Event shows power of comedy

The front half of Casella Theater was packed on Nov. 3 to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company talk about their show, “The Complete History of America (abridged),” which was playing at Paramount Theater later that night.

            Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor from the Reduced Shakespeare Company, along with professor Richard Cowden, fielded questions from the audience and explained what their show was about.

            “We take long, overly serious topics and make short, sharp comedies about them,” Martin said.

            The company’s first show was the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” and there have been nine more shows since. Though they are based in the United States and started here, they have become more famous in England.

            In London, the Reduced Shakespeare Company is a household name, according to Martin and Tichenor.

            Just because they aren’t a household name in the United States, doesn’t mean they don’t have fans here, though.

            Toné Sawyer, a senior at Castleton, has been a fan of the troupe for years and loved getting to see them.

            “When I first heard that Soundings was putting on an event involving them, I had to go. The event went just as I thought it would; hilariously!” Sawyer said.

            Students who didn’t know about the company also enjoyed the Soundings events.

            “They were super, super personable. They were very versed in their talk and you could tell they were doing it out of love and were very passionate about it,” said junior Jenna Goldsnider, about the lunchbag Soundings event.

            When Cowden was introducing the lunchbag event, he spoke about how organizers gotten some flack for bringing comedies in as Soundings events, but he defended it saying
“comedy is absolutely an art form.”

            And students, by the way, are totally in favor of having funny Soundings events.

            “I believe that comedies make wonderful Soundings events because who doesn’t enjoy to laugh? If it is able to educate an individual as well as entertain them, I think it is a job well done,” Sawyer said.

            Students didn’t love the lunchbag as much as Sawyer loved the performance, though.

            “It was a little boring to listen to them talk for that long about the performance,” said sophomore Kennedy Mitowski, who thought they would be doing a preview of the show that night rather than just talking about it.

            Not everyone thought that it was boring, though. It even made them want to go to the performance that evening, which is what Cowden had hoped for.

            “I wish I could have gone to the performance that night because it seemed like it would be really funny. Comedies are absolutely great for this age range because it’s good for stress and makes them want to go,” Goldsnider said.

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