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Shakespearean Villains

Is The Batman a Hamlet story? The Joker an Iago? I’m joined by Austin Tichenor (he/him), Artistic Director of the award-winning Reduced Shakespeare Company, as we examine Shakespeare’s approach to villains and storytelling and how we see those same themes echoed in the tales we cherish today.

Austin Tichenor (he/him) is an actor, playwright, and the Artistic Director of the award-winning Reduced Shakespeare Company. Despite being an intellectual welterweight and holding three expensive degrees (two from UC Berkeley and one from Boston University), Austin humorously notes his continued status as disappointingly average.

He pens monthly blogs for the Folger Shakespeare Library, where his article on The Batman and Hamlet can be found, and since 2006 has produced and hosted the world’s longest-running weekly theater podcast, the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast. Austin’s recent directorial credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Starling Shakespeare Company, Twelfth Night for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) for the Folger Shakespeare Theater, and Much Ado About Nothing for Pacific theater. As an actor, he has played numerous roles on episodic television, including recurring parts on 24AliasFelicityAlly McBeal, and The Practice, as well as guest appearances on The West WingGilmore GirlsThe X-FilesE.R.NYPD Blue, and similar shows. He also provides writing and acting coaching through The Shakespeareance.

Austin has teamed up with Reed Martin on Pop-Up Shakespeare (illustrated by Jennie Maizels) and the seminal tome of Shakespearean insight, Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged), available at Broadway Play Publishing.

Riki Hayashi and Matthew Fox explore the ethical questions from the stories geeks love—superheroes, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, video games, and so much more.