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Wakefield School All in the Timing

By • Dec 28th, 2010 • Category: Cappies

Have you ever wished that you could reset a conversation with a simple ring of a bell? Have you ever come to find out that your co-worker is the long lost Lindenberg baby or discovered that you’ve been living in the Philadelphia? This past weekend, Wakefield School gave an unforgettable rendition of David Ives’ All in the Timing, exploring the strangely comical tales of twenty very unique characters in very peculiar scenarios.

All in the Timing, a collection of six one-act plays, was written by the witty American playwright David Ives between 1987 and 1993. In Wakefield’s production, we followed the story of a young man and woman who continuously reset their conversation until they are able to finally connect (“Sure Thing”), three blue-collared construction workers who claim to be famous and historical figures (“Mere Mortals”), and a young man who lives in a state where he must request the opposite of everything intends to ask for (“The Philadelphia”). After a short intermission, they continued with the tales of Leon Trotsky’s alleged death from a mountain climber’s axe (“Variations on the Death of Trotsky”), the seemingly romantic communication between a young man and woman that is translated into an impractical grammar lesson (“English Made Simple”), and three simultaneous dates taken place at a miniature golf course (“Art of the Fugue”).

Evan Gendreau, who portrayed the role of Bill (“Sure Thing”) and Chuck (“Art of Fugue”), displayed great character development as he was able to switch between diverse personalities with realistic ease through his humorous expressions, clear diction, and constant movement. His energy, alongside his stage presence, provided for an entertaining vision as he was able to develop interesting and unique characters, despite the repetitive dialogue of the scenes, with a simple ring of a bell. Gina McLinden played Evan Gendreau’s counterpart as Betty (“Sure Thing”) and Amy (“Art of the Fugue”). Like her counterpart, she was also able to depict fresh, interesting characters and humorous expressions that helped show her character’s strong and intellectual nature. Together, both were able to illustrate great chemistry, providing for an even more realistic display of a romantically linked couple.

Alex Alexander, who played Ramon in “Variations on the Death of Trotsky,” gave a comical performance of a Spanish communist who smashed, not buried, a mountain climber’s axe into Mr. Trotsky’s skull. He was able to illustrate his character almost perfectly through his consistent and amusing Spanish accent, outlandish attire, and clear projection.

The set, placed with the school’s gym, was very simple yet intriguing. Adding a little festive spirit, the stage was decorated with Christmas lights, miniature trees, and small little decorations that created a very attractive display. During intermission, holiday songs filled the gymnasium, creating a very fun and memorable experience.

The general cast, although giving a very memorable performance, seemed to lack consistent projection and energy as some, not all, of the individual performances were short of high energy or were unable to be heard clearly and fully. However, the cast displayed incredible timing, comical energy, and smooth set changes, which enhanced their performance greatly and added a unique touch to David Ives’ classical play.

The Wakefield School’s cast was able to use the humorous aspects of the play to outpour a good amount of energy, though sometimes excessive, throughout the entire performance, thus creating a production that overflowed with precise timing and pacing through mutual cast cooperation, showing that the key to a good production is in fact, all in the timing.

The final two performances are Friday and Saturday, Jan. 7 and 8, 2011 at 7pm.

by Nora Ogunleye of Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School

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