Cover image of Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast
(98)

Rank #193 in Performing Arts category

Arts
Comedy
Performing Arts

Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #193 in Performing Arts category

Arts
Comedy
Performing Arts
Read more

~ Brevity is the soul of wit. ~

Read more

~ Brevity is the soul of wit. ~

iTunes Ratings

98 Ratings
Average Ratings
93
3
1
0
1

Reviewing Expectations

By Reduced Reviewer - Feb 05 2018
Read more
Love the guests. Love the list of upcoming dates. No kidding!

Always a good listen

By @PaulBurkett1 - Apr 04 2017
Read more
Austin keeps us up to date on the shows and tours and has great guests

iTunes Ratings

98 Ratings
Average Ratings
93
3
1
0
1

Reviewing Expectations

By Reduced Reviewer - Feb 05 2018
Read more
Love the guests. Love the list of upcoming dates. No kidding!

Always a good listen

By @PaulBurkett1 - Apr 04 2017
Read more
Austin keeps us up to date on the shows and tours and has great guests

Listen to:

Cover image of Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast

Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast

Updated 5 days ago

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~ Brevity is the soul of wit. ~

Shakespeare Rocks Tonight

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Shakespeare rocks every night, of course, but especially on Lou Carlozo's new album By Me & William Shakespeare, a collection of songs in a variety of styles set to the words of the immortal dramatist poet. Lou discusses how his love of music and relationship to Shakespeare inspires this project, and reveals the dangers of over-reverence; talks about poetic goldmines and high-culture milestones; shares shout-outs to favorite inspirational teachers; and glories in the possibilities of constant reinvention. Rock on! (Length 24:39)

The post Shakespeare Rocks Tonight appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 28 2019

24mins

Play

All About Ophelia

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The RSC's 11th stage show, Hamlet's Big Adventure! (a prequel), is really all about Hamlet's best friend Ophelia, at least according to Jessica Romero, who originated the role in the workshop production, and Austin Tichenor, who co-wrote the script and will be playing Ophelia this fall in California and Israel. Hear them chat about reconciling the many interpretations of Ophelia, and discuss professional memorization methods, weaponizing feelings, how one person's comedy can be another's tragedy, shared inspiration from Taming of the Shrew (both pirate- and commedia-themed), playing bucket-list roles, favorite Shakespeare characters, and the reality of the curse of saying the title of the Scottish Play. (Length 23:09) (Pictured: Jessica Romero as the King (with Peter Downey as Hamlet) and Ophelia (with Chad Yarish as Yorick) in the Shakespeare Napa Valley workshop of Hamlet's Big Adventure (a prequel). Photos by Julie McClelland.)

The post All About Ophelia appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 15 2019

23mins

Play

Mary Poppins Kerfuffle

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Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a professor of English at Linfield College and regular contributor to The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines, wrote an article for the New York Times in January 2019 about the problematic racist imagery in both the 1964 and 2018 Mary Poppins films from Disney. The article sparked a huge outcry and backlash, resulting in calls for Daniel’s dismissal and threats to him and his family, and this week Daniel talks about how the article came to be and how he’s been dealing with its unexpected response, how we confront (or don't) the legacy of white supremacy in so much of our popular culture, an impertinent reference to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the badge of honor of being on an alt-right watchlist, prescient wives and why they should be heeded, the question of why Disney keeps returning to problematic racist tropes, the threat (promise?) of being spat on by Julie Andrews, and what’s next in the multi-part series “Daniel Ruins Everything”. (Length 25:15)

The post Mary Poppins Kerfuffle appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Apr 02 2019

25mins

Play

Creating Hamlet’s Adventure

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Authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor talk about how they've created the definitive backstory to Shakespeare's great tragedy in Hamlet's Big Adventure (a prequel). Featuring homage to Tom Stoppard, excerpts from the new show's promo video, the difficulty of hitting moving targets, how the script has evolved from its workshop with Shakespeare Napa Valley, previewing performances at Spreckels Performing Arts Center and the London in Tel Aviv Festival in Israel, fascinating by-products, eliminating framing devices, answering all the unanswered questions you’ve ever asked about the greatest play ever written, milking tragedy for laughs, seeing Shakespeare's tragedy in a brand new way, and the value of asking important marketing questions early. (Length 23:44)

The post Creating Hamlet’s Adventure appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 07 2019

23mins

Play

Episode 623. Orsino And Othello

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William Oliver Watkins plays Orsino (left, with Caitlin McWethy as Viola) in the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company production of Twelfth Night, after playing the title role in CSC’s production of Othello last season. Will talks about the similarities and challenges of the two roles and what it’s like to return to his home town of Cincinnati from where he lives now in New York City, gives shout-outs to mothers specifically and English teachers generally, reveals revelations about Tom Selleck’s mustache and the saga of Luke Cage’s little brother, explains the things they don't teach you in acting school, and talks about the glory of doing Shakespeare in the Park (not that one). (Length 20:28) 

The post Episode 623. Orsino And Othello appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Nov 19 2018

20mins

Play

Into The Woods

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The Writers Theatre production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into The Woods combines professional artistry with community theatre charm to create a very immediate and powerful version of this popular musical. Directed by Gary Griffin, one of the world's leading interpreters of Sondheim, the cast features McKinley Carter as Jack's Mother, Brianna Borger as the Baker's Wife, and Bethany Thomas as the Witch, all of whom discuss the challenges of going into the Woods multiple times and making new discoveries every time you do. Featuring impertinent references to The Fantasticks; doing the Lord’s work; creating characters instead of types; heightening the immediacy and stakes; the danger of gateway Sondheim drugs; Borscht Belt energy; and an emphasis on the frequently-fraught (“fraught than I thought,” to quote another Sondheim show) relationships between parents and children. (Length 21:05) (Pictured, l to r: Bethany Thomas, Brianna Borger, and McKinley Carter in the Writers Theatre production of Into The Woods, directed by Gary Griffin. Photos by Michael Brosilow.)

The post Into The Woods appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Sep 09 2019

21mins

Play

Discussing Twelfth Night

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Professor Katy Reedy invited our own Austin Tichenor to speak to her class at Lake Forest College about his production of Twelfth Night that he directed for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in the fall of 2018. Austin discusses all the things he wanted his production NOT to be; how this great comedy is fueled by great loss; how Olivia threw herself into the physical comedy; the treatment of the treatment of Malvolio; speculation as to why Orsino is such a poorly written character; how to lean into both the comedy and the pain; and the possibly blasphemous notion that maybe Feste isn’t as interesting as many people think he is. (Length 19:50) (Pictured: William Oliver Watkins and Caitlin McWethy as Orsino and Viola, plus the entire cast of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company production of Twelfth Night, directed by Austin Tichenor.)

The post Discussing Twelfth Night appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

May 14 2019

19mins

Play

Episode 636. All Is True?

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Dr. Paul Edmondson, the director of research for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, served as a historical consultant on Kenneth Branagh’s new film All Is True, an elegiac imagining of the final days of William Shakespeare. Paul discusses his role in the film's production and how he came to be involved, and also shares backstage glimpses as to how and where the movie was filmed, insight into the film's original impulses, some clearly lifelong passions, the presence of VIPs, a different key for Ben Elton to write about Shakespeare in than Upstart Crow, navigating hot spots, how research is helping us evolve our understanding of Shakespeare's personal life, and how even a creative genius sometimes just needs to be professional, even in moments of great loss. Featuring a special appearance by (and extreme gratitude to) National Public Radio's film critic Bob Mondello. (Length 24:02)

The post Episode 636. All Is True? appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Feb 19 2019

24mins

Play

We Debate ‘Shipoopi’

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Peter Marks, theatre critic of the Washington Post and co-host of American Theatre magazine's Three on the Aisle Podcast, famously loathes the song "Shipoopi" in Meredith Willson's The Music Man and this week we try to convince him just how wrong he is. Featuring strong emotional reactions; unworthy yet sophisticated analysis; unprovoked disdain of garden gnomes; pilgrimages to Mason City, Iowa; reverse snobbery; comparing Act Two openings; anthropomorphizing a month; ideal Harold Hill casting (the less said about Matthew Broderick, the better); and ultimately a celebration of one the American musical theatre’s greatest (give or take a song or two) shows. WARNING: No minds were changed in the recording of this podcast. (Length 20:13) (Pictured: Jonathan Butler-Duplessis as Marcellus Washburn in the Goodman Theatre production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man, directed by Mary Zimmerman. Photo by Liz Lauren.)

The post We Debate ‘Shipoopi’ appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Jul 16 2019

20mins

Play

Episode 630. The Sonnet Man

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Devon Glover travels around the globe as The Sonnet Man, working with students of all ages and keeping the world safe from dry, boring, vomitless, beat-and-rhythm-less Shakespeare. This week Devon reveals his origin story and how he spreads the gospel of Shakespeare through hip-hop, and shares student revelations and discoveries, valuable niches, the importance of friends and mentors, the differences between Shakespeare taught as performance and as literature, issuing creative challenges, and the incredible value of using the arts to teach non-artistic subjects. (Length 26:00) 

The post Episode 630. The Sonnet Man appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Jan 07 2019

25mins

Play

Other Famous Prequels

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With Hamlet's Big Adventure (a prequel) now being workshopped by Napa Valley College as part of its Emergence Festival, authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor consider other famous prequels in different media, and hope for more of a Godfather II than a Star Wars Episodes 1-3 vibe. Featuring being part of a specific cultural moment (we see you, Gary: A Sequel To Titus Andronicus); a form that Shakespeare probably invented; why sequels are more popular than prequels; wanting to know how we got here and discovering more about beloved characters; shout-outs to prequel authors Christopher Moore (Lamb; Fool), Nicole Galland (I, Iago), and Louis Bayard (Mr. Timothy; Courting Mr. Lincoln); creating a more challenging puzzle than “just” continuing the story; the desire to know how it all began; alternate titles (“Elsewhere in Elsinore”, anybody?); insight from Dr. Ronan Hatfull; absolutely no spoilers about Avengers Endgame; and finally a shout-out to Patton Oswalt’s great routine about eliminating certain disappointing prequels forever. (Length 20:21) (Jessica Romero as King Hamlet and Peter Downey as Hamlet, the prince of Denmark in the Napa Valley College workshop production of Hamlet's Big Adventure (a prequel). Photo by Shelly Hanan. Title graphic by Chad Yarish.)

The post Other Famous Prequels appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

May 07 2019

20mins

Play

Episode 637. History Of Blackface

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Director and teaching artist Jerrell L. Henderson discusses the history of Blackface, the troubling and racist practice of white people "blacking up" to portray demeaning African-American stereotypes (which was, incredibly, the most popular form of entertainment in America for over 100 years). Jerrell discusses its roots in minstrelsy, almost-Shakespearean levels of layers and multiple identities; shout-outs to great performers like Daddy Rice, J. Rosamund Johnson, Bob Cole, Ernest Hogan, George Walker, Bert Williams (above); genuine love being the butt of the joke; how some entertainers are responding to issues of yellow- and brown face better than others; a legacy of trauma and historical objections; and how greater onstage and onscreen representation in entertainment matters. (Length 21:45)

The post Episode 637. History Of Blackface appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Feb 26 2019

21mins

Play

Episode 633. ‘Nerdy’ Brian Posehn

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Reed Martin (who literally wrote the book on the History of Comedy) interviews his fellow Sonoma Valley High School alum, comedian Brian Posehn, about Brian's new book Forever Nerdy: Living My Dorky Dreams and Staying Metal, as a fundraiser for the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. Brian talks about his favorite teachers and getting bullied, lighting up as a performer, polishing your material, touring with the Comedians of Comedy, killing the "Karkrashians", working with Stan Lee, meeting his Star Wars heroes, shout-out to the Sebastiani Theatre, and talking about ‘spinners’ with Carrie Fisher. Featuring a special appearance by Brian's fellow Mr. Show alum Brett Paesel, author of Mommies Who Drink: Sex, Drugs, and Other Distant Memories of an Ordinary Mom! (Length 24:19)

The post Episode 633. ‘Nerdy’ Brian Posehn appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Jan 28 2019

24mins

Play

High School Bard

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"Friend of the pod" Daisy Tichenor talks about her wonderfully Shakespearean senior year in high school, where she played Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing on the Philips Exeter Academy MainStage and directed Twelfth Night for the PEA Dramat at the same time. We talk about incredible opportunities; how informal clubs can accommodate a more diverse group of students; how stage managing the Scottish play can inspire; the wonder of getting to play a dream role; being born of all mirth and no matter; keeping the timelines straight; and the ultimate tribute to theatre people. Pretention or Science? Discuss. (Length 19:54) (Daisy Tichenor as Beatrice and Cody Nunn as Don Pedro, Much Ado About Nothing, Philips Exeter Academy, directed by Sarah Ream, 2018.)

The post High School Bard appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Apr 30 2019

19mins

Play

Doug The Time-Traveler

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Meet Doug Harvey (center, above), the newest member of the RSC and also the author and star of the one-man show The Time Traveler’s Guide to the Present, which earlier this summer won the Paul Koslo Memorial / MET Theatre Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Doug reveals his RSC origin story and shares some live musical spaghettification; his feelings about the need for adventure and more shows about science; how a one-man show became a sci-fi romance; day gigs at LA’s Griffith Observatory; references to the darkest timelines; a couple of harmonizing triads; the Michael Faulkner conduit; growing up with Bay Area theatre like California Shakespeare Company and American Conservatory Theatre; tales of successful auditions; the importance of serious clowning; and the answer to the ultimate question: What’s the closest we have to a time machine? Not a Delorean, not Bill and Ted’s phone booth, but...a theatre. (Length 21:29) (Pictured: Austin Tichenor as the King, Doug Harvey as Hamlet, and Chad Yarish as Yorick in the Reduced Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet's Big Adventure! (a prequel).)

The post Doug The Time-Traveler appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 23 2019

21mins

Play

The Winter’s Tale

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Dramaturg Neena Arndt and actor Nathan Hosner (Polixenes) discuss The Winter's Tale, currently running at the Goodman Theatre until June 9, 2019 in a production directed by Robert Falls. Featuring the importance of leaning into the tonal shifts; how the play plays in our current historical moment; the dangers of a record-scratch; eliminating thee’s and thou’s; acknowledging aspects of the play that may be either bugs or features; changing the first-person from plural to singular; identifying the hinge of the play; shout-outs to actors Dan Donohue (Leontes), Christiana Clark (Paulina), Gregory Linington (Antigonus), and Philip Earl Johnson (Autolycus); casting clowns; some notes for Will Shakespeare; possibly changing one’s mind about the quality of the play; different treatments of Time; and the very first question one must address when you decide to do The Winter’s Tale — how do you handle the Bear? (Length 24:20) (Pictured (l-r): Dan Donohue (Leontes) and Nathan Hosner (Polixenes) in the Goodman Theatre production of The Winter's Tale, directed by Robert Falls. Photo by Liz Lauren.)

The post The Winter’s Tale appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

May 27 2019

24mins

Play

Balancing Twelfth Night

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We continue the conversation with Professor Katy Reedy and her class at Lake Forest College, taking student questions about Austin Tichenor's approach to directing Twelfth Night for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in the fall of 2018. Austin talks about the trick to balancing the comedic and dramatic elements in his production, Shakespeare's anachronistic examples, illustrating sisters in loss, staging the subtext, taking actor suggestions, creating a world in which both comedy and drama can co-exist and where certain kinds of storytelling can happen, underlying tensions, potentially anti-climactic reunion scenes, going on a journey with your characters, the importance of working with really great people, and discovering that not everything is actually in the text. (Length 17:29) (William Oliver Watkins as Orsino, Caitlin McWethy as Viola, and Abby Lee as Olivia in Twelfth Night at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2018. Directed by Austin Tichenor.)

The post Balancing Twelfth Night appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

May 22 2019

17mins

Play

Episode 631. Joe Dempsey’s Mechanical

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Chicago actor Joe Dempsey plays William Shakespeare’s most autobiographical character, Peter Quince, in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Joe talks about playing this prototypical actor-manager, the rehearsal process for this gloriously funny production, the importance of listening to director Joe Dowling, the joy of rehearsal invention, the freedom of actor ownership, the balance of hustling for auditions, the delight of working with T.R. Knight (TV's Grey's Anatomy) as Bottom, the incorporation of many Shakespearean deaths, memories of working with the late great John Mahoney (Frasier), and the fundamental difference between being interpretive and creative artists. (Length 18:33) Peter Quince (Joe Dempsey, with bullhorn) directs Francis Flute (Alec Silver), and helps Nick Bottom (T.R. Knight), assisted by Tom Snout (Jonathan Butler-Duplessis) and watched by Snug the Joiner (William Dick) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Joe Dowling, December 6, 2018 - February 3, 2019. Photos by Liz Lauren.

The post Episode 631. Joe Dempsey’s Mechanical appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Jan 15 2019

18mins

Play

The Devil’s Work

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Demons and witches and ghosts, oh my! As we reach our 666th podcast, it seems like the perfect time to talk about how the Devil has influenced (or hasn't) the work of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor discuss Faustian bargains; Satan being cut from The Complete History of America (abridged); rewriting The Music Man; Adam Long’s tribute to two legends in his one-man show Satan Sings Mostly Sondheim; the fear of mockery; our Kerfuffles in Northern Ireland; making friends in Louisiana; stories for another time; how times have changed; celebrating the Devil's opposite in The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged); making up for missed opportunities with episode 420; and hopefully soon-to-be requited love for our book How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better). (Length 21:55)

The post The Devil’s Work appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Sep 16 2019

21mins

Play

History of Vaudeville

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To paraphrase Ken Burns, the story of Vaudeville is the story of America. And as we head into the 4th of July holiday weekend, it's the perfect time to talk with performer and author Trav S.D. about his fun and highly readable book No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous. Trav talks about how his early love of TV variety shows led to his lifelong interest and discusses how conservatory training leads to working for the Big Apple Circus; how vaudeville resembles English music hall; narrow platforms and the benefits of only having three channels; shout-outs to both Stephen Holden of the New York Times and Chuckles the Clown; the appeal of a funhouse mausoleum as a final resting place; and a warning about terrible parents who don’t introduce their children to classic comedians and performers. (Length 18:35)

The post History of Vaudeville appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Jul 01 2019

18mins

Play

Holy Land Hamlet

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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)

The post Holy Land Hamlet appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Dec 03 2019

23mins

Play

Red Fox Theatre

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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)

The post Red Fox Theatre appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Nov 25 2019

19mins

Play

Romeo And Juliet

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The current Chicago Shakespeare Theatre production of Romeo And Juliet completely reinvigorates Shakespeare's most famous play, emphasizing frequently overlooked themes and giving events an intense urgency that accentuates both the comedy and the tragedy. Director Barbara Gaines (who's also CST's founding artistic director) talks about what finally drew her to the play and how she emphasized certain things while eschewing too much romanticization; how she underscores the dangers of cycles repeating endlessly; creates powerful final images: how every Shakespeare play can be improved by setting it in a high school; how she adds tension and comedy to the balcony scene; gives us a reduced history of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; and the wonderful but maybe not too surprising relationship between Chicago Shakes and Second City. (Length 24:02) (Pictured: Brittany Bellizeare and Edgar Miguel Sanchez in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, directed by Barbara Gaines. Photo by Liz Lauren.)

The post Romeo And Juliet appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Nov 18 2019

24mins

Play

Steadfast Tin Soldier

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The Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago is remounting Mary Zimmerman's production of The Steadfast Tin Soldier this holiday season, and the Tony-winning director and adapter herself talks to us about how the show came to life. Featuring seeking and finding, bittersweet qualities, being drawn to outsiders, staging an advent calendar, music hall influences, Masterpiece Theatre memories, colonizing the mind, actor contributions, a tribute to longtime collaborator Christopher Donahue, the value of taking a break, kitty sneezes, ending on a pun, toggling back and forth between literary and theatrical storytelling, and the value of beautiful legitimate sentiment. (Length 25:05) (Pictured: Alex Stein in the title role in the Lookingglass Theatre Company production of The Steadfast Tin Soldier, directed and adapted by Mary Zimmerman (left). Photos by Liz Lauren.)

The post Steadfast Tin Soldier appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Nov 11 2019

25mins

Play

Standup Vs. Improv

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Liz Allen is an improviser and teacher who, among other things, coached the improv team in Mike Birbiglia’s film Don’t Think Twice. Liz's trip to the Mayo Clinic became an existential crisis that caused her to reflect on her work and career, and she shares with us her revelations about angels on earth, comedy with a purpose, misdiagnoses, spontaneous jokes, enriching laughs, weird complications, having a face for comedy, surviving a long night of the soul, embracing life lessons, coaching movie actors, the surprising spiritual element of joke-telling, and best of all: solid endocrine humor! (Length 20:10)

The post Standup Vs. Improv appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Nov 05 2019

20mins

Play

Shakespeare Rocks Tonight

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Shakespeare rocks every night, of course, but especially on Lou Carlozo's new album By Me & William Shakespeare, a collection of songs in a variety of styles set to the words of the immortal dramatist poet. Lou discusses how his love of music and relationship to Shakespeare inspires this project, and reveals the dangers of over-reverence; talks about poetic goldmines and high-culture milestones; shares shout-outs to favorite inspirational teachers; and glories in the possibilities of constant reinvention. Rock on! (Length 24:39)

The post Shakespeare Rocks Tonight appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 28 2019

24mins

Play

Doug The Time-Traveler

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Meet Doug Harvey (center, above), the newest member of the RSC and also the author and star of the one-man show The Time Traveler’s Guide to the Present, which earlier this summer won the Paul Koslo Memorial / MET Theatre Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Doug reveals his RSC origin story and shares some live musical spaghettification; his feelings about the need for adventure and more shows about science; how a one-man show became a sci-fi romance; day gigs at LA’s Griffith Observatory; references to the darkest timelines; a couple of harmonizing triads; the Michael Faulkner conduit; growing up with Bay Area theatre like California Shakespeare Company and American Conservatory Theatre; tales of successful auditions; the importance of serious clowning; and the answer to the ultimate question: What’s the closest we have to a time machine? Not a Delorean, not Bill and Ted’s phone booth, but...a theatre. (Length 21:29) (Pictured: Austin Tichenor as the King, Doug Harvey as Hamlet, and Chad Yarish as Yorick in the Reduced Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet's Big Adventure! (a prequel).)

The post Doug The Time-Traveler appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 23 2019

21mins

Play

All About Ophelia

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The RSC's 11th stage show, Hamlet's Big Adventure! (a prequel), is really all about Hamlet's best friend Ophelia, at least according to Jessica Romero, who originated the role in the workshop production, and Austin Tichenor, who co-wrote the script and will be playing Ophelia this fall in California and Israel. Hear them chat about reconciling the many interpretations of Ophelia, and discuss professional memorization methods, weaponizing feelings, how one person's comedy can be another's tragedy, shared inspiration from Taming of the Shrew (both pirate- and commedia-themed), playing bucket-list roles, favorite Shakespeare characters, and the reality of the curse of saying the title of the Scottish Play. (Length 23:09) (Pictured: Jessica Romero as the King (with Peter Downey as Hamlet) and Ophelia (with Chad Yarish as Yorick) in the Shakespeare Napa Valley workshop of Hamlet's Big Adventure (a prequel). Photos by Julie McClelland.)

The post All About Ophelia appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 15 2019

23mins

Play

Creating Hamlet’s Adventure

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Authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor talk about how they've created the definitive backstory to Shakespeare's great tragedy in Hamlet's Big Adventure (a prequel). Featuring homage to Tom Stoppard, excerpts from the new show's promo video, the difficulty of hitting moving targets, how the script has evolved from its workshop with Shakespeare Napa Valley, previewing performances at Spreckels Performing Arts Center and the London in Tel Aviv Festival in Israel, fascinating by-products, eliminating framing devices, answering all the unanswered questions you’ve ever asked about the greatest play ever written, milking tragedy for laughs, seeing Shakespeare's tragedy in a brand new way, and the value of asking important marketing questions early. (Length 23:44)

The post Creating Hamlet’s Adventure appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Oct 07 2019

23mins

Play

Playing Historical Characters

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Three members of the fantastic ensemble gathered together for the Goodman Theatre production of Theresa Rebeck's Bernhardt/Hamlet - William Dick, Gregory Linington, and Larry Yando - gather to discuss the particular obligations that must be considered when playing real historical figures. Featuring extensive dramaturgical research, actual archival video, the wild imaginative leaps required to be able to portray a 19th-century critic as if he were human, tributes (or ripoffs?) from Trader Joe’s, the invention of merch, arguments about Hamlet’s age, similar pressures playing the famous historical figure Ebenzeer Scrooge, the ultimate dedication to the playwright’s text, and a play ostensibly about a diva that’s actually about an ensemble. (Length 22:43) (Pictured (l to r): William Dick, Larry Yando, and Gregory Linington in the Goodman Theatre production of Theresa Rebeck's Bernhardt/Hamlet, directed by Donna Feore. Photos by Liz Lauren.)

The post Playing Historical Characters appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Sep 30 2019

22mins

Play

Sharing Great Theatre

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The fall theatre season has begun, so this week we're talking about talking about theatre with Cathy Taylor of Cathy Taylor Public Relations, who works with most of the biggest award-winning theaters in Chicago (left). Cathy discusses how public relations, like a play, always begins with a story and shares her great mentors; how she always finds something to love; the beauty and fun of asking fundamental questions: honoring the unwritten codes and the bravery of audiences; celebrating a tradition of attending and a tradition of appreciation; pro tips; the value of having an in-house press person and an outside person who maintains valuable relationships; and the bare minimum requirement that a press person should actually be, you know, personable. "Did you know…?!" (Length 18:10) 

The post Sharing Great Theatre appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Sep 25 2019

18mins

Play

The Devil’s Work

Podcast cover
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Demons and witches and ghosts, oh my! As we reach our 666th podcast, it seems like the perfect time to talk about how the Devil has influenced (or hasn't) the work of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor discuss Faustian bargains; Satan being cut from The Complete History of America (abridged); rewriting The Music Man; Adam Long’s tribute to two legends in his one-man show Satan Sings Mostly Sondheim; the fear of mockery; our Kerfuffles in Northern Ireland; making friends in Louisiana; stories for another time; how times have changed; celebrating the Devil's opposite in The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged); making up for missed opportunities with episode 420; and hopefully soon-to-be requited love for our book How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better). (Length 21:55)

The post The Devil’s Work appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Sep 16 2019

21mins

Play

Into The Woods

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The Writers Theatre production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into The Woods combines professional artistry with community theatre charm to create a very immediate and powerful version of this popular musical. Directed by Gary Griffin, one of the world's leading interpreters of Sondheim, the cast features McKinley Carter as Jack's Mother, Brianna Borger as the Baker's Wife, and Bethany Thomas as the Witch, all of whom discuss the challenges of going into the Woods multiple times and making new discoveries every time you do. Featuring impertinent references to The Fantasticks; doing the Lord’s work; creating characters instead of types; heightening the immediacy and stakes; the danger of gateway Sondheim drugs; Borscht Belt energy; and an emphasis on the frequently-fraught (“fraught than I thought,” to quote another Sondheim show) relationships between parents and children. (Length 21:05) (Pictured, l to r: Bethany Thomas, Brianna Borger, and McKinley Carter in the Writers Theatre production of Into The Woods, directed by Gary Griffin. Photos by Michael Brosilow.)

The post Into The Woods appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Sep 09 2019

21mins

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Man About Town

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Kevin Pollack is a Chicago singer-songwriter (and actor) who's just released the first video from his new collection of songs, called "Man About Town". Kevin discusses his musical influences and his many side-gigs (including playing "Joliet Jake" in the tribute band The Blooze Brothers), and shares the ups and downs of the music biz, including inspiration from The Temptations and The Four Tops, songwriting as therapy, and such career highlights as performing in Las Vegas and playing rock icons like Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, and...Roger Ebert?! (Length 20:34)

The post Man About Town appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Sep 03 2019

20mins

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Completing The Canon

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Many people talk about it but Stan and Debbie Rea have actually done it: They've seen all 37 of Shakespeare's plays live onstage (plus Two Noble Kinsmen and Edward III, if you count them) and they're well on their way to doing it a second time. Stan and Debbie tell us how they did it and what they discovered along the way, including the fun of getting into different conversations with plays and their directors; the difficulty of bagging the three Henry VI plays; how different actors change the impact and meaning of the canon; the pride of seeing the plays while not reading them; the importance of adjusting your expectations; the frustrating necessity of resetting the Bard-O-Meter; the perils of driving in New York City; the value of supporting your community; and finally, the dramatic importance of Shakespeare’s most famous role, the Attendant to the King of France. Recorded on August 15, 2019, seventeen years to the day since Stan and Debbie saw The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (the RSC abridgment, not the entire canon)! (Length 21:32)

The post Completing The Canon appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Aug 27 2019

21mins

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The Impostors Theatre

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Rachel Borgo is the Executive Director of Chicago newest young theatre ensemble, The Impostors Theatre Company, a group of like-minded Valparaiso theatre department alums who believe in the value of playing pretend. Featuring the paradox of being both boastful and self-deprecating; the importance of identity (with reference to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s “Shakespeare & Beyond” Blog); the glory of being childlike without being childish; the wonder of finding a home at Collaboraction Studios; Rachel’s screenwriting debut with When Jeff Tried to Save the World; the enormously supportive theatre community (sometimes including dogs); the need to get your clicks up; and finally, the career advantages of always carrying Pepto-Bismol in your purse. (Length 18:17)

The post The Impostors Theatre appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Aug 19 2019

18mins

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Glory Of ‘Ensemble’

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Mark Larson discusses his wonderful new book Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater, a magnificent (and massive!) collection of first-person narratives from such theatre legends as Alan Arkin, Brian Dennehy, Andre DeShields, Laurie Metcalf, Mary Zimmerman, Michael Shannon, Regina Taylor, RSC alum David Razowsky, David Schwimmer, and literally hundreds more, all explaining both the history and the unique nature of Chicago theatre as they lived and created it. Featuring gratitude to those who came before us; the concept of the Chicago theatre community itself as a massive ensemble; theatre as a civic point of pride; eliminating unnecessary characters (like the author); answering the question of why the concept of ensemble developed such strong roots in this particular city; the biggest surprises from this four-and-a-half year process (and how it relates to podcasting); similarities to Studs Terkel and Tom Wolfe; tales of enormous will and enormous generosity; great white whales who got away; the benefits of being an outsider at the edge of the story; making the reader feel part of the Chicago theatre community; how individuals and institutions assist and mentor others; and ultimately the freedom — the ability, the need — to take risks. (Length 21:45)

The post Glory Of ‘Ensemble’ appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Aug 12 2019

21mins

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Tales Of Edinburgh

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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is on and sadly, we're not there! So we've dug into the archives to find some of our favorite Edinburgh moments. Thrill to tales of discovery; amazing performing experiences; reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones; the only (horrible) way to become a Catholic martyr; special appearances by Rachel Parris, Yisrael Campbell, and Tim Fitzhigham; the real-life inspirations for the Red Wedding and Shakespeare's "The Phoenix and the Turtle"; fun-loving Puritan numpties; new Jews, old Jews, and faux Jews; the joys of both seeing and performing multiple shows during a single Fringe; the dangers of flyering; excerpts from The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged), which performed at the Assembly Rooms exactly twenty years ago; international tour dates for the Fall of 2019; and discovering how the theatre can become your temple and John Malkovich your lord and savior. (Length 25:51)

The post Tales Of Edinburgh appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Aug 05 2019

25mins

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Mary Magdalene Revelations

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Elizabeth Schrader, a doctoral student at Duke University, is doing some pioneering work clarifying the narrative handed down to us about Mary Magdalene and her role in the story of Jesus. Libbie discusses her discoveries and how they may lead to some new understandings, how her calling shifted from being a singer-songwriter to a scholar, how a few simple questions led to a career shift, the challenges of reading and translating ancient papyrus, the song that started it all, and the fundamental question of whether or not Mary Magdalene is the Yoko of the Gospels. (Length 22:11)

The post Mary Magdalene Revelations appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Jul 29 2019

22mins

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The Web Opera

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Our friend Michael Roth has composed the music for, and produced the film of, The Web Opera, a form-shattering short film dealing with the unintended consequences of people living life online. Michael talks about his amazing collaborators (librettist Kate Gale; leading performers Reuben Uy, Adam Von Almen, and Stephanie Cecile Yavelow; graphic artists Lisa Glenn Armstrong, Yiyi Shao, and Chris Gaal; all under the amazing direction of Kate Jopson) and discusses the challenge of writing new pieces and the even greater challenge of getting the things produced; the ready availability of the means of production; the wonder of naturalistic, or quotidian, performance; the too-casual and not-aware-enough ways we treat each other; and the danger of how our even benign online behavior can have tragic consequences. (Length 19:30)

The post The Web Opera appeared first on Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Jul 22 2019

19mins

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