All in the Timing/Mere Mortals

by David Ives
Directed by Michael Fusco
Produced by Doug Browell
Stage Manager Jenn Shively

Production Kickoff: January 28, 2024

Audition: February 04, 2024

Performance Dates

Mar. 22, 23, 29, 30, Apr. 5, & 6, 2024 at 8:00PM
Mar. 24 & Apr. 7, 2024 at 2:00PM

Unless specifically noted, all roles are open to all regardless of race or ethnicity.

  • Foreplay or The Art of the Fugue (3m 3f); ages 20s and older †
    • Chuck I, Chuck II and Chuck III – All are the same self-styled Don Juan/player at different ages.
    • Amy, Annie and Alma – The Chucks' would-be conquests who are a little smarter than Chuck hopes, playing their own games.
    • † - Each Chuck is an older version of the Chuck who precedes him

  • Time Flies (2m,1f); ages20s or 30s for May and Horace; middle age and up for David
    • Horace and May – Sweet mayflies who fall for each other and, learning their tragic fate - a 24-hour lifespan- accelerate their relationship to the next level.
    • David Attenborough – (yes, him) The iconic BBC narrator of nature documentaries.
  • Sure Thing (1m 1f) ages 20s and older
    • Bill and Betty – meet at a café and strike up a conversation during which the ding of an offstage bell allows them a re-do of every misstep.
  • Words, Words, Words (2m, 1f); ages: 20s - 40s
    • Chimps – All three are rather erudite chimps: Milton is the alpha male and head writer; Swift (male) and Kafka (female) are his collaborators.
  • The Universal Language (1m, 1f + a walk on) ages: 20s and older
    • Dawn – A shy, youngish woman with a stutter who responds to an ad to learn "Unamunda, the Universal Language that will unite all humanity." ‡
    • Don – The creator of Unamunda who teaches it to Dawn.

    ‡ - Mastering this nonsense language is a real challenge for both-especially Don who speaks it fluently throughout the piece.

  • The Philadelphia (2m, 1f); ages 20s and older
    • Mark – A bewildered man who has entered a kind of Twilight Zone
    • Waitress – The most unhelpful one ever.
    • Al – Mark's friend who explains it all.
  • Dr. Fritz or The Forces of Light (1m, 1f) ages: 20s or older
    • Tom – A tourist who, fearing he has food poisoning, visits a local doctor.
    • Maria/Dr. Fritz – A strange practitioner of the healing? arts with a muddled accent.
  • Variations on the Death of Trotsky (2m, 1f) ages 40’s and older
    • Trotsky – political theorist and one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution, assassinated in Mexico City at age 60 by a blow to the head from his ice axe-wielding gardener.
    • Mrs. Trotsky – his observant and sympathetic spouse.
    • Ramon – the gardener and owner of the ice axe buried in Trotsky's head.

Prepare yourself for an evening of laughter as we present the following 8 one-act comedies selected from these two scripts by a master of the comic art form which explore the quirkier side of modern life.

FOREPLAY (OR THE ART OF THE FUGUE). Chuck, a self-styled Don Juan, and his girlfriend on a date at the miniature golf course. When they move to the second hole, a slightly older Chuck II appears with another date. Finally, an even older Chuck III, arrives with a young date who doesn't get his jokes, and worse, she's beating him at golf.

In TIME FLIES, two lonely but sweet young mayflies meet at a pond and really hit it off. Unfortunately, Horace and May watch a nature program on this first night out and discover they have a lifespan of only one day—and their lives are half over.

SURE THING is a classic of contemporary comedy: Two people meet in a cafe and navigate through a conversational minefield aided by offstage bell that allows them a re-do of their false starts, gaffes, and faux pas on the way to falling in love.

WORDS, WORDS, WORDS recalls the philosophical adage that three monkeys typing into infinity will sooner or later produce HAMLET and asks: What would monkeys talk about at their typewriters?

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE brings together Dawn, a young woman with a stutter, and Don, the creator and teacher of Unamunda, a wild comic language. Don’s attempt to teach Dawn the language sends them off into a dazzling display of hysterical verbal pyrotechnics—and, of course, true love.

THE PHILADELPHIA presents a young man in a restaurant who has fallen into "a Philadelphia," a Twilight Zone-like state in which he cannot get anything he asks for. His only way out of the dilemma is to ask for the opposite of what he wants.

DR. FRITZ (OR THE FORCES OF LIGHT) A typical tourist fearing he has food poisoning is directed for treatment to Dr. Fritz- an anything but typical physician.

VARIATIONS ON THE DEATH OF TROTSKY - the title says it all.

As I suspect it is for you, community theatre is my passion and it is my goal that each cast and production team member enjoy the time and effort they invest in creating a show we and Curtain Players are proud to stage.

Over the past 25+ years, I have directed more than 50 plays - 14 for Curtain Players including Leading Ladies; On Golden Pond; Trevor; Cat on A Hot Tin Roof; The Sunshine Boys; and Barefoot in the Park. I am a (mostly) retired lawyer with a BA in English Language and Literature with a focus on Dramatic Literature from Columbia University.


  • Production Kickoff: Sunday, January 28, 2024, 6:30 pm
  • Audition: Sunday, February 04, 2024


Production Kickoff location TBA

Auditions and performances take place at:
Curtain Players Theatre
5691 Harlem Road, Galena, OH 43021

Curtain Players offers an information session for each of its productions as a help for actors seeking roles, but attendance is not required to audition. The event is an opportunity for actors to become acquainted with the community theatre organization, to discuss the play with the director, and to ask questions about the audition process, rehearsal period, and production plans. Those interested in working behind the scenes are also invited to attend.

Curtain Players conducts open auditions for its productions. Roles are not cast in advance, and, unless specified otherwise in the role's description, are open to all without regard to race or ethnicity. Casting decisions are made by the director and a casting committee comprised of a member of the theatre board, a general member of the organization, and individuals of the director's choosing.

Those auditioning will be asked to read from selected sides from the scripts. We will make the sides available in advance. You can get them by attending the Kick-off or by emailing the Director at

There are a total of 24 roles in these one-acts (10f and 14m). We need to cast a minimum of 3 men and 3 women. While we could have these 6 actors play all of the roles for all of the one-acts, if there is enough interest, we have the option to cast a larger number of actors so that those cast would perform in one or, more likely, two of the pieces.

Requests for an early audition for All in the Timing/Mere Mortals must be made no later than January 21, 2024.

Questions related to the audition process may be directed to

Rehearsals for our productions begin in an offsite location, to be determined for each production. Approximately one month before opening night, rehearsals move into the Harlem Road playhouse.

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