and how he managed to feature in not one but two landmark pop-culture weddings. Featuring backstage dirt from Cougar Town and Felicity, the challenge of keeping it real Read more…

Episode 232. Quantum Enterprise Man

You never forget your first starship captain. Scott Bakula, star of Quantum Leap, Enterprise, and Men of a Certain Age, talks about his varied career and reveals where he falls on both the nerd spectrum and the ladder of celebrity. Featuring outrageous camera angles, Scott’s brushes with fellow Starfleet captains, possible Read more…

Episode 230. Sassy Gay Friend

“What, what, what are you doing?!” The Sassy Gay Friend is an internet sensation, and creator/star/writer Brian Gallivan discusses his fabulous character’s surprising impact. Featuring literary and pop culture inspirations, how the SGF will come to your community, a special appearance by Man vs Food host Adam Richman, and how a Read more…

Episode 200. Interviewing The Interviewer

”The tables get turned in this week’s landmark episode! Reed Martin and Matt Rippy interview podcast host Austin Tichenor, who reveals the history, the mystery, the highlights, and the lowlights of our first 200 weeks of RSC podcasting. Featuring intimate connections, backstage geekery, a celebrity montage, and the reasons why we haven’t Read more…

Episode 199. A Real Sportscaster

”After a recent performance, sportscaster and newsanchor Frank Mallicoat weighed in with reactions, tips, and professional opinion. Featuring revelations about what sportscasters are full of, the differences between sportscasting and news reporting, excerpts from The Complete World of Sports (abridged), hints about what Shaq will bring to the Boston Celtics, Read more…

Episode 195. Jon Glaser’s ‘Delocated’!

”Second City and Late Night With Conan O’Brien alum Jon Glaser not only talks, he sings about his very funny show Delocated, part of Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. Featuring lessons on the value of sticking to one’s guns, the brilliance of ski-masks to protect one’s privacy, and the dangers Read more…

Episode 193. Reduced Rehearsal Barn

”The actors in the RSC’s newest show The Complete World of Sports (abridged)Matt Rippy, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor – take a break from rehearsing (in this magnificent structure) to discuss how the new show is shaping up so far. Featuring cautious optimism, fear and trepidations, shout-outs to our predecessors, an outbreak of song, and our first bilingual celebrity blurb! (MP3. Length 20:09)

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Episode 192. Baseball With Benefits

”The meaningless Sport vs. Game debate continues! Sportswriter and fantasy sports expert AJ Mass interviews us for his new book The Thrill of Vicarious Victory and shares with us his four categories of athletic competition. Featuring insight into how fantasy sports can make you a better person, previews of the sketches Read more…

Episode 186. The Conti Beat

”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 Read more…

Episode 185. The TCG Conference

”We visit the Theatre Communications Group annual conference in Chicago and chat with Paul Nicholson, Executive Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Cynthia Rider, Managing Director of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Featuring a reduced overview (an underview?) of the weekend, wonderful moments of inspiration, a special appearance by Read more…

Episode 182. The Scottish Play

”Jennifer Lee Carell‘s new mystery Haunt Me Still (aka The Shakespeare Curse outside the US) deals with the legends surrounding the manuscript and supposed curse of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or as it’s known euphemistically in the theatre world, “the Scottish Play”. Featuring the difference between knowledge and superstition, Shakespeare’s fascination Read more…

Episode 181. Twitter’s New COO

”Dick Costolo, the C.O.O. of Twitter, talks about his sordid past as an improv comedian in such shows as Modern Problems in Science, and answers all (one) of your tech support questions. Featuring scandalous fourth-grade revelations, dirty secrets about stand-up and computer science, the value of improv training in the business Read more…

Episode 178. The Ballet Book

Kay Tichenor (Austin’s mom!) talks about her 1976 book Ballet (Troubador Press/Price Stern Sloan) and how a casual family interest became an activity and reference book that’s still in print after thirty-five years. Featuring a reduced history of this ‘history of the dance’, advice for aspiring writers, the power of movement, and a special appearance by a man of a certain age. (UPDATE: Kay passed away on May 29, 2010, less than a month after this was recorded. She is and will be missed.) (MP3. Length 20:47)

Episode 176. The DeVere Code

”In his book The DeVere Code, actor Jonathan Bond explains the startling discovery he made that reveals Shakespeare’s sonnets were written by the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. Featuring impertinent pop-culture comparisons, Eureka moments, a special appearance by a genuine Nutter, and a first-hand account of what it’s Read more…

Episode 172. Sister Mary Martha

”Who exactly was St. Patrick? Sister Mary Martha explains it all for us. The author of the “Ask Sister Mary Martha” blog submits to a mild podcast inquisition, and explains not only the origins of St. Patrick but also how her blog is a sort of E-Harmony for patron saints. Read more…

Episode 170. The Shorty Awards

”We attended the 2010 Shorty Awards last week in New York City — and we won in the Cultural Institution category! We kept the microphone going backstage and at the after-party, and got to talk with Shorty Award co-creator Greg Galant; Janis Krums, the winner of the Real-Time Photo of Read more…

Episode 169. Our Featured Creature

”The star of Godzilla stops by today. No, not Matthew Broderick – Kurt Carley, the “suit performer” who makes his living playing atomically-radiated lizards, werewolves, and even man-eating plants. Featuring tips on how to succeed in show business (ie, don’t be a jerk; don’t be claustrophobic), a brush with Shakespearean Read more…

Episode 168. Tiny Rebellious Acts

”“Let’s face it, we’d all love to topple a government or stage a full-scale rebellion, but who’s got the time or energy these days? Never fear, Tiny Acts of Rebellion can help.” Thus begins the funny new book by Rich Fulcher of The Mighty Boosh, who reveals how – and Read more…

Episode 166. ‘Modern Family’ Miracle

Eric Stonestreet is the Emmy-winning star of the hit ABC and Sky-1 sitcom Modern Family, and he chats about the miracle of his casting as well as the miracle of just how good this show has been right out of the gate. Featuring lessons on how to embrace the perks of celebrity, how your life informs your work and your character, and hiatus wisdom from a TV legend. (MP3. Length 26:42)

Episode 163. Waverly Place Wizard

”OMG! Are you like, so into Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel? Neither are we, but our kids are. Peter Murrieta is the Executive Producer of the Emmy-winning children’s show, and talks about how he uses his improv and sketch-comedy training to create TV sitcoms, how he bucks Read more…

Episode 158. 40 In 40

”Old and new friends this week. Chris Judson talks about his blog 40PlaysIn40Days and his quest to see all of Shakespeare’s plays in a single summer. Plus RSC wardrobe mistress (and Madison resident) Jenni Schwaner explains why she left the RSC to tour with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Featuring Read more…

Episode 157. Wisconsin Loves Us!

”Well, most of Wisconsin. We remember the many cities we’ve played in the Cheesehead state, and also talk to high school drama teacher Kate Schultz, whose principal forbade her from staging a production of All The Great Books (abridged). Featuring insight into what rural conservatives find shocking these days, tales Read more…

Episode 155. Big-Shot Broadway Producer

”Tom Gabbard is not only the President of the North Carolina Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts but he’s also involved with the Independent Presenters Network, a consortium of for-profit and not-for-profit presenters around the US that invests in the front-end of commercial projects that often play their respective venues. Read more…

Episode 154. The Shakespeare App

Ron Severdia is the creator of the Shakespeare App, which puts the complete works of William Shakespeare at your fingertips in a fun format complete with searchable database. Ron chats about the app’s origins and its future, what goes on under the hood, and what one does to turn a Shakespeare app Pro. (MP3. Length 17:53)

Episode 153. The Red Role

”Romeo. Polonius. Feral Orwell. Spade Diamond. Abraham. Easter Bunny. Coach. The RSC characters created by Daniel Singer and Reed Martin are known as the Red Role (after the color of his tights for so many years), and cast member Mick Orfe talks about how he interprets this archetype across five Read more…

Episode 151. Paul And Storm

”The comedy music duo of Paul And Storm brings their brand of GeekRock(tm) to the RSC Podcast.  Featuring excerpts from their enormous canon, the ticket-selling power of Twitter, talk about their roots in DaVinci’s Notebook, hints about the future of w00tstock, a special appearance by Wil Wheaton, and an actual Read more…

Episode 140. Chris Farley Show

”Second City and TV/film veteran Pat Finn talks about his friendship with late comedian Chris Farley, whose talent, heart, and (unfortunately) demons were all equally huge. Featuring comedian origin stories from the recent book The Chris Farley Show, Chris’s secret charity work, what he did on his very first episode Read more…

Episode 138. Board, Not Bored

”The Lamplighters is San Francisco’s oldest musical theatre company, and arguably America’s finest purveyors of Gilbert & Sullivan. Lamplighters’ board president Jim MacIlvaine talks about the role of a theater’s board of directors, the value of G&S, and why old poops are a valuable commodity. Featuring excerpts from several Lamplighters Read more…

Episode 136. Balls And Strikes

”As Major League Baseball heads into its All-Star Break, Reed Martin reminisces with Tom Knego and Terry Prescott about their days as minor-league umpires and graduates of the Bill Kinnamon Umpire School. Featuring good calls, bad calls, the secrets to minor-league success, and how dodging bullets and tobacco juice can Read more…

Episode 135. Acting Like Actors

”His name might not be familiar, but Bjørn Johnson is a recognizable face (at least to American TV-commercial-watchers plus fans of Mad Men), and he discusses his evolution as an actor, director, fight choreographer, and acting coach. Featuring advice for actors, where you can see RSC actors this summer, and Read more…

Episode 133. ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic squanders his celebrity this week by reflecting on his art, craft, influences, aspirations, and beauty tips. Featuring awesome practical advice (where to record for that cool ambience, how to avoid drive-by shootings), inspirational life lessons (sometimes accordion lessons can lead to greatness), and a special appearance by Read more…

Episode 130. Teachers We Love

”As Van Halen put it so eloquently, we’re hot for teachers. This week we remember the ones who influenced us the most. Featuring excerpts from the Alan Harvey Memorial Concert, a special appearance by Paul And Storm, and how to accurately measure a teacher’s greatness. (MP3. Length 20:54)

Episode 126. Audiences Talk Back

”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 Read more…

Episode 125. Fighting Stage Fright

”A fan question prompts this analysis of RSC stage fright, and what we do when we get it.  Featuring true confessions from five RSC actors and one stage manager, the difference between performance anxiety and audition anxiety, a special appearance by Robin Pressman of KRCB-Sonoma County (CA) Public Radio, and Read more…

Episode 124. Sam Woodhouse Speaks

”Sam Woodhouse – co-founder and producing artistic director of the San Diego REPertory Theatre – talks about his theater’s history, how he programs a diverse and progressive slate, and how the RSC manages to not undo all the good work he’s done there for over 30 years. Featuring a special Read more…

Episode 122. Meet The Press

”Pat Launer of the San Diego News Network interviews us about our upcoming run at the San Diego REPertory Theatre, and has graciously allowed the highlights to be podcast. Featuring a special appearance by Deb Hiett, co-star and co-director of A Bit of Counseling, available for viewing at FunnyOrDie.com. Cave Read more…

Episode 120. White House Insider

”Mike Burton, former special assistant to the Chief of Staff of Vice-President Al Gore, explains how a lowly position as coffee boy led him to working in the Clinton White House. Featuring special appearances by Amanda Painting at Ceredigion FM in Wales and Madeleine Brand from National Public Radio (um, Read more…

Episode 119. The Mighty Regis

”Franky McNorman, lead singer of Ireland’s most famous Irish punk band The Mighty Regis, talks about the band’s history and influences on this special St. Patrick’s Day podcast. Featuring excerpts from their latest CD Another Nickel For The Pope (which you can buy at CD Baby or at iTunes), the Read more…

Episode 118. Sound And Fury

”Zach Moore designs sound for real theater companies – and for us. Featuring expert advice about different sound programs, info about Zach’s band Hero Destroyed and their new video, and feedback from RSC fans about Podcast #110 – Mac v. PC. Need final proof? Figure out the anagram for “laptop Read more…

Episode 117. Educate Motivate Inspire

”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 Read more…

Episode 116. Hiding in Berlin

”RSC actor turned big-shot movie producer John Schwab talks about the journey he took from London’s Criterion Theatre to the Berlin Film Festival. Featuring the story of The Hide, and tips on How To Get Started, How To Exploit Your Friends, and How To Take Experience And Passion In One Read more…

Episode 114. Reduced Valentine’s Day

”Things We Love this week — a story of the RSC and Young Love in Ireland; the television premiere of a feature film produced by RSC alumni John Schwab and Tim Beckman; and Dee Ryan returns to the Pittsburgh Public Theater with her one-woman show DeeConstruction.  Happy VD!  (MP3. Length Read more…

Episode 113B. Comix & Comics

”Sophomoric, yes, but comic-bookish?  Tim Young, host of the Deconstructing Comics Podcast, and Austin Tichenor discuss the influence of comic book characters and the comic strip form on theater generally and RSC shows in particular. Featuring insight into punchline delivery, a special appearance by Jimmy Neutron, and the perfect idea Read more…

Episode 112. Happy New President!

”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. Read more…

Episode 110. Mac v. PC

”Another Reduced debate which settles nothing! Matt Rippy (PC) and Michael Faulkner (Mac) hold forth on the relative merits of the different computers and operating systems. Featuring disturbing percentages, insightful Hasbro-Mattel analogies, and a startling covetous epiphany! Would you rather drive a Jaguar or a Yugo? Up to you….(MP3. Length Read more…

Episode 107. Charles Dickens Unplugged

”It’s the most wonderful Dickens time of the year! Founding RSC member Adam Long talks about his Charles Dickens musical Dickens Unplugged, and we showcase all RSC things Dickens. Featuring excerpts from Dickens Unplugged, All The Great Books (abridged), The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas, as well as special background info Read more…