too Also significant to remember is that it there are usually several themes in an artistic work, all tightly woven together and inter-related--some minor--some major.
David Ives (b. 1950) attended Northwestern University where he began writing plays. He produced his first play, Canvas, in New York City with the Circle Repertory Company. He later took on a job as an editor of Foreign Affairs and eventually studied drama at Yale University's School of Drama, where he received his MFA. He is known for many successful plays including, All in the Timing, Words, Words, Words, Sure Thing, and Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread. His latest play, Don Juan in Chicago, received the Outer Critic's Circle's John Gassner Playwriting Award and a Drama Desk nomination for outstanding play. Ives also received the 1994 George and Elizabeth Martin
David Ives' All in the Timing is a contradictory and even absurd comedy encompassing six acts. The first selection is entitled Sure Thing. It is a chronicle of the possibilities that exist when two people try to have a cup of coffee together. It starts with the question "is that seat taken" with responses starting with "yes, I'm waiting for someone" to "no, have a seat." It takes a few moments to become comfortable with the switching of scenes but it is eerily mesmerizing to watch the scene unfold and recognize that you yourself have been in that exact position. (Samudrala ||, 2005)
The second selection, Trotsky, is about Leon Trotsky. He has a mountain climber's axe smashed/buried into his skull by his communist gardener, Ramon, the day before, yet he remembers nothing. His ice pick phobia is the focus of this act, but it is the mountain climber's axe that does him in. The weird part (yes, something weirder that an ice pick fetish) is that his wife comes in the room with an encyclopedia from the 1990s (the play is set in 1940s) to inform him that the book says he is going to die today.
The third selection, Philadelphia, is interesting. It takes place in a coffee shop where the various inhabitants are stuck in different "cities" or states of mind. The person in a Los Angeles is perpetually carefree and doesn't get upset that his wife left him, or that he just lost his job. The person in a Chicago feels worse than dead, and the person in a Philadelphia gets exactly the opposite of what he asks for. The person in the Los Angeles explains everything to the person in the Philadelphia so he finally learns to ask for the opposite of what he wants. Unfortunately, the person in the Los Angeles gets sucked into the other person's Philadelphia and he finally feels the pain of losing his job and wife.
The fourth selection is called English Made Simple. It involves a man and a woman at a party who are demonstrating language for the labcoat-wearing-maybe-psychologist person also on stage. Sure Thing, when a variety of possible outcomes were presented. (Schmidt, 205)
The fifth selection is called Words, Words, Words. It is a bizarre look into the lives of three monkeys