A Crazy Idea, That Came Together

Sometime last year, I thought of a crazy idea. What if I tried to squeeze the plot of all 40 episodes of Game of Thrones into 1 hour of absurd comedy theater. I had seen something like it years ago when I saw the Reduced Shakespeare Company do the entire works of William Shakespeare in one act. It was a bawdy, raucous, fun show that felt like something you might see buskers do at a street festival.

I realized that Game of Thrones might deserve the same treatment. I could distill the show down to its important plot points and its most heightened moments and then retell them in an absurd way that would entertain both fans of the show and their friends who have been dragged along with them.

small-Alex-Manich-playing-varys-(photo-by-Kevin-Mullaney)1So last December I recruited a team of writers from our ensemble and we started re-watching the episodes, season by season. We outlined the plot, took notes on the characters and kept track of our favorite WTF moments (there are a lot of them in GoT). We started writing whatever came to mind, whatever was funny, almost like writing a sketch show inspired by the TV series.

Eventually our show started to take shape, we had drafted a couple hours of material. But I knew much of it didn’t fit the original idea. And there was so much story to cover. Still, the outline was laid out, we had a plan, it was going to work. And then we did auditions and our plan got thrown for a loop.

small-Seth-Origitano-playing-oberyn-martell-(photo-by-Kevin-Mullaney)4Auditioners brought in their favorite 2nd or 3rd tier characters and we realized we had to cast these actors and include the characters they wanted to play. Their takes on them were just too fun. If you had told me that Tommen or Pycelle were characters that would make the final cut, I wouldn’t have believed you. But once we saw them on stage, we knew we had to include them.

In the end we cast 17 actors to play 47 speaking parts, which is a little insane for a show that is supposed to be an hour long. But we wrote and rewrote and trimmed and cut and rearranged until we have the show that opens tonight. It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve ever directed and all the credit should go to the wonderful writers and the very funny cast.

I hope to see you there!

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