Berkeley, CA – February 2018 – UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) presents All in the Timing: Short Comedies by David Ives this March – an evening of four one-act comedies drawn from the collection of award-winning playwright David Ives, and directed, designed and performed by TDPS students. Ives’s witty, surreal style of comedy is both hilarious and philosophical, and will leave audiences laughing long after they leave the theater. The show opens Thursday, March 15, 2018 and continues through Sunday, March 18, 2018 in the Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $10 – $15 and can be purchased online through the TDPS Box Office at http://tdps.berkeley.edu/events/all-in-the-timing-short-plays-by-david-ives/ or at the door.
Four short comedies compose the evening of one-act plays: Time Flies, directed by Angelina Steshenko; English Made Simple, directed by Ceylan Ersoy; The Universal Language, directed by Tanvi Agrawal; and Sure Thing, directed by Carmel Suchard. All four pieces explore a unique take on the absurdity of being alive and the possibilities of human connection.
Ives’s clever style of humor is decidedly intellectual, mixing quick-witted wordplay, poetic conception, and outlandish surrealism. TDPS Associate Professor Peter Glazer, who is mentoring the student directors, says: “David Ives presents a demanding language style. The directors are learning to connect with his unconventional sense of humor and make it accessible to an audience—to bring his offbeat conceit to life.”
Time Flies, directed by Angelina Steshenko, follows two mayflies on their first date. They are interrupted by Sir David Attenborough, who informs them that their lives only last 24 hours. A one-night stand quickly turns into a mid-life crisis, as the brokenhearted bugs try to find a solution. “My hope for the audience, ” says Steshenko, “is that they’ll think about how lucky we are as humans to get more than one day to live and we shouldn’t waste any of those days.”
In English Made Simple, Jack and Jill meet at a party and proceed through a series of revealing relationship vignettes—punctuated by a solemn narrator who offers grammatical insight into what each person is really thinking as they speak. Director Ceylan Ersoy says, “The first time I read this one-act, it was as if I were reading dialogues I’ve had in my own life – a brutal revelation of what actually goes on in a daily human interaction. The stage reflects the truths that we avoid, and the reason it’s so funny is because we see ourself in the characters.”
The Universal Language follows a shy woman with a stutter as she places her faith in a language tutor who promises to teach her the (made-up) universal language “Unamunda.” Almost entirely scripted in absurd gibberish, this one-act is gleefully silly and strangely profound as the two discover a true connection. “My goal,” says Director Tanvi Agrawal, “ is that audiences will walk away thinking about the many nuances and complexities that hide below the surface of ‘normal’ human behavior. I want them to be perplexed at how it’s possible to communicate a story without conventional language.”
Sure Thing cheekily explores the many possibilities of conversation. Would-be couple Bill and Betty meet at a coffee shop and attempt to connect, continually stumbling or winding up in a dead-end. But every time they blunder, a merciful bell resets the conversation, resulting in a second, third, or even fourth chance to make a good impression. “The beautiful message within each of the four David Ives plays brings forward a little quirk about human relationships,” says director Carmel Suchard. “I think audiences will leave with a smile on their face.”
All in the Timing: Short Comedies by David Ives opens Thursday, March 15, 2018 and continues through Sunday, March 18, 2018 in the Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $10 – $15 and can be purchased online through the TDPS Box Office at http://tdps.berkeley.edu/events/all-in-the-timing-short-plays-by-david-ives/ or at the door.
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All in the Timing: Short Comedies by David Ives opens Thursday, March 15, 2018 and continues through Sunday, March 18, 2018 at Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Matinee performances are Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets for students, seniors, and UC Berkeley Faculty & staff are $10 online in advance and $15 at the door; General admission tickets are $15 online in advance and at the door; Tickets are on sale through the TDPS Box Office at http://tdps.berkeley.edu/events/all-in-the-timing-short-plays-by-david-ives/ or at the door.
All in the Timing: Short Comedies by David Ives is directed by TDPS students Angelina Steshenko, Ceylan Ersoy, Tanvi Agrawal, and Carmel Suchard; with costume design by Michelle Lubimov, Patricia Midy, and Natalea Schager, overseen by Annie Smart and Wendy Sparks-Rehl; and lighting design by TDPS students Brittany Foley, Brennan Martin, and Alex White, overseen by instructor Jack Carpenter. The cast includes: Danielle Altizio, Hailey Buck, Zane Martin, Christina Nguyen, Julia Reilly, Tori Ross, Julian Schwartzman, Noah Weinstein, Patrick Yorkgitis.
About the Supervising Director
Peter Glazer, TDPS Associate Professor, is mentoring the student directors for All in the Timing: Short Comedies by David Ives. Glazer holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. He is a professional director and playwright whose plays, adaptations, collaborations and directing projects include Woody Guthrie’s American Song (Bay Area Drama Critics award, with Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations Off-Broadway and Joseph Jefferson Award winner in Chicago), O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music (Delaware Theater Co.), Michael, Margaret, Pat & Kate (Marin Theater Co., Victory Gardens Theater), Measure for Measure, Seven Lears, Murder of Crows, and Marisol (UC Berkeley), Heart of Spain and Foe (UC Berkeley and Northwestern University). He is presently co-writing a musical based on The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness, by Berkeley storyteller Joel ben Izzy, and co-writing a new play with Celtic harp virtuoso and storyteller Patrick Ball, Come Dance With Me In Ireland: A Pilgrimage to Yeats Country. He is also adapting Karen Shepard’s historical novel The Celestials for the stage. He is a longtime member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and sits on the board of the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley.
The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies teaches performance as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression and public engagement. Through performance training and research, we create liberal arts graduates with expanded analytical, technical and imaginative capacities. As a public institution, we make diversity and inclusion a key part of our teaching, art making and public programming.
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For Calendar Editors
ALL IN THE TIMING: SHORT COMEDIES BY DAVID IVES
An evening of four one-act comedies drawn from the collection of award-winning playwright David Ives, and directed, designed and performed by TDPS students.
March 15-18, 2018
UC Berkeley Dept. of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley Campus, Berkeley, CA
Performances: Thurs-Sat 8 PM, matinee performances Sat-Sun 2 PM
Pricing: Prices range from $10-$15.
Tickets: Visit tdps.berkeley.edu for more information and to purchase tickets.