With an ambitious production of Les Misérables coming this spring, Blind Brook’s theatre program is breaking away from the traditional drama this fall. This weekend, “All in the Timing”, a collection of one-act plays written by David Ives, will be taking the Blind Brook stage. Directed by English/Theatre Arts teacher, Christina Colangelo, there will be two performances, both at 7:30, on Friday, November 22nd and Saturday, November 23rd. The tickets are $15, but $12 for seniors and children under 12. All tickets will be available digitally this year at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/35767.
Similar to 2017’s fall production of Almost Maine, the comedy-drama does not consist of a single continuous story; rather it incorporates ten separate plays, each with their own unique characters and plots. These plays, with their creative and humorous plots, mock the intangible trends of time and language. Along with Ives’ original six: Sure Thing, Words, Words, Words, The Universal Language, Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread, The Philadelphia, and Variations on the Death of Trotsky, four of his other short plays: English Made Simple, The Blizzard, Arabian Nights, and Captive Audience will also be performed.
Each play is complex in its own realm, with its bizarre characters and obscure plots. Whether three chimpanzees are expected to write Hamlet on typewriters in Words, Words, Words, or a musical parody of minimalist composer Phillip Glass in Phillip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread, the only normal thing about this show is its abnormality. According to Colangelo, “I think Ives wants to challenge the audience.” Colangelo has been familiar with Ives’ unique writing since her college years, where she recalls working on Sure Thing in her directing class. “His messages, thematic ideas and motivations are not as clear as other playwrights, so I think he wants people to interpret for themselves and talk about the work.”
Though most scenes are comedies, bringing this show to life was far from a joke. “It was tough,” said Abby Ochs, who plays the role of Dawn in The Universal Language. Ochs and her counterpart, Zachary Berger (Don), have most of their lines spoken in the made-up language, “Unamunda.” Memorizing lines became a challenge for both juniors who, like many actors and actresses, are accustomed to matching their lines with the corresponding cues on stage. “I normally memorize lines by learning the purpose of the lines and then solidifying the words,” said Berger. “I had to change that strategy since I had no idea what I was saying at times.” Ochs explained, “I wasn’t really able to go off of what Zach was saying because it wasn’t English.”
With a cast of 28 and a crew of 15, “All in the Timing” has a production team full of students from freshmen to seniors. Whether they were newcomers or veterans of the drama program, the show’s small-group format allowed Colangelo to get to know the cast members and improve their skills on a whole new level. “I always love directing nonmusicals because I like to expose students to different styles of theater,” says Colangelo.
Come out and support your classmates by coming to the show on Friday or Saturday evening!