The theater department presented its first studio show of the year this past weekend. “All in the Timing” is a comedy by playwright David Ives composed of a six shorter plays. These plays came out of small theater workshops and performances in the 1980s and 90s.
Interdisciplinary studies professor Jeff Steele, the play’s director, chose this particular show to emphasize the importance of having a conceptual grasp of comedic timing. “Understanding comedy and its uses was the main reason for this play, other than entertaining the audience,” he said.
Steele configured the theater, staging and scenic elements, as well as directed the building and arrangement processes. He decided to do the show in the arena setting, where the audience is all around the actors, telling his actors, “You’re like the planet Earth. You’re spinning and going around the Sun.”
Costume designer Leah McFall and senior Reid Hogan were in charge of the costumes and lighting, respectively. This was Principia’s first show in many years where Patrick McCreary, former technical director, was not involved in the setup.
Likewise, the cast was pushed in order to be prepared by Week Seven. Auditions were held at the start of Week Two, leaving slim time for study and rehearsals. The full cast consisted of one faculty member, four upperclassmen, and 10 freshmen. Rehearsals for this show were a bit different than usual. Each of the six groups had their own independent work time for rehearsal and would come together and rehearse as a whole on Fridays.
This show had a very young cast. A majority of the regular participants in the theater department are on the England abroad, and the gaps were filled by eager freshmen, who typically don’t get such a large amount of stage time.
Senior Weston Williams, one of the four upperclassmen in this show, said it was interesting to work with many freshmen. “It actually added a bit of freshness to the whole procedure,” he said.
Freshman Sophie Dixon said, “It was an interesting process to watch the group come together and work together. We all got so close.”