Cover art compliments of
the Reduced Shakespeare Company

The Complete History of America (abridged)

Adam Long, Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor
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Four MP3 recorded songs for rehearsal.


600 years of history in 6000 seconds … history will never be the same! From Washington to Watergate, yea verily from the Bering Straits to Baghdad, from New World to New World Order – THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (ABRIDGED) is a ninety-minute rollercoaster ride through the glorious quagmire that is American History, reminding us that it's not the length of your history that matters — it's what you've done with it!

Production Info

Cast: 3 total (3 male, as written; gender-diverse and/or expanded casts welcome)
Full Length Comedy (about 90 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Period Costumes
Categories: , Tag:

Press Quotes

“… Just as the company’s members good-naturedly bash the Bard in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED), so do they cheerfully run riot over five-hundred years of our country’s history. During the manic, ninety-minute program … [they] mine dozens of landmark events and trends for comic gold … Not only do they know how to give American history an irreverent boost, they actually turn it into something accessible and alive.” —Pamela Sommers, The Washington Post

“… THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA interprets the past as a breathlessly paced sequence of silly vaudeville sketches, word-association games, puns and crude parodies of movie and television genres. Nothing is sacred, and many of the facts have been skewed to suggest the paranoid ravings of a particularly loony tabloid …” —Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“… In a series of sketches that move at breakneck speed, the Reduced Shakespeare Company scampers through American history … This HISTORY OF AMERICA should be a required course.” —Terry Byrne, The Boston Herald

“History has never been this much fun. Or as delightfully mutilated … Doubtless, reputable historians like Will and Ariel Durant would cringe at this slapstick telling of the American saga. But the rest of us can just giggle uncontrollably …” —Bill Brownstein, The Gazette (Montreal)

About the Author


  • Adam Long

    Adam Long is the co-creator, co-writer and director of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED), which ran in London's West End for nine years and was nominated for an Olivier Award. THE COMPLETE WORKS also ran Off-Broadway twice and continues to enjoy numerous successful tours throughout the world. His feature-length film THE BARN won The Raindance Award at the British Independent Film Awards. Adam has written for Disney (DUDE THAT'S MY GHOST, HISTORY ON TOAST and LAST MINUTE BOOK REPORTS), PBS (THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED)), Channel Four UK (TRIGGER HAPPY TV and THE RING REDUCED), BBC Radio Four (THE HISTORY BOYS CONDENSED, CONDENSED HISTORIES OF THE BRITISH POLITICAL PARTIES and HOME TRUTHS) and Lucasfilm & BSkyB (STAR WARS SHORTENED). Other stage shows include DICKENS ABRIDGED (The Arts Theatre, London and UK Tour), SATAN SINGS MOSTLY SONDHEIM (Jermyn St. Theatre, London), THE BIBLE: THE COMPLETE WORD OF GOD (ABRIDGED) (Reduced Shakespeare), THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (ABRIDGED) (Reduced Shakespeare), and DECONSTRUCTING ALBERT (The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield). Adam also provides the voice of Mr. Small for the BAFTA and Emmy Award winning THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL(Cartoon Network).

  • 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 7/1/1999
Pages 102
ISBN 9780881453331

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:
The Complete History of America (abridged) is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC



The following revisions are approved by the authors as a substitution for the passage in the play on Barack Obama:

“My fellow Americans — When I was elected your President I vowed to work with Republicans to get this country back on track. And I’ve succeeded. This is because I’ve been working with Republicans for a very long time. In my very first term in Congress I worked with a young Republican congressman from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. I wonder whatever became of him.

Some folks say I’m too old to be your president. Too old? That’s just… that’s just… I’m sorry. What was I saying?

I’ve had some successes. I’ve had some failures. But on the bright side, at least I’m not Donald Trump. Thank you.”


Upcoming and Recent Productions


6/4/2022 – 7/3/2022
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Hill Country Arts Foundation
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Dreamwrights Center For Community Arts
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Bloomfield, NJ

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East Texas Baptist University
Marshall, TX

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Shelby, NC

7/7/2023 – 7/23/2023
Durango Arts Center
Durango, CO

5/12/2023 – 5/13/2023
New Hampton School
, New Hampton, NH

3/6/2023 – 3/6/2023
Meridian World School
Round Rock, TX

2/16/2023 – 3/3/2023
Northeastern State University Playhouse
Tahlequah, OK

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Clear Creek Isd
Friendswood, TX

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La Jolla Country Day School
La Jolla, CA

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Theatre Macon
Macon, GA

2/23/2022 – 2/25/2022
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Moorhead, MN

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Germantown Community Theatre Inc
Germantown, TN

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The Harker School
San Jose, CA

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Laboratory Theater Of Fl
Fort myers, FL

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Elkhart Civic Theatre
Bristol, IN

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Downtown Commons
Clarksville, TN

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Las Cruces, NM

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Mn State University, Mankato
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Dubin Coffman High School (dublin City Schools)
Dublin, OH

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Theatrikos Theatre Company
Flagstaff, AZ

10/22/2020 – 10/25/2020
Studio 124
Joplin, MO

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Camden County High School
Kingsland, GA

9/25/2020 – 9/27/2020
Great Bend Community Theatre
Great Bend, KS

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Lee's Summit West HS Theatre
Lees Summit, MO

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University Of Dayton
Dayton, OH

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Tba Theatre, Inc.
Anchorage, AK

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Sunbury, OH

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Township High School District 211
Palatine, IL

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Saint Charles, IL

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Western Springs, IL

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Miami Shores, FL

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Brevard Little Theatre
Brevard, NC

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Trunorth Theatre
Bismarck, ND

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Cutler Brothers Productions
Deer Lodge, MT

7/5/2019 – 7/7/2019
Friends Of The Historic Masonic Temple
Bay City, MI

6/28/2019 – 7/7/2019
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
Woodstock, GA

5/31/2019 – 6/9/2019
Trinity Theatre Company
San Diego, CA

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Chino Community Theatre
Chino, CA

5/17/2019 – 5/17/2019
Homewood-Flossmoor High School
Flossmoor, IL

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The Haverford School
Haverford, PA

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No Refund Theatre
University Park, PA

4/12/2019 – 4/13/2019
St. Francis School District
St. Francis, WI

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Piedmont College
Demorest, GA

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Mazomanie, WI

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Big Rapids, MI

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Community Hs District 128
Vernon Hills, IL

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Illinois High School Theater Festival, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Lincoln Hall
Urbana, IL

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Prince George's Community College
Largo, MD

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Artists In Progress Theatre Company
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11/8/2018 – 11/10/2018
Little Falls High School
Little Falls, MN

11/2/2018 – 11/11/2018
Harlequins Community Theatre
Sandusky, OH

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Saugus High School
Saugus, MA

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Shakespeare Stage
Northampton, MA

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Hinsdale Central High School (district 86)
Hinsdale, IL

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Prairie Ridge High School
Crystal Lake, IL

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Imagination Theater
Placerville, CA

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Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company
West Chester, PA

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Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company
Lansdale, PA

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Brookhaven, PA

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West Chester, PA

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Philadelphia, PA

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Green Lane, PA

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West Chester, PA

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Chester Springs, PA

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Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company
Philadelphia, PA

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Community Radio Project Inc.
Cortez, CO

6/29/2018 – 7/8/2018
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Orlando, FL

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Boerne, TX

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Claremont HS Theatre
Claremont, CA

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University Of Detroit Mercy
Detroit, MI

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Titusville Playhouse, Inc
Titusville, FL

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Waterford High School
Waterford, CT

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Cornell College Theatre And Dance
Mount Vernon, IA

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Orange Preparatory Academy
Orange, NJ

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Penn Players
York, PA

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Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School
Powhatan, VA

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Boise, ID

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Schaumburg, IL

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Austin, TX

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Porterville, CA

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Billings, MT

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Lenoir, NC

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Way Out West Theare
Sidney, NE

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Stagedoor Manor
Loch Sheldrake, NY

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Knoxville, TN

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Clifton, NJ

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Kings Mountain, NC

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City Of Gallup
Gallup, NM

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Cypress Fairbanks Isd
Houston, TX

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Greensboro, NC

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The Theatre Factory
Trafford, PA

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Vagabond Players, Inc.
Baltimore, MD

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Macalester College
St Paul, MN

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St. John's School
Houston, TX

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The Mighty Corson Art Players
Brandon, SD

10/6/2016 – 10/8/2016
Howard W. Blake School Of The Arts
Tampa, FL

10/5/2016 – 10/8/2016
Penn State Berks
Reading, PA

9/24/2016 – 9/25/2016
Pewter Plough Players
Cambria, CA

9/22/2016 – 9/26/2016
Tomball Hs Theatre
Tomball, TX

9/15/2016 – 9/18/2016
Dulles High School
Sugar Land, TX

9/15/2016 – 9/17/2016
Tupelo High School Theatre Company
Tupelo, MS

8/26/2016 – 8/28/2016
Osceola Arts
Kissimmee, FL

8/26/2016 – 9/3/2016
Blue Moon Productions
Lawton, OK

7/29/2016 – 8/21/2016
Be Theatre
San Angelo, TX

5/27/2016 – 5/28/2016
Forrest City Little Theatre
Forrest City, AR

5/19/2016 – 5/21/2016
Mckinney Isd- Cockrill Middle School Drama
McKinney, TX

5/6/2016 – 5/21/2016
Presbyterian Education Center
Baldwinsville, NY

4/14/2016 – 4/17/2016
V.J, And Angela Skutt Catholic High School
Omaha, NE

4/1/2016 – 4/2/2016
Indiana, PA

3/18/2016 – 3/26/2016
Riverside Poly High School
Riverside, CA

3/10/2016 – 3/11/2016
Round Lake Senior High School
Round Lake Beach, IL

3/7/2016 – 3/8/2016
Bullis School
Potomac, MD

3/3/2016 – 3/12/2016
Havens For The Arts
Temecula, CA