Episode 260. ‘Christmas’ Opening Weekend

”Come backstage and to the opening night party of our production of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Featuring tongue fumbles, lap catches, second-act letdowns, fond appraisals, more great Christmas music from guitarist Eric Essix, answered prayers, early critical appraisal, opening night rituals, walking the line between Read more…

Episode 255. Finding The Line

”Comedians walk the line of appropriateness all the time, but sometimes the line changes. We discuss the (surprisingly few) changes we made to make The Complete World of Sports (abridged) appropriate for our run at the family-friendly New Victory Theatre. Featuring serious conversations about immature euphemisms, chains of responsibility, and how Read more…

Episode 251. After It’s Written

”What does a playwright do after the script is completed? We have no idea. But we know what WE do with our “Complete (abridged)” scripts after they’re written. Featuring the value of opinions from the right people, the value of casting the right people, and the value of knowing when Read more…

Episode 250. Martin & Tichenor

”Which comes first: the lyrics or the melody? Who writes the funny stuff and who creates the structure? Playwriting team Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor reveal these and other secrets as they talk about who brings what to the table when creating their seven (and counting) “Complete (abridged)” scripts. Featuring Read more…

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 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 240. Final ‘Hollywood’ Thoughts

”On the night of our final performance of Completely Hollywood (abridged) at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, we reflect on how it’s changed and matured, its uniquely high level of absurdity, its surprising number of character laughs, and whether we’ll ever perform it again. Featuring a special appearance by Read more…

Episode 222. The Best Friend

”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 Read more…

Episode 218. City of Champions

”Even though the Steelers didn’t win Super Bowl XLV, Pittsburgh is still a city of champions. Specifically, Quidditch champions. We talk to a couple of their players, and answer questions about improv, play development, and why we have to do so much gosh-darn running. (MP3. Length 17:52)

Episode 213. Epic Two-Parter

The interview so long it took two years to complete! This week: the conclusion to last week’s conversation with Roy Conli, the producer of Tangled, Disney’s 50th animated feature. Featuring wisdom from the Nine Old Men, the value of seeing the windows to the soul, and the counter-intuitive notion that Read more…

Episode 212. Disney’s ‘Tangled’ Rapunzel

Oh, what a tangled weave…Take a rare peak behind the scenes at the Walt Disney Studios as producer Roy Conli describes the creation of Disney’s 50th animated feature Tangled. Featuring advice on the attributes of a great producer, the use of wine imagery to describe the return of John Lasseter, Read more…

Episode 201. Endings Are Important

”We’ve discussed our writing process before, but this week we talk about designing effective openings and killer endings. Featuring stumbles and fumbles, happy accidents, show construction, meticulous planning, adherence to form, template deviation, and impertinent comparisons to both Shakespeare and the Beatles. (MP3. Length 22:15)

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 179. Comedy That Offends

”It’s another edition of “My Coffee With Reed and Austin,” who discuss the recent South Park controversy and the RSC’s stumbles into offensive territory. Featuring authentic cafe ambience, dressing room debates, excerpts from Western Civilization: The Complete Musical (abridged), feedback feedback, and the advantages of losing your hearing. (MP3. Length 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 160. Post-Show Discussion

”A live Q&A at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, during which we reveal our favorite Shakespeare plays, touring information for 2010, when the script for Completely Hollywood (abridged) will be published, a very special blurb from some RSC pilgrims, answers to questions from our Twitter followers, and the shocking Read more…

Episode 142. Love The Research

”Deep in the depths of writing new shows leaves us deep in the depths of researching, too. Featuring details on how The Complete World of Sports (abridged) is progressing, appearances by the most famous celebrity blurbers EVER, and highlights of sports-themed podcast episode #47, Play By Play. (SPOILER ALERT: Mostly Read more…

Episode 134. Our Writing Process

”Be a fly on the wall (albeit one with a very bad online connection) as Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor discuss how the writing of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) is going. Featuring insights on our writing rituals, what our preliminary lists consist of, excerpts from The Complete Millennium Read more…

ANNOUNCING Our Next Stage Show!

If you listened to last week’s podcast (Episode 132. New Stage Show), you were among the very first people to hear the huge, ginormous subject matter that we’ll be reducing next.Our seventh stage show will be The Complete World of Sports (abridged). From the competitive caveman origins to the ancient Read more…

Episode 132. New Stage Show

”In this week’s EXCLUSIVE announcement, Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor reveal the title of the next RSC Stage Show.  Featuring what criteria were considered in making the decision, when it’s likely to appear at a theater near you, the bits that will absolutely without-a-doubt 100% guaranteed be in the final 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 104. Shakespeare (abridged)

”The RSC is strapping on the tights again for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) — and this time it’s revised. Authors Jess Winfield and Daniel Singer talk about what prompted them to update the script, what references they wanted to update, and – thankfully for us – how Read more…

Episode 99. Book Group Expo

”Excerpts from The Ghostlight Forum – a lively discussion about literature with Susanne Pari (author and program director of Book Group Expo), Kirsten Brandt (Associate Artistic Director of San Jose Rep) and our very own Austin Tichenor. They discuss All The Great Books, fear of classics, the joys of malapropisms, Read more…

Episode 91. The Shakespeare Secret

”A new Shakespeare thriller! Published in America as Interred With Their Bones, and around the world as The Shakespeare Secret, Jennifer Lee Carrell‘s new book is a page-turning treasure hunt adventure about one woman’s global search for a lost Shakespeare manuscript. The author herself talks about her luck as a Read more…

Episode 81. Great Books (abridged)

”Co-authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor reveal the birth pangs (and leg pains) of the RSC’s fifth stage show All The Great Books (abridged). Featuring excerpts from live performances, adaptation tips, performance advice, semi-obscure Curt Schilling references, a special and scornful appearance from Scott Simon of National Public Radio, and Read more…

Episode 78. Phil Abrams Now

”Number One RSC actor Phil Abrams has written The Autistic Spectrum Parents’ Daily Helper: A Workbook for You and Your Child and shares his experiences of working with autistic children. Featuring stories of performing The Bible (abridged) in the Holy Land, being trapped in Paradise, and using actor training — Read more…

Episode 72. The Authorship Question

”Don’t know your Bacons from your Marlowes, your deVeres from your Rutlands? Fear not. As William Shakespeare turns the big 4-4-4, we review the candidates some people consider the actual authors of Shakespeare’s plays. Featuring scandalous scholarship, an excerpt from Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged), and Read more…

Episode 56. What Are We

”Our religious backgrounds are many and varied, and this week we reflect on how they affect our creating and performing The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Featuring some questionable theology, the perks of agnosticism, and a special appearance by an honest-to-God JuBu! God bless us, every one! (MP3. Read more…

Episode 53. Just For Us

”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 Read more…

Episode 52. Writing “Completely Hollywood”

”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 Read more…

Episode 51. At The Table

”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 Read more…

Episode 49. The Week Reduced

”Reed and Austin talk about the creation and taping of The Week Reduced, the RSC’s foray into weekly television. Featuring a breakdown of the TV writing process, an evaluation of the two tapings, and an interview with cast member Dana Sorman. Plus, a special appearance by singer-songwriter Libbie Schrader and Read more…

Episode 45. Jon Weber Rules!

”Pianist, composer, arranger, lyricist, and musical trivia genius Jon Weber chats about his background, training, and musical adventures. Featuring excerpts from the wide variety of music he’s written for RSC shows, pop culture digressions, apocryphal tales, and a special appearance by trained pitchman and best-selling author Jasper Fforde. Play on! Read more…

Episode 40. RSC On TV!

”We’re on TV (sort of). We’ve written a TV show called The Week Reduced and will be filming a sample episode on September 26. Also, an interview with Neil Benson of Opus 3 Artists, one of the country’s leading theatrical booking agents (who, for some reason, also represents us). Featuring Read more…

Episode 36. Ffan-Ffording-Tastic!

”Bestselling author Jasper Fforde talks about First Among Sequels, the latest in his Thursday Next series. Jasper shares the RSC’s reverential irreverence for sacred literature, reveals some eerie insight concerning Jane Austen, and outlines his Schrodinger Night Fever Principle of Literary Analysis. Featuring a special appearance by The Word Nerds. Read more…

Episode 31. Happy Birthday America!

”In honor of America’s big 2-3-1, we feature The Complete History of America (abridged) in all of its reverent irreverence, and some truly patriotic behind-the-scenes info about how to celebrate and needle a large world power. Featuring a special appearance by Peter Hulne, star of the Comedy Central show American Read more…