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.
Shana Cooper directed Taming of the Shrew at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival this summer, a production that received rave reviews from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Shana, an assistant professor at Northwestern University, discusses how she made this troublesome play work in our slightly more enlightened (hopefully) and evolving era. Featuring key commedia influences, a classic battle of the sexes play that’s also a satire of same, being sold on the love story, the importance of clowns, the danger and absurdity of the patriarchy, one virtue of the Christopher Sly scenes, forging unknown and thorny paths, the importance of non-verbal text, radical and revolutionary individuals, and most importantly, finding alternatives to broken systems and masculine ideas of power. (Length 28:56) (Pictured: Liz Wisan and Biko Eisen-Martin as Kate and Petruchio in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival production of Taming of the Shrew. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.)
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] 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)
Anthony Pound is the Associate Director of Education and Youth Engagement at the New Victory Theatre in New York City, and now that school is back in session Anthony tells us all about NewVic’s award-winning Usher Corps theatre internship program. Featuring robust education departments, amazing lower lobbies, incredible online resources, briefing and debriefing, winning awards, post-show workshops, pursuing realistic careers in the arts, shout-outs to Sunset Cultural Center and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and finally, fabulous encounters with former first ladies. (Length 20:12)
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