The Reduced Shakespeare Company is an American acting troupe that writes and performs unsubtle, fast-paced, seemingly improvisational condensations of huge topics.
The Company was founded in 1981 by Daniel Singer, who wrote a 25-minute, 4-actor version of William Shakespeare''s Hamlet, to be performed at the original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, California. He cast himself as Polonius, Horatio, and Laertes; Jess Borgeson as the prince; Michael Fleming as Bernardo, Claudius, and the Ghost of Hamlet''s father; and Barbara Reinertson as Ophelia and Gertrude. When Reinertson broke her ankle three weeks into the run, Borgeson suggested that school-chum Adam Long fill in for her in drag. A wig was procured, and Long''s performance was described as "uncanny." The show won high praise and developed a large following.
Borgeson returned to college in 1983 to pursue a degree in English literature, leaving Singer and Long to continue under the RSC banner. They penned a twenty-minute version of Shakespeare''s Romeo and Juliet, which they performed at Renaissance Fairs, on street-corners, beaches, and at private events. Crowds were amazed to see two men arrive with a small basket of costumes, two fencing foils, two bottles of poison, a rose, a dagger, a wig and a dummy, and proceed to enact the entire story with the zany style of a Marx Brothers movie. Taking the advice of some fellow street-performers, Long and Singer expanded the comedy in the act and solicited for tips afterwards; their solicitations proved generally successful.
What people are saying about Reduced Shakespeare Company
This area is intended for discussion only. If you have a question about your order, or require customer service you can get in touch via our Customer Service Area. Comments enquiring about existing orders, including personal details, or with questions will be deleted.