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All In the Timing Presented by COS Performing Arts

IN THE May 5 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andEducation,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andTheatre
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

College of the Sequoias Performing Arts is presenting another virtual show this weekend. This one is called All in the Timing and it was written by David Ives. KRL chatted about the show with Chris Mangels who is Professor of Theatre and Cinema Arts at COS, and the producer of this show.

KRL: What is this show about?

Chris: All in the Timing is a hilarious (and even touching) series of one-act comedies that combines wit, intellect, satire and just plain fun.

Sure Thing follows two people, who meet in a café, as they wind their way through a conversational minefield on the way to falling in love.
Words, Words, Words recalls the philosophical adage that three monkeys typing into infinity will sooner or later produce Hamlet and asks: What would monkeys talk about at their typewriters?
The Philadelphia follows a young man in a restaurant who has fallen into “a Philadelphia,” a Twilight Zone-like state in which he cannot get anything he asks for.
The Universal Language examines a speech lesson between Dawn, a young woman with a stutter, and Don, the creator and teacher of ‘Unamunda’, a wild comic language, as they navigate their way through a dazzling display of verbal pyrotechnics.
Variations on the Death of Trotsky shows us the Russian revolutionary on the day of his demise, desperately trying to cope with the mountain-climber’s axe he’s discovered in his head.

KRL: Who is directing this show?

Chris: The directors are:
Sure Thing – Preston Ward (Student)
Words, Words, Words – James McDonnell (Faculty)
The Philadelphia – James McDonnell (Faculty)
The Universal Language – Haley Wallace (Student)
Variations on the Death of Trotsky – Misti Mata (Student)

KRL: Why was this particular show chosen and how did you find out about it?

Chris: We actually produced this show onstage in 2008 so we knew it very well. When we saw it come up on a list of titles that were available to be used in streaming productions, we thought it would be a great chance to create multiple unique opportunities for our students.

KRL: Does the show have a particular message you feel is important right now?

Chris: Each of the plays are really funny, sweet, and absurd, and don’t we ALL need a break from what we have been navigating over the past year? Also, it DOES speak to the importance of connecting with one another, and that is a message that can NEVER be overstated.

KRL: Is it a musical or a straight play?

Chris: It is a series of one-act comic plays. We will be presenting five of these one-acts for our production.

KRL: Was the show originally written to be performed virtually or did you have to adapt it for a virtual presentation?

Chris: It is written for live performance, but so much of the content is surreal, we thought it would lend itself nicely

KRL: Was the show filmed, or will it be streaming live?

Chris: We filmed it from April 12-16. It has been in the hands of our five talented student editors since then and will premiere this Friday.

KRL: What was the filming process like?

Chris: All of the rehearsals were done virtually, through Zoom, for the six weeks preceding the week of filming.
We filmed one play a day, outside in the COS Amphitheater space where it was easy to facilitate social distancing and air circulation. Each day of filming would begin about 2 p.m. and wrap up around 8pm that evening.
The actors who would be appearing on screen would report to the COS Health Center to take a Rapid COVID Test prior to 2 p.m. Once they got their negative result, they would come to the COS Theatre, show us their negative test result, and get in costume.
Meanwhile, our dedicated 5-person stage crew set up the green screen and scenic elements for that day’s shoot. Set-up usually took anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes and take-down usually took 30 to 60 minutes.
Once the actors were in costume, the director would guide them through a 60 to 90 minute masked rehearsal, helping them to acclimate to the physical space and work with each other face-to-face for the first time. While the director and actors rehearsed, the crew would solidify the ‘shot list’ for the day.
Once everything was ready, the actors would remove their masks and we would race against time to get the shots we needed while the light was fairly consistent.

KRL: Did you work with other COS departments to film this?

Chris: No. We don’t have a ‘Film Department’ at COS so we approached the project with a lot of ambition, determination, and several talented students who have dabbled in video production for several years. They have really been our guides through this process.

KRL: What special challenges have you faced in putting this show together?


Chris:
Obviously, the health protocols in place to protect all of the participants demanded a lot of intense planning and adaptability on everyone’s part. The students were so grateful to connect again on a production, however, that they never once complained about any of the precautions and were really wonderfully committed to respecting one another’s health and space. Of the myriad other challenged we faced, perhaps the most funny/frustrating were car noises from Mooney Blvd (which was about 150 feet from the amphitheater) and some ridiculously strong winds. Our entire cast and crew were so dedicated to making it all work, though, and it was a great reminder of just how resilient artists can be.

KRL: When and how will the show be available for viewing?

Chris: It will be available for viewing on the COS Performing Arts YouTube Channel. Patrons can register on our ticketing website to receive a direct streaming link for each performance.
Performances will be:
Friday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 9, at 2:00 p.m.

KRL: How much are the tickets and how do you purchase them?

Chris: Tickets are absolutely free! COS Performing Arts is dedicated to bringing arts and entertainment to our community free of charge while we all wrestle with the current conditions. We encourage our audience to register at cos.ticketleap.com/all-in-the-timing

KRL: Anything else that you would like to share?

Chris: We are really proud of what our students have accomplished, and we have been so impressed by how innovative they are in tackling post-production. We are even considering initiating hosting a student film festival in a future season to give our students an opportunity to stretch their artistic muscles in a different medium. Ultimately, we are very excited to share their work with our community.

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors–many of whom you will have seen on local stages. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, and also on Podbean.

Check out more local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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