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'Timing' Is Everything For Faculty/Staff Theater Troupe At Fairfield U.

Fairfield University professor Dennis Keenan, Ph.D., is one of the stars of "All in the Timing," a new theater production set to open Sept. 28 at the Quick Center for the Arts.
Fairfield University professor Dennis Keenan, Ph.D., is one of the stars of "All in the Timing," a new theater production set to open Sept. 28 at the Quick Center for the Arts. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Fairfield University students will see a whole new side of their professors later this month when faculty and staff take to the stage in “All in the Timing: Five Short Comedies by David Ives.”

The evening of witty, romantic and existentially minded theater will be the fifth production presented by The Academy Players of Fairfield University, a group of employees who enjoy melding live theater with themes found in their ‘day jobs.’

“When I attended a production of David Ives’ ‘The Goodness of Your Heart’ on Broadway a couple of years ago, I immediately noticed themes that overlapped with a class I team-teach… on philosophy and economic anthropology,” said Shelton resident Dennis Keenan, Ph.D., philosophy professor and amateur thespian. “That academic tie-in was the impetus to look for other plays by Ives that would help bring the theater into the classroom."

This year’s quirky quintet of one-acts includes “The Goodness of Your Heart,” as well as “Time Flies,” a comedy about two mayflies on a date with only 24-hours to live. “Degas C’est Moi” concerns a man who decides to live his life as French artist Edgar Degas.

Ives’ “Sure Thing” and “Foreplay” round out the evening.

All of the plays feature Ive’s trademark satire and wordplay, but University students will get the added bonus of analyzing how the plays’ themes relate to their courses in such far-reaching subjects as economics and English, natural sciences and studio art. Each performance is followed by a faculty-led discussion that addresses themes with the audience.

“This way, students in disciplines that normally do not study theater can make these academic connections together while experiencing the magic of live theater,” said Fairfield resident Jerelyn Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish and chair of modern languages and literatures. “We are always on the look out for plays that address important issues, have a unique ability to bring various disciplines together, and are, of course, exciting to watch.”

In addition to Johnson and Keenan, this year’s cast includes Dolan School of Business Dean Donald Gibson, Ph.D., and religious studies professor Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., both of Trumbull; and mathematics professors Shawn Rafalski, Ph.D., of Fairfield and Steve Sawin of New Haven.

The cast also features Fairfield resident Charlene Wallace, a retired University staffer, and Yale University associates Andrea MacAdam of Fairfield and Lisa Sawin of New Haven.

Fairfield resident Alistair Highet, senior director of external communications and public relations, will direct the production.

“All in the Timing” will be presented at 8 p.m. from Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Oct. 1 in the Wien Experimental Theatre of the University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Tickets are free to students and $20 each for the public. For tickets, visit or call 203-254-4010.

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