When I was 21 years old, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the DVD recording The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). I was a theatre major who spent her spare time watching Kids in the Hall and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, so this comedy was a perfect mix of my interests that showed up at just the right time. Years after that, my friend Sue told me about the existence of the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast, hosted by Austin Tichenor. The topics cover the range of comedy and theatre with a bit of science fiction nerdiness thrown in there. I highly recommend this podcast (as well as their recorded shows) to everyone with at least one out of three of these interests. What episode to start with: It’s a tie! “Creating Improv Zombies” and “May the Fourth.”
This was a tough choice, because I really do love all of the episodes and they’re so brief. In “Creating Improv Zombies,” RSC member Reed Martin discusses developing the Improv Zombies from Hell as “a story that can pair The Walking Dead with Whose Line is it Anyway.” It was performed at Napa Valley College, running November 13-22, 2015. Improv and sketch performers and writers might find the conversation enlightening in their own practices from Martin’s use of improv, games, and “stupid human tricks” to build a show.
And the episode “May the Fourth” features writer/podcaster David J. Loehr as well as arts advocate and former director of the American Theatre Wing, Howard Sherman. The trio focuses on the pop-culture phenomenon that is Star Wars, the power of sagas, and the difference between the influence of Star Wars versus Star Trek. They also briefly touch on one of my favorite topics, which is science fiction-based plays and musicals and what is their future. I have my own theories about why and how this could work, but that’s a whole other blog.
Running time: Each episode runs between 15 to 30 minutes. Trust me when I say there is plenty of material here for some serious podcast binging. After all, there’s eight years of it.
For more about the theatre company and the podcast, visit www.reducedshakespeare.com.
KC Ryan is currently a Level Three student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.