After producing “The Crucible” and “Greater Tuna” in 2017, Kilgore College theater students are taking their audiences in a new direction with a group of comedic plays called “All in the Timing.”
“The idea for us was to do something that stretched our students in a way that they hadn’t experienced before and provide a new experience for our audiences,” Kilgore College theater instructor Micah Goodding said.
The show, which opens March 1 and will continue through March 4, is made up of six short plays that are often performed together but sometimes done separately.
Each of the six scenes that make up “All in the Timing” is a story of people trying to connect with each other with “language being the opposite of loneliness,” Goodding said.
All six segments were written by contemporary American author David Ives, which creates a unity throughout the full production with each one sharing the themes of language and the connection and disconnection of people, he added.
Students are playing multiple characters throughout the six short plays, which also creates a repetition and similarity throughout the show, allowing the audience to make connections between the characters instead of breaking the reality created on stage.
As producer, though. Goodding is approaching each of the six short plays as its own world connected to the others by the surrounding circumstances.
None of them are necessarily trying to achieve realism with three talking monkeys in one and another featuring a couple that keeps restarting their date with each missed connection.
“It’s stuff that borders on the edge of ‘theater of the absurd’ where people get to use their imagination to understand how these characters and these worlds can coexist,” he said. “We hope that it’ll be an entertaining evening and also that it’ll give them a deeper appreciation for language and of connecting with each other and also with the people on stage.”
“The Crucible,” by Arthur Miller, is accessible and familiar to people because of its use in English curriculum for high school and college, but the newer play adapts to the changing way people consume media.
With the increasing popularity of live videos on social media platforms and YouTube, Goodding said, “Our attention span is more focused on a short moment than on a long form epic. Audiences are asking for the same thing from theater that they’re asking form social media and other types of entertainment where you’re only asked to pay attention to a certain set of circumstances or episodes and then shift to something new.”
“All in the Timing” brings that short-form focus to the stage.
“That’s becoming the way our audiences are changing, so we think our students should have their skills to match them,” Goodding said.
The play is considered to be in line with a PG-13 movie rating with some mild language, he said, but did not consider it to be anything worse than what anyone might see on TV on a Friday night. He noted adults and teenagers are more likely to appreciate the show than younger audiences. No children eight years old or younger will be admitted.
Tickets are available online at kilgore.edu/drama and at the Kilgore College Theatre Box Office at 903-983-8601 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for Kilgore College students. Discounted ticket pricing is available for groups of 10 or more.
The show will open March 1 and continue through March 4. March 1-3 the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. and March 4 will feature a matinee at 2:30 p.m. All performances will be in the Van Cliburn Auditorium in the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Center.
“Our hope is that when people come and witness these plays that they’ll have an understanding of how language can be used to separate each other and join people together.”