Actor. Author. Podcaster.
Austin Tichenor has been creating Shakespeareances for over 30 years. He’s the co-Artistic Director of the Reduced Shakespeare Company; the producer and host of the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast, the world’s oldest and longest-running weekly theatre podcast; the co-author of Pop-Up Shakespeare (2017; illustrated by Jennie Maizels), Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged) (2005), and ten stage comedies that include William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) and Hamlet’s Big Adventure! (a prequel), (all co-written with Reed Martin).
Austin writes monthly essays about the intersection of Shakespeare and popular culture for the Folger Shakespeare Library; co-created and co-starred in the BBC World Service comedy series The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show (1993); and co-created and co-hosted the web series Drawing on Shakespeare with artist Gary Andrews. He’s directed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Tempest for American Stage Festival, Much Ado About Nothing at Pacific University, Troilus and Cressida at Northern Illinois University, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Starling Shakespeare Company.
Austin has acted and directed off-Broadway, in the West End, and on stages around the world including the Kennedy Center; the Folger Shakespeare Theater; Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; the Tony-winning theaters Lookingglass in Chicago and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; and London’s Gielgud, Criterion, and Arts Theatres. He’s played Claudius in Hamlet; the Duke and Prince of Aragon in The Merchant of Venice for Chicago’s Back Room Shakespeare Project; Cardinal Pandulph in King John, Duke Senior in As You Like It, and Pandarus in Troilus and Cressida for The Show Must Go Online; Shakespeare’s star actor Richard Burbage in the midwest premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will at Chicago’s Northlight Theatre; Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol; and Hamlet, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Marc Antony, and others in the film of RSC’s signature work, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).
Austin’s over three dozen film and television credits include recurring roles on 24, Alias, Ally McBeal, Everwood, Felicity, Mister Sterling, and The Practice; and guest star appearances on The West Wing, E.R., The X-Files, NYPD Blue, Chicago Med, Gilmore Girls, Nip/Tuck, Nash Bridges, Chicago Hope, and CSI: Miami. His voice can be heard in the animated film Balto, and he co-wrote and co-starred in The Ring Reduced, which reduced Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle down to 22 minutes for UK’s Channel 4.
Eleven of Austin’s plays – including adaptations of Frankenstein (influenced by The Tempest) and Dancing on the Ceiling (from Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”) – are published by Broadway Play Publishing. Austin has also been a featured guest speaker for the Center for Civic Mediation, the National Council of Jewish Women, and Phillips Exeter Academy.
Austin continues to create conversations about Shakespeare and popular culture on The Shakespeareance YouTube channel.