Timing on Comedy

June 08, 2015 by in Production Advice, Uncategorized

There’s a theatre axiom that timing in comedy is everything. Even if timing is not EVERYTHING, it’s an awful lot! So when you write and direct comedy, be aware of the comedic lines of the script and BE CAREFUL. Watch the video of my play THREE PEES produced at the 24-Hour Theater Project of the Maine Playwrights Festival in May 2015. Listen for the laugh lines. Did the audience laugh after each funny line? There were many laughs! Are there times the audience missed a humorous line and why? Remember timing. The playwright should share his idea of what lines are intended to be funny with the actors and director early in the rehearsal process. The actors and director should then test those lines on the stage. If possible have some audience later in rehearsal to help with timing and speaking. Lines that follow a laugh should be held until the laughter (if there is any) subsides. The actor should not continue to speak until the laughing stops. Otherwise the next funny line may not be heard and the next laugh missed.

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