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The Fail Family in "Failure: A Love Story" being presented by the College of Fine Arts. (Meagan Hall | Photo Editor)

Philip Dawkins’ ‘Failure: A Love Story’ brings laughter and heartwarming message to OU

In the end, the power of love is far greater than any individual's successes or failures, according to a play put on by the College of Fine Arts to close out the semester.

Failure: A Love Story is a musical that takes place in the early 1900s. The story follows three sisters with the last name of Fail who die in reverse order, youngest to oldest, from being hit with a blunt object to the head, after disappearing and finally consumption.

Despite that, the play has a light-hearted and whimsical feel to it with a chorus that includes talking snakes, dogs, parakeets and clocks.

David Arman, a senior studying management information systems, found the play quite intriguing.

“It was a great show with a lot of variation,” Arman said. “It had high points and low points that just kept me interested the whole way through.”

Arman believes that the College of Fine Arts picks very polarizing shows where the characters may or may not speak to the audience. In this case, Arman said he thinks it was a good choice the characters in the musical did.

“I’ve seen a number of productions put on by the students here, especially since some of my greatest friends are the actors participating in the shows, and I used to be a theater major myself,” he said. “But this was probably one of the better productions that I’ve seen. It was really enjoyable.”

Anne McAlexander, a graduate student studying directing, was in charge of the musical as the director of the production.

“Overall, I thought the first show was great,” McAlexander said. “This is the first time the cast has had an audience to work with, and I think the cast did very well interacting with them.”

The play Failure: A Love Story was picked almost a year ago, but the cast did not start working on the musical until this September. 

“When I found the show I just immediately fell in love with it,” McAlexander said. “I’ve always loved the era of the '20s and the era before that theatrically, so I was looking forward to sort of embracing vaudeville and using the stereotypical devices of theater to tell the story in the simplest way possible.”

McAlexander said she was lucky to work with a cast that had such a positive energy and the drive to work hard.

“The entire cast was so much fun to work with,” she said. “They all worked very well together, and their teamwork was very important in making the show run as smoothly as it did.”

Amelia Tritt, a junior studying restaurant, hotel and tourism, came to support her fellow theater friends who were performing in the play.

“I know a lot of the actors that are currently a part of Failure: A Love Story,” Tritt said. “I also had to bring my learning community students to a fall arts event so I figured, what’s a better way to do that than having them come watch my friends?”

Although some of Tritt’s learning community students left early, the ones who stayed were pleasantly surprised.

“Out of the students that stayed for the whole thing, they were very happy with how the play turned out,” Tritt said. “It also made me feel good that my students had a good time because my friends are talented individuals and deserve to be recognized for it.”

Tritt has attended a few other productions put on by students from the College of Fine Arts, but she said Failure: A Love Story was one of the better plays she has seen.

“It was a very heartfelt play, and I’m glad the audience was able to laugh along with it, because I probably would’ve cried my eyes out if it wasn’t also meant to be funny.” Tritt said.


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