“A surefire holiday pick-me-up!” – Mill Valley Patch

“Clever, smart and funny comedy for grown-ups” – Sonoma County Gazette

“The RSC are exhaustingly uproarious; truly adept comedians.” - Talkin’ Broadway

Watch the trailer

The Reduced Shakespeare Company has skewered history, the Bible and the world’s most celebrated playwright. Now, they seek to answer one of life’s greatest mysteries: What makes people laugh? The “bad boys of abridgement” leave no joke untold as they deconstruct the entire history of comedy in 90 rollicking minutes. Read the playbill >

Written, directed and performed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, with Dominic Conti

Recommended for youth aged 13 and up.
LENGTH OF SHOW
– One hour and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

While the Reduced Shakespeare Company has certainly grown from their pass-the-hat act at Novato’s Renaissance Pleasure Faire, the now internationally renowned touring comedy troupe remains a Marin favorite. Known for taking long, serious subjects (like the complete works of Shakespeare) and reducing them to short, sharp comedies, their newest (abridged) work takes on a challenge entirely new: the history of what’s funny to begin with.

IN THE NEWS

Splashed on the cover of Pacific Sun
Featured in this month’s American Theatre magazine
RSC’s send up of the Supreme Court made the Wall Street Journal
“Comedy” co-writer Reed Martin interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle and KRCB-FM (starts at 42 min)
“Comedy” co-writer Austin Tichenor interviewed by KWMR-FM (starts at 29 min)

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Sponsors

Cast

  • Dominic Conti

    Dominic Conti

    Performer

    Dominic Conti makes his MTC debut in The Complete History of Comedy (abridged). He helped develop tonight’s production in its world premiere at Cincinnati Playhouse, where he also performed The Complete History of America (abridged) and All the Great Books (abridged) with the RSC. He also performed and helped develop Completely Hollywood (abridged) at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and the Kennedy Center, and has performed America (abridged), Hollywood (abridged) and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) at Chicago’s Royal George Theater and San Diego Rep, and The Complete World of Sports (abridged) all over. He’s appeared at regional theaters across the country including Plasticene (Original Theatre Award for Best Ensemble, Live Feed: 11/11/05), Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Second City, Goodman Theatre, The Noble Fool Theater, Next Theatre Company (Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Ensemble, Among the Thugs), A Red Orchid Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Chicago; Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles; Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts; Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut; Beaver Creek Theatre Festival in Colorado; and Madison Repertory Theatre in Wisconsin. His film credits include the title role in Martian American (Best Actor, Glendale International Film Fest), A Zombie Possession, Nothing in Los Angeles, Fiona’s Fortune, Hinnon Valley, Shades of Hope, The Interview (Best Actor in a Short, Chicago Comedy Film Fest; also co-wrote/produced), Another Stupid Day, Zombie Holocaust and You!, April, The Real Truth Behind the Real True Story: Donnie Miller, I Am He and Gentlemen, Gentlemen. Conti also performed in The Roaring Twenties television pilot. He has also appeared in the webisodes Red Scare, Broken Dreams Boulevard, The Family Curse and The Best Friend (also Associate Producer and co-wrote three episodes).

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  • Reed Martin

    Reed Martin

    Writer, Director, Performer, Reduced Shakespeare Company Managing Partner

    Reed Martin has appeared at MTC in Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) and The Complete History of America (abridged). He co-created and performed in the original productions of The Bible, History of America, Western Civilization: The Complete Musical (abridged), All the Great Books (abridged), Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete World of Sports (abridged) and The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). He also contributed additional material to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). He has performed in London’s West End, at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, A.C.T. San Francisco, McCarter Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, the White House and Madison Square Garden, as well as in 11 foreign countries. He toured for two years as a clown/assistant ringmaster with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus. Reed has written for the BBC, National Public Radio, TBS, Britain’s Channel Four, RTE Ireland, Public Radio International, Sky TV UK, The Washington Post and Vogue magazine. Reed’s work has been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, a Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC, and a San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critic’s Circle Award. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons, all three of whom are much funnier than he is.

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  • Austin Tichenor

    Austin Tichenor

    Writer, Director, Performer, Reduced Shakespeare Company Managing Partner

    Austin Tichenor has appeared at MTC in Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) and The Complete History of America (abridged). He’s performed with the RSC around the world, off-Broadway, in London’s West End and in the PBS version of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). He has written stage adaptations of Frankenstein, a Kafka-for-kids adaptation of The Metamorphosis called Dancing on the Ceiling, and (with Reed Martin) the irreverent reference book Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged), the comic e-book memoir How the Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly for the Better) and the stage comedies History of America, The Bible (Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best New Play), All The Great Books (abridged), Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete World of Sports (abridged) and The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), all of which are published and/or translated into over a dozen languages. His television credits include recurring roles on Alias, 24, The Practice, Ally McBeal and Felicity, as well as Guys In Ties on ER, X-Files, West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Nip/Tuck and shows like them. Tichenor produces and hosts the weekly Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast, now in its eighth year, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and at reducedshakespeare.com. He is a fifth-generation San Franciscan born on the 54th anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake and the 185th anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride, which makes him older than he looks but short for his weight. Follow him on Twitter @austintichenor.

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Creative Team

  • Skipper Skeoch

    Costume Design

    Skipper Skeoch has previously designed costumes for the original production of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). Most recently, she designed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for Napa Valley Playhouse and Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Sweeney Todd, My Way and Comedy of Errors at Napa Valley College, where she serves on the faculty.

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  • Joe Winkler

    Sound Design

    Joe Winkler is the resident sound designer for Main Street Theatre in Sebastopol and 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. His recent designs include The Complete World of Sports (abridged), The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) and Stones in his Pockets, and he appeared as Willy Loman in the Napa Valley College production of Death of a Salesman.

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  • Sean McStravick

    Stage Manager

    Sean McStravick has previously stage managed MTC’s productions of The Whale, Fetch Clay, Make Man and Good People. In the Bay Area, he has stage managed for Shotgun Players, 42nd Street Moon and Willows Theatre Company, where he was the production stage manager from 2010 to 2012. Regionally, he has worked with North Coast Repertory Theatre, Blue Trunk Theatre Company, Back Seat Theatre and Actors Alliance of San Diego. Sean is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

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* Denotes member of Actors Equity Association
+ Member, United Scenic Artists
^ Member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers

Reviews

  • "A surefire holiday pick-me-up! There isn’t a dull moment... a lively ninety minutes... a fully engaging evening of theater."

    — Mill Valley Patch (Bay City News Service) Read full review
  • "Comedy for grown-ups! Clever, smart and funny, slyly deceptive and irreverent... If you don’t watch out, you just might learn something in between the belly laughs."

    — Sonoma County Gazette Read full review
  • "Three very funny guys. Extremely clever, frequently laugh-out-loud funny, and delivered with perfect timing: An antidote for saccharine seasonal shows, just the thing to get you through the holidays."

    — A Beast in the Jungle Read full review
  • "Fast and energetic... A lot is covered in this short time and it is impossible to catch all the zingers. The Reduced Shakespeare Company are exhaustingly uproarious. The trio are truly adept comedians with physical bits and wordplay, plus great improv."

    — Talkin' Broadway Read full review
  • "The funniest! A knockabout farce in which pretty much anything that might be funny, and often is, goes... A slam-bang evening."

    — Repeat Performance (also Piedmont Post) Read full review
  • "I left the Marin Theatre Company with a smile, from remembered jokes and bits in 'The Complete History of Comedy (abridged),' the latest show from the three-member Reduced Shakespeare Company – a fine respite from the cold and rain and the depressing news of the day."

    — HuffingtonPost Read full review

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