AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL
Music - Dance - Theatre - Visual Arts - Film
Written and Directed by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor
The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s production of William Shakespeare’s Long-Lost First Play is a comic misadventure that will feel strangely familiar yet excitingly new. Every famous character and Shakespearean plot device come together in a single story so comically outrageous it’s no wonder the Bard of Avon hid it away. In this “tale told by idiots,” the Reduced Shakespeare Company weaves all of the Bard's famous characters, greatest lines, and magnificent speeches into a brand new Shakespearean smorgasbord that erupts when Puck & Ariel hijack the plot of Comedy of Errors, creating such new and strange bedfellows as Kate and Beatrice, Hamlet and master motivator Lady Macbeth, Dromio and Juliet, as well as King Lear and his three daughters who turn out to be the three weird sisters from Macbeth.
In the spirit of Shakespeare himself, RSC shows contain some occasional bawdy language and mild innuendo. All children (and parents) are different, so we've chosen to rate our shows PG-13: Pretty Good If You're Thirteen.
“Something wickedly funny this way comes! … and wickedly smart, too, as you’d expect from the ‘other’ RSC.” – Bob Mondello, National Public Radio
“Brainy clowns!” – The Washington Post
“These guys are truly adept jokesters, physical shtick, wordplay, music, improve – they can do it all.” – Cincinnati City Beat
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.
RSC’s first three shows - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged), and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) - ran for nine years at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus as London’s longest-running comedies. For years the RSC had more shows running in the West End than Andrew Lloyd Webber. They were also funnier.
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 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.
The RSC applied its fast, funny and physical approach to World History in Western Civilization: The Complete Musical (abridged) [original title: The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged)], which toured simultaneously in the US, UK and Australia. They condensed literature into a 90-minute roller-coaster ride in All the Great Books (abridged), which has played to great acclaim at the Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Seattle’s ACT Theatre, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival, as well as Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, and Sweden (in Swedish!). They skewered the 186 greatest movies of all time Completely Hollywood (abridged), which has received critical kudos across the US and UK, as well as Belgium, Holland, Hong Kong, and Barbados.
For TV, the RSC compressed the first five seasons of Lost into a ten-minute film called Lost Reduced, and was a Jeopardy! category in the 2005 and 2006 Tournaments of Champions. They wrote and starred in The Ring Reduced, a half-hour version of Wagner's Ring Cycle for Channel 4 (UK), and reduced the Edinburgh Festival for BBC and the soap opera Glenroe for RTE Ireland. Shakespeare (abridged) aired on PBS and is available on DVD, as is America (abridged).
For National Public Radio, the RSC has been heard on All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, Day to Day, West Coast Live, and To The Best of Our Knowledge. The BBC World Service commissioned the six-part Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show. The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas was heard on Public Radio International.
The RSC won the prestigious Shorty Award in New York City and the Delft Audience Award in Holland. They’ve also been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, two Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, DC, the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, and several podcast awards.
RSC scripts are published in the US and UK, and translated into over a dozen languages. The RSC Radio Show, RSC Christmas, and Bible (abridged) are all available on CD and from iTunes.
On April 23, 2014 the company set a Guinness World Record™ for the Highest Theatrical Performance at 37,000 feet aboard an EasyJet flight from London to Verona. The RSC also creates unique entertainments for corporate events, working with such companies as Sky-TV, Time Magazine, Motorola, and Rotary International.
Hyperion published their irreverent reference book Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged). The company established its own imprint Reduced Books to publish the comic memoir How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better) in all e-book formats.
And the RSC Podcast, a free 20-minute audio glimpse of life backstage and on the road, is available every week at iTunes and www.reducedshakespeare.com