All in the Timing

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“All In The Timing”


by David Ives

All in the Timing is a collection of one-act plays by the American playwright David Ives written between 1987 and 1993. It was first published by Dramatists Play Service in 1994, with a collection of six plays; however, the updated collection contains fourteen. The short plays are almost all comedic, frequently employing word play. High-school and college students frequently perform the plays, often due to their brevity and undemanding staging requirements.

Opening & Closing Dates
Type & Version
Nov 24, 1993 – Feb 13, 1994
Play / Original
Primary Stages, NY, USA


Opening Night Cast


Name Role
Daniel Hagan N/A
Wendy Lawless N/A
Ted Neustadt N/A
Nancy Opel N/A
Robert Stanton N/A



Company Credit Primary Stages
Producer David Ives
Playwright Bruce Coughlin
Music Jason McConnell Buzas
Director Bruce Goodrich
Set Designer Sharon Lynch
Costume Designer Deborah Constantine
Lighting Designer Jim van Bergen
Sound Designer Anne Einhorn
Press Representative Tony Origlio P
ress Representative Christine Catti
Production Stage Manager Bill McComb Stage Manager

The Original Six Plays


  • Sure Thing: A man and a woman meet for the first time in a cafe, where they have an awkward meeting continually reset each time they say the wrong thing, until, finally, they romantically connect.
  • Words, Words, Words: Three chimpanzees attempt to write Hamlet.
  • The Universal Language: A man and a woman fall in love while communicating in the invented language Unamunda.
  • Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread: A musical parody of minimalist composer Philip Glass.
  • The Philadelphia: A man is informed by a friend that his frustratingly unlucky day is the result of an anomalous pocket of reality, called a “Philadelphia,” in which he must ask for the opposite of what he wants.
  • Variations on the Death of Trotsky: Revolutionary Leon Trotsky dies several times from a mountain-climber’s axe-wound received many hours prior.


Other Plays

  • Long Ago and Far Away: A married yuppie couple, about to move out of their apartment, argues about the nature of reality and becomes caught up in a bizarre scenario concluding in time travel and suicide; this is the one of the few purely dramatic pieces in All in the Timing.
  • Foreplay, or The Art of the Fugue: Three miniature golf games taking place simultaneously, showing one man on three separate first dates.
  • Seven Menus: Seven dinners at the same restaurant, showing the evolution of one circle of friends.
  • Mere Mortals: Three blue-collar construction workers discuss how they are really the Lindbergh baby, the son of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, and the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette.
  • English Made Simple: A young man and woman meet at a party and their immediate romantic attraction is presented via loudspeaker by a comically unromantic grammar lesson, while they struggle to free themselves from the banal constrictions of party talk.
  • A Singular Kinda Guy: A monologue about a man who believes he is actually a typewriter.
  • Speed-the-Play: A parody of the works of American playwright David Mamet; his major works are each lampooned.
  • Ancient History: A couple discusses tradition and relationships before and after they hold a party; one of the few dramatic works in All in the Timing.

External Links


All in the Timing @ Lortel Archives Off Broadway Database