The Davis & Elkins College Theatre and Film Program will round out its 2021-2022 theatre season with Phillip Dawkins’ “Failure: A Love Story” in the Boiler House Studio Theatre. The performance premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21, with additional shows at 8 p.m. Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24.
Seating is limited in the Studio Theatre and reservations are required. Tickets are limited to four people per party per night and may be secured by calling 304-637-1255 or visiting www.showtix4u.com/events/dewv. Masks will be required for entry.
“It’s been an honor bringing theatre back to the Boiler House – admittedly in a smaller, more experimental space,” said Director Dr. Aubrey Helene Neumann. “We have such a creative group of students and ‘Failure: A Love Story’ really showcases their talents from comedy to drama to shadow puppets and everything in between. I look forward to seeing them share the story with an audience.”
Set in the 1920s, the grief-stricken comedy explores the life of a bachelor in Chicago as he falls in love with each of the Fail sisters. A whimsical chorus follows the story of Nelly, Jenny June and Gerty as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River before their time unexpectedly runs out.
Making her D&E theatre debut, freshman Becca Thacker of Kearney, Nebraska, says the excitement of the show is palpable.
“I have had a blast working on ‘Failure!’ The rehearsal process has been chaotic fun, which makes the process so much less stressful,” Thacker said. “My character Gerty has let me explore myself as a person and as an actress. She’s funny, sarcastic and willing to do anything for her family.”
Theatre major Maggie Gunning of Elkins said she has enjoyed the experience of learning more about acting in a smaller space.
“Having this studio theatre space for the show adds a whole new personal element that is much needed for a play like this,” said Gunning who portrays Nelly Fail. “The cast has done a wonderful job adapting, and we are so very excited to share it with all of you.”
In addition to Thacker and Gunning, the cast is made up of Nina Arbogast of Beverly as Jenny June Fail; Star Eakle of Elkins as Counter Clock and December; Harley Dragone of Davis as Grandfather Clock and Dog; Roger Gabbert III of Follansbee as John N.; Heather Humphrey of French Creek as Coocoo Clock and Dodd; Natasha Mackey of Rock Cave as Moses and Front Door; Kyia McGill of Buckhannon as Marietta Fail, Mae and Mantle Clock; Quinn Staunton of Lewisburg as Mortimer Mortimer; and Giovanni Romero of Ranson as Henry Fail, Wall Clock and Grantland Rice.
Audiences should note this show explores some mature topics such as death, miscarriage and euthanasia and therefore has a PG-13 rating. The show runs about two hours, with a 15-minute intermission.