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School of Theatre and Dance prepares to remount June production of David Ives’ ‘All in the Timing’

September 9, 2010

All in the TimingA dizzying display of wordplay lies at the heart of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance’s first production of the season, opening Thursday, Sept. 23, in the Stevens Building O’Connell Theatre.

“All in the Timing” consists of six humorous acts that are each an independent play. 

According to the School of Theatre and Dance brochure, playwright David Ives uses wordplay in his one-act plays “to support the notion that people have a better chance of connecting with each other if they never speak.”

One plot, titled “Sure Thing,” revolves around the first meeting between a man and a woman that is continually reset by an alarm each time one of them says the wrong thing. Another act, “Words, Words, Words,” centers on three chimpanzees trying to write their own version of Hamlet.

“The Universal Language” follows a developing romance spoken entirely in an invented language. “Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread” is a musical parody of composer Philip Glass. “The Philadelphia” contains a man in a restaurant who must ask for the opposite of what he wants. “Variations on the Death of Trotsky” is self-explanatory.

Troy Peckham and Michael K. Lewis

Troy Peckham and Michael K. Lewis

The play is a remount of a production performed by current and former NIU students in June in the Chicago area. Josh Anderson, a performer from the summer production, is directing this fall’s remount with a different cast.

Anderson commented that the productions will differ based on what each actor brings to the roles. He believes that his role as the director is to guide each actor in finding his/her own take on the role.

While it was a challenge to direct a production consisting of six smaller plays, Anderson also had a great deal of fun. He cites the unique voice of David Ives in providing an engaging and cohesive whole to the play.

“Ives’ voice is at the heart and soul of each piece,” Anderson says, “so (directing ‘All in the Timing’) is not as challenging as if each act were written by a different person.”

Ives’ comedies of words will be performed in the O’Connell Theatre from Thursday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Sept. 26, and from Wednesady, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 3.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for students, and can be purchased from the Stevens Building box office in the lobby of the Stevens Building on the DeKalb campus or by calling (815) 753-1600. It is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from noon to 2 p.m. Friday and one hour before show times.

Tickets also can be purchased online at