Since its pass-the-hat origins in 1981, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has created ten world-renowned stage shows, two television specials, several failed TV pilots, and numerous radio pieces, all of which have been performed, seen, and heard the world over. The company’s itinerary has included stops off-Broadway, at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s West End, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre and Montreal’s famed Just For Laughs Festival, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Singapore and Bermuda, plus countless civic and university venues throughout the USA, the UK, and Europe.
In 2016, in honor of the company’s 35th anniversary and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the RSC premieres its tenth stage show, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC. In 2013 the “Bad Boys of Abridgment” unveiled The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) –to critical and commercial acclaim at both Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Merrimack Repertory Theatre, as well as on national tours of the the USA and UK. The Complete World of Sports (abridged)opened in 2010 at Merrimack Rep and after touring the USA and UK, ran at the Arts Theatre in London during the 2012 London Olympics. In 2011 came the world premiere of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)which became Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s best-selling holiday show ever, and the third-best-selling show in MRT’s history and also enjoyed a successful run at San Diego Repertory Theatre as well as multiple tours across the USA.
Director Nate Cohen is in his second year of Northwestern University’s MFA Directing program and recently created a cheeky — and slightly tongue-in-cheek — flowchart entitled “Should I Direct This Play (A Guide for Well-Intentioned Cis Het White Men).” Nate posted the chart on Facebook and tagged, among other people, American Theatre magazine, which retweeted it and prompted much national discussion and a little bit of blowback. Nate discusses his own intentions and the issue of taking up space; the dangers of getting stuck in an irony loop; the cautionary tale of Robert LePage; the fact of walking like a (straight white) man; the reason it’s a guide, not a rulebook; vital interactions with Lauren Gunderson; the potential danger of artist-splaining; a grateful shout-out to the Hawkins Family (and this live concert recording in particular); the importance of thinking through things critically and not being a dick; and ultimately, the valuable question of how do we do better? (Length 27:46)
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)
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)
William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, has now been published in both the United States by Broadway Play Publishing and Great Britain by Josef Weinberger and is available for licensing worldwide. Read about its creation and “discovery” on the Shakespeare & BeyondContinue reading
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!
On September 24, 2017, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon hosted illustrator Jennie Maizels and co-author Austin Tichenor at a special event celebrating the publication of their new book Pop-Up Shakespeare. Jennie created wonderful props and costumes for Austin to wear while reading excerpts, and for kids in the audience toContinue reading