This season has been a particularly good one for Oklahoma City Repertory Theater. In addition to celebrating its 10th anniversary, it received a commendation from Actors Equity and a Governor’s Arts Award. It also just became the first theater in state history to be accepted as a member of the Theatre
Communications Group, compsoed of the nation’s leading professional nonprofit regional theaters.
As if these achievements weren’t enough, City Rep adds another feather to a cap already bursting with plumage by bringing the internationally acclaimed Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) to town for not one, but two regional premieres: The Complete World of Sports (abridged) and Completely Hollywood (abridged).
From its humble beginnings as a pass-the-hat theater in 1981, RSC has gained worldwide notoriety for taking expansive subjects in shows like The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged) and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged).
Co-writer and co-director of Sports and Hollywood, Austin Tichenor, said he and his co-writer Reed Martin go after topics with universal appeal when they start work on a show.
“We both love movies and sports, so these two shows were no-brainers,” said Tichneor. “All our shows are affectionate tributes, irreverent celebrations. Even our harshest jokes are born of love.”
When writing, Tichneor said they ask themselves what an audience would expect from a show.
“We try to give them what they expect, but hopefully in a surprising way,” he said. “Mostly, we try to make ourselves laugh, in the hopes that we’ll then make audiences laugh, too.”
The kind of comedic extravaganzas that RSC creates are serious business for the trio of actors tasked with playing multiple characters, while maintaining the group’s trademark manic energy and split-second timing.
“It’s always exciting premiering in a new city, particularly when we’re hosted by such a great theater with a fantastic rep,” said Tichenor. “We don’t get to Oklahoma much, so we hope audiences will like what they see and demand us back. We’re also looking forward to soaking up some of that Thunder magic!”