Reduced Shakespeare Company comes to Xavier Professional performers visit Xavier to lead an improvisation workshop

By: Patrick E. Phillips

The Department of Music and Theatre welcomes the acclaimed Reduced Shakespeare Company to Xavier University to lead students through comedy and improvisation workshops.

The group is coming during a visit to Cincinnati for the run of its upcoming show “The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged)” at Playhouse in the Park.

The most jaw-dropping trait of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s productions is that they are performed by only three actors: Dominic Conti, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company is a three-man comedy troupe that performs reduced, shortened versions of major literary works and broad subjects.

Its upcoming production of “The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged)” searches for what makes people laugh. From Aristophanes to Shakespeare to the “Daily Show,” its current production covers comedy through the ages.

“These three are great improvisers. They are really good at it, and they’re just really fun to work with in the business,” Director of Theatre Stephen Skiles said.

Conti, Martin and Tichenor create the hilarity through their impeccable comedic timing, improvisation skills and teamwork.

The troupe has performed around the US and in London.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company has received high recognition for its work, including a nomination for the Olivier Award in London and receiving two Helen Hayes Awards in Washington D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award.

While visiting Xavier, these three professionals will lead students through improvisation exercises, allowing students to work and learn directly from professional sources.

“Improvisation skills are really invaluable in life,” Skiles said. “We all have nervousness getting up in front of people and sometimes it’s hard to meet people, communicate and add something to the conversation.

“I think improvisation helps students a lot, building these natural skills.”

A Q&A with Conti, Martin and Tichenor will follow the exercises.

Students will have the opportunity to ask these three professionals about the theater business and their vast careers.

The workshop with the Reduced Shakespeare Company will begin at 1 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the Gallagher Student Center Studio Theatre.

Students are encouraged to participate in the exercises but are not required to partake.

Attendance is free and is open to all students.