The world according to David Ives is a very strange place indeed. His plays create a near perfect inspection of the English language - and of the audience's aptitude for perplexity and joy. Ives's characters are thrust into black holes called "Philadelphias," where the simplest desires are uproariously frustrated. Chimps named Milton, Swift, and Kafka are locked in a room and made to write no less a masterpiece than Hamlet. And a con man peddles courses in an invented language in which "welcome" translates as "velcro" and "fraud" comes out as "freud."