In the News‎ > ‎

The Bard, further condensed

posted Jun 9, 2010, 11:19 PM by Lyn Bigelow   [ updated Jun 26, 2010, 5:24 PM ]

Reduced Shakespeare Co. speaks (briefly) via Twitter


Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Hey, we’ve got more than 140 characters to play with here! The Reduced Shakespeare Company: Reed Martin (left), Austin Tichenor, Matt Rippy.

Hey, we’ve got more than 140 characters to play with here! The Reduced Shakespeare Company: Reed Martin (left), Austin Tichenor, Matt Rippy.


“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” by Reduced Shakespeare Co.

When: Opens tomorrow. Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m., through June 20.

Where: San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown.

Tickets: $25

Phone: (619) 544-1000

The Reduced Shakespeare Co. condenses 37 Shakespeare plays into one madcap 97-minute performance. Twitter condenses endless human conversations into occasionally coherent 140-character messages.

It was inevitable, then, that the two would hook up. Writer-performer Austin Tichenor, the company’s “Twit in Chief,” is an inveterate Tweeter (username @Reduced) who has chatted about the practice on National Public Radio.

And yet somehow, he and fellow RSC principal Reed Martin (@ReedofRSC) had never done a “Twitterview” — an interview conducted entirely via Twitter. With the Reduced crew coming to San Diego Rep this week, the time seemed right to fix that little oversight. Here, an excerpt from our recent chat. Caution: It’s not Shakespeare. (It’s shorter.)

@jimhebert First, I’d like to know what’s in your pantry. Condensed milk? Potato flakes? Freeze-dried ice cream?

@Reduced Condensed milk. Beef broth. Joe O’s.

@jimhebert Have to ask: If Bard were alive today, would he be OK w/ Reduced? Or would he just be too old (446 years!) to care?

@ReedofRSC If Shakespeare were alive today, he’d be kicking and screaming inside his coffin.

@Reduced Shakespeare liked to put rear ends in seats. He’d be thrilled. (Not sure he could stick to 140-character limit, tho.)

@jimhebert As I recall, your show spends a lot more time on “Hamlet” than others. Is the Great Dane too hard to abbreviate?

@ReedofRSC Hamlet’s the greatest play of all time, so we thought to do it justice we should at least devote 40 minutes to it.

@Reduced “Hamlet’s” THE GREATEST PLAY EVER WRITTEN, so naturally it’ll take at least 20 mins. to reduce. Respect.

@jimhebert Well said. Maybe THE GREATEST PLAY EVER WRITTEN should be performed in all-caps. Do you know how many times “Complete Works” has been produced?

@Reduced Thousands? Millions?

@ReedofRSC We ran the show in London for almost 10 years, six shows a week. That alone is about 3,000 performances.

@jimhebert You also condensed five seasons of “Lost” into a 10-min. film. Shouldn’t you be canonized? Or at least knighted?

@ReedofRSC When I was with Ringling Bros. Circus there was an acrobat who was “canonized” every performance. Literally.

@jimhebert Ringling Bros.? Seriously? Were u a clown? Not a bearded lady ...

@ReedofRSC Yep, clown and assistant ringmaster. Played the White House, Madison Square Garden and the Oklahoma State Fair.

@hhmcsharry (a guest Tweeter from Connecticut): I was in an abridged/edited form of “Complete Works” in fifth grade.

@Reduced Fifth grade was the happiest three years of my life.

@jimhebert I wonder what the Bard’s hash tag would’ve been. #AvonCalling?

@Reduced #YesIWroteThePlaysGetOverIt

@jimhebert Did you know you were scheduling here next to the Old Globe’s Shakes-fest, run by Adrian Noble — ex-chief of that OTHER RSC? (Royal Shakespeare Co.)

@ReedofRSC That upstart English company that stole our initials?

@Reduced Rumble in the parking lot!

@ReedofRSC I performed at the Old Globe in 1985. “Midsummer” directed by Jack O’Brien and “Richard III” directed by John Houseman.

@Reduced And I drove past it once.

Find this article at: