I was definitely inspired by our discussion of time strategies in plays on Thursday. It's amazing what a difference an alternate time structure can make in a play... could you imagine "Death of a Salesman" performed in chronological order? (Granted, I've already displayed my complete confusion about that particular play for all to see in class, but since we broke down the actual actions I actually got it.) Or "An Ideal Husband" done backwards? It just wouldn't make sense, and the effect would be completely spoiled.
The beauty of playing with time in a play is that you make the audience feel, if only for a hour or so, that they're existing outside of time. You do sacrifice a little bit of the total belief in the reality of what's on the stage (that was a wordy phrase) but on the other hand you let the audience feel a little like Ebenezer Scrooge's Christmas ghosts... hopping around time with ease and at will.
More importantly, having certain moments happen at certain times makes sure that plot points have the impact they need to keep the play moving. And effective, for that matter.