Where We Belong

Madeline Sayet’s one-woman show Where We Belong tells the story of her journey from discovering Shakespeare as a child to studying him in England and directing him (and others, and opera) around the world. Madeline is a director, educator, and writer, a member of the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut, and she discusses her play’s origins; how different audiences react to it; how Shakespeare became a part of her normal childhood fairy-tale world; the sometimes thorny challenge of adapting personal relationships to accommodate the art; an uncomfortable reminder about how history works; possible sequel titles; how everybody wants to be in the play now that it’s a success; the art – and importance – of loving a thing and still being able to criticize a thing; and how theatre can also be good medicine. Where We Belong ran at the Goodman Theatre and will play Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in August 2022, Seattle Repertory Theatre and New York’s Public Theatre in the Fall of 2022, and Portland Center Stage and Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2023. (PHOTO: Madeline Sayet in Where We Belong. Photo by Liz Lauren.) (Length 21:33)

Starling Shakespeare Company

Heron Kennedy (left, below) and Jessie Lillis, the founding artistic directors of Starling Shakespeare Company, discuss the company’s origins, plans for the future, and the rewards and challenges – both artistic and practical – of performing Shakespeare with only five people. FEATURING: Exploring different institutional models; inspiration from Actors From The London Stage; the definition and comic possibilities of “extreme casting;” the importance of a playful rehearsal room; how they’ve added touring dates and educational residencies; and how, ultimately, Starling Shakespeare provides both an excellent focus on Shakespeare’s text – and a remarkable showcase for actors. (Length 21:40)

New York Classical

Just what New York needs – another theater, right?! Yet New York Classical Theatre has carved a valuable niche by presenting all-free productions of popular classics and forgotten masterpieces in public spaces throughout New York City. Founding Artistic Director Stephen Burdman talks about how the company began; how the importance of access drives everything; the blessing of producing in a city filled with thousands of wonderful professional actors; the value of always telling the truth; the development of the concept of “panoramic theater;” and one of the greatest helicopter interruptions ever. #ThanksObama Did we mention their productions are all-free?! (Length 19:53)

Advice For Actors

For the last podcast of the decade, we answer the two biggest questions we’re regularly asked: What advice do you have for young actors; and when will you tour the UK again?! Featuring advice both practical and philosophical; tips for auditioning; advice from Mister Rogers; Top Ten Shakespeare Monologues; the value of learning by doing; a tiny Twitter Q&A; what kind of people you should surround yourself with; and finally, what you can do to make a UK tour happen. Special thanks to Instagram follower Zach Gillam, and Twitter followers Liz Marsden and Bob Linfors for the questions. Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!  (Length 18:36)

Holy Land Hamlet

It’s a podcast bar mitzvah! The Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast became a man last week when it celebrated its 13th birthday while we were performing Hamlet’s Big Adventure! (a prequel) in Israel. To honor that special occasion, we gathered in Molly Bloom’s, Tel Aviv’s traditional Irish pub, to talk about how Israeli audiences responded to the show. Featuring universal cultural references, slowing down the pace, dealing with the heaviest sword in the world, people surprised by the number of actors, miraculous costume changes, combining parodies in a The Court Jester/Hamilton mashup, and the pleasure of pleasing both Shakespeare nerds and neophytes. (Length 23:35)

Red Fox Theatre

Playwright Ellen Margolis (left )saw the Red Fox Theatre production of Catch of the Day (short-listed for Best Musical at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe) and the experience of seeing it was as wonderful as the show itself. Ellen discusses how all the extra-theatrical elements combined to make a magical evening at the theatre even more so, and shares insights into the nature of crazy fish stories, excellent marketing materials, local hand-held guidance, uniting the audience through the power of a Van Morrison singalong, tales of Fungie the Dolphin, kindred reduced spirits, worldwide Fringe experiences, and further adventures within the comedy industrial complex. (Length 19:09)

Episode 632. Preparing And Doing

There’s a difference between rehearsing and performing and this week actors Dan Saski 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)

Episode 613. ‘Complete Works’ Returns!

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)  returns for its first US tour in almost ten years! Two of our actors prepared for the tour by performing un-reduced Shakespeare this summer: Michael Faulkner (above, right) performed in Othello and the Two Noble Kinsmen for Kingsmen Shakespeare Company in Thousand Oaks, CA, while Jeff Marlow (above, left) played three roles in the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of Henry IV, which featured a young up-and-comer named Tom Hanks as Falstaff. Michael and Jeff discuss the importance of calf exercises, the strengths and limitations of LPMs (Laughs Per Minute) as an appropriate barometer, actor shorthand, honoring laughs, opening doors for yourself, unlikely expectations, the magic of theatrical alchemy, and the wonderful relationship between performing actual full-length Shakespeare — and then reducing it. (Length 18:32)

Episode 608. Colonel Tom Parker

Our own Jerry Kernion is playing Colonel Tom Parker in the new jukebox musical Heartbreak Hotel, currently playing in Chicago and possibly soon on its way to a theatre near you. Jerry talks about playing this controversial person, the creation of the role, the history of the actual guy, the evolution of the production, and its possible future. Featuring Elvis’s talented lineage, interesting historical what-ifs, the challenges of playing not-necessarily-good guys, fabulously appropriate background music, charming personal conflict, and the adventure of living in Chicago and leaving Los Angeles — possibly for good! Recorded live in Pippin’s Tavern in Chicago. (Length 20:07)

Episode 607. Getting To Edinburgh

How do you get to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? What’s involved with producing yourself at the largest theatre festival in the world? Jamie Gower, the creator and star (sorry, operator) of Denny O’Hare: I Feel Fuzzy, takes us step by step through the process of creating a show, picking a venue, developing a budget, making peace with the idea that this will most likely be a money-losing operation, and most importantly, understanding the danger of not going. Featuring nuts and bolts, waived visas, the value of pre-planning and starting early, the advantage of not being a good puppeteer, learning how to create good press releases and posters and flyers, the importance of location location location, and the supreme importance of not waiting for permission. (Length 24:53)

Episode 599. Coming And Going

Five RSC actors — Reed Martin, Dan Saski, Teddy Spencer, Austin Tichenor, and Chad Yarish — performed at Pittsburgh Public Theatre this opening preview weekend. Over beer, wings, and fried pickles, Dan, Teddy, Chad, and Austin discuss what’s involved with creating smooth transitions during performances; jokes that also come and go; the important similarities between Shakespeare and martial arts; adjusting blocking for a thrust configuration; the vast quantity of variety of theatre in the north Bay Area; working with John Douglas Thompson in Hamlet at American Conservatory Theatre; aspiring to Bob Cratchit; amazing musical scores; possible dueling Pucks; the difficulties of matching your own type; and the tricky nature of jokes that also come and go. (Length 20:17)

Episode 598. Returning to Pittsburgh

We’re honored to be performing William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) here at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre as the final production of outgoing artistic director Ted Pappas’ 17-year tenure. Actors and playwrights/directors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor reminisce about their many previous trips here while actor Teddy Spencer talks about what he’s looking forward to seeing and doing here in Steel City. Featuring memories of previous runs, tons of festivals, successful potty-training, crappy couches, snowy opening days, and fantastic audiences here in our home away from home.

Episode 595. Alli & Davey

Our long-time friends and colleagues Alli Bostedt and Davey Naylor were married last Friday, May the 4th (Be With You), 2018, in the Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma, CA (where we filmed The Complete History of America (abridged)) and, just days before the ceremony, they took time to talk about how their romance overcame early tour awkwardness and problematic venues (thank you, Rhyl!). Featuring knockout predictions, comments from Best Man Matt Rippy, origin stories, canal canoodling, romantic Berkhamsted opportunities, memories of our UK tour of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) and New Zealand tour of Completely Hollywood (abridged), and the inspiring story of how romance can blossom even during a theatrical tour. (Length 19:01). 

Episode 588. Resurrecting The Bible

We resurrected The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) for its first American performance in almost four years and this cast’s first performance in more than eight. After the raucous standing ovation, Dominic Conti (center), Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor talk about what it’s like returning to a show after such a long absence, and what it means, personally, to perform this particular show. Featuring testaments old and new, civilized rehearsing, born-again favorites, missing trunks, Catholic raves, recreating a fourth dummy, consoling the ignorant, remembering kerfuffles, begging Michael Faulkner (right), and happiest of all, celebrating the Bible through joy and laughter. (Length 17:47) (Also pictured: Tiger Reel. Photo by Eric Vizents)

Episode 582. Marco Antonio Vega

Meet Marco Antonio Vega, the newest member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company! Marco performed with us last week in two sold-out standing-ovation performances in South Padre Island, TX, and comes to us from the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where he played Puck in their production of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged). Marco talks about how he first discovered Shakespeare and reveals some of his early influences, and his gratitude to teachers, mentors, and an older sister. Featuring rapping Pucks, supportive parents, perfect background music, holy irreverence, and the miracle of completing almost a third of the canon at such a young age. (Length 18:25)

The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)

‘Tis (Still) The Season! New Promo For “Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)” Released

The Reduced Shakespeare Company just unveiled a new promotional video for its annual holiday hit The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). Produced and edited by Tim Neighbors of Invisible Harness, the short video was shot December 22, 2017 at the La Mirada Center for the Arts in southern California and features performers Michael Faulkner, Reed Martin, and Dan Saski. Watch below — it’ll make your spirits bright!

Episode 561. Fall Tour Preview

Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor preview all our upcoming fall dates: four shows in three countries, ten states, and thirteen cities, performed by a dozen or so actors! Featuring news about The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) , All the Great Books (abridged), The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), and William Shakespeare’s Long Read more…

Episode 551. Ringling Brothers Memories

”Since the 146-year-old institution folded up its tents back in May, Reed Martin (pictured) reminisces about his days touring with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Featuring lost livelihoods, evolving tentpoles, the wild contrast between onstage and offstage antics, outdated economic models, the demise of Clown College and the rise (and possible Read more…

Episode 550. Bay Area Actor

”When he’s not touring with us, Teddy Spencer makes his living as an actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, and on this week’s podcast he explains how he manages to do it. Featuring the challenges of the itinerant actor, the business of relationships, getting your Equity card, weird casting director Read more…

Episode 548. What About Cellphones?

”Several high-profiles performers (including Glenn Close, Patti Lupone, and Hugh Jackman) have recently stopped their live performances on Broadway to chastise an audience member for distracting everyone with a ringing or bright cellphone. But is the solution more distracting than the problem? Reed Martin, Teddy Spencer, and Austin Tichenor discuss Read more…

Episode 547. Playing The Festivals

”There’s something about a festival crowd…Our recent three-performance appearance at the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk inspired memories of appearances we’ve made at other festivals over the years: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Just For Laughs, Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, the Holders Season in Barbados, and festivals in other Read more…

Episode 546. UK Tour Report

”Our 50-city, 51-venue, 60-plus-show UK tour of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) came to an end this weekend and Joe Maudsley, Matt Pearson, and James Percy sat down (on the beach!) to tell us what it’s been like to tour around the British Isles for four months. Featuring highlights and Read more…

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 537. We Love London

”Like you, we were horrified to hear about the attack on the Palace of Westminster near the Houses of Parliament last week, so wanted to pay audio tribute to the city we love so much and its citizens, many of whom are friends and RSC colleagues. Featuring attacks in the 90s, Read more…

Episode 530. British ‘LongLost’ Opening

”The UK cast of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) — James Percy, Joe Maudsley, and Matt Pearson — reflect on the craziness of the opening performances of this 50-city tour, and discuss the process of taking LongLostShakes out of the rehearsal hall and in front of an audience. Featuring the Read more…

Episode 528. LongLost UK Cast

”Meet the cast for our 2017 UK spring tour of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) (l-r): Matt Pearson, James Percy, and Joe Maudsley. Matt (a veteran of two and a half previous RSC tours) and James and Joe (who recently completed worldwide tours of Potted Potter) talk about how Read more…

Episode 522. Doing Chinese Laundry

”You’d think it’d be easy to do show laundry in China, right? Not particularly. One of the regular challenges of touring got slightly more challenging last week as the two washer-dryer combos got a little persnickety. Our Jill-of-all-trades Alli Bostedt tells a tale of malfunctioning safeguards, inaccurate translations, shallow sinks, challenging facilities, Read more…

Episode 521. Reviewing Shanghai Disney

” As foretold in last week’s episode, we spent a day at Shanghai Disney, the recently opened newest addition to the Disney family of theme parks, and this week we discuss the park’s highs and lows. Featuring general excitement and a few sore necks for Tron, unanimous thumbs-up for Pirates Read more…

Episode 519. Remembering Sam Williams

”We were devastated to learn our friend Sam Williams of the Flying Karamazov Brothers (right) died last Friday night. We had only recently just spent time with him, recorded a podcast with him, and were looking forward to our next visit. In this episode, we share more of our conversation with Read more…

518. Actor Jo Bending

Joanna Bending is a RADA-trained character actor who specializes (at least recently) in playing multiple roles in single plays. Our paths have crossed multiple times so it was fun to chat with her about her background, her training, the practices of the Actors From the London Stage, the (possibly unfortunate?) Read more…

Episode 512. Touring In/With America

”With just a little more than a month to go before the 2016 Presidential Election, we discuss what it’s like to be performing The Complete History of America (abridged): Election Edition across the country. Featuring old friends, big tours, wonderful responses, surprising allegiances, different interpretations, unlikely Hamilton influences, a special appearance by Read more…

Episode 484. Breaking In Kurt

”Kurt Quinn (left) is the latest actor to join the RSC ranks so, as is tradition, we scheduled a travel day from hell to welcome him. Featuring lengthy delays, lost luggage, stern Budget requirements, Groundlings training, the challenges of working actors and their conflicting schedules, Abe Lincoln improvisations, resonant theaters, a Read more…

Episode 483. Welcome Back, Qatar

”Our recent trip to Qatar included school performances and workshops, and a private performance at the British Embassy. Austin Tichenor, Dan Saski, and Tiger Reel talk about this trip to a part of the world the RSC rarely visits, and share preconceptions both shattered and confirmed, mistaking ourselves for royalty, pronunciation Read more…

Episode 453. Indoors Vs. Outdoors

”The workshop production of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) opened last week at the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (where it runs until August 30). Having performed this production for three weeks outdoors at Shakespeare Napa Valley, NDSF actors Chad Yarish, Dan Saski, and Teddy Spencer, talk about the differences Read more…

Episode 451. Our First Repeat

”Hectic schedules and a horrible summer cold necessitate something we hoped we’d never do: Repost a previous podcast episode in lieu of a new one. So as a midsummer treat, from May of 2007, comes a tale of blizzards, close-calls, dead instruments, wind shear, and plummeting Continentals. Plus nostalgic theme music, an Read more…

Episode 443. Comedy Tour Recap

”As our 88-city UK tour of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) comes to a close, cast members and crew Gary Fannin, Matt Pearson, Andy Hodges, Steven Rostance, and Martin Bristow share their highlights and lowlights of how it’s gone. Featuring wardrobe malfunctions, surreal improvisations, cactus metaphors, topical changes, the perils of Read more…

Episode 440. On The Fly

”LIVE! from Salt Lake City Airport comes this very reduced episode of the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast. Featuring teases about the new script, rookie mistakes, no editing, almost-zero music, and shout-outs to the magnificent folks who worked Delta’s gate B6 (but not their food truck drivers). (Length 7:10)

Episode 429. 2014’s Top Podcasts

”Only two months late comes our second annual round-up of the Top Ten most downloaded episodes of the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast in 2014. Featuring not-so-surprising appearances by the UK cast of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged); conversations with Mike McShane, Adrian Scarborough, and Sara Gmitter; fantastic Alan Partridge Read more…

Episode 426. Marin Theatre Company

”Jasson Minadakis is the Artistic Director of one of our favorite hometown Bay Area theaters, the Marin Theatre Company, and he talks with us candidly about his work, our work, and MTC’s place in both the Bay Area and the national conversation. Featuring engaged audiences, issue-driven theatre, differences between Cincinnati and Read more…

Episode 425. UK Comedy Openings

”After a long week of tech and a weekend of opening performances, our 81-city UK tour of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) is finally underway. Actors Gary Fannin, Matt Pearson, Andrew Hodges, and Steven Rostance talk about the process that got us here, the things we learned, and the fears Read more…

Episode 423. UK Comedy Fools

”As is tradition, this week we come to you Live! from the Bedford, our rehearsal pub in Balham (“the Gateway to the South”), to meet and chat with the new cast of the 2015 UK tour of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged). Cast members Gary Fannin, Matthew Pearson, Andrew Read more…

Episode 419. Choice Table Comments

”After every performance, we go out to a table in the lobby and greet the audience, and are always greeted in return with the most amazing (and sometimes amusing) comments. This week we share the various thoughts we’ve heard over the years (and over the course of our current run of Read more…

Episode 418. The Wuzhen Festival

”Alli Bostedt, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor discuss their recent appearance at the Wuzhen Festival, and the adventures surrounding our four performances. Featuring running around, limping around, driving around, the joys of subtitling, the subtleties of haggling, the beauty of an ancient water city, the white-knuckle excitement of making a u-turn Read more…

Busy Busy Fall!

In addition to our ongoing UK Tour of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) , and our performances of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) around the US, we’re excited to make our debut in mainland China with performances of Shakespeare (abridged) at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, from October 31 to November Read more…

Episode 406. Reduced Touring Origins

”One of the highlights of the first weekend of The Complete Works of the Reduced Shakespeare Company (abridged) Extravaganza at the Reston Community Center was a very special Q&A with founding RSC members Daniel Singer and Jess and Sa Winfield, who told the audience what it was like in 1987 when the Read more…

Episode 392. Podcast For Larissa

”We dedicate the podcast this week to one of our favorite fans, Larissa from Australia, who’s unable to travel to see us. Austin Tichenor, Reed Martin, Matt Croke, Dominic Conti, Michael Faulkner, Jerry Kernion, Mick Orfe, Dustin Sullivan, Jeff Marlow, Gary Fannin, and David Ellis send personal greetings and tell totally tall and 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 388. Returning To Edinburgh

”It’s been too long, but we’re finally returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August 2014 to perform the European premiere of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged). Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor talk about the changes they’ll have to make to adapt the script for European and international audiences, Read more…

Episode 382. Bible Boys Update

”As our UK tour of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) is two-thirds of the way through it’s three and a half month tour of the UK and Ireland, it seemed high time to hear from producer Davey Naylor and actors Richard Ede, David Ellis, William Meredith, and Read more…

Episode 380. Sacrificing RSC Virgins

”Veteran Bay Area actors Dodds Delzell and John Tichenor made their RSC debuts last week (performing Sports in Wisconsin) and talk about what it’s like to get called up to the Show. Featuring the trickiness of scheduling, the challenges of learning the lines on your own, the complications of adding Read more…

Episode 375. The Bible Boys

”LIVE! from the touring van comes — finally — our audio introduction to the cast of the current (2014) three-month sixty-city UK tour of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Gary Fannin, William Meredith, Richard Ede, and David Ellis talk about the strange beginning to this tour, and 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 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…