Photo © 2017 Quinn Wharton

Actor. Author. Speaker.

Austin Tichenor is an actor, playwright, director, and co-Artistic Director of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and has been creating Shakespeare-focused content for over 30 years. He’s 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 his RSC Partner Reed Martin).


Austin contributes monthly essays to the Folger Shakespeare Library; co-created and co-starred in the six-part BBC World Service comedy series The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show (1993); co-created and co-hosts the web series Drawing on Shakespeare with artist Gary Andrews; and produces and hosts (since 2006!) the weekly Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast.


He’s acted in films and television, 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; London’s Gielgud, Criterion, and Arts Theatres; and Northlight Theater in Chicago, where he played Shakespeare’s star actor Richard Burbage in the midwest premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will


All his plays — which include adaptations of Frankenstein (influenced by The Tempest) and Dancing on the Ceiling (from Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”) — are published by Broadway Play Publishing. He’s been a featured guest speaker for the Center for Civic Mediation, the National Council of Jewish Women, and Phillips Exeter Academy, and recent directorial credits (apart from the RSC) include Twelfth Night at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Much Ado About Nothing at Pacific University. 


Messina High football jerseys spell out Shakespeare’s birthday in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Pacific University, 2017, directed by Austin Tichenor. Photo by Rebecca Allen. | (above, right) William Oliver Watkins as Orsino and Caitlin McWethy as Viola in Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2018 production of TWELFTH NIGHT, directed by Austin Tichenor. By Mikki Schaffner Photography.
Title card drawn by co-host Gary Andrews. 2020.