54 episodes

"A bright, breezy, and entertaining affair, well stocked with interviews, features, and excerpts from the shows!" So said The Telegraph (UK) when it named the RSC Podcast one of its Top Podcasts. Backstage drama. Touring trauma. Famous Guests. Infamous quests. Literary analysis. No urinalysis. All this and less – on the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast. Find old podcast episodes here. It’s “All Things Reduced” every Monday – and it’s free!

Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.9, 108 Ratings

"A bright, breezy, and entertaining affair, well stocked with interviews, features, and excerpts from the shows!" So said The Telegraph (UK) when it named the RSC Podcast one of its Top Podcasts. Backstage drama. Touring trauma. Famous Guests. Infamous quests. Literary analysis. No urinalysis. All this and less – on the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast. Find old podcast episodes here. It’s “All Things Reduced” every Monday – and it’s free!

    Advice For Actors

    Advice For Actors

    For the last podcast of the decade, we answer the two biggest questions we're regularly asked: What advice do you have for young actors; and when will you tour the UK again?! Featuring advice both practical and philosophical; tips for auditioning; advice from Mister Rogers; Top Ten Shakespeare Monologues; the value of learning by doing; a tiny Twitter Q&A; what kind of people you should surround yourself with; and finally, what you can do to make a UK tour happen. Special thanks to Instagram follower Zach Gillam, and Twitter followers Liz Marsden and Bob Linfors for the questions. Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!  (Length 18:36)

    • 18 min
    Using Shakespeare's Violence

    Using Shakespeare's Violence

    Heidi Schmidt, assistant director of outreach and resident dramaturg for Colorado Shakespeare Festival, talks about Colorado Shakes' program (now sadly on hiatus until the end of the COVID pandemic) for bringing Shakespeare into schools and using his characters and storylines as teachable moments. Featuring the dangers (and value) of the escalating pranks in Twelfth Night; the challenge and power of interdepartmental collaborations; the difference between good behavior and powerful drama; how companies gain both empathy and credibility; training actors to be teaching artists; ways of reframing Romeo and Juliet; fantastic quotes; the importance of under-promising and over-delivering; and the responsibility of giving young people (of any age) tools for dealing with crisis. (Length 20:47)

    • 20 min
    West Side Story

    West Side Story

    Remember live theatre? Remember when the big story back in late February was the controversial Ivo Van Hove production of West Side Story on Broadway? Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a professor of Shakespeare, English, and Gender Studies at Linfield College in Oregon, and a contributing writer to the New York Times and Atlantic magazine, wrote an article for the latter entitled, “Why West Side Story Abandoned Its Queer Narrative,” and, in this interview recorded on March 3, 2020, discusses the merits of the van Hove production and his insights into the original narrative. Featuring the peril of picking one’s prepositional poison; how a dorky 50s musical speaks to modern concerns about racism and police violence against communities of color; the struggle for Tony's body; the problems with "I Feel Pretty;" Jerome Robbins’ lost play; expressing Jewish identity in the 1950s through ethnic minstrelsy; how Arthur Laurents “improved” on Shakespeare in particularly troubling ways; the rightness of questioning problematic aesthetics; the casting controversy in the recent Broadway production; and, most importantly, the feeling that when you love something you want to know and discuss everything about it. (Length 34:51)

    • 34 min
    Her Majesty's Will

    Her Majesty's Will

    Missing summer blockbusters and live outdoor Shakespeare performances? Her Majesty's Will by novelist (and actor and fight choreographer) David Blixt is your perfect substitute! It's a fun and thrilling adventure about the young pre-genius Will Shakespeare who becomes entangled in a deadly and hilarious misadventure when he accidentally uncovers an attempt to murder Queen Elizabeth herself. David talks about his process and inspirations; how he's attracted to gaps and Hope & Crosby shenanigans; some deceptive cover art; the difficulty of writing a funny novel when the world is in such an unfunny place; how it all comes from research; how he finesses the facts for fictional purposes; and how truth really is sometimes stranger than fiction. (Length 20:17)

    • 20 min
    More Lawrence O'Donnell

    More Lawrence O'Donnell

    We continue our conversation with the host of MSNBC's "The Last Word," Lawrence O'Donnell, who talks about Mister Sterling, the show he created that starred Josh Brolin as a newly-appointed senator from California who everyone assumes is a Democrat. Lawrence shares behind-the-scenes tales of TV production; his favorite bits of direction; the real-life sources of drama and inspirations for fictional characters; the identity of the so-called “101st Senator;” how actors remember forever the parts they don’t get; how casting sessions work (and don’t work); games senate staffs play; shout-outs to great and important mentors; the possibilities and challenges of rebooting Mister Sterling or any shows like it; the extraordinary journey it took to realize multiple Tony-winning actor Audra McDonald was right for a role; things you can still shoot in quarantine; and, in a 17-year-old journalistic coup — and after 700 episodes — Finally! The RSC Podcast has its first scoop! (Length 34:06) (NOTE: Click through to find links to Part One of this interview.)

    • 34 min
    Lawrence O'Donnell's 'Sterling'

    Lawrence O'Donnell's 'Sterling'

    Before he started hosting The Last Word on MSNBC in 2010, Lawrence O’Donnell was an executive producer, writer, and actor on The West Wing, and the creator, writer, and executive producer of his own show, Mister Sterling, which starred Josh Brolin and Audra McDonald in the story of an idealistic young senator who has to learn how to navigate the ins and outs of Washington DC while also conducting his personal life in the public eye. Cancelled after ten episodes, Mister Sterling featured storylines and conflicts that would find fuller expression in later seasons of The West Wing, and Lawrence talks about how the show was created and shares some fundamental Perry Mason precedents; revelations about Zoey Bartlet’s weird taste in birthday entertainment; the difficulty of writing drama set in Washington where there are now no consequences for terrible behavior; how Aaron Sorkin taught us about what drama is (or can be); what political TV zone opened up and which show filled it beautifully (and hilariously); and how he was able to pay tribute to a deep Washington legacy in Hollywood. PART ONE OF TWO. (Length 29:21)

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
108 Ratings

108 Ratings

YakimaVJ ,

To Be!

There IS no question! This podcast is a weekly dose of insight and education about the Bard and all things theatre. Austin and guests manage to amuse, entertain, and educate every single week. Makes me look forward to Mondays !

stockyjoe ,

Enjoyable show

I loved "Slings & Arrows" and enjoyed "Will," so I listened with interest to your take on these productions. Your relative access provided a cool perspective on them which I appreciated. I've enjoyed the reductions I've encountered in the past, and that energy translates perfectly to this truly enjoyable podcast. You should know this review used to be 20 stars and several paragraphs long; that's how inspiring I've found the RSC's approach to be. Yay, you guys!

ErwinMFromFL ,

Long-time listener, first-time reviewer

I've been listening since Episode 1, a few years after having seen Austin perform All the Great Books at the Kennedy Center. The podcast has never failed to be both entertaining and informative, whether it's a slice of life from the world of live theater, memories of what has inspired their performances, or the wide range of interviews. Austin's dedication to putting out a quality production week after week for so many years is a testament to his devotion to the fans of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. The only slip in over 10 years was more of a missed opportunity. Episode 576, "Captain Picard's Autobiography", should have been held for one more week -- so that it could conclude with "577/1701 of the RSC", for NCC-1701E, of course. Keep up the amazing work!

Top Podcasts In Performing Arts

Listeners Also Subscribed To