Failure: A Love Story – an Arizona Premiere

David directs this touching love story of three sisters and a young man’s journey through their lives.  Class 6 Theatre produces the Arizona premiere of Philip Dawkins‘ eloquently written script.

This is David’s second time directing, and his second opportunity at Class 6 Theatre after directing A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, last Winter.

Failure: A Love Story takes the audience on a roller coaster of emotions and with a very different form compared to typical modern theatre fare.  The play is written as a poem with scenes that pop out from the story and come to life.  This allows the story to range much farther, wider and faster than usual, and relies heavily on the language to paint pictures for the audience to create.  Set in the 1920s, the action of the play brings a rich cultural and musical heritage with it as jazz and standards from the era float through many scenes.

David was approached by Eric Schoen, Artistic Director of Class 6 Theatre to consider directing the play in July.  Here’s how David describes his first encounter with the play on the Class 6 Theatre Blog:

… I read [the script] and it touched me deeply.  Old memories and connections to my own family history rose to the surface that had been idle for decades.  I cried a lot.  I cried right there with the script in my hands, in my house.  It was ridiculous.  I couldn’t stop.  I don’t really cry much when I read scripts and not like that!  I was sitting on my couch sobbing thinking, “I have no idea how to direct this show, but I feel so deeply about it I have to take it on.”  ​

Auditions brought talent in from around the valley, and the final cast is comprised of five new faces to the Class 6 Theatre stage with the only veteran being Keath Hall playing John N. Fail, the youngest brother.  Caroline Wagner, with a growing list of stage credits from theatres all over the Phoenix metro area, plays Gerty the oldest sister.  Lyssa Horney and Kate Chambers both finishing bachelors degrees at Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University, respectively, play the youngest and ‘middlest’ sisters.  Hillary Scott tells the story as an insightful and quirky Chorus.  And the young gentleman in the story, Mortimer Mortimer, is played by recent Grand Canyon University Theatre Program graduate William Wyss.  The cast has bonded through the process to create a tight knit ensemble that this delicate play requires.

Bring some kleenex though if you are inclined to weep as David did on his first reading.  There are sure to be some tears shed by the audience through the run.  The show runs at the Mesa Arts Center from 11/5/15 through 11/21/15.  For tickets, visit the Class 6 Theatre website.

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