You’ve Gotta Remember: It’s All In the Timing!

St. Luke’s Upper School takes on David Ives’ play All in the Timing and pivots from in-person to online performances in just a week. It truly is all in the timing!


Samantha Bauer '23

Though the coronavirus has created a lot of setbacks this year, St. Luke’s was still able to have a fall show. In-person rehearsals were going extremely well until November 5, 2020, when school transitioned to distance learning. Right before tech week, the whole show had to be converted to fit a computer screen. Despite this challenge, faculty and students put on a show that was different from any other. It was a learning experience for everyone involved, and it brought smiles to many people’s faces. 

(Left to Right) Leila Pearson ’21, Jillian Fisher ’21, Cameron Tyler ’21, and Samantha Bauer ’23 in rehearsal for “All in the Timing.” Photo by Valerie Parker.

All in the Timing by David Ives is a play comprised of 6 one-act plays that are extremely different, but with similar themes. For example, “Sure Thing” is about two people who meet at a cafe, and their conversation is reset by a bell each time one of them says something that steers the conversation down the wrong path; they eventually form a romantic connection. “Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread” is an abstract piece about the dream state which Philip Glass is brought into when he sees a past love. Altogether, the show questions and examines the effects and possibilities of time.    

The in-person rehearsals required the actors and crew to wear masks, just like in-person school, and everyone took caution to follow the health and safety protocols put in place. Actors maintained three feet apart from other actors and sanitized any props that were touched during rehearsals. 

Everyone involved in the production was happy to be in person, but they faced a sudden obstacle when all campus activities were moved online just a week before the first performance. Despite this challenge, Ms. Fuller, Mr. Conners, and the cast and crew were able to make the show work online and create a special experience for the participants and audience.  

All in the Timing was perfect for a possible shift online. Ms. Fuller, Director of All in the Timing and MS/US theater teacher, shared some of the reasoning behind choosing this particular show during the coronavirus. 

“Mr. Conners and I had . . . chosen this show because we knew if we had to pivot, it lent itself to doing it on Zoom, the scenes were small,” Ms. Fuller said.  “Everything worked for a potential online performance.” Ms. Fuller continued, “The icing on the cake was, I loved the piece–it was really, really funny”. 

On moving online in less than a week, Ms. Fuller commented, “It was really trying to figure out how technically we could transfer angles and then decide, do we talk to each other facing the camera or do we do the angle thing [actors looking away from the camera to appear as though they are looking at each other] that a lot of the scenes did.” Ms. Fuller may have been nervous for a second, but she immediately took charge, determined to make the play a success. 

“I love to say, ‘We never know what’s going to happen’, but we can be as prepared as possible and trust the preparation,” Ms. Fuller shared. 

However, Ms. Fuller knew that performing via Zoom would create new challenges for actors. 

“The one thing… that saddened me was the fact that none of [the cast] would hear the response from a live production,” she said. 

One of the cast members, Jillian Fisher ‘21, explained that performing in person with an audience makes theater truly special. 

Jillian Fisher ’21 in rehearsal for “All in the Timing.” Photo by Valerie Parker.

“Getting the sense of what the audience feels, that helps me as an actor,” Jillian explained. “Live theater is half the actor, half the audience, so to just be the actor, it’s really hard to transition into that and see what do you feel most comfortable with, without relying on [the audience].”

According to Jillian, the coronavirus had presented new restraints to her performance even during in-person rehearsals. 

(Left to Right) Theater teacher Ms. Fuller, Samantha Bauer ’23, Cameron Tyler ’21, and Joe Derr ’24 in rehearsal for “All in the Timing.” Photo by Valerie Parker.

“The in-person rehearsals were bizarre just because it is natural to want to get closer to people. With social distancing, you’re not used to that as an actor,” Fisher said. In most plays, people portray characters who have established relationships with one another, and demonstrating these relationships can be difficult without being able to physically be near them. 

But having the majority of rehearsals on campus helped to create a slightly easier transition online. The connection between the characters is always important and Jillian said, “We already developed the connections that we needed, so we just needed to be able to translate that onto the screen.” 

The show was live on Zoom for the cast, and when it was showtime, the cast would go onto Zoom. For the viewers, the show was presented through the streaming site called, which is used for easy access, and people could reserve tickets to the show. 

Broadcast Director Brian Douglas ‘21 was the one who ensured that all of the Zoom boxes would pop up on the screen at the same time, and he kept the broadcast system running during the production. Brian had a difficult job because the online format presented new obstacles for theatrical productions.

Brian Douglas ’21. Photo by Valerie Parker.

“With all of these internet streaming-based technologies, we introduce a lot of different points of failure that in theater we can account for,” Brian said. “In the theater, we can have stage lights and they can be on a battery backup. The lights won’t go out. We can have computers, and they can have batteries. They won’t turn off. Online when a tree falls on a powerline, and the internet goes down, then we’ve got a rough day.” 

However, the production of All in the Timing presented silver linings for Brian, as it helped him discover new ways to produce shows and created a different learning experience. 

“I think it let me push the boundaries further of my own knowledge in certain areas,” Brian shared. “I was aware of [my own skills in technology], but hadn’t had the opportunity to implement the knowledge of these abilities on a full scale production.” 

When asked how laborious the technology was for the online show, Brian explained that it may have been a hassle to get all of the different devices together, but it was easier once the majority of technological steps were taken. “I think after the premise [was] set up for it, which took a little while, … [the technology portion stood] on its own feet after it [was] up and running,” Brian shared. Though the show wasn’t necessarily expected to go online, Brian moved forward, along with the rest of the cast, crew, and everyone involved, to make the best of the situation.   

Brian’s work certainly hasn’t gone unappreciated. Ms. Fuller commented, “We were looking at the different options [for putting the show online] that Brian Douglas presented to us, who was just this genius and wunderkind of technical imagination and creativity.” 

Jillian was also impressed with Brian’s complicated work. “I’m really impressed with Brian because I don’t know how he did the screens…[and] I don’t know how he did all of the transitions,” she shared. 

Ultimately, All in the Timing would not have been possible without the cast and crew’s flexibility and resilience. 

Ms. Fuller also explained the happiness the show brought to so many people during a difficult time. 

“I loved the fact that there was so much joy because I know there’s … just a heaviness right now… [because] we’re in quarantine,” she said. 

Jillian commented, “[I think] everyone’s ability to roll with the punches … [is] what made it turn out okay. I think that’s what made it such a good show.” The show may have gone through many changes, but everyone pulled it together and delivered a special night of theater to people’s homes. Hopefully we will all be able to have live theater in person again soon!   

Jill said it perfectly: “Things can be chaotic, but you still have to deliver a good performance. That’s always a good lesson to learn.”