Community, Live Theater, Park Forest, Theater

Governors State University Streams Fall Drama November 20–22 through Broadway On Demand

Failure A Love Story

University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)– When Jeremey Ohringer was offered the position of visiting director for Governors State University (GSU) Theatre and Performance Studies’ (TAPS’) Fall 2020 production Failure: A Love Story, he had no idea what surprises 2020 would have in store. What was originally envisioned as an intimate stage production was quickly reimagined, and a new art form was born. Ohringer explains it as “a combination of live theatre and film—a new and emerging medium of Zoom theatre.”

It was an unexpected challenge, and the cast rose to the occasion. The pandemic not only forced a change in viewing platform and location, but it also expanded the range of actors who could audition for this virtually rehearsed production. The cast features actors who live locally as well as actors whose homes span from New Jersey to Tennessee, to California. Despite 3,000 miles separating the farthest-flung cast members, the ensemble created deep bonds with one another.

These bonds were critical to executing the material. Ohringer notes that the themes of Failure are particularly apt as the world deals with grieving the loss of a normal way of life. “This play is about community, family, and love; and specifically, how the Fail family supports and cares for each other. The text itself and the virtual platform requires that the actors support and love each other, and they have certainly done their jobs.” 

Failure: A Love Story is a dark comedy that tells the story of the three Fail sisters and their subsequent deaths. Expiring in reverse order, youngest to oldest, from blunt object to the head, disappearance, and finally consumption. Tuneful songs and a whimsical chorus of colorful characters follow the story of Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty as they live out their final days above the family clock-repair shop near the Chicago River. In addition to the theatrical and filmic qualities, the production features footage from the 1920s as well as original animation by GSU student Alex Pavloski.

The Cast of Failure: A Love Story

cast of Failure a Love Story
The cast of Failure: A Love Story – top row from left to right: Lanie Shannon, Susan Cohen DeStefano, Nina Sundsten; middle row from left to right: Breigh Starkey, Manuel Reza, and Kevin Kohn; bottom row from left to right: Jermaine Tyler and Destiny Martino. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Gaston Beltran as Chorus

Susan Cohen DeSteano as Chorus

Kevin Kohn as John N. Fail

Destiny Martino as Jenny June Fail

Manuel Reza as Mortimer Mortimer

Lanie Shannon as Chorus

Breigh Starkey as Nelly Fail

Nina Sundsten as Gertrude Fail

Jermaine Tyler as Chorus

Audiences can access the performance through Broadway on Demand starting November 20 at midnight through November 22 at 10 p.m.

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To purchase tickets and access the production, GO HERE!

This is news from Governors State University.