UWEC Players put on Failure: A Love Story

Love and Tragedy Coincide in Weekend Performance

More stories from Elliot Adams

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May 11, 2022
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Photo by Elliot Adams

The play followed the story of the three Fail sisters; Gertrude, Jenny June and Nelly, as well as Mortimer Mortimer, a suitor to all three before they each died in rapid succession.

From the beginning of the play, the audience knew the ending. All three sisters would die in less than a year. They would die from “blunt object to the head, disappearance and consumption.”

The UW-Eau Claire Players, a student theater group, put on Failure: A Love Story from Feb. 17-19 in the Schofield Auditorium. 

The play followed the story of the three Fail sisters; Gertrude, Jenny June and Nelly, as well as Mortimer Mortimer, a suitor to all three before they each died in rapid succession. 

Jimmy Whitcomb, a fourth-year theater student and director of the play, said that he picked this play due to the parallels it draws between the world of the play and living with COVID-19. 

“Mortimer Mortimer loses the three loves of his life within a year of each other,” Whitcomb said. “Losing so much that fast is really relatable to what’s going on in the world now.”

Rachel Mueller, a fourth-year theater student and stage manager, discussed how the themes of the play influenced the decision to select the play. 

“It’s coming at a nice time, it’s a show about love, loss and family but it’s also a comedy,” Mueller said. “It’s light-hearted and it felt like a great thing to bring to the stage this year.” 

According to Mueller, the play had been in development since August, 2021. Katherine Bauer, a second-year theater student who performed as Gertrude, said that preparing for the play was “unusual”, as they had to hold line readings virtually but was “ultimately helpful.”

Bauer also said that the opportunity to perform was important after her long break from performing due to COVID-19.

 “It was really awesome to have a low pressure performance opportunity because I haven’t been able to perform in two and a half years,” Bauer said. “This is also the most drama-free show I’ve been a part of, the cast is just really great.” 

Whitcomb also had high praise for the cast and the opportunities that the UW-Eau Claire Players offers for students that aren’t in theater or performance art programs. 

“It’s great to get people involved in theater who are here because they want to and it’s what they love to do,” Whitcomb said. “Having a group of people like that who you might not see in main stage shows is a very special thing.”

Adams can be reached at [email protected].