All in the Timing
14 One-Acts by David Ives
- 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, named after famous authors and expected to write Hamlet, for the most part waste time engaging in pointless banter, while occasionally inspired to make grandiose literary allusions.
- The Universal Language: A man welcomes a naïve woman into his fraudulent language-learning course, in which he only speaks the invented language, however, he confesses to the deception as he begins to fall in love with her.
- The Philadelphia: At a restaurant, a man is informed by a friend that his frustratingly unlucky day is the result of his ensnarement in an anomalous pocket of reality, called a "Philadelphia," in which he will only be fulfilled by asking for the opposites of what he wants. By the end, the man begins to feel content at last, only for his friend to be pulled also into the Philadelphia, while the waitress groans of her own entanglement in a "Cleveland."
- Variations on the Death of Trotsky: In comic fashion, revolutionary Leon Trotsky dies over and over again from a mountain-climber's axe-wound received many hours prior. Ultimately, Trotsky talks directly to his assassin who, while posing as a gardener, actually helped make some flowers in the garden grow. This sparks Trotsky to make his final philosophical statements on human life before he dies a final time.
- 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 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.