Let The Games Begin
As Merrimack Rep Presents
"The Complete World of Sports (abridged)"

East Coast Premiere from Reduced Shakespeare Company
September 9 - October 3

They're back. The “bad boys of abridgement” plan to sprint through the wide, wide, world of sports at record-breaking speed in the brand-new championship comedy "The Complete World of Sports (abridged)," at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, September 9 - October 3.

Starring the Reduced Shakespeare Company and written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, the production will receive its East Coast Premiere at the Lowell theater before setting off on a national tour of theatres and performing arts centers around the country.

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.

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? As America’s infatuation with all things athletic continues, "The Complete World of Sports (abridged) " skewers every sport ever played on every continent in the entire history of the world.

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 with this new production.

MRT Artistic Director Charles Towers. commented, “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. 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.”

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 have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Among the special performances: Pay What You Can Night -- September 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Lowell Night -- September 11 at 8 p.m., Lowell residents may purchase tickets for $10 at the box office from 5 - 8 p.m. (proper ID is required); Cookie Matinee – September 15 at 2 p.m., patrons will be invited to enjoy complimentary cookies and coffee in the lobby before the show, courtesy of Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus; and Post Show Forum Nights -- September 16, 23, and 30 at 7:30 p.m. where audiences may stay after the performance to discuss the show and chat with the actors.

For tickets and information, call the box office at 978-654-4678 or visit www.MerrimackRep.org.

-- OnStage Boston



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