Fall One Act Plays Tackle Time, Comedy in Unique Format
As many things have this year, the Fall Play All in the Timing looked a little different than it typically does.
Taking the format of three one-act plays, the plays took place beyond the Black Box Theatre in different locations around campus. All in the Timing is the title of the collection of David Ives one-act plays from which the Arts Department drew for this production.
"I've loved these one acts since I was a student in high school for the way that they present time as fractured rather than linear," noted Mr. Cameron Ayres, director and teacher. "Artistically, I chose them because the development of comic timing is so foundational to actor training. Practically, I chose them because the plays would work well with actors maintaining social distance from each other and because three small casts would be more strategic to rehearse, given COVID protocols, than one large one."
The first act was set on the Holt patio and featured three students. As with all of the acts, "Sure Thing" examined time and how a second can make a difference in an exchange. This play included numerous versions of the same conversation and the different outcomes of each.
Next, the audience followed the "Bell," the omniscient and silent narrator, to the second location in front of Willis and was treated to a comedic portrayal of the Infinite Monkey Theorem that hypothesizes that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will likely produce any text, such as William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
For the final act, the crowd ventured behind the Rectory to witness the delusions of Leon Trotsky while unconscious after having a mountain climber's axe smashed (not buried) into his head.
Each act drew laughs and showcased the skills of all of the actors and assistant directors.
"The combination of the acoustic difficulties of the outdoor venues and the need to be masked until the final days of rehearsal was a fantastic obstacle to have to overcome. Students had to be incredibly mindful of projection and enunciation in order to be heard and understood," said Ayres. "When we were given the provisional clear to perform without masks, toward the end of the process, we realized that these challenges had served as unexpected and effective vocal training techniques."
An all girls boarding and day school in Southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers Advanced Placement courses, global study and travel, as well as project based learning. Our athletic teams regularly compete at the State level and our exceptional riding program is nationally recognized. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.