Showing posts with label Failure: A Love Story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Failure: A Love Story. Show all posts

Monday, November 26, 2012


Victory Gardens presents 
the World Premiere of


By Ensemble Playwright Philip Dawkins
Directed by Seth Bockley

Featuring Baize Buzan, Emjoy Gavino,
Mildred Marie Langford, Michael Salinas,
Matt Fletcher, Guy Massey, and Janet Ulrich Brooks

Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens
2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

ChiIL Live shows will be there to check out opening night tonight.   Check back with us like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often for our full review.

Victory Gardens continues its 2012-13 season with the World Premiere of Failure: A Love Story, written by VG Ensemble Playwright Philip Dawkins and directed by Seth Bockley. The production runs November 16 – December 30, 2012 in the Richard Christiansen Theater at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park. The Press Opening is Monday, November 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm.

1928 was the last year of each of the Fail Sisters’ lives. Nelly was the first to die, followed soon after by sisters, Jenny June and Gerty. As with many unforeseen circumstances in life—blunt objects, disappearances and consumption—they never saw death coming. Written by Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins, Failure: A Love Story is a magical, musical fable about the triumphs and aspirations of three sisters living in the rickety two-story building by the Chicago River which was the Fail family home and clock shop. This profoundly funny and moving holiday offering reminds us that in the end, all that remains is love.

Notes of Interest:
  • Victory Garden’s World Premiere of Failure: A Love Story will be Philip Dawkins’ first play produced at Victory Gardens Theater as a member of the new Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble.  Dawkins was inducted into the VG Playwright’s Ensemble this year along with Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter, and Tanya Saracho.
  • This marks Seth Bockley’s directing debut for Victory Gardens, having previously helmed productions at Sideshow, Collaboraction and Redmoon, to name a few.  Also a playwright, Bockley won the 2008 Jeff Citation for Best New Adaptation for Jon, from a story by George Saunders.  He is also a recipient of Theater Communications Group’s New Generations Grant. 
  • Failure: A Love Story will include popular songs of the era such as “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On the Farm,” as well as original tunes by Philip Dawkins titled “I Don't Need Anyone (Now I Have You)” and “An Ode To Johnny Weissmuller.”
  • This production is family friendly just in time for the holiday season.

“I'm extremely proud to present the world premiere of Failure: A Love Story by our new ensemble playwright Philip Dawkins,” says Victory Gardens Artistic Director Chay Yew. “With exuberant wit and sumptuous theatricality, Philip has written a wise, whimsical fable about finding success in what others deem as failure, living outside society's margins, and embracing life's unpredictable journey and pursuing what you love. I'm also proud to have one of the most innovative and fearless off-Loop directors, Seth Bockley, a Victory Gardens Associate, direct this production. A valentine to our great city of Chicago, I can’t think of a more perfect play for the holidays.”

This World Premiere production will feature popular songs from the time period as well as original compositions by Philip Dawkins.  The cast will accompany themselves on a variety of instruments including piano, oboe, accordion, and percussion. Elements of puppetry and object theater will also be woven into the show.

The cast of Failure: A Love Story includes Baize Buzan (Nelly Fail), Emjoy Gavino (Jenny June Fail), Mildred Marie Langford (Gertrude Fail), Michael Salinas (John N. Fail), Matt Fletcher (Mortimer Mortimer),Guy Massey (The Chorus), and Janet Ulrich Brooks (The Chorus).

The designers are Scott Davis (Set Designer), Mac Vaughey (Lighting Designer), Emily Tarleton (Costume Designer) and Charles Kim (Sound Designer). Will Bishop is the Assistant Director, Helen Lattyak is the Stage Manager.

(Estrogen Fest; Estrogenius Festival, NY; 16th Street Theatre, Berwyn; Painted Filly, Ireland.).  His plays for young folks have been performed all over the world and are published through Playscripts, Inc.  A graduate of Loyola University, Chicago, Philip is an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre, an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens, and a founding member, with artistic partner Eric C. Reda, of Chicago Opera Vanguard.  Philip teaches playwriting at Northwestern University and through the Victory Gardens ACCESS Program for writers with disabilities. 

About the Artists
Philip Dawkins’ (Playwright) critically-acclaimed play The Homosexuals received a Joseph Jefferson Nomination for New Work after its world premiere with About Face Theatre in the summer of 2011, under the direction of Bonnie Metzgar.  Further productions are planned for the 2012/13 seasons of The Ringwald Theater in Detroit and ManBites Dog Theater in North Carolina.  After premiering at Victory Gardens, Failure: A Love Story will be performed in Philadelphia at Azuka Theatre in summer 2013.  His new play, Stutter, was commissioned by the Goodman Theater and will receive a staged reading in December 2012.  Last fall, his play Miss Marxor The Involuntary Side Effect of Living received a staged reading as part of Steppenwolf’s First Look Series.  Other credits include Dead Letter Office (Dog and Pony Theatre); Yes to Everything! (Chicago, NY,CA, DC); Perfect (The Side Project); Ugly Baby (Chicago Opera Vanguard/Strawdog Theatre Company); A Still Life in Color (T.U.T.A. Company); and Saguaro
(Estrogen Fest; Estrogenius Festival, NY; 16th Street Theatre, Berwyn; Painted Filly, Ireland.).  His plays for young folks have been performed all over the world and are published through Playscripts, Inc.  A graduate of Loyola University, Chicago, Philip is an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre, an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens, and a founding member, with artistic partner Eric C. Reda, of Chicago Opera Vanguard.  Philip teaches playwriting at Northwestern University and through the Victory Gardens ACCESS Program for writers with disabilities. 

Seth Bockley (Director) is a Chicago-based director, playwright and performer. His directing credits include The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg (Sideshow Theater); Civilization (all you can eat) by Jason Grote (Clubbed Thumb, NYC); 1001 by Jason Grote; Jon, winner of the 2008 Jeff Citation for Best New Adaptation (Collaboraction); Winter Pageant 2010, Laika’s Coffin (Redmoon); and Guerra: A Clown Play (created with Mexico City’s La Piara). Writing credits include Elephant and the Whale (April 2013, Redmoon at Chicago Childrens’ Theatre); February House (with lyricist/composer Gabriel Kahane – Public Theater, NYC); Ask Aunt Susan (Goodman’s New Stages Amplified series in November 2011);The Twins Would Like To Say (Dog & Pony); Laika’s Coffin, and Boneyard Prayer (Redmoon). He has also penned adaptations of Jon andCommComm (from short stories by George Saunders). Bockley was a recipient of Theater Communications Group’s New Generations Grant, and is currently a playwright in residence at the Goodman Theater.
Baize Buzan (Nelly Fail) is performing at Victory Gardens for the first time with Failure: A Love Story. Chicago credits include Cripple of Inishmaan (Redtwist), The Sea (Theatre Mir), Walk Two Moons (Adventure Stage), Far Away (winterfall chicago), The Chicago Landmark Project (Theatre Seven) and Woyzeck (Oracle.) TV credits include Chicago Fire. Baize is a graduate of Vassar College and The School at Steppenwolf, and has also studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School. 

Emjoy Gavino (Jenny June Fail) has been seen in Seascape (Remy Bumppo), Wait Until Dark (Court Theatre), Working (Broadway Playhouse), Arabian Nights (Lookingglass Theatre), Next Stop (Route 66), Hair(Paramount Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Wilson Wants it All (House Theatre), Cooperstown (Theatre Seven), A Very Neo-Futurist Christmas Carol (Neofuturists) and That’s Weird Grandma (Barrel of Monkeys). Regional credits include The Violet Hour, Into the Woods and the world premiere of The Joy Luck Club (Repertory Actor’s Theatre), Miss Saigon (5th Avenue Theatre/Bass Hall), Searching 4 Y (Village Theatre), Sadako (Book-it Repertory) and A Christmas Carol (ACT Theatre).

Mildred Marie Langford (Gertrude Fail) is making her Victory Gardens debut in Failure: A Love Story. Other Chicago credits include Freshly Fallen Snow at Chicago Dramatists, where she is a newly named Associate Artist; My Kind of Town and In Darfur at Timeline Theatre, where she serves as a new company member; An Actor Prepares (U of C Logan Center for the Arts); The Ghost is Here (Vitalist Theatre);13Clocks (Lifeline Theatre); Venus, The Twins Would Like To Say and The Crucible (Steppenwolf Theatre); Sinbad: The Untold Tale, The Ghost of Treasure Island and The Blue House (Adventure Stage); A Civil War Christmas (Northlight Theatre); Zulu Fits (MPAACT); War With The Newts and The Overwhelming (Next Theatre); and 12 Ophelias (Trap Door Theatre). Mildred is a graduate of George Mason University and The School at Steppenwolf. She also works as a teaching artist in the city and as a mentor for Adventure Stage Chicago's Mentorship Program.

Michael Salinas (John N. Fail) is making his Victory Gardens debut. As an ensemble member of Steep Theatre his credits include Festen, Under the Blue Sky, Pornography, A Brief History of Helen of TroyThe Hollow Lands, and In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings (Jeff Award-Best Ensemble). Also at Steep, he recently co-produced and performed in an off-night solo piece, The Gog/Magog Project. Other Chicago credits includeNight Over Erzinga (Silk Road Rising); Girl You Know It’s True (Pavement Group); Fedra: Queen of Haiti (Lookingglass); Mimesophobia (Theatre Seven); As Told by the Vivian Girls (Dog & Pony); and Hatfield & McCoy (The House). He has also worked with Collaboraction, The Gift, Steppenwolf, and The Goodman. Regional credits include Laura Eason’s The Vast In-Between (Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO); Spinning Into Butter (Southern Repertory Theatre in New Orleans); and Romeo & Juliet (The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane). Film credits include Freshman Orientation (Sundance Premiere).

Matt Fletcher (Mortimer Mortimer) is making his Victory Gardens debut. Matt serves as Producing Artistic Director with Sideshow Theatre Company, where he was most recently seen in Idomeneus at the DCASE Storefront Theatre; other Sideshow work includes HeddatronStrangerland, Theories of the SunEverything Freezes: another winter's tale, and Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird). Other performance credits include As Told by the Vivian Girls with Dog and Pony Theatre Company, two seasons with The Lost Colony, as well as a staged reading of Third with Jane Alexander at Hollins University. Matt is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he received his BA in Drama.
Guy Massey (The Chorus) has performed in plays with The Steppenwolf Theater, The Gift Theater, Shaw Chicago, A Red Orchid Theater, Theater Wit, Rivendell Theater, The Curious Theatre Branch, Theater Oobleck, Eclipse Theater, Greasy Joan & Co., Prop Thtr, Teatro Vista, Next Theater, and Wisdom Bridge, among others.  Most recently, he has worked with The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and here in Chicago, just finished a production of Tigers Be Still with Theater Wit, as well as playing “The Creature” in the Neo-Futurists’ smash up of Pinocchio/Frankenstein.  With Theater Oobleck, he played “George W Bush” in The Strangerer both Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theater in Manhattan and in Chicago at the Chopin Theater.  His earliest film credits include the 1980’s cult classic Three O’Clock High and the latest are At Any PriceThe PromotionStranger Than FictionContagion, and Fred Claus.  Television credits include BossShameless and the Pilot Episodes of The Mob DoctorThe BeastThe Line, and The Chicago Code.
Janet Ulrich Brooks (The Chorus) was last seen at Victory Gardens in Jacob & Jack. She is a TimeLine Company Member and has appeared in more than 10 productions, most recently A Walk in the Woods and All My Sons. Other credits include South of Settling (Steppenwolf Theatre), Ten Chimneys (Northlight Theatre), The Original Grease (American Theater Co.), Pony (About Face Theatre), The Seagull and A True History of the Johnstown Flood (Goodman Theatre). Other Chicago credits include Golda’s Balcony (Pegasus Players, Non-Equity Jeff Award – Outstanding Solo Performance) and work with Strawdog Theatre, Steppenwolf for Young Adults, Writers' Theatre and Collaboraction. Janet's film credits include FoolsConvictionPolish BarI Heart Shakey, and One Small Hitch, and her television credits include BossUnderemployedThe Chicago Code and The Playboy Club.

Full performance schedule
Regular performances run through December 30, 2012: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 4 pm; Sunday at 3 pm.  Regular performances are $35-$50.

There will be additional performances on Wednesday, December 19 at 2:00 pm and Wednesday, December 26 at 7:30 pm.

Performances are in the Richard Christiansen Theater at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.  For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000 (TTY: 773.871.0682)

email, or visit  Ask the Box Office about student tickets ($15), senior, Access, 20 for $20, and rush discounts.  For group discounts, call 773.328.2136.
A full and updated schedule of special events, post show discussions and presentations centered around performances of Failure: A Love Story is available at
Audio description and touch tours for patrons who are blind or have low vision

Friday, December 14     Touch Tour        6:00pm             Performance 7:30pm
Sunday, December 23  Touch Tour        1:30pm             Performance 3:00pm                                                                 
Call 773.871.3000 for reservations.

Word for word captioning for patrons who are hearing impaired
Wednesday, December 19 at 2:00pm                           
Friday, December 21 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 22 at 4:00pm
Sign language interpretation for patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired
Friday, December 21 at 7:30pm

Victory Gardens is the winner, Best Accessible Theater, Deaf Illinois Awards 2009.  See and click on “Enhance Your Visit” for information on other Access services including large print and Braille programs, assisted listening devices, and artist development workshops as well as a full schedule of special events, post-show discussions and presentations.
Logistics and Amenities
$11 valet parking is available for all performances except weekday matinees. Metered and street parking is available, but mind the neighborhood parking restrictions.
Public transit
By CTA train, take the Red, Purple or Brown lines to the Fullerton stop.  Walk east on Fullerton to Lincoln, then north 1/2 block to the theater.   The #8 Halsted, #11 Lincoln,  #37 Sedgwick/Ogden, and #74 Fullerton CTA buses all stop at the corner of Fullerton and Halsted, 1/2 block south of the theater.  See for times and routes.

Pre- and post-show dining
See for a list of Victory Gardens’ neighborhood dining partners.  Each is within walking distance of the Biograph, and all offer a special discount to patrons who present a Victory Gardens ticket stub.

About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Executive Director Jan Kallish, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools,  bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.  

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Our commitment to developing, supporting and producing new theatre work makes Victory Gardens an American Center for New Plays.

In 2006, Victory Gardens successfully completed an $11.8 million renovation of Chicago’s famed Biograph Theater, and moved two blocks north from its longtime venue at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, to its beautiful new home in one of Chicago’s most celebrated historic landmarks.  Renamed Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, the new venue is a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage which has greatly expanded the company’s artistic flexibility.

In 2009, Victory Gardens completed the second phase of renovation at the Biograph, building an intimate, new, 109-seat studio theater on the second floor.  On March 1, 2010, at a special launch event for Victory Gardens $1 million Campaign for Growth, the theater’s new studio was officially named the Richard Christiansen Theater, in honor of the Chicago Tribune chief critic emeritus and longtime champion of Chicago’s live theater scene.  Visit for more details.

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Alphawood Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, The Boeing Company, Crown Family Philanthropies, Leo S. Guthman Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Polk Bros. Foundation, and REAM Foundation. Additional funding is provided by: Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), The Edgerton Foundation, The James S. Kemper Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Sara Lee Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund, McVay Foundation, The Seabury Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Tool Works, Motorola Mobility Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, a City Arts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Irving Harris Foundation, PNC Foundation, and The Saints.

Google Analytics