The Reduced Shakespeare Company

William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)

Written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor
April 21 – May 08, 2016
Folger Theatre


The wonderfully inventive and wildly hilarious Reduced Shakespeare Company® returns to Folger Theatre in this eagerly anticipated World Premiere. Discovered in a treasure-filled parking lot in Leicester, England, an ancient manuscript proves to be the long-lost first play by none other than the young William Shakespeare from Stratford. Using questionable scholarship and street-performer smarts, the trio of comic actors throw themselves into a fast, funny, and frenzied festival of physical finesse, witty wordplay, and plentiful (pitiful) punning. William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) is written and directed by two of the world’s most famous Shakespearean comedians, Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin, stars of the PBS film The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and authors of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) (Helen Hayes Award nominee for Best New Play) and the definitive, irreverent reference book Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged) (published by Hyperion).

Approximate run time is 1 hour and 45 minutes including an intermission. Children under the age of four are not permitted in the theater. Every person entering the theater must have a ticket. 

Listen to a Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episode with Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin.

Special Performances

Brews and Banter
Wednesday April 27, 6:30pm
A special evening for the Folger’s young patrons, featuring a conversation about William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged) with the Reduced Shakespeare Company®. A beer and light fare reception is included.
Tickets are $15 and will be on sale soon.

Folger Friday: Shakespeare and Comics
Friday April 29, 6pm
Join cartoonist Mya Gosling for a discussion of her popular Shakespeare webcomic Good Tickle Brain.

Sunday May 1, 2pm
Call the box office at (202) 544-7077 for details.
Folger Theatre's open-captioned performances are generously sponsored by Vinton and Sigrid Cerf.

Folger Friday: The Elfin Sprite
Friday May 6, 6pm.
Join the Folger for a reading of a 19th century fairy tale, The Elfin Sprite and The Grim Grey Woman.


Special Engagement Benefactors

Bill and Evelyn Braithwaite
Denise Gwyn Ferguson

Who's Who

Reed, Co-Author, Co-Director
Austin, Co-Author, Co-Director
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Costume Design
Production Stage Manager