Cast of “All in the Timing” Rolls With the Punches

Isha Dandekar, Staff Writer

In a world of isolation, art brings us together and shows us what it means to be human. Times like these show us that art is more essential than ever. This year’s play is a perfect representation of that hope. In a unique take on theater, this year’s play will be a socially distanced version of All in the Timing by David Ives. 

The six single-act segments are almost all comedic and revolve around time and reality. However, the absurdist plays also include poignant meditations on life and meaning. 

This year, the play is going to look a little different than it has before. Like everyone else, the theater department has had to adapt to these unprecedented times, which has led to its fair share of difficulties. Usually, auditions are a two day process. Auditioners perform a monologue on the first day and work on small group scenes on the second. While the audition material has stayed constant, the audition process has been modified as per social distancing guidelines. According to Mr. Fahrer, the theater director, auditions were held over Zoom this year. This in itself produced a variety of issues for the actors, because acting for a camera is completely different from acting for an audience. Imagine the difference between delivering an emotional soliloquy to a packed audience, spotlights shining down on you as dramatic music swells in the background, compared to speaking into a camera while your little sister shines a flashlight over your head. When acting in front of a live audience, performers can draw on the power of the crowd, using their energy to add depth to their performance. When acting in front of a camera, however, actors lose that touch of human connection. 

However, the actors quickly adapted to their unique situations and in the end, the cast was set. Cast member Zoe Tweedie said, “For me, it was kind of sad because we’re so used to doing it school and it really hit me this year that the play is going to be really strange and a little upsetting.” The audition process also felt impersonal, but the cast members did their best to support each other. Tweedie described how the cast would always “hype each other up in person in the past, but we [now] were able to support each other through the [Zoom] chat, and we were still given a lot of opportunities to be there for each other.”

The rehearsal schedule also looks much different than it has in the past. Due to the social distancing guidelines, many rehearsals have been over Zoom.   In-person rehearsals have no more than four actors on stage at a time. The crew will come in a few weeks before the show and will have to work fast to construct the set and get acquainted with stage directions. 

Though many cast members feel frustration at the lack of connectivity and a sense of togetherness, the theater department has adapted and risen to the challenge. The play looks different than it has in years past; there’s no way to get around that. However, as Mr. Fahrer says,  “Theater in general is supposed to be fluid and adaptive, you have to roll with the punches, this is sort of a larger picture of that. It’s a different kind of challenge, learning to do theater in a new way, is that not what we’re here for?”  Another challenge faced by the cast and crew was the shut down to all-virtual instruction, which made any in-person rehearsals impossible.  The result is that the fall play has become the winter play with  projected performance dates in January.  

Although having online rehearsals is for the safety of the entire cast and crew, it has created issues with learning the blocking, or movements, of the play. Since the actors are unable to physically interact with their castmates during rehearsals, they have to try their best to remember how their characters move, where they look, and how they interact with each other. 

This year’s “fall”  play will truly be a marvel. The cast and crew have overcome an incredible number of obstacles and continue to grow and thrive. Despite the COVID-19 complications, there is no doubt that this year’s show will be a unique one. and we would all be missing out if we did not watch it. Make sure to watch All in the Timing play by tuning into the livestream on January 21 and 22!