Cover artwork design by Hughes

All the Great Books (abridged)

Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor
Book Item Icon $15.95
PDF ePlay Item Icon
Enter total users


Confused by Confucius? Thoroughly thrown by Thoreau? Wish Swift was swifter? Then buckle up and hop aboard as you zip through everything you didn’t get around to reading in school, a ninety-eight minute roller-coaster ride through the world’s great books.

Production Info

Cast: 3 total (3 male, as written; gender-diverse and/or expanded casts welcome)
Full Length Comedy (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“English class meets Monty Python.” —The Washington Post

“Literature’s greatest hits condensed into a ninety-minute roller-coaster ride of hilarity.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Brilliant, surreal comedy. Street buskers for educated grown-ups. Who knew Homer was so funny? Not Simpson — the other one.” —Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Very, very funny.” —Arch Campbell, NBC-TV

“Verbally dexterous and physically agile. The show darts from satire to silliness to sophisticated irreverence.” —Ed Siegel, Boston Globe

“Witty and wacky.” —Veronica Lee, London Sunday Telegraph

About the Author


  • Reed Martin

    Reed Martin co-created and performed in the original productions of THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (ABRIDGED), THE BIBLE: THE COMPLETE WORD OF GOD (ABRIDGED), WESTERN CIVILIZATION: THE COMPLETE MUSICAL (ABRIDGED), ALL THE GREAT BOOKS (ABRIDGED), COMPLETELY HOLLYWOOD (ABRIDGED), THE COMPLETE WORLD OF SPORTS (ABRIDGED), THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SHOW (ABRIDGED), AND THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (ABRIDGED). He also contributed additional material to THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED). Reed is a managing partner of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and has performed in London's West End, at Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, California Shakespeare Festival, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The White House and Madison Square Garden, as well as in 11 foreign countries. Reed has performed at A.C.T. in San Francisco in Travesties by Tom Stoppard and The Government Inspector, as well as at the Magic Theatre in Moving Right Along, written and directed by Elaine May and featuring Marlo Thomas. He toured for two years as a clown/assistant ringmaster with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus. His voice was heard in the animated feature film Balto,/i> and just about every other part of him was seen in the British film Carry On Columbus. Reed has written for the BBC, NPR, Britain's Channel Four, RTE Ireland, Public Radio International, The Washington Post and Vogue magazine. With Austin Tichenor he co-authored the book The Greatest Story Ever Sold, published by John Knox/Westminster Press, as well as Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide For The Attention-Impaired (abridged), published by Hyperion. His work has been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, a Helen Hayes Award in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critic's Circle Award. He has a BA in Political Science/Theatre from UC Berkeley, an MFA in Acting from UC San Diego and is a graduate of Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Clown College. A member of both the Dramatists Guild and The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Reed is also a former professional minor league baseball umpire. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons, all three of whom are much funnier than he is.

  • Austin Tichenor

    Austin Tichenor is a playwright, lyricist, songwriter, director, and actor. He's the co-author of nine COMPLETE (abridged) stage comedies, which have been produced around the world, published in two countries, and translated into over a dozen languages; the beautifully illustrated (by Jennie Maizels) children's book for all ages Pop-Up Shakespeare; the irreverent reference book Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged); the comic memoir How The Bible Changed Our Lives (Mostly For The Better) for all e-book platforms; the half-hour film The Ring Reduced for UK's Channel 4; the half-hour pilot The Week Reduced for TBS; and the six episode Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show for the BBC World Service. He also produces and hosts the weekly Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast, which was named one of Broadway World's Top Ten Podcasts for Theatre Fans. Austin is an alumnus of the BMI Musical Theatre workshop and has written over a dozen plays and musicals for young audiences. His full-length one-act DANCING ON THE CEILING (an adaptation of Kafka's "The Metamorphosis") and adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN are both published by Broadway Play Publishing, and he directed the world premiere of his adaptation of New York Times bestselling author Jasper Fforde's THE EYRE AFFAIR in 2016. As co-managing partner of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, he has performed with them around the world, Off-Broadway, in London's West End, in the PBS version of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (abridged), and at such theaters as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, American Repertory Theatre, the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. On TV, Austin played recurring roles on 24, Alias, Felicity, Ally McBeal, and The Practice, and guest starred as Guys In Ties on The West Wing, The X-Files, ER, The Mentalist, Nip/Tuck, Gilmore Girls, and on many other hours of episodic television. He's also performed his own material many times on NPR and the BBC, performed with both the Oakland Symphony and in Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and acted in the midwest premiere of Lauren Gunderson's THE BOOK OF WILL at Chicago's Northlight Theatre, and in the world premiere of IN THE GARDEN: A DARWINIAN LOVE STORY with Chicago's Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company. Austin is a fifth-generation Californian who was born on the 54th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake and the 185th anniversary of Paul Revere's Ride, which makes him older than he looks but short for his weight. Austin is a member of the Dramatists Guild, has a BA in History and Theatre from UC Berkeley and an MFA from Boston University, and currently lives in Chicago with his improviser and writer wife Dee Ryan, their two kids, and too many cats.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 9/1/2005
Pages 96
ISBN 9780881452631

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced by Reduced Shakespeare Company

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
All the Great Books (abridged) is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


2/4/2022 – 2/13/2022
Thinktank Theatre
Tampa, FL

9/14/2018 – 11/10/2018
Actors Theater Of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN

6/23/2018 – 6/23/2018
Spectrum Studios Theatre
Arlington, MA

5/26/2018 – 5/26/2018
Spectrum Studios Theatre
Bristol, NH

10/6/2017 – 10/29/2017
In Tandem Theatre, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

7/20/2016 – 8/13/2016
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Cincinnati, OH


5/13/2022 – 5/13/2022
The Pilgrim Academy
Egg Harbor, NJ

11/10/2021 – 11/22/2021
Mt. Hood Community College
Gresham, OR

11/3/2021 – 11/6/2021
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School
Burnt Hills, NY

6/11/2021 – 6/20/2021
Giving Tree Theater
Marion, IA

9/24/2020 – 9/26/2020
Central Christian College Of Kansas
McPherson, KS

9/10/2020 – 9/12/2020
Dakota Ridge High School Theatre
Littleton, CO

10/23/2019 – 10/27/2019
Catawba College
Salisbury, NC

4/11/2019 – 4/13/2019
East Central University
Ada, OK

3/8/2019 – 3/17/2019
Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts Department
Santa Rosa, CA

2/8/2019 – 2/9/2019
Cherry Hill Performing Arts Center
Cherry Hill, NJ

11/30/2018 – 11/30/2018
Macalester College
St. Paul, MN

11/15/2018 – 11/17/2018
Denali Arts Council
Talkeetna, AK

8/3/2018 – 8/4/2018
Lights Of Broadway Productions
Jamestown, NY

6/1/2018 – 6/10/2018
The Spotlight Theatre
Moline, IL

5/4/2018 – 5/6/2018
Wasatch Academy
Mount Pleasant, UT

4/27/2018 – 4/28/2018
The Players Centre For Performing Arts
Sarasota, FL

4/12/2018 – 4/15/2018
University Of Miami
Coral Gables, FL

2/1/2018 – 2/3/2018
Lutheran High School Association Of Greater Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI

12/8/2017 – 12/9/2017
Eustis High School
Eustis, FL

11/16/2017 – 11/18/2017
McNeese Wesley Foundation
Lake Charles, LA

11/10/2017 – 11/18/2017
Warner Robins Little Theatre, Inc.
Warner Robins, GA

5/4/2017 – 5/6/2017
Johns Creek High School
Johns Creek, GA

9/2/2016 – 9/3/2016
Lee's Summit West HS
Lee's Summit, MO

7/22/2016 – 7/22/2016
Bravo Company
Chino Hills, CA

5/12/2016 – 5/14/2016
Askew Theatre
Warrensburg, MO

4/21/2016 – 4/23/2016
Maryville High School
Maryville, MO

1/28/2016 – 1/31/2016
St John Vianney Hs
St. Louis, MO

11/19/2015 – 11/21/2015
The Ursuline School
New Rochelle, NY