Failure: A Love Story
High School Production
LELAND PERFORMIING ARTS CENTER
200 N Grand Ave.
Leland, MI 49654
Dates: November 2, 3, 4 @ 7 PM and November 5 @ 5 PM
The Midwest provides the setting for many of Philip Dawkins’ plays, and, in Failure: A Love Story, Dawkins draws inspiration from Chicago’s rich history. The setting is Chicago at the end of the Roarin’ Twenties where women have just earned the right to vote, Al Capone is a powerful presence, and prohibition is in full swing.
Dawkins’ plays are known for unique theatrical storytelling and Failure: A Love Story is no exception. This production will be a little unusual for Leland. While our PAC audience is used to having a chorus appear onstage as narrator, this play breaks the mold of “traditional theater” and combines a series of memories with a large, omnipotent chorus to tell and manipulate the story.
The plot follows Mortimer Mortimer on his quest to find love. Along the way, Mortimer crosses paths with three very quirky sisters, Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty Fail, who live out their lives above the family clock shop near the Chicago River, at the corner of Lumber and Love. The Fail sisters are good at time – they make, fix and maintain clocks, but, from the outset, the audience knows that things will not end well as the chorus tells us that within a year, all three Fail sisters will be dead — perishing in reverse order from youngest to oldest, from blunt object to the head, disappearance, and finally consumption. Albeit tragic, the journey itself is quite magical. Lively clocks, talking animals, and competitive lake swimming invite the audience to suspend disbelief and join Mortimer and the Fail sisters as they try to control time.
Mortimer Mortimer’s quest to find a spouse ends unsuccessfully, but his journey teaches him a lot about many different kinds of love. He learns that love can take many forms and, despite his failure to turn back time, he finds peace in his love-filled life. As his romances die off (literally), Morty realizes that love is not bound by time or space.
Failure; A Love Story is a magical, musical fable where, in the end, we learn that love is nothing to be afraid of. Everything must come to an end, but, as Pal the dog says, “Just because something ends, that don’t mean it wasn’t a great success.”
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