Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast

Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast

United Kingdom

~ Brevity is the soul of wit. ~


Episode 536. Discussing ‘Much Ado’  

Austin Tichenor‘s production of Much Ado About Nothing closed its four-performance run last weekend at Pacific University in Oregon, and on opening night, department chair Ellen Margolis conducted a Q&A where they talked about conceptual and dramaturgical choices, the importance of authorial … Continue reading

Episode 535. What’s A Play?  

Last summer, while performing William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we saw all sorts of theatrical events that led us to ask, “What’s a play?” Over drinks at the pub after a performance, we discussed … Continue reading

Episode 534. Writing About ‘Veils’  

Playwright Tom Coash has written Veils, the story of a culture clash between two Muslim women — one American, one Egyptian, both college students — and how their friendship is tested by their different expressions of faith. After six professional productions, Veils … Continue reading

Episode 533. Matt Croke’s Memoir  

Old friend Matthew Croke discusses his newly-published memoir Yes, And…: A Journey of Hope Through Tragedy, which begins with the discovery that his wife Lisa’s cancer has returned while she’s pregnant with their third daughter. During this time, Matt kept a journal which became an … Continue reading

Episode 532. Shakespeare & Trump  

How should / would / will William Shakespeare respond to a character like President Trump? We talk with Shakespeare artists and administrators Kate Powers, Amy Wratchford, Mya Gosling, and Mac MacDaniel about productions they’d like to see during the next four years … Continue reading

Episode 531. Thinking Shakespeare’s Text  

Scott Parkinson is one of the truly great American interpreters of Shakespeare, and certainly the only one we know personally who will talk to us. While chatting about his recent Writers Theatre production of Julius Caesar (which he adapted, co-directed, and … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Episode 529. Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation  

Author, actor, director, and producer Ben Crystal tells us about his work researching, performing, and teaching Shakespeare’s words in their original 400-year-old pronunciations. Featuring the evolution of language and pronunciation, how accent affects movement and behavior, the king of rock and … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Episode 527. The Writers Theatre  

Recently dubbed "Company of the Year" by Terry Teachout in the Wall Street Journal, the Writers Theatre in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe began in the back of a bookstore and in its 25th anniversary season opened its brand new multi-million dollar performing arts venue -- which is also an award-winner! Michael Halberstam, Writers Theatre's founder and artistic director, talks about the company's origins; its artistic and physical evolution; the primacy of actor salaries; the value of an intimate aesthetic; the magnificent work of Jeanne Gang, MacArthur "Genius" award-winning founder of Studio Gang; and the wonderful opportunity to design, not only theatre, but a building in which to create theatre. (Length 22:44)

Episode 526. Othello v. Othello  

Patricia Burke-Hickey, Instructor of English at Phillips Exeter Academy, talks about seeing two possibly landmark interpretations of William Shakespeare's Othello back to back: the New York Theatre Workshop production starring David Oyelowo (Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma) as the Moor and Daniel Craig (James Bond) as Iago, and Othello: The Remix, written by and starring The Q Brothers. Featuring the differences between moments on the page and moments on the stage, reaching out and touching Daniel Craig (or wanting to), finding hilarity in tragedy, the power of intimacy, and honor among (artistic) thieves. (Length 23:46)

Episode 525. Ten Year Highlights  

We highlight ten signature moments, one from each of the ten years of the first decade of the RSC Podcast, that best represent the scope of what we've attempted to do week after week. Featuring behind the scenes conversations showcasing how our shows are created, in-depth interviews with comedians, directors, authors, and award-winning actors, and invaluable audio records of talented and wonderful artists who left us far too soon. (Length (31:00)

Episode 524. Podcasting Ten Years  

The RSC Podcast recently celebrated its tenth year of weekly podcasting. Austin Tichenor reminisces about the podcast's origins, his brushes with the great, the near-great, the famous, and the infamous; the real-time chronicle of nearly half of the RSC's theatrical resume; the advantages of Fan-Boying With Purpose; the development of both personal and professional relationships; the reliable dependability of Mick Orfe; and the privilege of knowing, chatting, and working with notable Shakespeareans around the world. BONUS: We check-in with the one of the podcast's most fire-truckin' popular young guests. (Length 20:55)

Episode 523. More Sam Williams  

Our friend Sam Williams of the Flying Karamazov Brothers (right) died suddenly in November 2016, and we had just had the pleasure of seeing him and recording a lengthy conversation in which Sam talked about his work and adventures juggling and performing around the world. This week features another excerpt from that chat, and Sam discusses his close encounters with Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, opening for the Grateful Dead, the dangers of performing in a thunder dome, the German way of booing, words of wisdom from Jerry Garcia, clearing jokes through Frank Sinatra, and finally the surprising fact that the Who really is on first. (Length 23:37)

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, unfortunate casualties, wet armpits, and shocking displays of midriff. (Length 19:43)

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 of the Caribbean, unbridled passion for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, a bit of wonder towards the live-action Tarzan show, disappointment in the lack of Mulan merchandise, repeated and unnecessary swearing, several kraken releases, a special appearance by Roy Conli, Oscar-winning producer of Big Hero 6 and Tangled, and the importance of ruthless efficiency when having fun. (Length 19:28)

Episode 520. The Three Eccentrics  

The Eight Eccentrics of Tianqiao stand outside the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing, where we performed last weekend. Or at least their statues do. They represent eight comic street performers who "made greatly contributions to China's national folk art by creating the bottom culture of the imbalanced society." And how! We three eccentrics examine our eight cultural predecessors, try to figure out which ones we resemble most, and ponder the possibility of adding to their number. (Length 18:26)

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 Sam and talk about memories of Bill Graham, the benefits of audiences who are self-medicating, the tricks of comic timing with large (and largely stoned) audiences, misadventures with Jerry Garcia’s BMW, doing good work with Patch Adams and the Gesundheit Institute, traveling with a modern-day Chautauqua, memories of the Oregon Country Fair, the sophisticated science of naming tour buses, and modern heroism. A great spirit has gone. We will miss him. Hear Sam's previous podcast chat about the Flying Ks here. (Length 19:51)

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?) importance of the director, the value of real actors playing it straight, the terrifying prospect (and reality) of the one-person show, career longevity, and, most importantly, wise fatherly advice. (Length 18:02)

Episode 517. Flying Karamazov Brothers  

The Flying Karamazov Brothers are the legendary band of jugglers and comedians, founded in 1973 by Paul Magid and Howard Patterson, who started performing at ren faires and busking in Santa Cruz before touring internationally and performing on Broadway, most notably in their legendary Lincoln Center production of The Comedy of Errors. Sam Williams (top left), aka "Smerdyakov Karamazov," chats with us about the Flying K's origins, close brushes with giving up show business, the “Jump-Rope of Death,” becoming Olympic cultural representatives, the origins of the expression “new vaudeville”, and tales of Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, and Jewel of the Nile. (Length 22:33)

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