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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Play Combines Comedy and Tragedy


Photo credit: Gloria Minnich

Written by: Colby ShoupJanuary 18, 2017

“Failure: A Love Story” is a production full of firsts.

“This show is a lot different from the shows I normally do,” said Brock Eastom, a junior communication major who plays one of the chorus members. “This one is a lot more interpretive, and I get to play a ton of characters which is new for me.”

The show, an off-Broadway play originally performed in 2011, will make its Fort Wayne debut at Arena Dinner Theatre at 6:15 p.m. Jan 20 – Feb 4.

“Failure” takes place in 1928 and tells the story of three sisters who run their father’s clock store after their parents die tragically. Throughout the show, each of the sisters falls in love with a man named Mortimer Mortimer before dying in unusual ways.

The story is told partially through a Greek chorus and features talking animals, live music and an array of quirky characters, said Gloria Minnich, the show’s director.

Despite its unorthodox sense of humor and storytelling methods, Minnich said the script still manages to deal with death and grief in a realistic way. As a first time director, it was important to her that this came across in the production.

“Death is something that has been present a lot in my life, so I’ve had those moments of having to deal with grief and I’m still dealing with it,” Minnich said. “For me, it’s been a process of helping my cast learn how death changes you and how it changes your outlook on life. I’ve been talking to the cast a lot about this, and I think a lot of them are bringing their own experiences with grief into their roles.”

The show’s cast consists of 10 actors, half of which are chorus members and play various different characters throughout the show. Some of Eastom’s characters include a cocky reporter, a talking cat and a clerk at Ellis Island. The clerk is only on stage for 20 seconds, but Eastom said its “a very fun 20 seconds.”

Because chorus members are constantly changing characters, they don’t always use traditional props and costumes. This adds to the show’s “quirky appeal,” Eastom said.

“For example, I use a can of beans as a microphone at some point when I’m playing the reporter,” Eastom said. “We can do stuff like that in this show because it’s not based on reality which makes it really unique and a really interesting show to see.”

Tickets to “Failure: A Love Story” cost $40 and include dinner. They can be bought at the Arena box office or online at ticketpeak.com.