Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



The “bad boys of abridgement” sprint through the world of sports at record-breaking speed in the brand-new championship comedy The Complete World of Sports (abridged) , starring the Reduced Shakespeare Company®, written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, receiving its East Coast Premiere at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, September 9 – October 3, 2010. After its limited engagement at MRT, the show will begin its national tour of theatres and performing arts centers around the country. Subscriptions and individual tickets are available online at or by calling 978.654.4MRT.

Austin Tichenor

From the earliest cavemen playing “Neanderthal in the Middle” to your own kid’s soccer practice, The Complete World of Sports (abridged) is a marathon of madness and mayhem as the entire history of sports explodes in a tour de farce of physical theatre. It reduces every sport ever played on every continent in the entire history of the world. Is Bowling really a sport? What about Poker or Competitive Eating? Which is more boring – Baseball or Cricket? Who invented Curling and Synchronized Swimming and why in the world are they in the Olympics? The Complete World of Sports (abridged) is a profound piece of theatre for even the most intractable couch potato. As America’s infatuation with all things athletic continues, The Complete World of Sports (abridged) is a show whose time has come!

Matt Rippy

The cast of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) features Reduced Shakespeare Company® members Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor and Matt Rippy. Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor are co-authors of Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged) and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), which have all played at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in past seasons. Reed Martin appeared in all three of those productions, while Austin Tichenor appeared in Completely Hollywood (abridged) and The Complete History of America (abridged). Matt Rippy, an RSC member since 1996, makes his Merrimack Rep debut.

“Merrimack Repertory Theatre has had a long and happy relationship with the Reduced Shakespeare Company® and when they told us they were developing a new play with sports as the theme, we found a spot for them right away,” says MRT Artistic Director Charles Towers. “The RSC has several touring companies now, so it was very important to us to get the original guys – it just makes the show that much better. By putting Sports in September, we were able to secure Reed, Austin and Matt for MRT’s production – and for MRT’s audience.”

Reed Martin

“One of the funniest troupes in American theater today!” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Since its 1981 origins as a pass-the-hat act in California, the Reduced Shakespeare Company® has created seven stage shows, two television specials, several failed TV pilots, and numerous radio pieces – all of which have been performed, seen and heard the world over. The company’s itinerary has included stops at the White House, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s West End, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre and Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Belgium, The Netherlands, Singapore and Bermuda – plus countless civic and university venues throughout the USA, Great Britain and Ireland. The RSC won the prestigious Shorty Award and has been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, two Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, DC, the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, and several podcast awards. RSC scripts are published in the US and UK, and translated into over a dozen languages.

This production of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) is sponsored by Enterprise Bank, with additional support by the Eagle-Tribune. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


REED MARTIN (Writer/Director/Performer) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged), The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Reed Martin is a graduate of UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, The Bill Kinnamon School of Professional Umpire Training, and Clown College. He has performed in forty-six states and eleven foreign countries, including New Jersey. Prior to joining the RSC in 1989, he was a clown with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus where he spent two years frightening children and smelling of elephants. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons, all three of whom are much funnier than he is. Reed feels strongly that toilet paper should be fed over the top of the roll.

MATT RIPPY (Actor/Director/Webmaster) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: debut. Matt ran away with the Reduced Shakespeare Company back in 1996. Rippy (he goes by Rippy) has appeared onstage with the Reduced in the West End and (near) Broadway as well as various tours in the US, UK, Middle East, Far East and Jersey. He also did a stint in the UK press office, where he handled PR and made terrible cups of tea. Rippy acts as the Reduced webmaster and from time to time he acts as a director. Sometimes he even acts like a real actor in movies: he recently acted like a bad guy in Day of the Dead, like a good guy in Boogeyman 3 and like a normal guy in The Dark Knight. Rippy knows one day he must act like a grown up, until then he’ll just keep hangin’ out with the Reduced Shakespeare Company. See more and learn less at

AUSTIN TICHENOR (Writer/Director/Performer) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: Completely Hollywood (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged). Austin Tichenor wrote the screenplay All The Other Reindeer with his wife, Tewksbury-native Dee Ryan; Fowl Play (also with Dee, for Disney); and the irreverent reference book Reduced Shakespeare with his other wife Reed Martin. He’s played recurring roles on 24 and Alias, and guest starred on Nip/Tuck, CSI: Miami, The West Wing, and shows like them. Now living in Los Angeles with Dee and their two kids, Austin bats right and votes left.

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